21 Day Challenge – Week 3

21 Day Challenge – Week 3

Congratulations, your first 14 days have been navigated and if you are still with me, I hope you feel proud. I certainly am as I do have a tendency to get excited about things and then find my energy wanes like the full moon. Still I knew that this was important to me and my future healthy, happiness and well-being, so it mattered/matters.

This final week of our 21 Day Challenge is now focusing on another 7 days of repetition – you know the rules by now! Although it’s also about deepening our knowledge about how our thoughts can be anchored in such a way that the new norm we are creating is more likely to embed itself in our brains and become the new conditioning.

This week’s themes are very clear as we stumble or glide as the case may be towards the finish line – or the starting line depending on how you see it of course!  As I heard someone say the other day; ‘Whilst you’re deciding whether it’s a cup half full or empty, I’m drinking it.’ I thought that was quite apt.



Week 3 

As we know move into this final consolidating phase we can really begin to embed our positive thoughts and use that depth to truly affirm the power of our new way of thinking. Your shift has already happened by just being part of this process although it is about to get a whole heap more powerful in this next 7 days, so hold your horses and get ready for a final burst of energy.

Weekly Exercise

The first of the two exercises I have for you today is taking your personal affirmations onto the next step, deepening their value and meaning. Tony Robbins taught me this and showed me how to take affirmations down to a whole new level and I have a huge amount of gratitude for his inspirations.

He uses the idea of thoughts being like tables in a restaurant. The table tops (the thoughts) are nothing without the legs. They are simply planks of wood (words). We turn those words into something meaningful by attaching evidence and proof to them, hence turning them into conditioned thoughts. We nearly always do this unconsciously, our conditioning being reinforced by, yes you’ve guessed it, repetition. Yet in this example the reinforcement is negative and so our thoughts take on a demonic type of energy. This proof or evidence are the table legs and we irrationally build up examples that we think stabilises our view of the world.

What I have developed is a process where we explore what legs your table tops have, challenge those legs and start to remove them, making the table to wobble. Then we create a new table top (positive thought) and develop new proof or evidence of this thought being the truth (the table legs that will hold it up.)

For this Challenge’s purpose, we’ll focus on the positive table tops that you have already created and give them legs as this will strengthen the neural pathways that you have already started to design in your brain map. The negative tables are for another time. My theory for now is that if we put our energy into creating new and positive pathways, the old ones will dissolve because they are not being utilised.

So take your three affirmations that you wrote and practised last week. These are three great table tops except we now need legs to hold them up and give them truth. Underneath each positive statement, I would like you to add three bullet points and now to think about what evidence or proof you have that makes it certain or actions that you are taking to make this your reality.  Here’s an example using one of my statements;

I commit to thinking positively about my health because I am healthy

  • I have developed this 21 day Challenge and developed new thoughts about my health
  • I have evidence from doctors that I am healthy
  • I believe in the science that says my mind can heal my body

As you might see from these anchors, as I like to call them, they start to give my affirmation more substance and definition. There is less chance for my ego to say ‘Well yes but…’  They are facts and clear evidence that has not been created by suggestion or my mind – they are real. So for your examples, start to add robust examples of truth of how and why your affirmation is certain. The more certainty we had the more power they have in our neural pathways.  Take whatever time you need to today to do this as it matters to the process.


Exercise 2

The second exercise I would like you to engage in during the week, not necessarily daily, unless you can.  If so then all the better.  At least three times this week, I would like you to commit to a meditation.  Science has proved that meditation changes the chemicals in the brain in a positive way and so as we consolidate our practice I would like to now introduce this to you using this set of guidelines.

  • Choose a time of day that feels the safest and best time for you to have some ‘quiet time’.
  • Find somewhere where you can be comfortable and undisturbed for 10 minutes. Make sure you are wearing loose clothing.
  • Close your eyes as you settle yourself in the meditation.  And start to breath consciously.  Deepen your breaths and become aware of your breath in and breath out.  Do this three times more deeply than before.
  • Relax your body from your head through to your toes by placing attention on each area and allow your breath to return to a normal flow.
  • If thoughts come up into your mind, simply allow them to float off into the sky like balloons and return to focusing on your breath.
  • Now recall that visualisation you created last week and take a couple of moments to replay that movie, giving it all the detail that gives it power. Enjoy this moment and breathe through it.
  • Allow the movie to fade and now repeat each of your three personally created affirmations, three times each.  Say them slowly and see the evidence bullet points that you wrote earlier.
  • Allow the affirmations to sink deeply into your body, down to your feet and out to the ground. Feel them spread like roots through the earth.
  • And now become aware again of your breath, deepening for three rounds of in-breath and out-breath.  Bring your focus and awareness back into the room listening the to noises around you.  Slowly open your eyes and allow them to adjust to the light around you. Take a couple of moments to re-engage with your surroundings knowing that the 10 minutes you have invested has deeply earthed your affirmations and their evidence into your mind and body.


Daily Activities 

The final set of activities are our daily commitments to our friend repetition. So you know the routine by now:

  • Repeat the affirmations from week 1 and week 2 knowing that have for your own personalised statements a degree of certainty anchored to them.
  • Do a meditation each day if you can.
  • Journalise your experiences at the end of each day and note down how you are feeling especially now you have the additional strength to your new thoughts.


Day 21 Exercise

On the last day of this week and the last day of the official Challenge, please do all the other exercises and also do a final review of how the week has gone. Notice how you feel, how the statements have felt during the course of the week and any changes, however small they might be.

Congratulations on completing Week 3 of our 21 Day Challenge. It’s not too late to come over and join us at Wake up to Happiness if you wish and share your experiences and get that all important support.

Day 22 Exercise

So you thought it was all over eh? Well almost we are.

Having gone through and navigated brilliantly through this challenge, I would firstly like to congratulate you on what you have achieved. However great or small the shift, a shift is a shift in my book. Undoubtedly there were ups and downs along the way and times when you nearly gave up. I know it was like that for me too. Although now having completed the exercise, the final step is to think back to your original intention and look at how close you are to having achieved that. Has it met expectations, exceeded or fallen short?  Don’t judge it whatever the outcome, just accept it the way it is.  Review the process you went through and realise that you have followed a process that can be done as regularly as you need it and on different areas that cause you thought challenge. Do let me know how it has gone for you.  Remember I designed this process for me first and foremost and so there will always be tweaks that we can create to something like this. I’m just happy to have shared my inspiration and trust it was what it needed to be for you.

In terms of next steps – well there are a couple.

  • Perhaps this has inspired you to read more around this subject.  Why not check out Tony Robbins, ‘The Giant Within’ or any of the series of books written by David Hamilton. His latest release is ‘I Heart Me’, which is still on my reading to do list.  Joe Dispenza also has some great material on this too.
  • Perhaps you feel like you want to take this deeper?  May be some coaching with me might be helpful or another talking therapy such as Emotional Freedom Technique or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. If you google each of these, you can find a practitioner close to your community or even consider a virtual conversation.
  • Or perhaps this simply didn’t work for you and that’s ok too. The key to personal development is to experiment with different techniques until you find one that truly resonates with you.

So however it may be for you at this end of the Challenge, I hope you have found it interesting at least. As a coach with over twenty years experience, I have certainly seen the benefits. Of course this isn’t a guaranteed solution for depression or any other mental health issues and I would encourage you to seek out the support of your GP or therapist if you are concerned about a deeper level of anxiety, panic attacks or depression. This type of challenge should never been seen in isolation if these are challenges that you currently experience.

For now I wish you healthy, happiness and freedom and long may our neural pathways be positive and malleable.  With love and hope. Karen



21 Day Challenge – Week 2

21 Day Challenge – Week 2

Congratulations, we’ve made it through to week 2 and our second phase of our 21 Day Challenge.  How are things going?  What differences are you noticing?

Remember at this stage you may not be experiencing anything yet, although keep the pathways building, keep practising and you will get the results you desire.  There’s a very famous golf quote from champion Arnold Palmer who, in response to a journalist who commented on how lucky he was constantly winning golf tournaments,

‘The more I practise, the luckier I get.’


During week two, we change our attention to affirming, developing and reconnecting with our authentic self. This requires slightly less exploratory enquiry and more a developing of some affirmations that are relevant to your personal demons.  Last week, you wrote down answers to some really important questions around your demons. We will be referring back to those this week, so make sure you have them to hand.  Although before we move on, let’s remind ourselves about the important themes that will support us as we navigate through the next 7 days.


Week 2 Activities 

This week, in the spirit of building and affirming, we will be reconnecting to the Daily Exercises I set you last week. I’ll remind you what they are in a moment. Although part of the science of repetition is that we stay consistent with the same message. If we truly want to rewire our brains neural pathways then the repetition must be with the same message so that we deep the pathways.


Exercise 1 – Develop a visualisation of happy success

Although before we proceed, there is something important that we need to connect to. Our brains are divided into two hemispheres; left and right. The left hand side is home to logic, structure, language and order, whilst our right side is responsible for our imagination and creativity. When we engage the right side with visualisation techniques, we fire up synapses that create a movie inside our head and strangely the body can’t differentiate between the imagined and the real. The body responds; muscles act as if they were doing the very action that you had pictured in your mind.  This is why so many athletes are trained in the art of imagining themselves wining a race or jumping high or far.  The bottom line is that ‘the body is stimulated by the brain’, says David Hamilton.

‘Your brain mirrors what you pay attention to.’   Dr David Hamilton


So with this in mind, I would like you to sit quietly over a cup of something soothing or over a glass of something pleasurable and do a bit of movie creation. Think in your mind’s eye about life beyond this 21 Day Challenge and with all the conditions of happiness that you desire in place.  Make sure you create the vision having achieved success with this rewiring exercise.  Give the image as much colour, context, sound and texture as you can. The more vibrant your image is the more powerful it becomes and the more the body orientates around it.  Keep that visualisation in mind for the whole week and build this into your daily routine. Replay it daily and see your happy success playing out in front of you.

Exercise 2 – Develop some personal affirmations

This is a subject I am very passionate about and has dominated my own development as well as my clients over the years. An affirmation is a personally generated statement that turns a set of words into thoughts that when repeated daily transforms into a truth, one that deepens when we anchor it with evidence and proof. (That comes next week as we deepen your practice.)

So I would like you to now return to the exercise we did in week 1, where I asked you to consider your demons. You listed your three biggest demons related to the mind shift you wanted to work with during this period. And hopefully you surrounded these demons in a heart of love. These are the statements that I would now like you to totally rewire into personal affirmations that we will then repeat through the rest of the coming 14 days.

To do this, write down each of your demons and then reformulate it by following the example below;

I am always ill and unhealthy      change this to; .     I commit to thinking positively about my health because I am healthy

Every pain is another illness        change this to; .     I focus my attention on my health and keeping fit

What if I get ill…                            change this to; .     I have the ability to heal my body & create health – I chose to live in the now

The key to creating affirmations is to follow these guidelines;

  • Use ‘I’ statements at all times so you can own it
  • Keep them in the present tense. Write as if in the here and now, not tomorrow – this is not powerful enought
  • Make them positive. There must not be any never, ever, can’t or nots in there.
  • Focus on what you want to have rather than what you would like to avoid. So I am not fat; I chose not to feel ill is not effective.
  • Use verbs like; am, have, can, choose, focus, commit, learning to
  • Make it powerful and impactful so that it fires those brain chemicals


These three affirmations will form the basis of your practice this week so keep them to hand somewhere.


Daily Activities

Remember it’s all about repetition. The more we learn, the more the pathway strengthens. Look at learning to drive a car. The more we repeated the moves the more confidence we developed. It’s the same with affirmations.  Repeat each morning when you rise, at lunchtime, over coffee and when you go to bed – at the very least. The more you repeat them, the strong the connections become in your mind.


Repeat the affirmations from Week 1 – here they are as a reminder

  • I can choose my thoughts and feelings each and every day.
  • From this point forward I choose to be healthy and happy
  • I deserve to be happy, well and free


Repeat your affirmations created from the exercise earlier. Just three – we don’t need any more as you don’t want to feel overloaded and thereby give up. We want to give you every chance of happy success with this process.


Actively exercise your OBSERVER

When we apply mindfulness, it takes us into a very present moment. It blocks out all the past and future concepts we create in our minds and puts us in the here and now. This is when our OBSERVER can really master their presence. Notice your thoughts, good and not so good. Look at what situations trigger your positivity and negativity.  Avoid judging them, just observe them and journal about them. This is such a good exercise to connect with.


Write your daily journal with insights that have come up through the day.  And most importantly give yourself a pat on the back for every day you stay committed to this process. You are changing your life, one day at a time. Be proud.


Day 14 Exercise

On the last day of this week, please do all the other exercises and also do a final review of how the week has gone. Notice how you feel, how the statements have felt during the course of the week and any changes, however small they might be.

Congratulations on completing Week 2 of our 21 Day Challenge. It’s not too late to come over and join us at Wake up to Happiness if you wish and share your experiences and get that all important support.  And when you’re ready, click this link for the details for Week 3 of our reclamation of happiness exercise.

21 Day Challenge – Week 1

21 Day Challenge – Week 1

So here we are, Week 1 of our Challenge to shift our conditioned thoughts that hold us back from being happier more often. If you have decided to join this Challenge then congratulations on this first step. It actually tells me that you believe you deserve to invest in yourself. Now all we need to do is stick with the three week process!  Come on we can do this together.

Have you considered joining my closed and private Facebook Group, Wake up to Happiness?  If not, there’s no obligation to join in or contribute, although knowing me and others are going through this exercise and posting about it daily (well at least I will be), will help you navigate this process.

This post is all about giving you the key information about what activities to engage in this week that will help you achieve your shift and reclamation of happiness.  Are you ready?  I know I am – I woke up ready for this, this morning.

Remember the key purpose of this Challenge is to tame our unconscious and conditioned thoughts that run amuck in our minds and steal away our happiness.  When we have excessive negative thoughts that feed fear and doubt, then we find our happiness and joy affected.  Those thoughts have been learnt, we weren’t born with them. And as quickly as we created them we can dissolve them and design new pathways in our brain that will change our entire life experience.

Whether our demons are about health, like mine, or perhaps our self-image, age, capability, self-doubts or generally we have a negative or over-analytical mindset – this challenge can help.  I know the power that these processes can facilitate having worked with them myself with my own self-esteem 16 years ago and with many, many clients over the last 20 years working in the coaching profession.

And so it with the same hope and faith that we enter into this Challenge, knowing actually that we are supported by heaps of science that shows that the brain can be rewired and new habits can be created with a mere 21 days. So let’s rock it!  Let’s start today and make it happen!

This week’s themes are very clear as we enter this first phase;

Week 1 Activities

So here’s the deal. There are some activities that you will need to take responsibility for. Remember that what we get out of something is equal to the amount of effort and commitment we put into it.

Exercise 1 – Setting an Intention for the Challenge

So with a journal if you have one or simply just make some note on a device, I would like us to start thinking about why we are engaging with this exercise. What is the purpose, why is it important to us and why is this a must in our lives right now?  So my example is;

I want to engage with this Challenge because my current health has given me a lot to think about and I have come to realise how much of my happiness is affected by my dramatic thoughts around ill health. It is time that those fears and thoughts are rationalised and changed so I can be free of the suffering they cause me spiritually, mentally and physically. So my intention is to rewire my conditioned health thoughts to a more positive mind set and eradicate the fears that manifest as a result of my over-dramatic thinking. 

You don’t need to share this unless you choose to of course, although the process of writing it down alone will be enough to set your mind and body into the right space. This need only take a couple of minutes, although please do this first – it’s important to get this clear in your head if you want to stay committed to the end.

Exercise 2 to be carried out over the next 7 days

As we enter a space of awareness, one of our key themes for the week, I feel that it’s important to reflect on some questions that surface what exactly is going on. It is only with thought-provoking questions and gentle self-exploration that we can truly understand and learn to accept the map that we have been creating all these years.  There is no judgement in this exploration, it is simply a source to understanding ourselves more profoundly so that our shift becomes more transformational.

So with your journal or device again, take some time, not just on Day 1, throughout the whole week to answer these questions:


  1. What do you feel is the relationship between your thoughts and mindset and your current level of happiness?
  2. What is the current situation that has triggered you to engage with this exercise that needs a more positive perspective?
  3. What are the three biggest thoughts, fears or demons that steal away your happiness, leaving suffering and sadness in its place?
  4. What do you think may contribute to those demons existing?  What has conditioned them to exist? For example I know that my health fears and thoughts stem from my dad’s unsuccessful battle with cancer ten years ago, which is said to run in the family.


Now draw a heart on your page and write in those three biggest demons, so that we can send them love not hate. We want to stay in a positive space as we work through this process.


Fabulous, this is such an important part of the first week’s exploration, well done.


Daily Exercises

Ok, so we know that Repetition is Mother of Skill and that we have created our current thought patterns and demons through a process called conditioning. This essentially means that we have learnt to construct these thoughts by hearing or seeing things happen consistently around us and eventually when we think something often enough, then it creates a pattern and eventually a habitual way of thinking.

To create a shift, we need to practise daily some new routines, such that we recondition our thinking. If they were created once, we can recreate them. And don’t worry about your ego saying ‘Ah yes but, I’ve had them for years, they are deeply engrained….’  They are not as deep as the ego would have us think, when we understand the science of rewiring our thinking and putting our focus on a new way of seeing the world. When we repeat that over the course of 21 days, then we create new neural pathways in our brains, generating new brain chemistry.

So the quote ‘Be careful what you wish for’ couldn’t be more true from a scientific standpoint.  So here are some daily activities that I would like you to repeat throughout the day as often as you can. You could set a notification on your phone if you have one, or an alert on your PC to remind you to think about these things, as let’s be honest life is chaotic at worst and frenetic at best, so reminders are ok and play a necessary part in this process.

Please repeat these three phrases often through the day and most especially just before you fall asleep.

  • I can choose my thoughts and feelings each and every day.
  • From this point forward I choose to be healthy and happy
  • I deserve to be happy, well and free

Journalise at the end of each day how this exercise went; note down particularly what arguments emerged in your mind and how you found the exercise.  Has anything changed and if so what are you experiencing? 


Please don’t skip this journalising exercise, as it allows you to keep with the process and keeps you mindful of what is going on each day.  It will also keep you focused.  It only need take a minute or two, so keep the exercise simple.


Day 7 Exercise

On the last day of this week, please do all the other exercises and also do a final review of how the week has gone. Notice how you feel, how the statements have felt during the course of the week and any changes, however small they might be.  Also go back to the exercises that I set you for the whole week and make sure there are no other additions to make to your answers. This is really important as we will be making use of that information next week as we affirm and develop your positive neural pathways.

Congratulations on completing Week 1 of our 21 Day Challenge. If you have joined our Facebook Group, why not come share your experiences. And when you’re ready, click this link for the details for Week 2 of our reclamation of happiness exercise.

21 Day Challenge – Shift your Thinking, Release your Well-being

21 Day Challenge – Shift your Thinking, Release your Well-being


A number of synchronistic events have happened over the last four days; it started when my spine trapped my sciatic nerve and rendered me useless. Once resigned to bed, I found I had two choices; feel like a victim and be miserable or accept and surrender to the situation and see it positively. That then triggered a number of very timely posts and insights that have been the inspiration for this 21 Day Challenge.  One was this quote, thanks to Facebooks Buddha’s Teaching and Science page.

Be happy because you can see the good in everything.

The second thing was the full moon a couple of nights ago that it is said represents a realignment of things that are out of balance. Now that really resonated with me.  And finally I saw a number of posts reaffirming the power of our thinking and our thought’s role in our physical health, which led me back to my favourite author, Dr David Hamilton and his book, ‘How your mind can heal your body’.

And so this morning, day 4 of being poleaxed in bed I felt inspired to do a 21 Day Challenge that would help me tackle my health issues from a physical, mental and spiritual perspective, as I believe they are all connected. In thinking about doing this for myself, it then occurred to me that perhaps others might find this a valuable activity and whilst your focus might be slightly different to mine, there’s something about the power of community support.

So here we are, the context to this 21 Day Challenge – Shift your thoughts and release your well-being.

Will you join me? Are you ready to release your happiness trapped by the demons that colour your thoughts? If so read on….

21 Day Challenge - Shift your thinking Release your well-being

What is the intention behind this 21 Day Challenge?

Well it’s quite simple really – to follow the science that says a positive mind and thoughts can influence our health and physical well-being.  My desire was to set out on the generally accepted path that says new habits can be created in 21 days. So with the start of a new month, it provided a great opportunity to focus on my mental well-being and use my current physical health issue as a basis for retraining my health mindset, which I have accepted is fearful and negative.

So this Challenge is for anyone who wants to join me on this journey to improve the quality of their mindset, whether it’s like mine – health orientated or another focus such as self-esteem, general negativity or an anxious or fearful mind. By the end of the period, applying the techniques I share with you, my hope is to exercise our brain muscles and shift the way that we think so that we may release more of our happiness that is trapped by our negative thought demons.

Fix the person in front of you.  Ali Campbell, author

What do I need to do?

First you need to decide if you are ready for this. Obviously I have had a set of circumstances that have organically brought me to this point – you haven’t necessarily. Although I do trust that what we most need emerges when we are ready. So perhaps this is just what you were looking for!

Secondly if you are ready, then to commit to yourself (and yourself only, there is no pressure or expectation from me) that you will take part in the exercises for 21 days consecutively.  Missing a day looses the impact of the process.  On average there will be no more than 30 minutes commitment each day, as many of the exercises will take seconds and can be done whilst working, eating, walking or entertaining your children – because it involves thinking.

Thirdly, decide that you are important enough to invest in this time for yourself. Experiencing great happiness at the end is our only goal and that has to be worth it.

The body will do what the mind believes.  Dr David R Hawkins, psychiatrist

What’s the science?

In case you need some more convincing and I get that, then perhaps this will help some.

Dr David Hamilton and his colleagues in the neuroscience world, talk about the brain being a muscle and that it creates a form based on its repeated conditioning. So if we decide to use the opposite hand to our norm, then with repeated action, new neural pathways start to build, the brain learns a new way and the old way starts to fade. Eventually those pathways become the new norm. This is known as neural plasticity and allows the brain to evolve based on our experiences and mindset. Each thought, which has an electro-magnetic pulse attached to it influences the brain’s microscopic structure. David describes this as similar to leaving footprints in the sand.

So if we leave our thoughts, 90% of which are unconscious, to their own devices, then they rule the roost. Instead, imagine that we started to proactively observe and understand our thought patterns, recognised our demons and decided to take decisive action to fill our minds with only thoughts that supported our well-being? We start to take back control of these happiness thieves and reclaim our happiness, simply by reconditioning and rewiring our brain.

No surgery or complicated procedures are needed. Just a bit of commitment, repeated action and a desire to feel better or fear less, is all you need.  I remember sixteen years ago when I used these techniques to rebuild my self-esteem and it took very little time in reality for me to start to believe in myself, stop my negative chatter and become a more authentically self-confident person. So I am proof that these techniques work and so no surprise that I am going to employ them again to ‘fix’ this latest set of demons.

So are you ready for a three week journey to learn, understand, rebuild and reclaim your happiness?  Then let’s go…

How will 21 Day Challenge work in reality?

I have split the Challenge into three easy to manage sections. Each period has its own theme to influence us during the week and daily activities to give you something focused and structured to work through. There’s no point joining a challenge like this unless there is something to practice. And those daily activities will encourage a repetition pattern that is the key behind neural plasticity – whether that is  conscious or unconscious action.  My preference is to give you a chance to consciously and actively shape your brain map and not leave it to chance or those dastardly demons.

Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.  Zig Ziglar, author

Journal work is encouraged so you can process the challenge’s activities in a conscious way and therefore not allow our disruptive ego to get in the way. Weekly reviews to consolidate the week will allow you to keep track of how things are going and the motivation of a clear intent for doing this in the first place will keep you on track. After all why wouldn’t you want great happiness and release from your negative thoughts? I know I do.

And that is it. If you would like some community support, then I am launching this on my private Facebook group Wake up to Happiness if you would like to come and join us. You don’t have to actively contribute, although you will see my daily posts of the journey I am taking, so that may inspire you to work through this 21 Day Challenge and stick with the exercises.

If you’re still with me, then read on, where I start to detail what each of the three weeks will look like.  Remember we start tomorrow!

Week 1 

This first set of seven days of the Challenge are all shaped around raising our awareness, understanding more about ourselves at a subconscious level (although without going too deep) and accepting the current brain map that our conditioned thoughts are shaping.

Although firstly you will need to write down and thereby get some clarity around what your personal intentions are for this Challenge.  What do you personal wish to change by participating in this exercise?  When we understand our whys and our musts, then we have the drive to stay committed to it and do the activities that will bring us that all important treasure – the shift.  Of course at the end we’ll review this and see what has changed.  This exercise will only take a matter of minutes, nothing deep and meaningful, just a thought process to ensure you are orientated in the right direction. Otherwise it would be like taking a hike somewhere without a destination in mind or a map to guide us.

Then you will have some activities to get involved in that will need to be carried out each and every day.  This will ensure that the repetition element of the challenge is in place and from day 1 you will begin to create new neural pathways and work that brain muscle. So immediately you are doing great work – no need to wait until Day 21, by Day 1 you will already be empowering yourself.

At the end of the week, you will have a chance to review the ups and downs of the challenge and more importantly check what, if anything feels different. Of course, it may be a bit early for transformation, although in my experience simply by retraining my mind for a short period I notice a big energy shift inside of my body that inspires me to do more.

Week 2

This second set of seven days are all shaped around developing, reconnecting and rebuilding the mindset that you currently hold and starting to reduce and limit the impact of your demons. This is where you start to create your own self-designed brain maps. Now rather than going on a hike that has been shaped for you, you decide on the pathway and the landscape that you see along the way. What an adventure that is going to be.

There will be a lovely creative exercise to engage in which is all about visualising your ‘new norm’ after the 21 days is over. Having a powerful image that you can replay like your own personal movie will keep you anchored to your new map and ensure that the demons don’t try reconnecting you to their pre-determined route.

And like in Week 1, you will have your daily exercises to commit to so that you can continue to build that muscle and apply the science that says, repeated action creates new habits.  Once again, at the end of the week, you will have a chance to review your progress and what feels different in this second phase of the challenge.

Week 3 

In this final phase of our 21 Day Challenge, our themes for the week are to affirm, consolidate your learning and celebrate the new norm that you are and have been creating. No longer are you victim to your own conditioned thoughts – you have taken direct action to tame the demons and enhance your happiness. Go you!

This week is all about your daily activities; continued commitment to embedding a new way of thinking and creating a new map that has happiness and well-being firmly as its destination.

Then on day 21 you will have the final report in, if you have chosen to join our group.  And on day 22 there is a final round up for us to explore together or on your own, how things are different.  In week 1 you did your intention exercise for this Challenge and now is the time to review it and see how things have improved and if not, what you think may have got in the way of your happy success. From here you can then decide what further support you may need to move forward and, using your new awareness, explore how to move beyond what is holding you back. That might involve some coaching with me, if you wished or simply choosing another form of talking support with a local provider.  May be you feel inspired to read a book on this topic, such as David Hamilton’s serious of great reads.

Of course as with anything in life, you only get out of life what you put in and if you are genuinely determined to shift how life and happiness feels to you, then this Challenge could be a really interesting prospect in creating a personal transformation. Of course this isn’t a guaranteed solution for depression or any other mental health issues and I would encourage you to seek out the support of your GP or therapist if you are concerned about a deeper level of anxiety, panic attacks or depression. This type of challenge should never been seen in isolation if these are challenges that you currently experience.

Let’s see what we can create – I’m game if you are…..

Keep an eye open for more information prior to each of the three week sections starting, giving you more detailed information on the Challenge and the activities to get involved in.


So there we have it.  What started out as a personal exercise for my own health and well-being have evolved into something that I hope will give you a lift and benefit you in some small, or hell why not – a big way. Please come join us over at Wake up to Happiness for some support and daily inspiration from me and the rest of our Happiness Heroes.

Whether I see you or not, I wish you well on this journey and here’s to cultivating the happiness you most surely deserve. May you be well, happy and free. Karen x


Click here to get free and immediate access to each of the three Week’s activities and guidelines.

Week 1 – Awareness, Understanding and Acceptance

Week 2 – Develop, Rebuild and Reconnect

Week 3 – Affirm, Consolidate, Celebrate

Welcoming in 2018

Welcoming in 2018

As we edge towards yet another year’s closing, it is time to take up the challenge of Soft Cell’s 1981 song, ‘Say hello, Wave goodbye’ although not in the same old way.  Out with the old – New Year’s Resolutions, Plans and monthly success journals and in with – well, read on and nurture your soul….

However you celebrate the New Year, this festive period invites us to reflect back over the journey we’ve navigated for the past twelve months and look forward to the year ahead.  It can be such a powerful process as long as we do it with renewed spirit. So caste a brief glance behind and:

* Count our blessings
* Grieve over the sadness and sorrow that has visited our hearts  
* Recount the lessons and growth we’ve experienced
* Acknowledge the ups and downs
* Honour those who have left and those who have joined us
* Celebrate the events that have brought us to this point.

All too often our first few days of a new year are geared towards recovering from the revelry, fretting about the results of our over-indulgence and what resolutions we must set to feel better, look better or be better.  This year, I invite you to throw off the old traditional shackles and pull back the curtains to a new way of welcoming in 2018.

Sparkle a little fairy dust this year and embrace the hope, anticipation, potential and, let’s face it, a little of the unknown that lays just around the corner.  Here are some ideas for making this your best year yet:

* Find a jar and write little gratitude notes of things that bring a smile to your face, that you open in one year’s time.  This will help you appreciate all the small things that so often go unnoticed.

* Instead of setting New Year’s Resolutions, which we know rarely reach beyond the 31 January, do something more creative with your hopes and intentions.  Picture yourself writing Christmas cards next December that tell your friends about the year you’ve had and all the amazing things that you’ve experienced.  As you begin to imagine this future, you can then focus on the commitments that will help you travel towards that vision, making it a reality.

* From these commitments you can then set a small handful of intentions (not goals, which are too restrictive and set us up for failure not success).

* Why not decorate an old shoe box, turning it into a secret store for a Bucket List of things you would like to achieve this year.

* To help you along with this, why not answer questions around what would you like to DO, BE or HAVE over the coming year. This honours the physical, practical and spiritual parts of us, ensuring a balance for all things.

* Wake up each day and feel grateful for all that is and all that will be.  This will ensure that each day becomes a new opportunity for happiness, not just a new year.

* Start the year focusing on what happiness means to you instead of what success looks like.  Happiness is the new success and when we acknowledge that happiness is the source of all good things that come to us, our lives will become more joyful.

* Rather than focusing on putting rigid plans together for the year ahead, learn to let go and trust what emerges, knowing intuitively that what arrives is what you are meant to experience.  Notice how much freer your life is when you relinquish the tight hold that traditional New Year practices encourage.

* Talk with your family and friends about how you can bring nature and simplicity into your life more every day, how you can play more, laugh more – these things are all free and priceless.

So forget the old ways – welcome in the new year with a heart-centred and fun approach and start your year as you would any other day – because each day presents us with a miracle of newness, opportunity and hope.  May your year be blessed with happiness and each day with peace, health and joy.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and harmonious 2018.

Karen x

Pinterest 2018