Nicola Morgan

Author, Speaker, Supporter

Understanding and Supporting Your Teenagers – few spaces left and I’m not doing it again!

A tool for well-being control

 

This is by way of an apology, a few thoughts that pertain to well-being and just to let you know that I am still here despite appearances (or the lack of) to the contrary! When life goes smoothly or routinely it rarely does so for long and I’m struggling to navigate my way through a period of flux, in which things have conspired to stop me from working effectively. It’s nothing dreadful, fear not, but I’ve had to prioritise and I am very sorry to admit that you, dear readers, have been lower down the list than you should be!

 

  • My agent has retired, which is a blow as we had been together for over 20 years. I am now with United Agents, which is exciting and different. My “old” agent lives just down the road, though, so now we can have lunches that are purely fun! And UA have already done great things with new foreign deals, which is excellent because I don’t have to do anything except sign on the dotted lines.
  • I’ve been trying to carve out a break in the relentless writing schedule I’ve had for many years, where as soon as I’d finished one book I’d start another, almost without breathing. I feel a bit (temporarily) burnt out from that and I’m having a short summer pause while I allow space for a brilliant new idea. I have a few seedlings (of ideas, as well as actual seedlings in my greenhouse) but need to water them and give them some light. What I write next is going to make my heart sing. And, I hope, the hearts for readers, but this time my heart comes first!
  • Family life is – rightly – dominating in a way that it hasn’t since my children were children/teenagers. I now have three small grandsons and another on the way and all three of them arrived in this world dramatically and stressfully for various reasons. I feel drawn towards them and to helping support these new spirits in whatever way I can, while somehow putting myself and my husband first because we all do owe it to ourselves to do that. So many priorities – and work is still one of them!
  • I’m tired! I’m 61 and I’m trying to stay fit and healthy but it’s harder each year. Sorry to sound gloomy but it’s a fact! I ran too many kilometres last year – trying to do 100 a month knackered a hamstring/glute combo and I now simply can’t do that much. So I’ve been working on building the muscles back but it’s not going too well.
  • I have, as many of you do, too, friends going through serious illness. I want to support them, but I don’t always know how.
  • My sleep is really not good – must read my own book, the Awesome Power of Sleep… I do all the right things but too often I’m awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night for no particular reason.
  • My website was catastrophically hacked recently. Arghhhhhhh. It was horrible feeling that no one could book me for work or ask for my help. You might think that would be rather peaceful but I do not find it so!
  • And the WEATHER – are you also sick of being COLD?

But I am slowly taking back control. My main advice to myself is to focus as much as possible on the things I can control and as little as possible on the things I can’t. (For example, the weather…)

I have just had a lightbulb moment, which I’ll share with you

I started this post assuming that I’d just share my usual advice – such as the point about focusing on things you can control. And then I realised that I have actually just designed the perfect tool for that. Let me explain!

I have been working on a Gift for a Teenager You Care About – details coming very soon – consisting of a signed book, personalised inspirational messages from me and, crucially, a specially designed notepad which gets the user to focus on the challenges of the day ahead and enlist the tools required to ace the day. And it has just occurred to me that this notepad is a perfect tool to direct one’s thoughts to “what you can control”.

So, let me share it with you now

 

It’s a 50-page notepad. Each page asks you to identify the challenges for today or tomorrow.

For me, this might be: 

  • Complete my list of tasks while also not overdoing it
  • Prepare a keynote speech
  • Find an hour to spend on allowing my mind to wander so that I can generate new ideas

You then prepare by listing five “healthy things” you will do.

For me, these might be:

  1. Go for a walk or a run
  2. Take a break to do something different and fun or relaxing
  3. Do some breathing exercises
  4. Drink water
  5. Chat to a friend

These set you up with strength-giving actions.

You then identify up to three skills or strengths you’ll need to rise to the challenges of the day.

For me these might be:

  1. Self-control: resisting the temptation to be diverted by online activities – and I would state how I will do that (eg switch my phone to “focus mode”)
  2. Good time-management skills: including keeping my list of tasks in front of me with a time limit for each; and setting alerts on my phone
  3. Ability to prioritise my health by getting that run/walk in before lunch rather than waiting till evening – reminding myself how this helps me a) feel better and b) achieve better

There’s space on the page to record how well you used these skills and then there’s a section for reflecting at the end of the day: what went well and is there anything to do differently tomorrow?

My lightbulb moment was realising that ALL of this is about focusing on what you can control. This doesn’t mean you’ll have perfect control over it. For example, resisting temptation is never easy! But they are all things we can have some control over and which we can attempt to do better.

You can do this exercise yourself, using my ideas. But when I launch the Gift for a Teenager (You Care About) you’ll be able to see the notepad for yourself. (Maybe the lucky teenager will generously let you have some pages!)

There’ll be a 15% discount for subscribers to this website so make sure you’re all signed up in advance. As I say, details coming very soon.

Apologies for offloading some of the things knocking me off course at the moment. I guess what I’m doing is something else I often recommend: writing down one’s challenges, goals and targets is a really good way of getting some control and clarity over one’s life. If you don’t want to write it down, talk it through with someone. You might get a fresh insight from another mind.

 

 

Do comment but please remember that this site is for all ages.

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