To celebrate National Mentor Month, we asked experts from every area of life to pass on their invaluable knowledge so that you can spend 2015 as the best possible version of yourself…
Helen Williams, owner of Lifeworks, won Woman of the Year at the Emirates Woman Awards.
Nurture your parent-child relationship:
“Improving attachment bonds with children requires warm, loving, consistent attention and plenty of moments of quality time. Equal amounts of love and limits are the hallmarks of an authoritative parenting style, which allows independent growth. You should also provide daily routines that are regular and predictable.”
Raise difficult topics in a controlled way:
“Difficult topics, when signposted as such and set aside with clear boundaries, allows the conversations to be handled differently. Use reflective listening with the listener observing silence, listening for meaning rather than to reply, and mirroring what they heard. Take respectful turns to speak. Many couples find emailing each other when topics are tough creates less conflict and allows for less immediate emotion.”
BODY & IMAGE
Set clear fitness goals:
“Set achievable goals that feel interesting enough to push yourself towards. It’s easy to get discouraged by impractical fitness goals so make yours realistic. One that always works for me is aiming to hit a certain number of workouts a week (four in my case). Whatever you aim for, be proud that you’re taking the right step toward honoring your body and working towards the best you ever!”
Mimi Greenfield has been married to her English husband for 63 years. They met in her home country, France, in 1950 and married 14 months later.
Make sure he’s The One:
“Getting engaged is a big step in life and it will change the way you think and plan your future. Take time to get know each other well. You must feel that you can talk about any subject or situation that may arise, and respecteach other’s feelings.”
Be prepared for your love to change:
“Being married is a life changing experience for both of you. Remember to share your thoughts and show your love, respect each other’s feelings and be prepared to give and take. After 63 years of marriage, love is still there of course, but it shows itself in a more subtle way – you know that you will always be there for each other.”
Lisa De Fazio is a celebrity nutritionist, TV host and lifestyle expert.
Let yourself eat:
“It’s often a myth that you can’t eat carbohydrates, but you can incorporate them into your diet by eating high fiber, nutrient dense carbs like brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potatoes. These carbs will help you lose weight by keeping you fuller longer and decrease sugar cravings.”
Beware of hidden calories:
“If you change one thing about your diet this year, make sure you cut out high calorie beverages like soda and high sugar ice blended coffee drinks. Calories from beverages contribute to weight gain just like food and people often don’t realise that they are drinking hundreds of calories per day.”
Donna Benton is the Founder & CEO of the Entertainer.
“The only way to grow in your professional and personal life is by making mistakes. Learn from them and move on. Don’t let worry and fear ever hold you back from what you want to achieve.”
Love what you do:
“Do what you love doing, and remind yourself often why you’re doing it. You need to enjoy what you’re doing, but also make sure that you are getting healthy returns out of it.”
Programme yourself for success:
“Have a strong work ethic. Your attitude is your path to success or failure. To be successful you have to be passionate about what you do, put in your best effort and believe in yourself.”
Heather McGregor is financial expert, author and television presenter.
Take control of your cash flow:
“It’s important for women to understand their financial position, even if they don’t control it. If you delegate all financial information to someone else, such as your husband, or your financial advisor, the day may come when you no longer have that person and then life will be very challenging. Taking financial responsibility for ourselves is a very sensible decision.”
“Saving is a habit. You have to do it regularly to get used to it. Just set up a savings account and a system to put regular payments into it, and learn to live on whatever is left. You can start small – there’s no minimum. As you get used to it, you will be able to increase it.”
Get financially organised:
“Spend an hour a week on your own finances. Allowing for a couple of weeks off, that’s 50 hours a year, which sounds like a lot. But you will spend many more hours worrying about your finances in the future if you don’t invest an hour a week now.”
Julie Lewis is a personal leadership specialist. She has led multi-national teams on 50 expeditions to over 20 countries including the Arctic and Antarctica.
“It’s easy to get comfortable and stuck in a rut with everyday life. Many people are totally disconnected from nature – moving from one air-conditioned area to another. You never know how strong you are until you put your mind and body to the test. Doing something new and challenging is fun and can be the catalyst for a whole new lifestyle or career!”
Push yourself to be a role model:
“On a mountain trek most people would agree that the push for the summit is the most difficult part as it often means setting off in the middle of the night after little or no sleep and trekking at high altitudes in the dark. What keeps you going is mental resilience, an optimistic outlook and sheer determination. The world needs more female explorers and speakers to share their stories and be active role models for the next generation.”
Main Image: Getty