A Special Gift For You This Christmas

I’m off on my holiday tomorrow. My boys have set off to see their Dad, so all that remains is to tidy up the house, make another batch of mince pies, deliver some local Christmas cards and then pack for a fun and festive few days with my lovely husband and cuddly pooch in beautiful Warwickshire, near Stratford Upon Avon.

Christmas Wreath card design 2015Today there is only one thing for it, and that’s to give one of you the gift of some 1:1 coaching with me – to set you up for a wonderful 2016.

Your coaching will be via Skype or telephone and consists of four sessions, plus written assignments in between to help you get the best results possible. I can only give one of these packages away, so to be in with a chance of winning this final prize (worth £300), please email me with your answers to the following three questions:

Please don’t be shy: make sure to email me if you want to be in with a chance of winning. Somebody has to win – and it could be you!

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.  With all best wishes from Vivienne  www.thesinglemumssurvivalguide.com


Forgiveness Is a Gift You Give Yourself


Single Mum's Survival Guide CARTOON NUMBER 11 001There was a time a few years ago when I started to have terrible dreams about all the people in my life who have hurt me or let me down. The plots changed and became a changing cast of characters over successive nights. These ranged from my first and second husbands, childhood and college friends, a scary ex-employer and a dear friend from schooldays who now has a new life and interests and no longer makes time for our friendship. The one thing they had in common was that they were all people who had left me with unresolved feelings of sadness, hurt, loss and resentment. It may well have been that writing my book and going over painful old ground had dredged up all these old wounds and brought them up for me to look at and resolve once and for all. You may well find that at a time of great stress and emotion in your life, such as the events that caused you to find yourself starting out again as a single mother, you have a similar experience of introspection. This can be a very uncomfortable process, but one thing I have learned in my own work as a transformational coach, hypnotist and Beyond NLP practitioner (not to mention in my own life) is that emotions will continue to resurface until you deal with them, so this can be a liberating and cleansing time for you if you only let it. Forgiveness of yourself and others and the process of letting go of these emotions and thoughts that no longer serve you can finally free you from the shackles that would otherwise hold you back and impede the fantastic progress that you are making with your new life.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” —Lewis B. Smedes

“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” –Suzanne Somers

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” —Marianne Williamson

As you move towards the end of this year, how good would it be to move on feeling happier, lighter and freer, without the burden of resentment and bitterness? My gift today is a guided meditation to help you do just that. Find somewhere quiet you can listen to this session, close your eyes and enjoy the journey.

Click here to listen: The Forgiveness Process

If you would like my help and advice, do visit my website www.thesinglemumssurvivalguide.com, where you can find a free audio on Coping with Christmas or sign up for a free one to one session with me. single mum's survival guide logo

Making Dreams Come True? The Resolution Revolution


As we approach the end of 2015, many of us will be starting to think about setting our New Years Resolutions. Statistics show that although millions of people make resolutions, 80% of these are doomed to failure. Don’t despair though – I have some useful tips for actually sticking to your resolutions this time and a great way for setting those goals to make your dreams come true.

When deciding on your goal: it must be a big enough challenge to excite you, yet not so enormous that you can’t see yourself achieving it. Plan ahead, don’t leave it until New Years Day. Measure your progress each week, rewarding yourself for achievements along the way. Treat each failure as a temporary setback and get right back on track. Break each major goal into smaller steps and get started, one small step at a time. Write out your major goals each day, so they are fresh in your mind and you can decide what steps you are going to take today.

My gift today is a process that helps you set goals in a way that helps you to believe and achieve them. Read on for my goal-setting exercise.

Allowing the future – IDENTIFYING YOUR GOAL

“What specifically do you want?”

“Where are you now?”

“How will you know when you have it?”

“What will you see when you have it?”

“What will you hear when you have it?”

“What physical sensations will be present when you have it?”

“What will you feel inside (what will your emotions be) when you have it?”

“What will you say to yourself when you have it?”

“What will this outcome get for you or allow you to do?”

“Have you ever had or done this before?”

“Do you know anyone who has?”

“Can you act as if you already have it?”

“What daily action could you take until you have received it?”

“How will you know if you are on course?”

“How will you know if you are off course?”

“What actions can you take if you are off course?”

Answer the following questions in as much detail as possible. The entire scene should be described from the perspective of having already achieved your goal, and that you are now enjoying the spoils.

  1. Now that you have achieved your goal, what pictures or images do you see

out there (i.e. not internal pictures)?

E.g.: I’m standing watching the waves crash on the beach. I see the water dancing and the spray flying high into the air. The sunlight is beautiful. It creates a sparkling effect on the water. The people

around me are smiling, everyone is enjoying the holiday. Children are building sandcastles on the beach.

 2. Now that you have achieved your goal, what sounds and voices do you hear

out there?

 3. Now that you have achieved your goal, what sensations do you feel out there?

 Focus on non-emotion feelings e.g. how warm you feel in the sunshine.

 4. Next, again from the perspective of having achieved your goal, describe what you see internally. What pictures do you see inside your mind?

 5. Describe what you hear internally. What are you saying to yourself?

 6. Describe what you feel inside. Describe the emotions you feel now that you’ve achieved the goal. Be very detailed. Be sure to add in feelings of gratitude for having received this , become this or experienced this.

 MAKING YOUR GOAL A REALITY (Setting your goal)

 Now it’s time to clearly define your goal, using the present tense. Use language that motivates and excites you.

“It is (date that you want this goal to be achieved)……………………………………………………….

and I now allow myself to (e.g. weigh 9 stone, be a size 12, have the new job)………………………………………..

I’m (set the scene – where are you? Who are you with? What’s the evidence that you’ve achieved your goal?)…………………… and I feel: ………………………………………….”.

If you would like my help and advice over the Christmas period, do visit my website www.thesinglemumssurvivalguide.com, where you can find a free audio on Coping with Christmas or sign up for a free one to one session with me. single mum's survival guide logo

You Can’t Enter Your Destination Until You Have a Start Point!

Single Mum's Survival Guide Illustration 16 001It’s hard to set a course for where you’re going without a starting point. Just imagine typing a location into Google maps and asking for directions, without entering a start point! In the next few days I’ll be sharing an excellent goal setting process which will set you on track for a happy and productive 2016 but before deciding where you want to go, you must first look at where you are now. This doesn’t need to be a depressing task – in fact we often forget all the many achievements we have accomplished because we are so busy focusing on what we still need to change or get done. Try this on your child over Christmas. You could find out what three things they are really happy with from this last year, three things they didn’t like and three things they liked and what they are most proud of. Celebrating successes is a fantastic tool to enhance your child’s self esteem – and yours!

Today’s gift is the gift of reflection as we approach the end of the year. It comes in the form of a video from author and coach Ben Brophy. You might want to have a pen and paper handy and pause the video whilst you answer the questions, like I did!


If you would like my help and advice over the Christmas period, do visit my website www.thesinglemumssurvivalguide.com, where you can find a free audio on Coping with Christmas or sign up for a free one to one session with me. single mum's survival guide logo



The Gift of Relaxation

I know only too well how elusive relaxation can be for a single mum. There’s always something to do, someone to take care of or someone to worry about and it’s very hard to make yourself relax, even if it’s just what the doctor ordered. The fact is that the more you take care of yourself, the better you’ll be able to take care of your children and a burnt out, stressed-out version of you is little use to anyone. Whatever trials or turmoil is going on in your life right now, you owe it to yourself and your kids to learn how to relax and recharge your batteries. I am a trained hypnosis practitioner and I have used hypnosis with clients in person, on the phone or Skype or via a recording to help them improve many aspects of their lives. It’s a wonderful tool to bypass the busy rational brain and speak to the subconscious mind, enabling recipients to relax and take on board beneficial suggestions while they go on a lovely daydream. I’m just the tour guide, helping you to help yourself to deeply relax and allow positive shifts to take place in your patterns of thought.

Whatever your thoughts, hopes and plans this Christmas, I’d like to help you to make it as stress-free as possible, as well as passing on a few treats just for you. I’ll be sending you a little something every day between now and Christmas Eve. 

Today’s gift is the gift of 30 minutes relaxation, via this relaxation and anxiety release hypnosis track I recorded. This kind of hypnosis is merely designed to take you to a state of deep relaxation, so it’s best to listen to it just before you go to sleep, or when you have half an hour to yourself when you are fairly certain you won’t be disturbed. Never listen to a hypnosis track while driving or operating machinery. It’s best if you are sitting comfortably, or lying down. Headphones will give you the best experience. If you need to awaken, you will do so easily but in the meantime, just relax and enjoy the journey. Please note, due to the length of the file, Google cannot scan it for viruses and therefore it will ask you whether you wish to download it. Rest assured, it’s virus free, so just click “download anyway” and settle down to listen.

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If you would like my help and advice over the Christmas period, do visit my website www.thesinglemumssurvivalguide.com, where you can find a free audio on Coping with Christmas or sign up for a free one to one session with me.


Clear out Your Wardrobe Clutter Before You Hit The Sales!

t shirtsThis year some clothes shops have begun their sales already but it’s traditional for retailers to discount after Christmas and then millions of women will be pounding the pavements in search of that elusive treasure – a complete bargain that not only fits and suits you perfectly, but is also good enough quality to last more than a few washes! Here’s my suggestion – why not de-clutter your current wardrobe to make some space for all your new clothes?

It’s a fact that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. This means that 80% of your clothes are just hanging in your wardrobe or closet taking up valuable space. To avoid making those mistakes again, let’s look at what made you buy them in the first place. Perhaps they seemed to be a bargain at the time but when you got them home you realised that it was a false economy because you didn’t actually like them. Or after a few washes they shrank or behaved strangely when you wore them (twisting, slipping or riding up when you least wanted them to!) Maybe the colour was draining to your complexion, the style too prim or outrageous, or the cut actually did make your bum look big. Or perhaps they were just too uncomfortable to contemplate wearing more than on just the odd occasion. Every item in your wardrobe should be a flattering shade for your colouring, a perfect style for your personality and the right shape for your shape. Above all, clothes currently hanging in your wardrobe should be the right size for the size you are now. Don’t buy for the size you will be once you’ve completed your diet and exercise regime – and don’t leave them hanging in your cupboard as a silent daily reproach that this toning and tightening of your body has taken you longer than hoped because they’re still a size or two too small. When you are assessing which clothes to evict from your wardrobe, bear this in mind: (unless it a balldress, a hat or ski wear), if you haven’t worn it for the last year, chances are you never will. Store it in the attic if you must, but otherwise: dump it, donate it, sell it or swap it.

If you would like more help with creating that ideal capsule wardrobe, today I have two gifts for you (UK readers only).

Find out your most flattering colours for clothes, hair and make-up. This fascinating 2 hour session will give you the knowledge and confidence to choose the right colours to look your absolute best. Email me at vivienne@thelifeyoudeserve.co.uk and tell me why you think it’s time to bring colour into your life. The best answer wins a free Colour Confidence session at my studio here in West Sussex.

If you already know what suits you: to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe and make it a colourful Christmas, check out this website: www.kettlewellcolours.co.uk Then call me on 07811956146 to order your garments, as I can get you a 5% discount, plus free Postage & Packing.single mum's survival guide logo

Worried About Overeating This Christmas?

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS FOODHow many times have you heard people say “After Christmas, I’m definitely going on a diet”? At Christmas we are bombarded with food temptation – everywhere you look, everywhere you go, everywhere you turn,  there’s an opportunity to see food, buy food or eat food. Boxes of chocolates, canapes, nuts, nibbles, cakes, pies, puddings, turkey or beef with all the trimmings – where will it all end? I still remember my first experience of  indigestion. I was quite young – around ten or twelve – and we’d just finished our Christmas dinner. Yes, at the time I’d enjoyed the turkey and roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts and chipolatas wrapped in bacon and gravy and bread sauce and cranberry sauce and Christmas pudding and mince pies and brandy butter…but now I felt ill! Really ill! I felt so stuffed that I had to lie down to recover from stuffing myself with all that food. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, as the saying goes. I work with a lot of women who would like to get their eating and their weight back under control, so here are some of my top tips for enjoying food over Christmas, without it all getting out of hand.

It’s all about being mindful. Wait until you are actually hungry to eat. Have a glass of water first (you might actually be thirsty). If you are suddenly overcome by a craving for a particular food then you are probably not hungry, but feeling the need to do some emotional eating. Ask yourself: “What’s eating me? What emotion am I trying to stuff down?” then express that emotion in a positive way, or do something totally different. This could be something from your practical to-do list (wrapping presents, cleaning, tidying the kid’s bedrooms etc.) or something from your list of things you like to do that don’t involve eating (going for a walk, phoning a friend, reading a book, having a hot bath, listening to some uplifting music). If you really are hungry, follow these steps: unless you’re at a drinks party, always put your food on a plate and eat it sitting down, with a knife and fork or spoon (unless it’s a sandwich). Snacking while standing up or on the go will often lead to mindless overeating because you’re too distracted. When you’re choosing what to eat, think about how it will feel as it slides down into your stomach and how it will make you feel for the next few hours. Instead of piling your plate high, take a moderate portion, knowing that you can go back for more if you need to. Eat slowly, savouring every mouthful, chewing the food well and getting maximum enjoyment from every bite. Put your cutlery down between bites. The minute you stop being aware of the taste of the food, stop and ask yourself if you are actually hungry or whether you are now just eating because it’s there. Stop when you have had sufficient and before you are full. You can always have more food later, when you are hungry again. This way of eating has proved liberating for many people – it’s the way that most naturally slim people eat.

unhealthy foodHowever, there may be a “trigger food” for you – something that causes you to lose all control. For some this is cake, while for others it’s chips, or crisps, or chocolate.

Whatever your thoughts, hopes and plans this Christmas, I’d like to help you to make it as stress-free as possible, as well as passing on a few treats just for you. I’ll be sending you a little something every day between now and Christmas Eve. 

Today’s gift is a free telephone or Skype session with me, dedicated to changing the way you think about that trigger food forever. Imagine how helpful it would be if we changed that like (or love) for the out of control food to a dislike or even hatred of it? How good would it feel to remain totally in control around that food, with no desire to even taste it? To win your free session with me, fill in your name and address in the form below and tell me what food you’d like to give up, and why.

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