Hello and welcome to today's podcast episode. I'm really excited to be here. I got up super early in the morning so that the kids are still asleep. I've relocated my family. We're here still in Spain. Um As I'm recording this, we've relocated over here for the month. We're having an absolute ball. It's so fun. However, I have to get all my work done a lot earlier than I used to because the little kids will be running around, making loads of noise. So I've got to make sure that the apartment is lovely and quiet. I hope you're doing really, really Well, I'm excited to chat to you today about a life audit.
I want to ask you, is it time to do a life audit? And let me just tell you a little bit about what a life audit is. So, years and years ago, about 14 years ago, 15 years ago, I was in a desperate place. It was a little bit longer than that actually, because I've been coaching women for over 14 years. So I'd say it was about 2000 and 5, 2004. And every single thing had come to a head for me. I had just finished a shift in work and I left and I felt absolutely desperate. I was three stone overweight. I was drinking alcohol every single night. I was overeating in my food. I felt really bad.
I felt really anxious and overwhelmed all of the time. I was really, really stressed out. I felt really, really low. My mental health felt really bad in the sense that I had really low self esteem. I had really, really low confidence. I thought really negatively. I felt absolutely awful. My self care was at rock bottom and I had just had enough. I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do, but I had had enough. And that was the first time in my life when I sat down and did a life audit, life audit being, I went through every single thing, every single area in my life that I felt important and checked in with how I was doing, wrote about how I was doing and figured out what I needed to change and how I was going to change it.
And since then my life has improved and the quality of my life has improved. Every single time I've done a life audit and I've done it that time, 16, 17 years ago when I was at rock bottom, when anxiety and panic attacks were a part of my life when I was three stone heavier, when I was super unhealthy, and I drank every night and I never exercised. And also when COVID hit and when I back used to when I own a gym and then COVID went away and I was able to reopen the gym. I did another audit then, um because I was at a time in my life where the gym wasn't working out for me anymore. And I felt really, really low at the idea of having to go back and own and run a gym, something that I'm so proud that I did and so happy that I did.
However, it took me away from my kids, away from my home. It was extremely stressful. I had a team of six, I was more of a managing role rather than a coaching role. That was another time I did an audit. And since those two massive times in my life, I've done them every few months. And it's been absolutely life changing. So, what I want to do in this podcast episode is just go through with you, the different areas that I like to look at and how I come about making those changes.
So that if you're listening to this now and you haven't done this yet, or maybe it's time for you to do one that I might give you a little bit of inspiration to go and do one. And the reason why I wanted to chat to you about this today was because I often find the hardest thing to do is to actually take a little bit of time out with a notepad and pen and to go and write about this stuff and to actually reflect, especially if you're really busy and you're a carer or you, you take care of your own kids or your, your older parents or you're just very, very busy. Or maybe as some of you have told me you get a little bit anxious when you sit down and reflect and you don't like to reflecting is absolutely amazing.
And I promise you, it was a big part of how I was able to take myself from such rock bottom to where I am now. And I often look back and feel so grateful to the part of me that loves reflecting and journaling and planning because without it, I often think of a sliding door scenario like where would I be now, would I still be smoking 20 cigarettes a day, drinking wine every night? Two dress sizes bigger, really unhealthy in a job that I'm really unhappy with. Um, so yeah, it's food for thought. It's, it's food for thought.
So, what I love to break it down is into nine categories. Um, I love to break it down into fitness, nutrition, self-care, mental health boundaries, connection, work, career, fun, personal development. So let's start off with the fitness, first of all, and please feel so welcome to go and grab a pen and paper. And if you want to pause this episode, every time I ask you a question, please feel so welcome. Um Because sometimes you're never going to come back to this if you're busy. So it can be nice to do it just when you're listening in right now or maybe just make a little mental note. So your physical fitness, life audit on your physical fitness. Where are you with your physical fitness? Do you work out?
Are you happy with the exercise that you do if you don't work out? Would you love to work out? And what's getting in the way and what would it take for you to start exercising? So get it all down. Write it out. Fitness absolutely transformed my life by the way. And it was that one habit of exercise that took me from being really unhealthy, going to bed really, really late, feeling, so desperate, so desperate and unhealthy to feeling really good and being able to improve and fix all of my other healthy habits. It's my utmost belief that everything good starts from the one powerful habit of exercise.
Every single thing good when you start off with the exercise, if you're listening to this now and you feel like you're very unhealthy and you feel like you have way too much to do and you don't know where to start. I promise you starting off with exercise is absolutely terrific from that one habit. As I often say on this episode, you'll sleep better. You'll make better food choices or you will over time anyway, you'll drink more water, you'll have a better morning routine, you'll feel better in yourself. And once you start feeling better in yourself from exercise, all good things happen with that. I mean, even if you think about it this way, somebody that doesn't exercise who feels sluggish and tired, which you do and sometimes you don't even notice that you're sluggish and tired when you don't work out.
Yet you are somebody that's sluggish and tired waking up every single day trying to tackle their day with a negative mindset, feeling sluggish, feeling tired versus somebody who works out and gets all those lovely endorphin hits and feels absolutely amazing and ready to tackle the world. So, first things first on your audit, make sure you've got fitness down there. Ok. So, number two, I like to separate out fitness and nutrition from health. So, number two is nutrition. How are you feeling about your nutrition right? Now? Are you happy with how you eat, would you call yourself healthy?
Are there areas in your, in your nutrition that you'd love to change? And if so what are they? Do you nourish yourself? Well, do you overeat? Do you eat more sugar than you'd like to? What's holding you back from making a change? And what action steps would you love to follow so that you could feel fit and healthy when it comes to your nutrition? Nutrition is absolutely key to feeling good in your clothes, to feeling, feeling good in yourself. I've noticed it myself when I, back when I used to have awful nutrition. How sluggish and tired and cranky I felt and I really feel like some people just don't suit sugar. Like, I really feel that when I was eating junk food, it affected my mental health.
The next day I used to feel just really so cranky and like electricity or something was running through my body. It was such a horrible feeling. Um, I used to comfort, eat a lot on the couch late at night as I've shared with many of you. Um, and that stayed with me for a long, long time. However, I believe now it's my one favorite habit of all the nutrition habits that I've cracked. Um, as it makes you feel so good, you feel so amazing. Going to bed having had dinner as your last meal, having had nothing after dinner, exercising and eating healthy and not eating any shit during the week, you just feel so much more in control and even in terms of feeling good in your clothes, it's really difficult no matter how much exercise you do to out trainin a bad diet. I mean, not even out train a bad diet. Out-train three packets of crisps at night time. Out-train five biscuits.
You need a lot less than you think to gain weight, especially as you get older. I have noticed that for sure, with myself that all it takes for me is a couple of weeks of extra sugar here and there and I can already feel my clothes getting tight again. So if you're listening to this and you're thinking, well, sure, I'm only having a bit of a dessert after dinner. I'm only having a few biscuits after dinner and your clothes are tight. I promise you it's going to make just all the difference. So the next area of your life to look at is, um, that that has worked for me, is your self care. What your self care looks like.
Do you need any changes to your self care routine and self care to me means things like your bedtime routine, your morning routine, your routines during the day that all add up to helping you feel good or bad and it can be a really nice idea to look at your whole day from start to finish. From the second you wake up to the moment you go to bed and ask yourself are the habits that I'm following or the action steps that I'm taking, showing me that I'm taking care of myself or that I'm not taking care of myself, for example, years ago, actually, not that long ago.
I would look at, I looked at my self care action steps and I'm like, OK, so you're having like a 62nd shower, you're hardly brushing your hair when you get out, you're throwing on any clothes that you can find. And I went through kind of this lovely personal development growth journey. And it was like one night I turned around and I was like, oh my God, I'm not even caring what I wear. I'm not even spending time slowly washing my skin. I'm not spending any time brushing my hair.
I haven't even allowed myself to potentially even think of putting a hair dryer on my hair and it just hit me how I might have been walking around thinking I was loving myself. But if you look at the cold, hard facts of, of my self care routine routine, I wasn't so be super careful that what you think is the same as what you actually do. And I really recommend you take a look at the facts of what your self care routine is like next up is mental health back when I was suffering from panic attacks and anxiety. And I used to feel really overwhelmed. I didn't do the things that could have instantly made me feel a little bit better. So things like scrolling less on my phone, getting off my phone a couple of hours before bedtime.
Having less screen time throughout the day. I wasn't reading any fiction books for long periods of time. I wasn't journaling. I wasn't taking any time out. I wasn't taking any mental health breaks. All these things that build up that can sound like nothing but can take you from feeling very bad to very good, these small little habits. Um, it always takes me about like two weeks, one week, maybe to feel a little bit better after I stop scrolling on my phone. So much, like scrolling on my phone makes me feel so bad. It affects my headaches, how I feel. It's just absolutely awful. So making sure that you are looking at that and knowing that those, like everything, those small little tiny action steps you're taking towards better mental health or worse mental health are all adding up and it doesn't have to be anything dramatic.
I used to think that you used to have to sit down for an hour in silence and meditate to get better mental health. You don't, you really don't. You can start off by looking at your small little action steps that you're making throughout the day, all the little micro decisions that you're making throughout the day. And you can go about your day saying, is this making my mental health better or is it making my mental health worse? And when I'm feeling tired, that's exactly what I do every day. Now, I'm like, I'm on my phone. This is making me feel worse. I'm reading my book, this is making me feel better.
So next up, so first off, we have fitness, the nutrition then self care, the mental health and next up is boundaries. I like to have that as a whole new section, a whole section for itself. Boundaries are super important for so many reasons for your mental health, for your well being for the respect you show yourself for enjoyment of your life, for living in the moment. Boundaries are super important and it's really important that you get your boundaries set in your life based upon what it is that you want. So the first area that I looked at was, um, around my phone, around my family and my friends and how I was responding to messages. What apps were frustrating me.
You guys know by now that I just really couldn't bear whatsapp, it bothered me so much. I just felt like it's the most irritating boundary wrecking app there is. Um, so I got rid of that on my phone. Um, and I also looked at my action steps around when I would answer my phone, who I would give my phone number to, you know, and it helped. It really helped because I went from answering messages any time my phone went off letting whatsapp like, even I, I even turned off notifications on whatsapp, but I just found it very intrusive and when you find something intrusive for right or wrong reasons, get rid of us. So, what's going on with you? How are your connections? Can your boss contact you any time?
Do you check your emails out of office hours? Do you check your emails first thing in the morning when you wake up as tempting as it is? And what boundaries can you put in place in your life that are going to help you feel better and love yourself more and show yourself that you respect yourself. If you put those boundaries in place, people will respect those boundaries. If you don't put those boundaries in place, you can't blame people for contacting you any time they want to because you don't have any rules around us. So really important that you boundary up, that you look at all the connections that you have in your life that you look at all the notifications, all your email accounts and you ask yourself, is this boundary up or do I have no boundaries?
Do I talk to people and work between a certain time or can they just contact me any time they want to because I've allowed that to happen. So, boundaries absolutely have to start with you and you have to figure out where the boundaries are going to be and it can even be with family members. Like if you're working from home, do you just allow people to walk in to your office any time that you want to? And how do you feel about that? Do you have boundaries when it comes to other people that you live with or your partner or your husband? Can they interrupt you when they want? Do you demand quiet time? What's important to you? What's frustrating you right now? And where do you need to make a change?
So, the next area of my life that I always love to look at now and every so often is connection. I lost a lot of contact with a lot of friends when I finished college and headed off to Paris. And I really needed to work on my connections, especially over the past couple of years. And it's been very tough because I fell out of the habit of meeting people and putting myself out there. And also I found when I had gone through such a tough time um that I found it difficult to open up. Um I felt very closed off to opening up to people and to making connections. I also found that when I went through all the stuff that I went through that I found it difficult to make relationships with social connections. Not my husband two way.
As in, I found it difficult to enjoy the relationships that I had in my life because I felt I was so stressed out when I would meet somebody for a coffee, I would just ask them all about them or I would just be focused on trying to make it an enjoyable experience for them. Can you relate?
Has that ever happened to you? You meet somebody for coffee and you're nervous and you just want them to have a good time. Well, that's not really great. It's not a great thing and I did that for years. Um Looking back, I don't really feel like I had any choice because I was so stressed out and anxious and I was going through all the different things in my life and I was so unhealthy. I felt like I was just in survival mode. However, if you're moving away from survival mode now, it can be a really lovely area of your life to look at and it's something that has been a work in progress for me and it has improved a lot in my life connections and it's something at the minute that I'm getting the most reward for.
I'm going to like a little community thing once a week. I was absolutely terrified going. I actually nearly cried in the car. Isn't this crazy for a woman of my age?
I nearly cried in the car beforehand, walking in to meet people. I just felt really overwhelmed again. And um it was the best thing I ever did. I was so happy and it was so great. So, um if you now are, you've got connections in your life and you feel like it's all give, give and not enough enjoyment in that relationship, then it's definitely time to either make new connections or to um work on your stress levels, your anxiety levels, your self love, your self care so that you can arrive at a point where you love yourself again and you feel confident and you can go and meet people and actually not just meet people but enjoy meeting people and get lots out of it, which is really, really key. So we're nearly there.
The next one is work career. So just taking a look at that, making sure you're happy with it and if you're not happy with it, figuring out what changes you can make. Um I do this often in my, in my, in my career um as a fitness coach, as a business owner, as a podcaster. Um I'm always trying to figure out where my time is best spent and how can I make my client's journey as terrific as possible? And how can I help them as much as I can? And in order for me to do that, I have to be really uh rigid and careful and military with the time that I have because I only have a certain amount of time in a day and as a business owner, there's lots of moving parts. Um, so I'm always doing a work audit and making sure that I'm not spending a lot of my time on emails or calls or I'm not spending too much of my time and building the program.
There has to be a good mix of everything and I have to make sure that I'm giving my clients the most results for my time, which is very important to me. My measure of success is how well my clients are doing. If I'm seeing transformations, if I'm seeing people or people are telling me that they're, this has changed and this is change and this is improving that I'm doing a great job and the work that I'm putting in is having great effect and that's how I measure my success. However, in order for me to keep on top of it, a career audit, a work audit for me is so so important. And the questions I ask myself is, is my work bounded up. First of all, am I letting people contact me at any time of the day?
Because remember that not just for you and your boundaries, if you're letting people contact you on any platform at any time of the day, then you're not really being there for the other people in your life. And even for your clients or for your work colleagues. If you're emailing them back from, I don't know, watching the couch on you're not giving them your best attention. So it's not really working for them either. So you're going to get the best out of yourself, you're going to get the best for your family and for your work colleagues or your clients. If you have your work bounded up and then the next question, if, if you've got the freedom to do this, you know, where are you best putting your time and effort into and where are the time vampires currently?
What's currently taking up too much of your time that's giving you or your clients or your work colleagues? Too little results? And what can you get rid of? And what can you add to make everybody's experience, including, including yours so much more enjoyable. Um Then on to, we've just got two more the personal development side of things, which includes mindset. What needs to change mindset shifts, change everything. And I can't remember the podcast episode number. I'm just going to try and get it up here for you while I'm chatting to you. But mindset shifts are game changers. It's very difficult to change anything if you've got the same mindset that is holding you back.
So things like the all or nothing mindset, the pessimistic mindset, negativity, um perfectionist, they're all going to hold you back. So, really important that you work on your mindset. Episode 101. I go through the four most common mindsets, how they hold you back and what you can do to move on from these mindsets so that you are, um, feeling in control and in control of your action steps and that, you know, that the things that are holding you back, why they're holding you back. There's nothing more scary than being in your own way and not knowing about it or like having a pessimistic mindset.
So therefore, being a self fulfilling prophecy, when you start up a new program, you being so pessimistic that you have already, the writing is already on the wall that you're not going to do. Well, because you've decided at the start that you're not going to do well and this stuff can be all really subliminal and subconscious. And that's the freakiest thing I want actual barriers to be and obstacles in my way that I can see that I can, that I can remove and go around. The scariest thing is the things that we tell ourselves on a daily basis that hold ourselves back that we don't even know about it that we don't even know about.
So just be mindful of that um episode 101, number, number 100 and one. If you want to go back and listen to that and um my last one then is fun doing an audit on the amount of fun that you're having is so super important. I never used to have any fun. I used to take myself way too seriously. I think that's one of the reasons why I drank so many reasons why I drank alcohol. One of them being that I could let loose and be a little bit crazy. However, now I'm trying to let loose and be a little bit crazy when I'm sober.
Somebody said, I think it was Tony Robbins that for some, like for some of the reasons that we drink alcohol, it's that we're letting a part of ourselves out. Well, why not let that side of ourselves out when we don't drink? And it's something that I took to heart and I realize I take myself very seriously. And one of the reasons and life very seriously and one of the reasons that I drank alcohol is that it helped me forget. It helped me be less serious. It helped me have more fun. However, I don't need alcohol for any of that thing.
So I try to like schedule in the fun now and I try to uh No, seriously, I actually do, I try to have more fun. I try to like decide, ok, now I'm going to try and have some fun and that might sound crazy to you. But it works. And it takes me from maybe a day of not having so much fun to making a conscious decision to have fun, I think when we get older and we have all these responsibilities and busines and everything that comes with older age. It's very easy to just stay serious and take yourself way too seriously. And it can be really nice to remind yourself on a daily basis to have a bit of fun. Isn't that what life is all about?
My hope for you if you need a life audit is that you are doing this with me now, or that you found somewhere quiet now and you're going to do a little bit of a life audit. If you have your pen and paper there, I'll run through. Um, what the, what the things are that I went through, what the, uh, different steps are. So, number one was fitness, a life audit on your fitness, a life audit on your nutrition, on your self-care, on your mental health, on your boundaries, on your connections, on your work career, on your personal development and on your fun. So, fitness, nutrition, self-care, mental health, boundaries, connection, work, career, personal development and fun. That's what I find works for me.
And I hope you, I hope it works for you. And I hope you enjoyed this episode. I've created a brand new free for you and this is going to help you really get organized for the next 30 days. It is my ultimate fitness and lifestyle goals planner. So you have every single thing in that tool kit to help you. Plan for the next 30 days. It's going to help you get organized, set clear goals to find your action plans and it's going to help you review and tweak and repeat along the way. You can go to jessicacooke.ie/toolkit to get that free resource. It's Jessica Cook dot ie forward slash tool kit. I hope you really enjoy it. I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode. Thank you so much for listening. Let me know how you got on with it. Head on over to my Instagram after you listen to it and send me a little DM, letting me know how you did all my love and take care.