How First Impressions Affect You Every Day

We all know how important first impressions are when meeting someone or in a job interview.

But have you every realised how much first impressions affect you each and every day. What is your first impression of the day ahead?

What do you normally feel the first thing in the morning in a typical week?

Do you just go through the motions with no thoughts in particular? Or do you tend to get quickly drawn into thoughts of stress, worry or discontent?

There’s no doubt that our thoughts shape our emotions and feelings so if you want to feel differently in the morning – and about the mornings – then you need to change your thoughts.

In this podcast Gina and Chris discuss practical tips and strategies for setting your day up for success by choose to create healthy, happy and positive first impressions to make you more resourceful and resilient for whatever the day throws at you.

Let us know what you do to start the day and how you create your own first impressions.


Leading by Example – But is it a Good Example?

Do you realise you are leading by example, but is it a good example?

During recent workshops, Chris challenged some leaders to really think about what kind of examples they were setting. They were effectively always leading by example, but was it a good example or not?

It’s not just about the example you are setting for others, but more importantly for yourself.

For some it might be going to the gym. For others it could be when they are face with a difficult challenge at work, or an uncomfortable conversation that needs to be had. By setting an example for yourself, it allows you to naturally and honestly set the example for others.

Whenever you find yourself being stuck, ask yourself, what would a would class leader do in this situation?

We are always leading by example.

Check your own Facebook feed, scrolling back through your own status updates, what kind of an example are you setting for others?

Paul talks about how previously his own twitter feed mentioned more about Apple products than it did about personal development!

Maybe you’ve experience a child that has mimicked you (sometimes with a little embarrassment!) it’s because you have been setting an example, they have just followed your lead.

  • Is the example you’re setting the one you’d like to be known for?
  • Where could you be a bit more mindful on what sort of example you are setting not just for others but your yourself?

Have a good hard look in the mirror, whatever that mirror might be:

  • Your Facebook status updates
  • Your Twitter feed
  • The emails you send
  • The conversations you have with your friends and family

Start making a list of things you would like to be discussing, or activities you’d like to be known for doing/talking about with your friends.

For example, how would you describe the day you’ve just had? What would you like that description to be like? Positive and engaging? Or whiny and negative? How would you prefer that sound when you are talking it through with friends?

By trying to be that person, you’re taking the right steps to actually becoming that person.

GIGO – Garbage in Garbage Out: What are you putting in to your life?

By going without the food, that we all know is bad for us, for a short time both Gina and Paul noticed something very interesting. When they sampled the food they thought they craved before they were able to feel the negative effects much more profoundly.

Both Gina and Paul have had some recent success with their eating habits and have been able to shed a few pounds. But their new diets helped them reflect on what else they were consuming in their lives that was effectively just garbage.

But it’s not just food that seems to make a dent in your physically wellbeing, but the news we read, the relationships we have all have a dramatic effect. By just going without something that you believe is bad for you, for just a week, when you try it again the results seem almost magnified. Their motivation was reduce, their mood was affected and their energy levels were lower.

Going without something for a short period of time could be just the thing you need to help you recognise just how unhealthy it is for you!  The old computer adage of GIGO (Garbage in = Garbage Out).

Even if you “fall off the wagon” once in a while, making sure to get back on track as soon as you can. Re-starting, getting back in to the routine is crucial.   In fact deliberately having a break from being “good” can make you savour what you do. It will also help you notice the difference. You’ll find it easier to notice what is good for you, and the effects of having something bad can have on you.

What garbage are you putting into your life?


How to Overcome Your Plateau

Every now and again we seem to get less out of the effort we put in.

It happens with our health and fitness, in relationships and in careers.

Is this natural? Normal? Does it happen more than you like?

In this podcast Paul and Chris discuss how to recognise a plateau, what happens when they show up, plus provide three solid strategies for overcoming plateaus in any context.

1. Refresh

Sometimes just a bit of variety, fun and mixing it up can be enough to challenge your status quo and motivate you to the next level of progress or fulfillment.

2. Re-engage

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut at times and lose sight of why you’re there in the first place. Feelings of overwhelm by the amount of work to be done, burdened by the responsibilities, and perhaps even experiencing hopelessness that things will improve. In this case it can be very helpful to step back and reconnect with what you really want and why you want it. Paul and Chris share exactly how to do this.

3. Re-evaluate

As creatures of habits we will quickly fall into a regular pattern or regular approach to trying to achieve what we want. We hit the same machines at the gym, manage a project in the same process or deal with our partners in the same way. However, those habits may be the exact reason why you’re experiencing the plateau in the first place. Re-evaluating your approach, your process and your usual way of doing things can shed new light on your challenge and give you alternatives you hadn’t thought of before.

Listen to this podcast now and join the conversation with a comment below or on our Facebook page.

How To Achieve Goals (Tackling Your Mountain)

Everyone’s experience of how to achieve goals most effectively is going to vary, and be to some degree unique.

Given the same mountain to climb, we’d likely all take slightly different paths up, require different amounts of preparation and approach it at different speeds. And the way we approach the big goals, challenges or mountains we set ourselves is no exception.

So as Sam tackled what would seem to be a mountain of a project recently, it is unsurprising that she & Paul both approach big projects with a totally different plan of attack! No matter how many self development books you read, podcasts you listen to or even coaches you have, only you can really decide what works best for you when it comes to how to achieve goals effectively.

When you set yourself a challenge, or decide you want to work towards something really important to you, how do you tackle the mountain of effort required?

When we commit to something we are passionate about or really believe in it, there is likely to be a significant amount of work required to reach the point where it is fully possible and real – climbing the side of the mountain. It is only once we’re at the top that we recognise just how far we’ve come, can admire the view, and see the route down the other side to our new self and new success.

It is important to recognise that we’ll all have our own approaches, and we’ll each find certain methods that work best for us – there is no right or wrong approach, only what is effective for you!

Join Paul & Sam as they share the very different ways they tend to tackle the mountain, and explore what route you take when you’ve set yourself a big challenge.

Are you the type of person that likes to focus on one big project at a time, or lots of little ones?

Do you go full steam ahead at the start of the project but lose speed as you reach the end or do you plod along at a steady pace and then go all manic as you reach the end?

Discovering how to achieve goals most effectively for you needs to start with a good deal of awareness and exploration as you tackle your mountain, which can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster ride – as Paul & Sam explored in podcast a few years ago:

We’d love to hear about the type of approach you tend to take, and what metaphoric mountain(s) you are currently tackling – so please leave us a comment below, or visit us at Facebook.
And we’ve set a challenge for Chris & Gina to create a sister-podcast exploring their own unique approaches too!


Our popular “80 Tips for Everyday Action” is now available on Amazon Kindle, download your copy instantly to your Kindle, or the Kindle app on iPhone/iPad & Android.

To get a sneak peak at Sam’s most recent mountain-climbing results, and who the programme currently under pilot is aimed at, visit HurdlesHappen.

Can you have freedom and structure in your day?

For many of us, the words ‘freedom’ and ‘structure’ are at opposite ends of the spectrum – two opposing concepts that can never co-exist.

But as Chris and Gina have discovered in their own lives, having a balance of both freedom and structure is essential if we want to live creative and productive lives.

Which do you prefer?

More structure, rules and boundaries in your daily live to keep you productive and progressing?

Or, does that feel like you’re caged in, restricted and wanting to break out to absolute freedom?

The key is to get clear on what you really want to achieve or have completed by the end of the day, then deciding how boundaries might help you, or where free-thinking approach will get you there faster.

In this podcast, Chris and Gina share their secrets and provide great real-world examples that can help you make the right decision to find the right balance between freedom and structure.

Leave us a comment to let us know how you manage around freedom and structure to get more done and take more action that matters.

How Should You Deal with Negative People?

Have you got friends who always seem to be down in the dumps, project their fear and negativity on to you, and seem jealous of your success or drive to move forward in life?

We’ve all got friends who need support now and then, but some friends have invested in staying small – and they are keeping you small too – if you let them.

Paul and Gina discuss ways you can attract more like-minded and dynamic people into your life, without making a drama out of leaving ‘old’ friends

One way to meet new people is via  This is a great organisation that runs local meetups in your area. They are all over the world with activities ranging from paragliding to real ale to coaching groups to wine tours. The choice is endless. A sure fire way to connect with people is to find other folk who love what you do.

We’d love to hear your stories of how you committed to yourself and your happiness, and made the decision to surround yourself with supporters, not detractors. Please leave a message on our voicemail on our home page. Just click the link!

80 Tips

“80 Tips” is now available on Amazon, download your copy instantly to your Kindle, or the Kindle app on iPhone/iPad & Android

The Willpower Challenge: “I Will!” versus “Will I?”

Engaging our willpower to achieve certain goals and outcomes in life is deemed essential. But what if we turn the forceful proclamation of “I Will!” into “Will I?”

Gina and Chris play with syntax and discover that we can reduce the pressure, yet still be productive, by asking ourselves this very powerful question.

When we try to use our willpower toward a goal, we can quickly feel guilty or embarrassed if we start to fall short. Whether that’s for ourselves or other people’s expectations of us.

Yet, research shows if we have an open mind about what we might accomplish, we feel like any and every positive move we make we are getting ahead of expectations and can feel like we’re winning.

It makes the process better – whether you’re trying to save money or try to exercise – and you can develop a better sense of pride at each step of progress.

Additionally, when you ask the inquisitive question of “Will I?” you go a little deeper into understanding your interest in taking the action, your motivation to do it, and on a practical level gets you to think more clearly about what you actually need to do in order to take the necessary action.

Little things like planning out your day and determining when, where and how you’ll do it in advance will dramatically increase your odds of success and saves your willpower for the things that truly need an extra dose of inner strength.

Listen to this podcast with Chris and Gina for further insights and get ready for a new start on your goals and tasks with less resistance and more fun.

Leave us a comment on how this changes your perspective and what success you’ve had by asking “Will I?”.

How to Give Effective Feedback

Giving feedback to others is something almost all of us do on a regular basis – sometimes more proactively, sometimes reactively. Often times done poorly.

In this podcast, Paul and Chris discuss the critical difference between giving well-intended feedback and well-delivered feedback. Delivering feedback well is a combination of making it meaningful, specific, respectful and authentic. Whether it’s to colleagues at the office, your kids at home or your partner, with a bit of forethought and consideration, you can have a significant impact on someone’s day…all in a matter of a few, well-delivered seconds.

Listen now and leave us a comment on what results you experienced after putting this in place.

Can You Overdo It – is it possible to take too much action?

Can you Overdo It with too much action?

At ActionPodcast we believe that small things, consistently done produce extraordinary results – so is it possible to overdo it? Those small steps can start to build strong momentum, so is there such a thing as taking too much action?

There are two aspects to consider when you are taking massive action towards a project or outcome that you want – one is focus, and the other is natural rhythm.

If your focus remains fixed on only one action, and all your energy and effort are directed towards that point, then you could be losing sight of how this action fits within the bigger picture of what you want to achieve.

Likewise, if you ignore the human need for the natural ebb and flow of energy – the need to expel energy and then recharge, you could find yourself feeling burnt out or frustrated and guilty because you can’t maintain that pace indefinitely.

How Not To Overdo It

Taking time out to recharge is an essential part of any action plan, and it can be helpful to think of the cycle of the Seasons as a metaphor for this. The type and level of energy we need to invest varies through Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, and this cycle is something that can play out repeatedly during a larger or more longer-term goals that we’re working towards.

Allowing ourselves this ‘downtime’ not only recharges our batteries (making us more effective when we move back into action), but it also gives us the chance to step back and examine our area of focus, and to shift it if needs be. If we are lacking sufficient times to recharge or the perspective to check whether our action is moving us in the best direction, then we increase the chances that we might appear to overdo it.

Join Chris & Sam in this podcast as they explore effective ways to put boundaries around your recharge time, and ensure that you are focusing your action in the best way.

Thanks to Mark @StarbirdTV for his brilliant inspiration!