Today is the beginning of the ‘Transitions Series.’ For the past nine months I really struggled with knowing that I was going to go on maternity leave. Who would take my job? Would I have one to come back to? Would I be bored with the baby? Will I feel cooped up at home?
All these questions plagued me and the more I talked with you girls I realised how common these thoughts were, no matter how small or large the transition.
One such lady who has gone through some transitions and thrived is the lovely Naomi Arnold from “Project Healthy Happy Me.” I met Naomi through the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy and we both hit it off. Her drive to succeed no matter what hurdles are thrown her way are admirable. However, she knows how to incorporate good self care routines when these times come. She’s designed a number of free resources for you. One in particular is called the “21 Day Me Challenge.” Naomi is a generous soul and I’m so pleased to introduce her to you today.
WELCOME TO THE SISTERHOOD: NAOMI ARNOLD
+ Maya Angelou once said that “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” What changes have you gone through over the years that have shaped you as a person and have developed what you do at “Project Healthy Happy Me?”
Wow, what a powerful quote. I have been through so many changes over the years which have led me to where I am now with Project Healthy Happy Me. Some of these have included:
- Body Battles: After participating in a well-known body transformation program, I experienced significant health issues and a luckily short-lived eating disorder. Despite the program’s ‘success’ with many other women, it was absolutely not right for my body or mindset. I then went on a journey of learning to listen to my body and it’s needs and find my own unique path to health and wellness.
- Career confusion:I spent years in paralysis by analysis due to uncertainty around what direction to take with my career. I knew that I wanted to own my own business, but I didn’t know what direction to take – I had so many interests and passions. When I was on maternity leave with my first son, I decided that I was going to commit to exploring my options and actually following through on some of them despite my confusion and was amazed at the doors that opened for me as a result.
- Heart over head: As someone who had a government and academic background, I would historically make decisions based on logic and reason. I found, however, that when it came to big soul-searching decisions (like life purpose) that this approach wasn’t working for me. So one day, I decided to do a little experiment and follow my heart for a whole year. Wowsers, my life changed big time and I experienced the most amazing changes and results.
- Letting go of perfectionism and certainty: On my heart over head journey, I was forced to let go of perfectionism and the pursuit of certainty, and instead trust that things would fall into place as and when they were meant to. This was a big change for super organised and outcome controlling me. However, by doing this, I started to find the clarity and direction that I had been so desperately searching for previously.
- People Pleaser: I have always prided myself as being someone who helps others. I would do everything I could to make people happy – even if it meant sacrificing my own needs. After being mistreated, hurt, and run down way too many times, I finally realised that I needed to value myself more. I needed to prioritise my own needs. And most importantly, I needed to ask for help myself when need be. I had to ‘take’sometimes, and not just constantly ‘give’.
Through all of these lessons, and more, Project Healthy Happy Me started to fall into place. I became passionate about helping women who were big hearted and generous, and who were so busy looking after others, that their own needs were often neglected. I was put in a beautiful position where I had the life experience, skills, and talents, whereby I could help other women discover their own unique path to living a healthy, happy, and purposeful life.
+ What industry areas were you working in before you made the transition to Life Coaching?
Before becoming a Life + Wellness Coach, I worked for the Australian Government Department of Health for eight years in areas including healthy living, healthy weight, and mental health. I also worked as an intern psychologist and counsellor for an occupational rehabilitation firm. Prior to that, I worked in retail and customer service.
+ Have you incorporated any of the skills from your previous careers into what you do at Project Healthy Happy Me?
Combined with my studies in psychology and life coaching, I have been very lucky that my experiences in previous careers have put me in an excellent position to now help women build a life and body they love. For example, through my government role, I kept on top of research around healthy living, healthy weight and mental health. I also spent a lot of time writing, problem solving, and making recommendations – all skills that are definitely relevant to the world of life coaching and blogging. My previous experience in psychology and counselling are obviously a huge help in working with clients on their goals, as well as their frustrations and areas of difficulties. Retail and customer service experience has been invaluable in building a business and a rewarding and exciting client experience.
+ What aspects of your transitions were the hardest?
I transitioned to the world of business quicker than what I had originally planned. My original plan was to continue working for the government and to build my business gradually on the side until it was ‘safe’ to transition to life coaching full time. However, ‘the universe’had other plans for me. When my father was unexpectedly and suddenly diagnosed with a terminal illness, it caused me to reassess a lot of things in my life. It was at this point where I decided to turn my 5 year plan into a NOW plan. I therefore quit my government role less than two months after launching my life coaching website.
I was not scared at all. I just knew in my heart that things would work out and that this was the right path for me. I also had the support of my husband and family, and didn’t have financial pressures due to other life-changing decisions made at that time. I don’t remember there ever being any stress of hardship around my transition from government to life coaching. I think I was so focused on taking steps towards what needed to be done, that I didn’t dwell on the stresses or complications.
Having said that, upon reflecting back and taking an “outsider’s view”, the hardships were probably around adjusting to a significant drop in wage, the changes accompanied with now taking care of my one year old son full time whilst working on my business, and answering the questions from other’s around my seemingly crazy and risky decision. As I said though, at the time these weren’t considered as hardships as I was so motivated to follow the path that I knew in my heart was meant for me and my family.
+ What is your number one tip for people who are making the transition from one thing to another?
Oh goodness, I have so many tips that I’m not which one to pick! Hmmm…. My number one choice is going to be to trust yourself. To dig deep, get to know yourself and your inner strengths and resources, to remember your beautiful vision – and to trust your instincts and intuition around your decisions. Listen to and take on board the advice of others – but at the end of the day, trust yourself.
+ How did you stay grounded or prep yourself for your transition?
I combined a number of strategies and techniques to help me remain grounded during my transition period. They included:
- Being aware of my expectations and how they can easily shift over time. When I quit my government job, my husband and I were in a financial position where I didn’t need to immediately match my old wage in my business. We knew that realistically establishing a business generally takes years before you make a significant profit. If I ever caught myself feeling pressure to work harder to be ‘further ahead’, or to make more money, I would remind myself of my original intentions and that instant financial ‘abundance’ wasn’t one of them. I reconnected to my vision and values, and continued on my merry way.
- Prioritising self care. I found that when I dropped the self-care ball, I not only became less grounded, but also less productive. I am therefore always very conscious of the fact that I need to make time for me. Meditation, moving my body, getting out in nature, spending time with loved ones, journaling, reading, and doing other things I enjoy are a necessity to remain grounded. When I struggle with this, I remind myself that “Me Time is just as important as every other item on my To Do list.”
- Establishing a support network and asking for help. Having a group of beautiful, like-minded and supportive people in my life has been a necessity. I have been blessed to have met a number of incredibly people through my studies, blogging, and business who have been an absolute inspiration and support to me. I am also lucky to have loved ones who have had my back and who have help me through the transition period. Learning to ask for help and draw on this support system as required was a necessity in remaining grounded.
+ What surprises you the most about your current job?
The thing that surprises me the most about life + wellness coaching is actually something that probably should surprise me the least – and that is just how incredible my clients are. Every day I see them grow so much, make incredible progress on their dreams, and implement the most amazing changes in their lives. It blows me away. Every time.
+ What are some resources that you used that helped you with your transition?
The best ‘resources for me’ have been other people. Connecting with like-minded souls online and in person. My loved ones have also been a fabulous resource and support during the transition. Engaging a life coach of my own (a number of times) has also been instrumental in my personal and business growth.
+ At the moment I’m transitioning from full time work to becoming a mum, all while still working on “The Butterfly House”on the side. What advice would you have for me as I transition into this whole new season?
Oh honey, what an exciting and adventurous ride you are about to embark on. I started my studies and business whilst I was on maternity leave with my son, and continued to establish my business once I returned to work. It was a fun and crazy ride. If your experience ends up being anything like mine, my advice to you would be to:
- Be gentle and kind to yourself. When you are feeling overwhelmed, tired or pressured – ask yourself, “What can I do to be more gentle and kind to myself right now?”. Then do it!
- Prioritise self care and me time. No matter how busy you are or how epic your To Do list is, always try to do at least one thing for YOU each day. You will benefit from this. Your family will benefit from this. And your business will benefit from this.
- Remember that little steps go a long way. If you start to get frustrated about any perceived lack of progress due to factors outside of your control, just focus on taking one step at a time. Before you know it, you will have achieved so very much.
- Be aware of the expectations that you impose on yourself. Sometimes we become overwhelmed because of expectations or time frames that we have set for ourselves. When we are overwhelmed or stressed, it can be so important to become aware of this, and to try and let these expectations go.
- Ask for help. Ask for help. Ask for help. This is so very important. Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness – it is a sign of incredible strength. Consciously think of ways that people can help you.
+ If my days had one extra hour in it I would…
In theory, I would spend that extra hour with my family, discussing the deep things in life, being silly, laughing, and just chilling out. In reality, I suspect I might hide away and create content and resources for Project Healthy Happy Me subscribers. Busted huh!? Thank you for asking this question – it is is something that I will now be extra mindful of next time I have a spare moment.
Thanks so much Naomi for your beautiful and generous responses. I’m sure we have all taken something away from this. What’s the one take away you’ve had? Comment below and please share if you loved this post. Let’s get on board and support one another.
You can connect with Naomi here >>
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Thank you so much for having me Diana and for really getting me to think – I loved these questions.
Thank you so much Naomi. Really appreciate the mum advice especially. I’ve been really good with my self care routine actually. I make sure to do one nice thing a day 🙂 Congrats on your Inspired Coach article today. So nice to be featured at the same time.