The kids are bursting with excitement as they decorate the Christmas tree, “Last Christmas” is playing in the background and I’m sitting down with a glass of mulled wine in my hand reflecting on how quickly time passes. As I wonder what next year will have in store for me, I always ask myself the same question, “am I truly making the most of life and living the life I want to lead?”

Working as a career and confidence coach who helps people find fulfilling and flexible work, people automatically assume I must live a perfect life of harmony and well-being. Well, the truth is, just like every other working mum, I occasionally have confidence wobbles, often get my work-life balance out of kilter and repeatedly feel guilty about checking my phone for emails when I’m meant to be entertaining my two boys.

But I do feel incredibly lucky and grateful to do work I feel genuinely passionate about and that my coaching qualification equips me with the tools and techniques to get myself back on track quickly when required.

I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions but I thought I’d share with you the ten principles I want to apply to my life in 2016 to make it another fulfilling and enjoyable year:

This year I will:

  1. Say ‘yes’ – to opportunities even if they feel slightly out of my comfort zone, and feel proud once I’ve overcome my fears and achieved them.
  2. Say ‘no’ at the right times – to keep my work-life balance in check and to turn down work that doesn’t give me meaning, which is my main motivation to work.
  3. Keep learning – one of most fulfilling things you can do. These days I’m so busy that I have to do this in a manageable way such as reading a great blog or watching an inspirational TED talk.
  4. Make time for friends and have fun – this gives me energy and lightens my mood in an instant.
  5. Celebrate what I have achieved, rather than focusing on what I haven’t yet done. I try to prioritise the most important and urgent things on my “to-do” list and feel pleased with myself if I get them done, then dial down the anxiety when I look at what is still left to do…
  6. Be grateful for what I have. I make it a daily habit to think about what I’m thankful for – it really helps me stay positive and keep everything in perspective.
  7. Be kind to myself and not beat myself up when it feels like the wheels are coming off the bus or when I’m not being the most patient parent in the world. Nobody’s perfect right? Instead I’m going to allow myself to confide in close friends when I need a shoulder to cry on.
  8. Trust my gut instinct. I need to follow my gut feeling more and listen to that little voice that bugs you when something isn’t right, whether it’s workload, childcare or school choice.
  9. Look after the basics – such as sleeping and eating. For the first time ever I went to a nutrionist this year, and now my blood sugar is better regulated throughout the day I can honestly say it has transformed my energy levels and mood.
  10. Be a ‘present parent’ – “Having a parent who listens creates a child who believes he or she has a voice that matters in this world”* – this inspirational quote made me think even more about the importance of putting away the laptop and mobile and just being truly present with my children. Screen free hours here we come!


* Rachel Macy Stafford from Hands Free Mama

I hope this article inspires you to reflect on your own life and helps you put together your own list of principles for making 2016 another successful and fulfilling year.

If you need help making 2016 your most successful year yet, email, telephone 07789 597209 or visit


Fiona Clark is a qualified confidence and career coach who founded Inspired Mums to empower women to reach their full potential. She is passionate about helping women find fulfilling, family friendly roles.

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