Friday Challenge – Do Something You’ve Never Done Before

Friday Challenge

For the next four weeks we are presenting The Friday Challenge. These are easy to follow motivating articles from author Shelley Wilson who wrote How I Changed My Life In A Year which featured on the blog earlier this week. It was followed by a guest author interview with Shelley and she kindly agreed to write us four articles which I’d like to share each Friday with you as my gift to you wonderful readers, so that you too may be inspired to make positive changes in your own lives and those around you.

Over to Shelley…

Shelley Wilson

Could You Do Something You’ve Never Done Before?

If I asked you to do something you’ve never done before, what would you choose? Abseiling or white water rafting perhaps, or maybe you would opt for something a little less hair-raising and try a new food. To do something new was one of the first challenges I tackled in my book How I Changed My Life in a Year. As it happens, my plans went slightly askew as I received an opportunity to help my local junior school prepare for exam season.

As I run a holistic health business, I spend my days and evenings de-stressing the general public. I offer treatments such as reflexology and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or ‘Tapping’ as I like to call it.

To be asked by the headmaster to give a demonstration and talk to thirty of the year six children (ages 10 and 11) was a terrifying prospect. I have three children, but that doesn’t mean that the school hall full of them wouldn’t scare me to death. As I was dedicated to my month five challenge – do something I’ve never done before – I couldn’t say no!

My fears surfaced fairly swiftly; fear of making a fool out of myself, fear of thirty impressionable youngsters thinking I was a moron, fear of forgetting my presentation. However, I’d told the headmaster I would do it and so I prepared myself as well as I could. (Sleeping with my copy of Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers may have helped!)

Blinded by my irrational fears I momentarily forgot that Tapping (EFT) was the perfect therapy to alleviate apprehension. My task was all about helping the year six children cope with their trepidation of the impending SAT exams. So as I ran through my presentation, my anxiety gradually lifted. Standing before a sea of shiny, eager faces, who believed I was going to help them, I filled with pride and an eagerness to teach them a valuable self-help tool.

EFT is a simple process which can help alleviate anxiety and deep rooted issues that have a detrimental effect on our day to day life. The fear of the dentist, overeating, depression and so many other ailments can be vanquished using this method. It involves tapping lightly with your fingertips on specific parts of your head, face, body and hands. The tapping action vibrates along meridians (energy lines) within your body and neutralises any blockages. (For more information, or to find a therapist near to you log on to the AAMET site

The children were amazing and took to the therapy with an infectious enthusiasm, and I was happy to receive positive feedback from the parents once they had rushed home to teach their siblings how to ‘chillax.’

Challenge accepted and achieved; I’d never done that before! Trying something new can open up a world of opportunities, so I extend my challenge to you – Do something you’ve never done before and embrace the experience.

How I Changed My Life In A Year

‘How I Changed My Life in a Year’ –

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Next Friday we’ll be back with our second challenge.

Guest Author Shelley Wilson

Today our guest is Shelley Wilson author of yesterday’s book How I Changed My Life In A Year, her is a link to my review of the book.

Shelley is also going to be writing 4 inspirational posts for us which will appear on Fridays beginning this Friday, October 17th.

Shelley Wilson

Let’s find out more about Shelley and her book.

1) Where is your hometown?

My hometown is Solihull in the West Midlands, but I left my heart behind in West Yorkshire when I moved away as a child. I do cling on very tightly to my Northern roots!

 2) What inspired your book?

For me, the New Year is a time filled with the promise of adventures to come and places yet to visit. Every New Year’s Eve I write a list of resolutions in my journal, but as I was re-reading them at the end of 2012 I noticed I had written the same ones over and over. I hadn’t achieved any of them and so they were regurgitated each year. As I run a holistic health business I am always telling my clients how they could improve their lives, and I realised that if I wanted them to take me seriously I needed to take my own advice. So I decided to write my list on a public forum to force me (or shame me) to achieve something. My blog was born and I thoroughly enjoyed updating everyone on my progress. One of my resolutions was to ‘stop procrastinating and write my damn book!’ I had never thought of writing non-fiction before, but the challenges and the blog were the basic outline of a book, it just took me a while to realise it.

 3) How did you come up with the ideas for you year long challenge?

Finding the ideas for my challenges was the easy bit. I just had to go back over the previous journal entries and copy all the things I hadn’t achieved!   Weight loss, getting fit, reading more…the usual culprits that make 90% of people’s resolution list. To flesh out the year I did a spot of brainstorming. I created a vision board and asked myself what I would do with my life if money was no object and I could have another five careers. This exercise got the creativity flowing and I found my twelve resolutions.

 4) How did you make a month challenge see less daunting?

When I started the blog it was all completely alien to me. I joined Blogger, picked a template I liked and filled in the blanks. It was only as I began to post that I read other blogs and become more involved in the blogging community. Good content and regular posts were a must according to the pros. This meant that my twelve challenges (one a month) wouldn’t be very entertaining for any readers. So much can happen in a month and my post could end up putting War and Peace to shame. This was when I adapted my challenge and broke every month down into weeks. The task didn’t seem so daunting and I could expand on my challenges. Every topic was divided into four and I blogged weekly about how I had progressed during that particular week. In February my challenge was to get fit, it worked out really well as I was able to try four different exercises and blog about each one separately.

 5) What was your favourite challenge?

I remember my November challenge with great fondness. This was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. I had wanted to do this challenge for four years but backed out every time because I was scared. The beauty of blogging about my challenges was the inability to run screaming for the hills – it wouldn’t have made for a very interesting post. I had to do it because I’d told the world!

6) Which challenge was the hardest?

The hardest challenge had to be giving up wearing black clothing. It sounds ridiculous when you say it but it really was tough. That particular week crept up on me and on the first morning I flew into a panic because all my underwear was black – the thought of going commando was just too much and I nearly caved. After digging through my underwear drawer I finally found suitable attire, the rest of the outfit was even harder to find. I do want to do this challenge again but I now know that some planning (and shopping) is required. Picking my daughter up from school in an 80’s fancy dress outfit taught me that!

7) Can you tell us briefly about “Tapping”?

As part of my holistic business I am a qualified EFT Practitioner (Emotional Freedom Technique). This simple process can help alleviate anxiety and deep rooted issues that have a detrimental effect on day to day life. A fear of the dentist, overeating, depression and so many other ailments can be vanquished using this method. It involves tapping lightly with your fingertips on specific parts of your head, face, body and hands. The tapping action vibrates along meridians (energy lines) within your body and neutralises any blockages. It is such a powerful treatment, one which I used to help my own anxiety prior to my training. (

 8) What new skills or ideas have you kept up with from the challenge?

The most important thing for me when I decided to start this project was to find the time to write more often. Ever since I could hold a pencil I have wanted to write, and every year I would add this to my resolution list, but then let life take over and watch my dream slide past for another year. This is why I chose blogging instead of Facebook as the public forum for my challenges, I wanted the space and right platform to help me grow my skills. Deadlines, compelling content and a wonderful blogging/writing community all helped me to carry on once my year was up. I was also prompted to take part in other challenges that came along. In January 2014 I took part in the Cancer Research Dryathalon – no alcohol for the month of January. After doing this back in April for my book I found it much easier and have now turned tee-total. Writing the book and tweaking my blog to contain more motivational content also gave me the push to write a series of workshops. I have delivered these to ladies on a monthly basis at a local venue and they have been well received. I cover topics such as facing fears, time management, and finding out who you are and how to be happy with your life. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this had I not started my blog and published my book. I have also fulfilled my most important goal and continued writing. Thanks to NaNoWriMo I will be publishing my debut YA fantasy novel very soon.

 9) Do you think it helped make you a better person?

We are all a work in progress and have our own issues and demons to contend with. As women we tend to carry on with life and hide this side of ourselves, concentrating on being someone’s partner, mother, daughter or friend. It’s important for me to show my holistic clients that I can also suffer from self-doubt and anxiety but also to share with them the tools that I use to help myself. Publishing my book meant I had to face all my demons and put myself out there. I have had to learn to accept compliments and criticism and that this is okay. I’m not sure if that makes me a better person, but I’ve most definitely changed for the better.

10) Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

My blog is still going strong, although I include more motivational content about living life to the full, reading and writing these days. You can find the blog at and the corresponding Facebook page at I am also on twitter (far too often!)

How I Changed My Life In A Year


How I Changed My Life in a Year. Find a copy here from Or



How I Changed My Life In A Year by Shelley Wilson

How I Changed My Life in a YearHow I Changed My Life in a Year by Shelley Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was my September treat, after the long school holidays I always deserve a treat and I do love a book that motivates me. The book title appealed to me straight away and I loved the cover with the post-it notes.

Shelley writes in a fun and amusing way and the book goes through her 12 resolutions to change her life for the better with some great lessons along the way. Shelley set herself monthly challenges and within those weekly smaller conquests. I liked the idea of a visions board of things you want to do, I know the idea isn’t new but I’ve only ever tried it once and I lost the enthusiasm.

Month 6, “Adopt better habits”, was one of my favourites, I already do a lot of re-cycling, but I had a bag of items for the charity shop which had been sitting by the back door and not actually going anywhere. After reading about Shelley’s month 6 I got off my backside, filled another bag with books and put both in my car. Then I planned my next day with a slot to visit the charity shop to drop off my bags. Coming home to empty spaces felt good.

I also enjoyed the challenge to wear bright clothes and not anything black. I took one look at the clothes I was getting ready for the cooler months and realised they were mostly black. Feeling incredibly brave I took to the shops to find some colourful new clothes, I bought jumpers and shirts, but trying to find trousers I like which aren’t jeans, skinny or black is proving harder.

This book brought a smile to my face and a list of ways I want to improve my own life, I’ll finish with a quote from the book “Dream it, Live it, Become it.”

Find a copy here from Or

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Shelley will be our guest author tomorrow and starting this Friday she is doing a 4 week post slot on helpful ways to change your own life for the better.

Good Deeds Challenge Year 2, Week 21

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year, now I an into my second year.

New Good DeedsDuring my week I’ll also being updating you on My Kindness Challenge which I’m also doing. I read about a new challenge to make the world a better place to live in. “Speak Kind Words, Receive Kind Echoes” see the inspiration on  The Kindness blog . During my learning process I’m donating money to charity for my slip-ups to make me work harder to achieve results. I earn no money from any of my book reviews, so having little to spare should focus my mind.

September 7th – Today it has been the turn of Victoria Steele on the Romancing September tour and her book As My Heart Beats – Beckoning, here is a link to her post

I’ve been in to work this morning to catch up on lots of paperwork and to leave the place tidy for my colleague.

September 8th – Cecily Gates promotes her book An Imaginary House by the Sea in todays Romancing September tour.

School is back and my Monday helping out at school starts again.

September 9th – It’s Debbie Peterson’s turn today with her book Spirit of the Knight.

Dropped of a birthday present to my God Daughter and picked up litter on the way home.

September 10th – June Kearns joins us on the Romancing September tour with her brilliant book The 20’s Girl, the ghost and All That Jazz.

I’m reading How I changed my Life by Shelley Wilson, this is my September treat read that I recently bought, I always like to give myself a treat after the summer holidays and the rush and stress of the return to school. Shelley tells us about Emotional Freedom tapping, a way to relieve stress particularly, here is a link to a website with a very useful video on tapping.

Walked to town to do my shopping it was such a lovely day I detoured through three parks and picked up litter along the way.

September 11th – Today we have some poetry on the Romancing September tour, Pamela Beckford chats about her book Love – Lost and Found.

Took two big bags full of books to the charity shop and found that several local book shops are having a sale. Who can resist?

September 12th – Adrienne Vaughan talks about her book The Hollow heart in today’s Romancing September.

Went back to the book shops, books at 50p were calling to me, staggered out with another 14 books, had the sales assistant helping me out taking books to the till so that I could browse some more. The sale goes on for another 2 weeks, so I intend going back for more. Visited the local country market and bought chutney and a cake.

September 13th – It’s Della Connor’s day today as she tells us more about Spirit Warriors: The Concealing in Romancing September.

Had a walk out this evening and picked up more litter. Have invited author Shelley Wilson to write a series of posts for October about changing your life for the better.


Good Deeds Challenge – Year 2, Week 17

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year, now I an into my second year.

New Good DeedsDuring my week I’ll also being updating you on My Kindness Challenge which I’m also doing. I read about a new challenge to make the world a better place to live in. “Speak Kind Words, Receive Kind Echoes” see the inspiration on  The Kindness blog . During my learning process I’m donating money to charity for my slip-ups to make me work harder to achieve results. I earn no money from any of my book reviews, so having little to spare should focus my mind.

This week I’ve been doing the following;

August 10th – Have been drafting up Romancing September posts, and a book review post. Had a lovely chat to the student who served me at the supermarket till about his new course he’ll soon be starting at University, made time to be interested in what he had to say.

August 11th – I’ve been spending my Amazon vouchers on books! Some for me and others to share with family and friends. I’ve read some great books in e-format which I would like to share with others, so today I bought Saving our Pennys and The Singing Bowl by Roy Dimond in paperback. I’m also looking forward to re-reading them. Both books really impressed me and got me thinking about life and I wanted to share them with others.

Augustt 12th – It’s been a hard day today, I posted my 3* review of a book for an author who took offence, ( 3* stars! I said there were parts I liked! Get a reality check) I have already put up with a rude e-mail and he has added a vile comment on Goodreads to my review. He posted a equally bullying comment on my blog which I removed. My review stays because I will not bow down to an author who behaves this badly. My book review policy clearly states “I’ll never try to degrade an author or their hard work, but we all have our own tastes, so please RESPECT MINE. Should you dislike my review, then we will have to agree to disagree. Any further ranting about it especially on any of my social sites will not help your cause.” Not clear enough for some people it would seem. The kindness challenge has gone out of the window today and the charity box is firmly closed, I will not pay out my money in this  situation, sorry, I will try harder tomorrow.

Good Deeds received ; Thank you everyone for you support at this trying time.

I’m pleased to say it hasn’t put me off reviewing, I have sent of a review for a lovely YA book Spirit Warriors; The Scarring by Della Connor. As you know I do like a book that has a bit of ghosts and spiritual connections, so this book was right up my street. I have also taken on 3 more books for review today.

August 13th – I’ve bought another book today, my Amazon vouchers have nearly all gone! Isn’t it a lovely feeling to just splurge sometimes? Today I bought How I Changed My Life In A Year by Shelley Wilson . Helped author Charles Yallowitz spread news of his book tour for his latest book The Compass Key I’ve signed up for a day and e-mailed a few others to ask if they can help out. Added a new book to the book review team list, this one is a little different and proceeds will go to those living on the streets. Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People by Dennis Cardiff

Good deeds received: An apology from the author who had his temper tantrum of my 3* review.

August 14th – Have nearly finished all 30 drafts for the Romancing September Tour. Downloaded a free book from Author Rae Rivers who will be one of our guests on the tour, a quick prequel to her series, The Keepers: Sienna. Sent my youngest child out on a play date with chocolate cakes to share.

August 15th – A couple of friends birthdays today so we are off to deliver presents and best wishes. Wished another friends son good luck with his driving theory test tomorrow. My oldest is learning to drive too and so are many of her friends, its all the next step in growing up. A bit scary though, sitting in the passenger seat and not being in control of the car while she learns.

August 16th – Started a good tidy up of the house and garden, to help reflect the need to tidy up my life. Started reading Patriot by A.S Bond ready for a book review. Drafted up a couple more posts for later in the month.


What Book Have You Just Bought and Why?

So this morning, everywhere I look on blog posts and Twitter I’m finding motivation and strength from fellow readers and writers in all sorts of formats and it’s been refreshing and revitalising. Over the last few days I have been deliciously spending a windfall of Amazon vouchers on more books and this morning I indulged myself again, this time on Shelly Wilson’s Book “How I Changed My Life In A Year” I have two major times of the year when I particularly seek out new inspiration they are the December/ January holiday time and September when the kids go back to school and life shifts once more.


So what book have you just bought or taken out on loan from the library and why?

Find a copy here from or