Doing something different every day for 21 or even 28 days is the quickest means I know of pushing us out of unhelpful patterns of thinking or behaving.

I've done the challenge a number of times over the years and the insight never fails to amaze me - here's a post from the archives sharing some of the things I did differently last time and the positive impact they had on my life - who knew saying yes to coffee could be so transformative or that saying yes to olives wouldn't get a different response.

With the Take a giant leap 12 week coaching programme starting on 17th October I'm launching a new Do something different every day challenge on 26th September 2022.

As I'll still be recuperating from having a knee replacement I'd really appreciate your help over on LinkedIn to post about what you did different using #dosomethingdifferenteveryday and copying my LI @LandscapingYourLife page in too.

I'll be joining you I just don't know yet how active I'll be on social media so would love your support to help those taking part to get the most from the challenge whether they're going to take a giant leap after or not.

Thank you xx

It's also a great challenge to do as a team - and whilst I won't be able to facilitate one for you during Sept/Oct 2022 happy to discuss doing one later in the year or even to start 2023 - alison@alisonsmith.co

One list you're invited to write in the Your prescription for wellbeing journal is of sayings or idioms that resonate with how you're feeling - sayings such as stuck between a rock and a hard place, can't see the wood for the trees or spinning too many plates.

The reason I ask is the metaphor contained within those very words can be a great source of insight - especially when you're stressed. Because when you're stressed logic has often flown out of the window and rational thought with it, and yet metaphorical language and the insight contained within it remains.

In essence, if you can’t see the wood for the trees exploring the metaphor, the wood, for a little time and keeping a distance between you and problem can result in you finding solutions currently hidden from view.

In a real wood, for example, you might follow the path out, use a map, move to a higher vantage point and so on – all metaphorical solutions you could then apply to the original situation.

In a wood in your imagination then changes might include changing the season, the types of trees, the number of trees or cutting some of them down or prohibiting anyone from planting any more trees until you can see those that have already been planted.

My book Can’t see the wood for the trees – landscaping your life to get back on track explains more about how to use the metaphor hidden in your language when you’re stuck to help you find solutions to the current problem.

There's also vlogs, blogs and episodes of the Landscaping Your Life podcast that provide additional hints, tips and insight. Episode 41 of the podcast provides a great overview and summary of the types of insight you might expect.

Otherwise pick a saying you resonate with from the list below and follow the link and notice what you notice as I share examples of how to use the saying to get unstuck and back on track:

All I can promise is you'll now start to notice how often you and others in your life use metaphors in your language and how effective they can be at helping you to solve the problem and get back on track.

I'm always adding more sayings to the Landscaping Your Life podcast and Landscaping Your Life YouTube channel so do follow them so you've always got access to support when you're feeling out of sorts. If you sign up for my newsletter you'll also be sure to get the latest about what I'm up to on the prescription and other tools I use to help you keep on track.

If you'd like me to run a prescription for wellbeing session for your team do get in touch alison@alisonsmith.co (please note not .co.uk)

One list you're invited to write in your prescription for wellbeing journal is of things you do that help you when you're out of sorts.

One of the things on my list would be poetry - either reading other's words or writing my own (usually whilst out in nature which would also be another item on my list of what helps me get back on track).

For example, even after 20 years since first reading them, the words of Oriah Mountain Dreamer's The invitation never fails to provide insight and a reminder I may be looking in the wrong place for the answers (see link to buy the book sharing the context behind her words).

I wonder as you read the above words if you've got any additional insight about the situation you're grappling with - seen it from a different perspective - or that something previously hidden has become clearer?

As my own poetry also helps others to see situations from different perspectives I've included some of them in the journal - with Paths and Destinations below (p40 of the journal) being one of my favourites - and one I use often in workshops for other organisations or my own.

Take time to reflect on the path you're currently on, and the insight that realisation is providing about what to do next.

Other poems I've written that often help others- although don't all feature in the journal - include:

I've also written short stories at times of greatest challenge too - here's two of my favourites that never fail to provide insight:

If you're grappling with a problem I'd also highly recommend picking up pen and paper and seeing what words arise. (They flow more for me when I'm sitting in nature - it's a case of finding the location that works best for you). The words may or may not seem like they relate to the current problem - just let them emerge and notice what you notice once the flow of words has stopped.

Don't worry about whether it's a poem, story or something between the two - just see it as a conversation between yourself and your inner knowing and trust that insight and inspiration about what to do are there to be uncovered and in the words of the paths and desinstions poem feel the:

If you'd like me to run a prescription for wellbeing session for your team or a more general session on problem solving or personal development using poetry and other unconventional tools do get in touch alison@alisonsmith.co (please note not .co.uk)

The Your prescription for wellbeing journal is a journal to help you keep notes of what helps you to get back on track when you're out of sorts. You'll can buy it here and find out more about it here.

Two very important lists you're asked to write on every prescription are:

The premise is that when you're out of sorts you're often so caught up with how you're feeling you forget that there are things you can do that will help you, and things you might be doing that are hindering you. Writing a list of these activities is a nudge to do more of those on one list and less of the other. A list you can then refer to and update in the future.

You'll find a list of suggestions later in this post.

Here's one activity on my list of 'things I do that help' recorded during a personal training session with my PT:

There's a list of suggestions about what might go on each list later - please remember though that one person's support activity might be another person's nightmare stress inducing activity because as as I say in my what is normal poem:

"my normal isn't your normal, yours isn't mine"

Things you could do that might help

(a list that tells you more about me than it being an exhaustive list of things to do - so do please use it as something to get your creative juices going about what would be on your list - on page 8 of the journal you're encouraged to write your own general list of things that work for you - that you can then pick from when writing a specific prescription.)

More importantly what's on your list - and are there one or two that work more of the time - ie doing plank (or is that just me 😉)!

Things you could do that don't help and can block or hinder you

Do remember, as the above What is normal poem says:

"no right, no wrong, just what is."

A post from the archives tells you a little more about the zigging and zagging - ie the mindsets that Inhibit growth and those that Accelerate it.

What's on your list?

The aim being to do more of the first list and less of the second - and I appreciate that's sometimes easier written and said than done. Awareness however is the first step allowing your pre frontal cortex to get to work in finding solutions about how to stop or release this unhelpful mindset, belief or behaviour.

For more about the Your prescription for wellbeing journal, examples of how it is being used, and other more unconventional tools to help you when you're stuck to get back on track why not:

If you'd like me to run a prescription for wellbeing session for your team do get in touch alison@alisonsmith.co (please note not .co.uk)

The Your prescription for wellbeing journal is available from Amazon * and helps you to remember what works and supports you when you're stuck, don't know what to do, are off track or out of sorts, and also reminds you about what hinders you too.

The aim being to do more of one and less of the other.

A reminder because for example when caught up in anger, frustration, or anxiety we can forget about the things we could do that would make us feel better.

You could just write one prescription of things that usually work for you, you could write a number of prescriptions to tackle specific situations such as for example dealing with exam nerves or reducing anxiety about the forthcoming presentation, you could write a prescription a day, and/or you could use the journal as a family or team.

In other words use the prescription journal in whatever way makes most sense for you and helps you to get the most out of your day - as my what is normal poem, that I share in the journal, says:

"My normal is not your normal, mine isn't yours"

How to use the prescription:

1. Pick an outcome

What outcome do you want a prescription for - eg to feel less anxious, more focussed, confident in exams, calm, patient and so on.

2. What are your symptoms

A short summary of how you're feeling - because writing them down might jog your memory about what’s worked in the past when you’ve had these symptoms before – or remind you that you’ve had the symptoms many times before and that a visit to the Doctor might be a good idea this time.

You may also find that writing the symptoms helps you redefine the outcome – ie that instead of calm the antidote would be focus.

3. What sayings are you resonating with (see this post for more about how to use the sayings you're resonating with to get insight about what to do in the current situation)

Can’t see the wood for the trees – landscaping your life to get back on track explains more about how to use the metaphor hidden in your language when you’re stuck to help you find solutions to the current problem. One reader described the book as a "First aid kit for the mind" after it enabled her to go from panicked about the forthcoming exam to calm and focussed on her revision.

In essence, if you can’t see the wood for the trees exploring the metaphor, the wood, for a little time and keeping a distance between you and problem can result in you finding solutions currently hidden from view.

In a real wood, for example, you might follow the path out, use a map, move to a higher vantage point and so on – all metaphorical solutions you could then apply to the original situation.

Here's a suggestion if you need to put the stick down you're beating yourself up with:

4. What things do you know that usually work (see this post for some suggestions)

What do you know that you can do that would help reduce the symptoms or achieve the outcome stated? What’s worked for you in the past? What do other people find helpful? What do experts suggest you could do?

Here's one from me

5. What things do you know that don’t work or hinder progress being made (see this post for some suggestions)

What do you know that you do that might be hindering progress with respect to the outcome? What’s hindered your progress in the past? What do other people stop doing to support the outcome? What do experts suggest you should stop doing?

In this VERY LOUD video (so do turn the sound down first) I share more about not keeping doing something and expecting a different result!

6. Do more of 4 and less of 5.

Remember you don’t have to do this alone so do ask for help from family, friends, health practitioners, doctors, counsellors, therapists, coaches, colleagues, neighbours or the cat.

7. Update your prescription

Over time there may be diminishing returns from some actions, and others may make the difference the majority of the time (for example, and however bizarre it sounds, for me doing plank or weights usually gets me back on track!). It’s therefore important to update your prescription or even write a new one rather than revisiting a prescription that worked 3 years ago but just doesn't seem to be cutting it at the moment.

For more about Your prescription for wellbeing journal, examples of how it's being used, and other more unconventional tools to help you when you're stuck to get back on track why not:

*If you're wanting to order larger volumes of the journal for teams, organisations, or conferences please do get in touch with us directly alison@alisonsmith.co

Are you in the doldrums, feeling like you’ve lost your way, afraid that nothing is ever going to change and you’re going to be here for ever?

Would you like to step into your full potential and feel that the world is your oyster, motivated and confident about your future?

Or perhaps it's one of your team that you see struggling? Not reaching the potential that you could see in them from the start?

If you are ready to take a leap in your life. If you are wanting inspiration, support, accountability, and laughter why not join the 'Take a Giant Leap' coaching programme starting in the 17th October.

The soft start begins for everyone on the 5th Sept with the launch of the Your Prescription for wellbeing journal and continues on the 12th Sept with the doing something different every day challenge.

Once the programme starts we will be using poems (see brochure and below for an example of these), nature, and various other unconventional tools that will help you along the way.

This 12-week transformational coaching programme will include:

You'll find more information and prices in the programme brochure.

If you'd like to discuss if the programme and I are a good match for you and your needs at this time do get in touch alison@alisonsmith.co

This poem talks to the fact that due to the impact of osteoarthritis my world has got smaller. I'm, therefore, inviting you to join me as I learn to hop, skip, jump and leap again - because between the pre-launch and launch events I'll be getting a knee replacement.

Other poems that I'm sure we'll revisit and have resonated for many people since I first wrote them during the first lockdown in the UK in 2020 are:

It can be too easy to focus on the confusion in the distance & ignore the clarity in the here & now.

This is the insight my day started with yesterday whilst out personal training, continued during the virtual category management training in the morning, and was reinforced during the face to face retreat I was facilitating at later in the day.

The stillness and clarity of the water, shown in this image, was stunning and yet it was too easy to be distracted by the fog in the distance.

I even said “what clarity” to a dog walker, and it took a moment and some laughter for her to understand how I could possibly be talking about the scene she was looking at.

That is, she needed to change her attention away from the far distance and focus more immediately infront of her.

When developing category strategies it’s certainly easy to buy into the confusion and lack of clarity as we notice and start to gather all the wealth of data available.

Forgetting that clarity arises when we focus and make sense of that data one element at a time.

During a landscaping your life walk in nature during the retreat later in the day this pattern emerged again.

A desire to know every step of the journey can be immobilising.

We noticed that focussing on the clarity of direction in front of us helped set up the momentum with, as my poem Paths & Destinations says

“One step at a time - a decision only needed when we get to that first crossroads. “

As was also demonstrated in all these instances, it wasn’t many hours after PT that the fog lifted providing clarity in the longer distance too.

How can you focus on what’s in front of you rather than worry about the perceived confusion in the future?


If you'd like to understand how I might help you personally to get unstuck and back on track; help your team to see situations from different perspectives do get in touch alison@alisonsmith.co +44(0)7770 538159.

A post on How you can work with me and another about the coaching offered might also help with your decision making.

Alternatively you can sign up for my newsletter and/or follow my podcast - Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith - available on your favourite app including Spotify or Apple.

“It was like being a little wand that helps human souls to find and embrace their inner magic” is how it felt.

By way of introducting myself at a retreat this week I decided to share my poems - with each retreatee picking a poem intuitively from those spread before them on the meeting room floor.

I’ll let lines from the poems tell the story of the magic that emerged:

“I reclaim all my parts” (A)

“Ravelling and unravelling of old, not so old, new and yet to be discovered habits” (B)

“Bridging the gap between where I am and where I want to be” (C)

“Knowing I need to take a path, even if I don’t know why.
Just an excitement of the unknown calling for my inner wisdom to be revealed” (D)

Resulting in an expanded awareness of self”(E)

“I am enough” (F)

And yes it was really that transformative, and is why I love my job.

Thank you so much to the retreat organisers for inviting me along.

(See list of poems A-F below)


My poems are certainly featuring in more and more of my coaching sessions, and the focus of some workshops (I’ve even a few ideas for how to use them in forthcoming procurement trainings).

You’ll find a recording of a one hour lunch and learn session I did for Headtorch on their website using the paths & destinations poem as a means of exploring your relationship to your physical and mental wellbeing.

I’ve also featured many of them in my podcast, Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith, available on all podcast apps including Spotify or Apple.

See #landscapingyourlife on social media for more about the LANDSCAPE coaching toolkit and the unconventional tools helping you see situations from different perspectives because:

“It is your unconventional eyes that are seeing the lack of options.
Unconventional looking gives permission to act as if there’s others ways to view the situation.
To believe there’s a solution, or even multiple solutions, out there” (E)

Over the four sessions I facilitated during the retreat I even managed to use every element of the toolkit:


List of poems:

(A) I reclaim all my parts
(B) What is normal
(C) Chasing the tide
(D) Paths & destinations
(E) From not knowing to knowing what to do
(F) Grounded to me


If you'd like to understand how I might help you personally to get unstuck and back on track; help your team to see situations from different perspectives; or share elements of the LANDSCAPE toolkit at your retreat do get in touch alison@alisonsmith.co +44(0)7770 538159.

A post on How you can work with me and another about the coaching offered might also help with your decision making.

Alternatively you can sign up for my newsletter and/or following my podcast - Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith - available on your favourite app including Spotify or Apple.

One tool in the LANDSCAPE toolkit is Cards and Games, and the next episode of my podcast Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith shares the application of the Frameworks for change coaching process (FCP) © * to a situation I was wanting insight on - ie marketing my business.

Insights that can also be applied to any situation you're grappling with at the moment.

The insights shared can be found below, and the episode will be available on 20th September 2021 on your preferred podcast app (Apple, Spotify).


The Process

Insights (I). These either indicate a direction, attitude or behaviour you can take, highlight a truth you need to remember or remind you of a time when you demonstrated a particular quality or behaviour to bring it in to the now.

Setbacks (S). These may indicate a particular attitude that is unproductive, identify a habitual way you react that restricts your effectiveness or presents its self through someone who displays a behaviour that sets you back in this way.

Mentors (M). These are either real people who already model this quality that can act as an example for you at this time or reminds you to express this quality.


The cards for your self enquiry

As with all learning if you can make your own links to the key points it will have greater impact.

This first list therefore purely offers the cards picked, and you are invited to explore your own connection to these in relation to a situation you'd like more clarity about at this time.

The idea is that searching for how the card relates to the situation allows your inner wisdom or more creative thinking to bring up something you've perhaps forgotten or that is currently hidden from view.

Please don't therefore ignore the tangents your mind wants to take you up, down or along.

What do you notice?

What action for example may these cards be inviting you to take?

How might you have already seen the current situation from a different perspective?


My own exploration of the cards

The situation I'd like more insight on is marketing my business and it was interesting that it popped into my mind when I have a business gateway session in the diary later this week about that very subject.

I: Your openness, trust and caring for others enable others to share themselves fully and safely

It's interesting that I agree with this statement when I'm coaching or training and yet wonder whether I don't allow it in when I'm thinking about my Marketing. It's as if I jump from unconventional thinking to more conventional thinking to do my marketing and perhaps lose a sense of me as I do that.

I am reminded though of a poem I wrote last year - entitled "Marketing - what a tangled web we weave". As I reread it now it reminds me to trust the process of marketing - because it's only by trusting it that it can fully and safely be what it needs to be for me. (See bottom of the post if you'd like to read the whole poem that was written with my own personal, professional and business development in mind to improve my relationship with Marketing. Poetry is a tool I use a lot in my work.)

My poem 'From not knowing to knowing what to do' was an attempt at the time to add more Alisonyness to my marketing.

S: You are set back by SEPARATION in the current situation - recall a time when separation set you back

As I think about me and my customers, that my marketing is trying to bring together, I see them as still being in the distance.

On the podcast my train of thought takes me along a tangent about the separation I see my procurement clients having with their internal stakeholders and suppliers.

It's often as if the other party is the cause of the problem and procurement is coming in to sort them out - with waggy finger.

That belief in separation is however unhelpful - and it's certainly an 'us/them' rather than 'we' mentality that can get in the way of true collaboration.

How then does this tangent of thought relate to me marketing to my clients?

I wonder if my language and marketing is too much aimed at Procurement being the cause of their own problems rather than them being the solution for their problems - who ever caused the problems.

A subtle change in language perhaps but one where I put the waggy finger down allowing me to be heard more easily by clients who no longer defend against the judgement.

I: You value and express the quality of KINDNESS in the present time - recall a time when you experienced kindness

I remember on a supplier management workshop when someone pulled the card of kindness and said "I don't think there's room for kindness in Procurement" to which I replied "in which case we're doomed".

I do believe myself to be kind in all that I do and yet I wonder - how am I much like the person thinking there's no room for kindness in procurement? I'm just thinking there's no room for kindness in marketing?

What would kindness look, sound and feel like in my marketing?

I'll have to think about that a little more.

I think perhaps it's about sharing more about my corporate partnership with SCOTLAND: The Big Picture (STBP) where rebalancing individuals' inner landscapes leads to helping STBP to rebalance outer landscapes.

The post script on the podcast episodes also invites me to be kinder to myself about my marketing. To not beat myself up and simply look forward to it helping me to make a bigger difference in the world.

M: Spontaneity

I certainly get a sense that I make my marketing a little prescriptive and forget that all the rest of my work and life works best when I follow the impulse to go off up or along a tangent - whether in training or coaching sessions or when out for a trip in nature.

I share a story in the podcast episode where I talked myself out of sharing this image because I couldn't think of how to relate it to the work I do even though it was Roald Dahl day yesterday!

Like the category strategies I'm training procurement teams to write at the moment I need to remember that there does need to be a marketing strategy but it's execution can be more spontaneous as I react to the energy in the moment.


I wonder, did my own exploration provide you with other insight about options available to you?

Other posts using the FCP process include one on How to keep on track in a pandemic.

Its less bussinessy cousin used for personal transformation is the Transformation Game and a post on insight about finding work/life balance might be helpful.


If you'd like to understand how I might help you personally to get unstuck and back on track or help your team to see situations from different perspectives do get in touch alison@alisonsmith.co +44(0)7770 538159.

A post on How you can work with me and another about the coaching offered might also help with your decision making.

Alternatively you can sign up for my newsletter and/or following my podcast - Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith - available on your favourite app, Spotify or Apple.


* The process, the insight, setback and mentor cards used here are from Frameworks for Change © Innerlinks - www.innerlinks.com.


Marketing what a tangled web we weave

Oh Marketing what a tangled web you weave
Or perhaps it’s me doing the tangling
You simply wish that I had more sales
That promotion led to greater awareness of the difference I can make

I do not listen

At the very mention of your name I can feel my hackles rising
Distraction becomes the name of the game
My head bowed down and away from the parapet
Closed ears with eyes tight shut
I neither want to see you nor hear you

I do not listen

That’s not strictly true
There is a part
An inner part
That does listen and knows the benefits you can bring
The difference you can make to my business

I wish to listen

How then can I foster a greater relationship with you
Ask questions and get to know you better
Understand the challenges you face
Adapt my style to support you in dealing with those challenges
Communicate to know and be known

I’m listening

What’s that you say
That’s what you do with my potential clients
Ask questions, understand, support, communicate and relate
So that they and I may understand whether I could be the one to make the difference
To help me to do what I love most in the world

I’ve heard you

You’re a guide, friend, mentor, coach and teacher
Certainly not the enemy to be avoided at all costs
You can support me to achieve my goals
Steer me away from failure towards success
To be trusted, listened to and acted upon

Thank you my friend

Do you need of a kick-start?

Does your mind need a spring clean?

Or perhaps the rut of the last 18 months needs disrupting?

I know mine does.

During September, therefore, I'm returning to a tool from the LANDSCAPE coaching toolkit and doing something different every day for 28 days.

Not for 3 day but 28 days because, what I have discovered from doing it is, the magic happens once we get beyond the first few days.

For example, when I last did this challenge I realised how often I said no and the transformative impact saying yes had.

No zooms, no Facebook groups, no weekly or daily emails just a daily post on LinkedIn using #dosomethingdifferenteveryday and a weekly LinkedIn live on a Friday @ 1700 BST.

The only investment needed is your time and enthusiasm.

Hopefully you'll join me. As we not only share what we did differently but also the insight we get over the 28 days as the muscle for doing something different - and seeing things from a different perspective - is strengthened.

If you're ready to commit to joining me, because the first step is commitment, then email me alison@alisonsmith.co or leave a comment on my LinkedIn post and let's get this party started!

Always happy to discuss doing a 28 day doing something different challenge for your team using your preferred platform and means of communication - alison@alisonsmith.co +44(0)7770 538159 - you'll find other ways of working with me here.

© Alison Smith
VAT Registration: 224 5001 58
Registered in Scotland, Registration Number: SC457105
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