Monday, 25 November 2013

Happiness. The best gift you can give.

Imagine a gift that lasts and lasts. that doesn't sit on a shelf. or get eaten. OR get taken back to the shop.

 One that brings happiness not for a fleeting moment. But for weeks or months.
Imagine treating a loved-one to that for just £15 - and at the same time gifting it to a person somewhere who can't afford it.
That's what's behind the Do Happiness Programme. The latest joyful offering from Do Something Different and Action for Happiness. 
Do Happiness
 from the latest blog at :
Created with our friends at Action for Happiness, Do Happiness is a six-week programme of personally tailored small actions (Do’s) designed to help you to develop more happiness for yourself and for the people around you.
How does it work?
It’s simple. You carry out our quick online happiness questionnaire. We then send you daily Do’s: psychologically powerful actions designed by our expert psychologists and picked especially for you to help bring more happiness into your life.
How will it help you to be happier?
The programme has been created around Action for Happiness’ 10 keys to happier living. Based on the latest research, the 10 keys are things that have been see to consistently make people’s lives happier and more fulfilling. Together they spell “GREAT DREAM”:
  • Giving
  • Relating
  • Exercising
  • Appreciating
  • Trying out
  • Direction
  • Resilience
  • Emotion
  • Acceptance
  • Meaning
Your Do Happiness programme will give you Do’s that will help you to explore any of the keys that might be lacking in your life, together with some inspirational quotes. All in all you get 32 Do’s over six weeks, with each one inviting you to do things that are known to increase happiness in our lives, and the in the lives of people around us. Some of them will be quite small, like appreciating things around you for example. Others, like carrying out a random act of kindness or contacting someone from the past you have lost contact with, might take a little courage.
Taken together, your Do’s will help you to practise happy habits almost every day for six weeks. Practise making scones or playing badminton for six weeks and you’ll find you’re much better at it by the end. The same applies to happiness!
Share the happiness
Everyone on the Do Happiness programme can share comments in our Do Zone and help one another along. Individuals might choose to sign up with a friend or family member and do it together. It’s also great for small companies or departments within companies who want to boost morale or just have some fun together.
We give one away free for everyone who joins
Because we don’t think money should get in the way of happiness, every place that's bought generates a place for someone that can’t afford it. 
People who can’t afford it can register on the waiting list to get a place as soon as it comes available. 
What’s more, people who buy a place instantly help someone who needs it, which means they’re spreading happiness as soon as they sign up.
How much does it cost?
Do Happiness costs £15 for a six-week programme – a total of 32 daily Do’s sent by email (and/or text to your mobile phone if you’re inside the EU). That’s less than the cost of a massage for something that lasts a lot, lot longer.
Boost your happiness today
Bring some extra happiness into your life, your family and friends’ lives or your business, and look forward to more happiness, one Do at a time.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Join a new community of women entrepreneurs

I (Simonne) am very excited about a trip to Guildford on Tuesday 19th November to speak at an event with the Hub Dot. It would be great if you could join us.

Connecting through Children
A coffee morning unlike anything you’ve seen before

Tuesday 19th November
9.30am PROMPT ‘til 11.30am
at Anthropologie,
149 High Street Guildford,GU1 3AD

Tickets are £10 and must be purchased in advance.

I connected with Simona Barbieri, the founder of The Hub Dot through a client of mine and felt an immediate resonance with her and the refreshing approach of her concept. We felt a synergy - both of us coming from, what she described as, a 'soulful business’ perspective.
Simona started the Hub Dot last year when she was looking for a new approach to networking where women could come together and support each other and, most importantly, meet for real, rather than in an online environment. So she sent out an email to friends, family and colleagues inviting them to her house for an informal coffee morning.
To help people engage with each other, she created the concept of wearing coloured dots, denoting not who you are but how you would like to engage. 
For example, a red dot means “I’m established – whether in business, career or motherhood – please feel free to ask more”; a yellow dot means “I have an idea, can anyone help”. By wearing any combination of five coloured dots, participants had an easy way in to conversations without anyone labeled or categorised.
The first event was a phenomenal success and since then Hub Dot has snowballed into an international community of inspiring businesswomen, with regular events in London and Naples and more planned for other major cities. 
Events are of very different shapes and sizes, but all use the same formula of the coloured dots and a range of speakers, who speak for just a few minutes – not selling their brand but sharing their stories with honesty and integrity and a great sense of fun.
I’m delighted to be able to be a part of it, and if you’re in the Guildford area next Tuesday please register to join us:
Tickets are £10 and must bepurchased in advance.
If you’re not, do check out the films on the Hub Dot website for a taste of these upbeat and uplifting occasions.
Thanks. Simonne Gnessen

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

What's your Style Identity? (and should you care?)….

A pair of turquoise PVC shorts. A neon jumpsuit. A hand-knitted corset. Just some of the drastic style boobs that three friends owned up to when surveyed recently. And who hasn’t bought something to wear and, on getting it home, found that it's less of a ‘Wow” and more of a “Why???”!

That’s why I was thrilled to get involved in a project with TKMaxx and The Times T2 to help people discover their Style Identity. It's just launched today. 

When we're muddled about what suits us, confused about the style that matches our personality, we risk making expensive mistakes and creating a look that misses the mark. It's not enough to rip a style from the catwalk, magazine page or shop window and simply put it on. That look was designed for someone with a different body, a different personality and a lifestyle that’s nothing like yours. So it’s unlikely to work. It might scream, “This isn’t me”. Worse still, it could hide the real you and leave you sartorially dissatisfied, starved of self-expression. That's why dressing from the inside out, from your identity and your unique personality, is so vital.

Research shows that when we change how we look, the change isn’t purely physical. 

Changing how we look changes how we behave. 
It changes how others react to us (positively and negatively). 
It can even change how we think and feel. 

So pulling a dress off the wardrobe or shop rail is no benign act. It could have a knock-on effect for your whole day. Or even your life. I’m digging deep into the psychology behind this in my new book about fashion psychology, ‘Mind What You Wear’. It'll feature the TKMaxx/Times Style Identity questionnaire as a way for people to really get ‘behind the seams’ of their own identity. 

Romance, Retro, Glamour, Bold or Street Chic. What's your style identity?
If you haven’t already checked out yours, go over and do the Style Identity questionnaire. It only takes a few minutes. And don’t forget to share your results with your friends. 

I've created five identities based on how an individual's personality type and lifestyle translates into clothing. The identities are Romance, Retro, Glamour, Bold and Street Chic. Your answers to the questions will reveal which you are. You may think you know. Or you might be in for a surprise. Of course most of us are a mix of types, so your signature and your accent style will emerge from the test. It’s worth giving it a go. When you know what your style is you feel more at one with your image, and those shopping expeditions are made a whole lot easier.

If discovering your identity sparks off some style soul-searching, that’s no bad thing. 
TK Maxx has a fashion philosophy that’s all about being a little bit braver. They want people to ‘put their brave glasses on’. To say ‘maybe’ to the unthinkable. I love their approach because it chimes so well with the Do Something Different movement that I co-founded and passionately believe in. When applied to fashion this all adds up to more brazen experimentation, more pushing at the boudaries and more venturing across the familiar line.

It’s easy to get into a wardrobe rut because it creeps up on us without us knowing. You suddenly find yourself playing it so safe that you're not expressing your true identity. You  start to disappear in a sea of beige. Now's the time to change all that.
TK Maxx say that the only wrong is not trying it on. 
And that’s as true of life as it is of clothing!