Category Archives: coaching

New look !

I recently discovered that my coaching website was hacked, and so I have decided to close it down and concentrate on this blog.

I have been neglecting the blog as I made no blog posts during 2014. My excuse? Well we have moved to Spain and have been settling into our new life here. Joining clubs, becoming part of the fabric of the community, and well – coaching has taken a back burner.

But I have gathered the resolve to streamline and improve…. So my blog now has a new heading – Dr Judith Sunley – Life Coach, instead of “The Doctor’s Reflections”.

Most of the Summer 2014 was taken up with a visit to France to visit my sister’s French farmhouse – which is a work in progress – and substantially with our grand daughter’s extended visit and other holiday visitors. We had a good summer.


Then just before the end of August my husband tore his Achilles chasing after Rosie, and many weeks were taken up subsequently with surgery and rehabilitation.


In October we rescued our “abandonado perro” his name is Poco. It was my husband’s joke, as we have seen the suspected father who is a whopper of a dog, and Poco seems to be following in his father’s footsteps.


I had no wish for a 3rd dog, as we were happy with the balance of Rosie our runaway rescued black Labrador, and Jim our rescued border collie. I took some persauding to bring Poco home as that tiny puppy.

But here we are, 5 months later firmly thrilled with our 3rd dog who has integrated fully into the pack. It has been a lesson for me to open up my horizons and take a risk. We have had to go through puppy training, and dog training classes (for all 3), but it has paid off. Poco has a lovely life with us instead of scavenging on the streets, or at worst put down.



Leave a comment

Filed under coaching, lifestyle, personal development

Long time – no post “Viva Espania”

It has been a long time since I posted in my blog. Why? I’ve moved thousands of miles to follow my dream of living in Spain. We have moved to a Casa on the campo, in the mountains of Andalucia with fantastic mountain and sea views. It has been a BIG change, so many new things to learn, new people to meet, rules to comply with. So much to do to tackle our neglected Casa and sort it out. And we have a mountain-side waiting to be cultivated. And we have to learn a new language. It’s a roller coaster but we are getting there.

I’ve also changed my website host and streamlined my website. If I’m to do paid coaching in Spain there’s a host of stuff I need to sort out.

Meanwhile, we have sorted out health insurance – despite working all my life in the UK, I am not entitled to free Spanish health cover – the Spanish Health system is contribution based, not residence based as in the UK. Unless I register as self employed here, forget it.

We have imported our Campervan “Lovebus” into Spain, so it is now on Spanish plates. You can’t drive a UK plated vehicle in Spain for more than 6 months, if you do you risk large fines and the confiscation of your vehicle. Lots of Ex Pats risk it, at their peril!

We registered on the local Town Hall register on arrival, but have only just gone through the process to become residents. Whether you “register” or not, you are tax resident once you have resided here for more than 183 days. But before you can register you must have health insurance and enough income to show you won’t be a burden on the Spanish government. Again many British don’t become resident and duck and dive, but the Spanish government are getting canny and will expect evidence of residence outside Spain. There are international financial treaties to share tax data. It only seems right and proper to me to abide by the rules on moving to Spain.

We’ve a much simpler life here. It has been good to make some new friends and join local clubs, and of course take Spanish lessons.

We have multi-national neighbors, Spanish – of course – but also English, German and American. We have been made very welcome.





Leave a comment

Filed under coaching, lifestyle

Do 5:2 diets work?

food fastingA few weeks ago a friend (Frank) told us about his new diet regime involving fasting on 2 days each week, which not only helped in weight loss, but also is reputed to stimulate your “skinny” gene, SIRT1, and stimulate genes that counter cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, reducing aches and pains.

Sounds too good to be true?

Since Frank mentioned it I have heard of someone else who lives a couple of doors away who has lost weight successfully, as well as feeling much fitter, so I have decided to give it a try.

It will be our T diet, as we will fast ( well you are allowed to consume 600 calories ) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It there’s a capital T in the day we fast ( that’s how we get away with letting Saturday slip through )!

Fast days can’t be consecutive, so if you want to keep the weekends free to eat “normally” and my T days don’t work for you, you would have to choose Monday/Wednesday or Wednesday/Friday.

Friday feels like part of my weekend, so the T days work best for me!

While on holiday in Egypt I read an article in “Woman Magazine” referring to the BBC show “Horizon :Eat, Fast and Live Longer” in which Dr Michael Mosley lost a stone and lowered his glucose and cholesterol levels after a month of intermittent fasting. it also mentions work by author and dietician James B Johnson who has now released an even stricter version with fasting ( just 500 calories) on alternate days “The Alternate Day Diet”.

80% of TV Nutritionist’s Amanda Hamilton’s clients, who stuck to it found it worked, particularly due to feeling fewer aches & pains, improved memory & slowing of the ageing process.

Dietician Azmina Govindji said there was no guarantee it would work especially if you compensated and guzzled on the other days to make up for the fasting days.

So what does “fasting” look like?

Breakfast – black coffee and yogurt (60 cals)
Lunch – 2 egg omelette (150 cals)
Dinner – 150g steamed fish & vegetables or 100g grilled chicken & salad.

Well we are going to try it! I lost weight on holiday in Egypt after getting food poisoning ( it was an enforced fast) and then I went off my food, and for the first time came back from an all inclusive holiday lighter than before I went on holiday.

Is anyone else up for trying this 5:2 diet? Let me know!

Add your comments in the boxes below.

Have a look at my other Blogs, and do check out my website


Filed under coaching, diet, lifestyle, personal development, self esteem

Long time no blog?

It is that time of the year for reflection, looking back on achievements, difficulties tackled, progress against key goals and milestones, in order to take stock; and looking forward at new goals, dreams and plans for the new year.

There has been a long lull since my last blog which reflects a change in my priorities, or maybe more so that I have failed to prioritise updating my website and blog because I have been doing other things. Day to day events have taken the driving seat, and I plan to be more organized in 2013 in allocating regular time slots in my calendar to work more purposefully on business related activity.

But it’s been fun doing those other things….

I’ve been learning a lot – call it personal development – so I should have no excuse in putting it into practice, and sharing some of the things that have inspired me.

And we had a fantastic holiday in the Maldives getting in touch with sea life – I love snorkeling, even in the monsoon season.

I’ve also started a new network marketing business with well established, high quality well being products -Arbonne International – you may not have heard of the company that has been established in the US for more than 30 years and that has been operation in the UK for more than 4 years. I love the products and the emphasis on personal development.

I’ve been working hard to equip Shropshire Warriors Basketball Club with appropriate arrangements to enable future sustainability and to become a not for profit company limited by guarantee and now that I have stepped down from the role of chairman I can feel confident in the new team that are taking the club forward.

I’ve been developing and delivering training courses and seminars.

And I have been coaching some fantastic people who have re- gained self belief, motivation and purpose.

So if you have missed me please let me know…

I’m planning a series of blogs in due course around:
– what’s holding you back?
– moving forward
– maintaining progress

as these have been major themes in the work I have been doing with others, (and in my own reflection) and I hope they will be a useful source of inspiration.

You can find regular sources of inspiration from me on my Facebook page https// and also find out more about me on my website


Leave a comment

Filed under coaching, lifestyle, personal development, volunteer

What would you friends say about you – that you can’t see?

The Johari window is a technique created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingram in 1955 to help people better understand themselves. People were asked to describe their personality, selecting adjectives from a range provided. Then their peers were give the same list and asked to describe them, and all of the answers were mapped onto a grid.

As shown in the diagram above Luft and Ingram identified 4 quadrants of a window, based on the parts about ourselves that we know, [the 2 quadrants on the left hand side of the window] the parts of ourselves that others see [the top right hand side quadrant] and the unknown.

 Charles Handy talked about the four quadrants as a Johari House with four rooms.

Room 1  holds the part of ourselves that we see and others see. Room 2 holds the aspects that others see but we are not aware, our blind areas. Room 3 is our private space, which we know but keep from others – our hidden area  which we keep behind our mask or facade. Room 4 is the most mysterious room in that the unconscious or subconscious part of us is seen by neither ourselves nor others.

Think about yourself and what information you place in the open area, the parts of yourself you choose to let others see, and those parts that you hold in the “hidden area”, these may be our dreams, our hopes and fears.

Have a look at my blog whats-your-personal-brand/ and think about the information about yourself you put into the open area.

From experience in my coaching practice, many apparently successful people maintain a façade to cover up their worries and fears. This can be very stressful and exhausting. Imagine the duck gliding across the pond – appearing to be calm and serene – with their feet paddling feverishly under the water.

And then there are the areas entirely unknown to us and others, these may be values and beliefs we have gained from an early age and that we use unconsciously to judge ourselves and others. Here lie our “red buttons” or triggers, that can provoke strong emotional reactions such as anger, or disdain if pressed. If we are self aware, we might spot them when they emerge and find ways of dealing with them, but the emotional reaction can be so intense that it takes us, and those around us, by surprise.

So what can you do about our blind areas the things that others see about us that we can’t?

They may be dangers or opportunities we don’t recognise. They may be liabilities, but they can be a source of tremendous potential strength if we can understand and cultivate them.

Let’s do some “blind spot” spotting in characters we may see around us – and just think, others may see some of these characteristics in how we behave?

  • won’t consider alternatives – the colleagues who behave predictably, they know how to do things in a certain way, and that’s what they stick to. It never occurs to them that there may be another way of doing things. They may always leave things to the last minute, even though they say “remind me never to do that again”. They repeat their behavioural patterns again and again, which is unhelpful when they don’t learn from mistakes. In contrast though, their strength is their ability to drive through successful ways of working, if it isn’t broken – why change? A combination of an obsessive need to replicate a process with determination and drive becomes an unstoppable business force in the right circumstances.
  • never admits defeat the colleagues who espouse Robert Bruce’s spider story, and “try, try and try again” – where giving up on a task simply isn’t an option. They fight and fight until they reach a resolution, and on the rare occasion when they have to admit defeat they decide “Oh well I never really wanted that anyway” and believe it! The upside of this characteristic is the strength of mind to keep trying against adversity and challenge, through their personal drive and persistence.
  • can’t see the wood for the trees – these are the colleagues who get so close to the task in hand that they plunge into detail at every opportunity, and may be seen as “nit-pickers”. By focussing on the minutiae they might completely miss the overall goal of an activity until the last minute. They know every detail of day to day activities, but may have no idea of the company mission, or the driving strategic objectives, and may be in danger of going off  in the wrong direction entirely. However, this absence of overall long term thinking can mean these colleagues are great at delivering someone’s else agenda, and their plans to the letter. They can be replied upon to stick to the task, even though they won’t spot if it begins to drift.
  • Pollyanna thinkers who don’t see meanness/disloyaltyblinded by their unstoppable positive thinking, they think the best of everyone, and believe that everyone means well, and has good intentions, because they do themselves. They trust that others will put the greater good over personal interest and don’t see the possibility or risks of dissention. They are great to have on your team, and they generate tremendous loyalty. They get a lot done and people want to work with them, if they aren’t treading all over them.
  • can’t see their own flaws – they are never wrong, they can always be guaranteed to spot the flaws and weaknesses in others, they are perfect, and expert in everything. It’s all about them. When people display anger or disappointment with them, they aren’t bothered, it’s not their problem. They are excessively self confident with total belief in themselves and their work. They are strong and powerful – self doubt is not in their DNA.
  • Chameleons who blend with whoever they are with you could call them “yes” men, because they are wholly supportive or whatever they are currently doing and who they are working with, it’s all good. They want you to be happy, until the next person comes along, and then they want them to be happy and you are history. Loyalty isn’t in their make-up. They are great fun to be with and are always in the middle of the action, but dependability – no.

Do you recognise any of these characters, or character traits? And if you do what should you do?

None of us are perfect, and it’s likely that we will display some of these characteristics from time to time. Try to become more sensitive to the body language of the people around you. You may find that there are signals that you should be mindful of about your own behaviour, are you un-wittingly closing people down? How open are you to receiving feedback, and are there opportunities to give or receive feedback safely?

Reflect on different behaviours you can develop that may be more helpful and productive.

Are you:

  • so full of your own ideas that you “but in” on other people before they have finished speaking? Try pausing before you speak, to check that the other person has finished.
  • able to see the big picture – but others are too task focussed and don’t “get” what you are saying? Gently draw out the context for them, and show how their tasks can be developed step by step along a path that leads in the right direction.
  • making too many promises or commitments and then letting people down? Try to make yourself more accountable by setting yourself a consequence if you don’t deliver.
  • so obsessively a perfectionist that you are creating friction and resentment? Try not criticising unless you can also put forward an alternative solution, offering any advice as an ally not an adversary.
  • so competitive that you are excluding other people, or switching them off? Try avoiding unnecessary conflict with them, by challenging yourself – aim for your personal best instead of concentrating on winning. If you fall short of your own expectations take the brunt of your own disappointment.

Interested in more of my reflections?

Read more in my blogs:

Find out more from Judith Sunley at and check out my facebook page at or follow me on Twitter

Leave a comment

Filed under career, coaching, lifestyle, workplace wellbeing