I recently read the book ‘The Year of Yes’ by Shonda Rhymes. In case you don’t know, Shonda is the producer of some of the biggest shows in America. She writes and produces Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Commit Murder.

A flippant comment by her sister 2 years ago set her on the path to YES. Her sister simply said to her: “You never say yes to anything.” As a dedicated introvert, she had stopped saying yes to anything that would stretch her, or cause her to experience fear. She made the commitment to say YES to everything for an entire year.

The book aligns beautifully with the core messages and values of No Ordinary Woman and made me consider a very simple question…What am I a YES for?

Ultimately, I am a YES for this…

“Inspiring women who want to be more, do more and have more to get clarity on their purpose, set intentions that inspire them and take massive action to allow their lives to transform in the direction of their dreams. I am about creating an environment for women to thrive and achieve their highest potential.”

Here is the thing, when you are clear about your YES it enables you to focus on what is important and it also allows you to say NO to the things that do not serve your intentions.

Let me give you an example…

The robin is undoubtedly one of the most easily recognisable and best-loved birds in the UK. We’re particularly aware of them during winter, when Christmas cards are covered with images of them. Although being voted the British public’s favourite bird in a 2015 national poll and easily recognised by sight and sound, the robin still holds a number of secrets and surprising behaviours.

Despite appearing to the causal observer as a sweet, dainty bird, the robin can become highly aggressive when territory and food are involved, sometimes going as far as killing. However, don’t

appointment and buy myself an extra couple of hours to move forward my projects. However, the book made me stop and reflect on how this would serve me and my intentions. When I look at what I am a Yes for and I look at my intentions, cancelling that appointment would not have served either!

• Cancelling would send the message that I don’t value the time I invest in me

• Cancelling would indicate I am not concerned about ‘being more’


One of my intentions this year (in support of my YES) is to focus on always looking and feeling my best. For me this means making my own health and wellbeing a priority, so that I can be my best for others. Part of me ‘feeling my best’ means having beautiful nails – fingers and toes! So, in early January I booked an appointment to have a manicure and pedicure with the intention to make this investment monthly.

As my first appointment approached, things got busy for me and I had a few big commitments that were starting to put pressure on my time. I was getting anxious about how to achieve everything and I found myself considering cancelling my nail appointment.

It would have been easy to cancel the

• Cancelling would not have taken me in the direction of the intentions I have set

I decided to shift some things around and give myself the message that I am worth investing time in. I felt so good about this because I have behaved in alignment with my YES; I moved in the direction of achieving my intentions and to top it all I have gorgeous nails.

This month, I encourage you to take a couple of key actions.

Think about what you are a YES for and write it down. Keep it visible. Keep it front and centre. When you know what you are a YES for, it starts to make saying NO a whole lot easier.

Look at your intentions and ask yourself if you are really taking consistent action to make them your reality.

Find your YES and be extraordinary.

Joanna Petrie-Rout - Transformation Coach


40% survive their first year. Therefore, from one year to the next, if you see a robin in the same spot, it may be a completely different individual. Robins have a large migration range, so the ones you see from winter to summer could have flown from Scandinavian countries, or Central Europe.

Robin©Amy Lewis

be fearful of a tiny robin chasing you down the garden path when you accidently place a foot in its terrain. Luckily, they’re only interested in other robins. The sweet singing you can hear resonating around your garden is in fact a warning call to other robins that this is their patch of land.

If another robin decides your garden is worth a potentially fatal battle (a compliment in itself!) the resident will hop up the trees or bushes to get to the highest point to deter their


opponent by showing off their magnificent red breast. If this fails, the birds will fight it out until one gives in before it’s too late. Territories are held all year round, with mates holding them together in the summer until the one leaves in winter for them both to take up the sole responsibility. Summer territories are around 0.5 ha, while in winter they are around half of this.

Robins tend to only live for around two years (a small number live longer) and only around

Their small stature can lead to rapid weight loss. Severely cold nights in winter can cause a 10% weight loss, leading the bird to call on its fat reserves. If this begins to wane without replenishment, a robin may have only around two weeks to survive. A good way for robins to get the sustenance they require during these times is through well-stocked bird

feeders and tables, especially in urban areas where their main food sources are not so readily available. So please keep your garden feeders topped up!

For more information about bird-feeding and other wildlife-friendly gardening tips, go to and click on How You Can Help.

ISSUE 423 | 22 FEBRUARY 2018 | 44

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