02nd Jul 2022
Work Rest Slay is a monthly podcast hosted by our contributing editor Melanie Morris, who speaks to some of the most compelling Irish and international people in business, spilling the truth on the real secret sauce for a successful career.
Our next business podcast in the series launches on Saturday, July 2, 2022, and features Denise Kenny Byrne — a qualified life coach and co-founder of The Head Plan, which helps people achieve their life goals through the power of journaling and visualisation.
Work Rest Slay: Episode 11
In conversation with Melanie Morris, Denise shares her journey from PR to life coach and business owner, how her husband’s diagnosis changed everything and how important prioritising yourself truly is.
Burnout: breaking the cycle
Before founding The Head Plan, Denise and her husband Ciaran felt like they were in a constant cycle of low energy, overworking and burnout. It wasn’t until Ciaran received a startling diagnosis that they decided to break the cycle and reprioritise their life together.
“We met the consultant and were told that he had an aggressive form of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukemia. It was devastating,” said Denise.
“And that was the moment for myself and Ciaran when we asked ourselves: what have we been doing? What is the point of all that wasted energy, stress and burning out? We weren’t living day-to-day; we were living for those moments of holidays and different things. We weren’t taking every day for what it was.”
That’s when the couple created The Head Plan. More than a business, their new company has become a movement of positive thinking and planning. And, like Denise and Ciaran learned, there is no perfect time to start off on the right foot — a key message they hope to convey to their customers.
“One of the reasons why we created The Head Plan is because you don’t have to wait for that catastrophic moment or January 1 to make a positive change. I’m really really passionate about that; all of our products are un-dated, so you can begin today.
“There’s a statistic I often refer to: 97% of the global population don’t set goals. Only 3% actually think about them and of that 3%, only 1% actually write them down. So for me, as a life coach and someone that has journaled my whole life, this is unbelievable.
“How are people jumping into their life and not knowing where they want to go or what they want to do? So, The Head Plan method is essentially a goal-setting journal in which we set goals under headings and we align our actions every day to those goals.”
In a society that constantly praises productivity, it can be extremely hard to take a moment and put yourself first, especially as women, parents, friends, etc. But this is one of the best things you could do, says Denise. Here are some ways you can get started.
- Meditate: “People have this preconceived notion of meditation of somebody sitting with their legs crossed, chanting or not having any thoughts in their mind. It’s far from it. Meditation is about becoming aware of your thoughts and seeing them float by. Walking meditation could be a walk through the park while mindfully taking in your surroundings, breathing deeply and connecting with your breath. And you could do that for five to ten minutes. You can even meditate when you are having a cup of tea!”
- Build rituals: “I suppose Ciaran’s illness was a big eye-opener in that some things that used to be a big deal really aren’t a big deal. But I will say, for anyone that is going into something, try and build on your rituals and commit to them. It is not about leaning on wellness when you need it; it is about leaning on wellness every day so that one day you don’t need it.”
- Set goals: “I don’t want to throw the term ‘manifesting’ around too much because I know for a lot of people it does sound a bit out there. But goal-setting is essentially manifesting an action. Manifesting is taking clear action on what you know and what you want, and that’s what it’s about.”
- Practice gratitude: “Not to make anyone feel bad or guilty, but when you hit that snooze button, you are resisting life and that is setting a bad tone for the rest of your day. We should be so grateful every day we wake up. We’re well, we’re alive, we are in our house and we’re in a bed. I think gratitude in the morning has changed everything for me and it does make it easier to get out of bed.”
Now, Denise tries to carry that gratitude into her new role. “I had no idea I was going to end up doing this, I was dead set on being in PR and communications my whole life. And now, to step away from that to do what I absolutely love, make a business out of it and see the transformation amongst the people that use the products and within the community is just unbelievable.
“We are just creating the space for people to write down what is already within them. They hold the pen, they’re doing the work. Write it down and make it happen.”
For more on Denise’s career journey, listen to the newest episode of Work Rest Slay below:
Denise Kenny Byrne
Denise Kenny Byrne is the co-founder of The Head Plan, a qualified life and wellness coach and a certified meditation teacher with a contagious passion for the quest of incorporating positive thinking, balance and self-care into our daily lives. She believes we can all make a shift in our lives towards becoming the best version of ourselves today.
Since launching The Head Plan in December 2019, she has helped empower tens of thousands of people in over 70 countries to create their own Head Plan to help them get to where they truly belong. The business specialises in guided wellness and personal development products, but it’s more than that — The Head Plan is a movement in mindset elevation.
The Head Plan’s mission is to help users find balance while keeping them inspired, motivated, focused and driven to achieve their goals and live the life they have always desired.