Ep 9: Financial freedom and goal setting from the accountant who changed her life

This week’s episode is as a result of you and your feedback. Listeners were asked what they grappled with, and by the far the most common answer was goal setting, especially around finances.

So, we consulted a woman who transformed her life from a four-figure salary, as in earning less than £10,000 a year, to a life where she can finish up work mid-afternoon, jump on her bike and head for a cycle in the mountains and who, now has enough financial security that going to work every day is a choice. 

Her name is Wendy Merrigan and she, is a chartered accountant, who instead of just looking at people's bank accounts asks her clients why they work in the first place and what exactly it is they want out of life.

Over the last decade Wendy has refined a 7-step goal setting process that you can apply to just about anything. Not only has she seen her own life change she’s seen her clients’ lives change too.

“It’s not magic,” she says, it’s just deciding a goal and following the steps, daily. All of this started after a pretty big wake up call in her 30s.

In this week’s episode we walk through those 7 steps, defining your goal in the first place, productivity hacks, overcoming limiting beliefs and the four books she swears by and has done so for years.

Follow Wendy on Twitter or Instagram and read more about goal setting and financial freedom over at her website.

Wendy Merrigan

Episode 8: Fashion designer Sarah Murphy on why it's never too late to start over

In this episode week’s episode we talk to award winning fashion designer Sarah Murphy, whose creations are stocked in high-end stores, who dresses celebrities at home and abroad and who was kicked out of art class at 13.

All of this, after losing 9 years of her life to anorexia and only starting down her path at 27 years of age.

We talk about second chances, backing yourself when the odds are stacked against you, and why it’s never too late to start over.

Sarah talks about how she figured out the answer to that big question: what should I do with my life? And how her passion for design wasn’t always so obvious.

We talk about business, and money, caring what people think of your failures and your success and how she thrives as an introvert in an extrovert-centric world.

You can follow Sarah on Instagram here

Sarah Murphy

Episode 7: How to be happy, notes from a cancer survivor

In this week’s episode we talk about the life-altering power of changing your attitude to life, this week’s guest did just that.

I met Katie Boylan in Cara Sothern’s yoga class in 2016, one minute she was there, the next she wasn’t. We soon found out that 36-year-old Katie had been diagnosed with a 15cm cancer tumour in her bowel.

Two years, and three clear scans later, Katie is here to tell us, how cancer dramatically shifted her attitude to life, from one of complaining about the commute and sweating all of the small stuff to one of sincere gratitude, she explains how pre-cancer Katie went from existing to now, really living, how getting down to 7st showed her that weight loss wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and she talks about the power of music, friendship and visualisation to get you through just about anything.

Katie Boylan, chilling on the beach after successful cancer treatment, just like she dreamed she would

Katie Boylan, chilling on the beach after successful cancer treatment, just like she dreamed she would

Episode 6: Social anxiety or is it?

In this week’s episode we talk social anxiety or what we sometimes refer to as social anxiety, that dread of going to that office party or that family function, the expectations we put on ourselves to be the social butterfly, and the last to leave the party.

We consult psychologist, TEDx speaker and best-selling author Joanna Fortune about what’s really going on when we feel that dread, what social anxiety is and isn’t. We talk about the desire to hibernate and why that’s not only OK but also fairly natural and we also dicuss coping mechanisms and strategies to get through this so-called party season.


Joanna Fortune's book 15 minute parenting - the quick and easy way to connect with your child is filled with practical tips and techniques for using play as a language to strengthen your relationship with your child.  Available in all good bookstores and online.  Read more about Joanna on www.solamh.com


Joanna Fortune

Episode 4: Being Hard on Yourself

Beating yourself up seems like the default way to get through life; the belief that being hard on yourself will keep you in check and the wheels on your life. But just how helpful is your inner critic?

In this week's episode we talk to yoga teacher Kitty Maguire who went from tearing strips off herself to being excessively kind.

But how do you actually do this when self love seems repulsive and self care just seems selfish?

We talk anxiety and overload, the trained ballerina also talks about the candle-lit yoga class that helped transform her life and we also grapple with maintaining your mental health and body image.

Other gems include some soothing poems, what’s in Kitty’s self care basket and the magic of committing goals and dreams to paper.

You can follow Kitty here on Instagram

Episode 3: Caring what other people think

Is this your constant refrain? “I just wish I didn’t care so much what other people think about me?”

In the age of social media we’re more conscious than ever of keeping up with the Joneses, what the naysayers are saying and just how much envy, judgement and begrudgery is really out there.

In this episode we grapple with what other people think of us and we talk to Emmy-nominated TV producer Shauna Keogh about how she overcame her worst fear: what would happen if people found out she was gay - her parents, her friends and her colleagues.

We also talk about the shame of the ambitious woman, keeping your eye on your own horse, cognitive behavioural therapy and how exactly it works and her very important morning routine.

We also talk rejection, taking things personally, asking for a pay rise and taking ownership of who you are.

And lastly - the best advice Shauna was ever given

Shauna Keogh

Shauna Keogh

Episode 2: Your smartphone and social media use

Smartphones, most of us have them, sleep with them, eat with them - they've become our fifth limb.

They connect us to the world, our friends and family in far flung places. We can instantly check out a restaurant's reviews before sitting down for an expensive meals. And planning and paper maps be gone, because nowadays, Google Maps tell us exactly where we need to go.

But we're also "always on." We're always available. We can't watch a movie without checking what other films the lead actors were in on IMDB. We can't wait for our coffee order without scrolling through Instagram, checking our email or opening up WhatsApp for the fifth time in the last 30 seconds.

In this episode of Grapple we talk to researcher and TedX speaker Mary McGill, who gave up her smartphone, not for a week, but for good.

We talk about distraction and concentration, the importance of leaving the brain idle so it can rest and come back more creative.

We talk about the ranking system and emotional pull of social media.

And we talk about how precious our time is, even though we often find ourselves lost in a digital fog of comparison and mindless distraction.

Episode 1: Changing your life

Grapple - discussing solutions to the scary problems we talk least about


We're all grappling with something; our bodies, our pasts, our relationships, our careers, maybe even our life choices. Sometimes we talk about it, other times we don't even have the courage to admit it to ourselves.

That's where Grapple comes in - your bi-monthly podcast, where we talk through the issues most of us experience, but few of us actually share about.

Sometimes we bring in an expert, other times we talk to someone who's grappled with the issue at hand and is now on the other side. With each new episode we talk about a new problem. And with each new episode we talk about the solution too.

This we tackle the big stuff - taking the leap and making the big change that we’ve been thinking about for months, maybe even years. We talk to author, life coach and TEDx speaker Sarah Doyle, who summoned the courage to follow her dreams about five years ago, and who has not looked back since.

Show notes:

Here are some of the things she grappled with 5 years ago:


Caring what other people thought about her decision 


Giving herself the permission to take the “road less taken”


Justifying leaving a pensionable job to follow her gut 


Here are some things we discuss:


How do you stay motivated and positive when you really don’t feel like it 


A hack to stop caring what people think 


The no.1 tool that has helped her clients make change 


Why is it so hard to do the tiny things we know will improve our life?


Sarah on social media and comparison: “I’m too busy growing my own grass” 


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