Achieving Goals – How to Become a Finisher, Not Just a Starter


Are you someone who starts a lot of different activities, but rarely finishes them?  Perhaps challenges arise or you face certain obstacles along the way?

According to a study that was conducted for the Dutch Ministry of Education, 32% of university students quit in their first year.

In the USA, college dropout rates indicate that up to 32.9% of undergraduates do not complete their degree program.

I still remember when I was in my first year of studying at the University of Innsbruck. After a few months, students started to drop out. They wanted to switch to different degrees. They thought another degree would make them happier.

1 in 3 that quits sounds very familiar to me. But quitting never popped up in my mind when I was studying.

One of the things I realized early on in my life is that education is not so much about what you learn (unless you want to be a lawyer, doctor, or in other specialized professions).

Education is about showing yourself and the world that you have the ability to finish what you start.

Showing up doesn’t require talent.

A few years ago an image went viral called “10 things that take zero talent.” I can’t recall what was on the list, but the idea was that most things in our careers and in our lives are about simply showing up and doing our best.

It’s a message I try to share all the time -> showing up is a HUGE part of the equation.

We tend to make life more complicated than it is. We assume we need the perfect degree, live in the right place, and get the best job, otherwise, we can’t succeed.

But this mentality will only set you up for failure. Regardless of a person’s ability, I think everyone can improve their life if they become someone who cares more about finishing than about starting the perfect thing.

When you want to get something done or achieve something — simply show up.

The mindset of a finisher

Everyone can start something new. Whether it’s pursuing a new degree, job, business, new hobby, a fitness routine or sport, you name it.

The difficult part is pushing through and making sure you don’t give up early. If you want to be a finisher, the key is to keep the following principles in mind:

Perseverance: Never give up because your goal is too hard. Don’t make your life harder by complaining about how hard things are.  Consistency, ambition, grit and self-discipline are the drivers that will support you when the going gets tough. 

Mindfulness: Always be in the present moment and avoid overthinking. The moment you start thinking about the future and why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’re lost. Too much thinking will drive you nuts. Analysis paralysis doesn’t help.

Balance: Never over-extend yourself to a point where you burn out. Work hard, but not too hard. Find that sweet spot of yourself in whatever it is that you are going after: profession, personal or health-related goals.

Planning: Create a perfectly thought-out plan that tells you what to do every day, week, and month. Also, think about what your ideal end result would look like. But don’t dwell on it too much; instead focus on the journey in achieving the end result.

Execution: To finish what you start, you need to be switched on every single day. You can’t waste your time. You can’t sit and think about esoteric life questions. You wake up and you go. Game on, blinders on, focus activated, in going after your goals.

It’s really not that complicated. We all have the ability to finish what we start. We just get in our own heads and sabotage ourselves. This is why daily execution is so important.

You have to give yourself such a detailed plan that you don’t even have the time to think.

Carl Jung: Look inside yourself

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who developed his own school of thought known as analytical psychology. 

He studied the human psyche, exploring topics such as the collective unconscious, archetypal symbols, and dream analysis. His philosophy focused on understanding the inner self and finding meaning in life through personal growth. 

He believed that by exploring our inner world, we could become our authentic selves so we can live fulfilling lives. Jung wrote:

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” 

As you go through life, you will feel the pull towards certain pursuits. This is why Jung’s advice is so important.

How do you know whether you should actually finish something or quit?

The answers are always within yourself. If you’re pursuing a certain business idea, career, degree, or social activity, and you’re miserable, you don’t have to push yourself.

It requires self-awareness to understand your motives. As Jung said, never look outside for inspiration and answers. Let other people do what they want.

Let them post about their perfect lives on social media. Whether it’s true or not is none of your business. Your business is your own life.

Look inside yourself and be concerned with your own motives.

If you want to quit your endeavor, understand that it’s normal. As soon as life gets hard, every single person’s instinct screams “QUIT!”

The people who finish, the people who succeed — They also have that instinct. They just don’t listen to it. 

They listen to themselves. And their self is often saying: Finish what you started.

My hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo


Pursuing Goals Without Barriers

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast we are talking about removing those barriers our minds create for us.  You might be familiar with the situation of really wanting to chase down a goal you’ve been thinking about for some time now, but your mind starts getting in your way.  I hope to offer you encouragement and inspiration to break down these barriers and take action today.

How often do we want to pursue something yet allow our minds to set up barriers or conditions?  And, how often do we use this as an excuse for not moving forward?

If this doesn’t make much sense, stick with me.  I will explain what I am getting at here.

It is quite normal to get hyped up about setting goals at this time of year.  And to be honest, this week’s podcasts have a lot to do with goals.  Episode 39 was all about the first steps in creating your life vision which means gaining clarity about the areas or pillars that make up your foundation.  Under each pillar you will need to establish goals as benchmarks to determine whether you’re on the right track toward your ideal life vision or not.

In episode 40 I talked about the arguments for and against sharing your goals with others.  I think I presented a fairly strong case for one side of the argument.  Be sure to go back and have a listen if you haven’t already. 

So, a bit of theme has been set for this week. Not surprising because most emails, social media posts and short segments of our daily news broadcasts are talking about goals.  You can hear everything from: types of goals to set, how to lay out your goal plan, the concept of SMART goals (in case you haven’t heard this acronym before -> S means specific, M means measurable, A means achievable, R stands for relevant and T stands for the time frame or time period in which you will reach this goal).

Truth be told, we are completely inundated by this topic.  So, it’s no wonder this theme is front and center in my mind. 

When I speak to people about their goals, in particular their fitness goals, I often here these phrases:

·         Well, I would like to get fit, but I don’t know where to start.
·         Sure, I want to lose weight, but I haven’t found the right diet for me.
·         I want to begin strength training, but I know nothing about it.

Many people put up barriers in their minds before they even give themselves a chance to take the first initial steps toward their goals. 

They feel defeated before even starting.

In a way, they have validated to themselves that this idea or goal is doomed to fail.

Does this resonate with you?

This is by no means helpful thinking, and if you want to achieve anything in life, you’re going to have to change your outlook now.

I guess, in a sense, by saying things like this, you are waiting for someone to swoop in and solve your problems of ‘not knowing’.

Believe me, I have been there.  Many years ago, you could catch me saying things like this too.  Mine went something like this…

·         I really want to write a book, but I just don’t know where to start.
·         I want to improve my level of fitness, but I don’t have the time.

Have you ever said something along these lines to yourself?

“I want to do X, but I need Y.”

If so, you’re either postponing your goal or trying to find a reason to NOT pursue it or you’re self-sabotaging yourself right from the word go.

Referring back to my original question:

How often do you pursue (or want to pursue) something but there is something ‘standing’ in your way?

·         I want to write a book, but I need a degree in creative writing.
·         I want to learn Spanish, but I need…
·         I want to start working out, but I need…
·         I want to make more money, but I need…
·         I want to teach yoga, but I need to be certified.

These are just some examples that came to mind, but you get the idea.  The goal is the first part of the sentence and the means is the second part.

Can I share a secret with you?  These are merely excuses.  Unless you want to change professions or your desired goal is regulated, YOU REALLY DON’T NEED ANYTHING TO GO AFTER YOUR GOAL.

Too often we have certain conditions in our minds.  We conjure up reasons or obstacles that are holding us back.  We think we need to have certain credentials or things like time or money, otherwise, we simply can’t do the ‘thing’ we want.

When I started my first business in Austria straight out of university, I was 27.  I could tell that people in my environment didn’t take me entirely seriously.  They thought I was too young to open a private language school, I didn’t have enough experience, I didn’t know how to run a business profitably, and so on.

However, 15 years after embarking on that scary, but exhilarating entrepreneurial journey, I had built up a wildly successful private school for both children and adults, local companies and their teams, CEOS, business owners, hotel managers and their staff.

But, here’s the point.

If I had let myself be held back by the thought:

I want to start my own private school, but I need to be certified…

I would NEVER have taken the leap I did to open my school, run it the way I wanted to, scaled it each year and sold it for a fair profit before moving back to Canada.

Did I have training as a business owner?  Did I study marketing?  Did I have a title in front of my name?

No. No. and No.

I simply had a dream which morphed into an audacious goal.  Did I have to conquer fear? Absolutely.  But my resolve to be successful outweighed my fear of failing.

I applied myself.  I focused on what I wanted to accomplish.  I went after my goal so fiercely that failure really wasn’t an option.  I preserved through good and also bad times.  I made mistakes but I learned from them. 

What’s your end goal?

I want you to think about the things YOU want to achieve.  What’s holding you back?  And after today’s talk, I hope you say -> nothing really. 

Get over your excuses.

Get over those lingering thoughts that are holding you back.

Become curious about the HOW.  How can you make it happen? And find a way.

Become extremely focused and unwavering in your will to succeed.

Take the first steps.  Try those on for size.  Then take the next step.  Feel good about yourself for each and every step.

Give yourself permission to succeed.

The key is… you want to make it so easy for yourself to do that ‘thing’ that you will actually do it.

When you think “I need (blank) to do (blank)” you create friction, and your mind sets conditions about what is standing between YOU and YOUR GOAL.

My goal and work revolve around helping people become less rigid in their thinking patterns.  What matters is that you think things through, all the way to the end and reverse engineer how you will get to your end goal.

Remember that we can never get back time spent.  We have to make the days count and ensure every significant endeavor we start is worth it.

You don’t have to feel ‘ready’ or ‘worthy’ to start on a new goal adventure.

You are good enough to start.  You are good enough no matter what.  Never forget that!

We can’t always be sure that the goals we pursue will work out.  I hope most of them do.  But, in reality, I reach about 80% of my goals and I am happy with that.

Just know…you do not need any validation before you start.  Ditch the excuses that are getting in your way.  Take one step at a time toward your goal and be pleased with yourself for doing so.
My only hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

So, in case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…
You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that and I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

Thanks for listening and I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo

Being a Perfectionist is NOT a Badge of Honour


I used to think being labelled as a perfectionist meant you were somehow better than the rest, meticulous and extremely detail-oriented,  always striving to produce perfect work and optimal results in all things.  It was like a medal of honour given to those who only handed in assignments, submitted completed projects, went after their goals when everything was ideal, perfect in all aspects, above reproach, or criticism.  Perfectionists were no strangers to massive success, accolades, credentials and positive outcomes.

Today, I know that being a perfectionist is actually holding people back from achieving their goals and feeling a sense of accomplishment because, for them, nothing is ever good enough, nothing is ever worthy enough, nothing is ever deserving of praise.  They are constantly striving for an unrealistic, unattainable standard and therefore, will never be content.

“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous.  It’s about fear.  Fear of making a mistake.  Fear of disappointing others.  Fear of failure.  Fear of success.” ~Michael Law

In my preparation of this topic, I came across a definition of perfectionism that I feel is spot on.

Perfectionism is a set of mental and behavioural habits that insist upon unrealistically high standards for personal conduct and achievement.  Should a person not meet these standards, they may harshly self-critique.  This leads to low self-esteem, procrastination, burnout, and emotional disorders.

Perfectionists have an ‘all-or-nothing’ mentality.  For them, something is either perfect or a failure.

Let’s do a little test to see if you have any perfectionistic traits.


Ø  Are never done. Due to the impossibly high standards, a project is never complete because it doesn’t meet the criteria for “perfect”.
Ø  Are stressed and discontent.  They are constantly worrying about having/doing everything to such a level of perfection and this mindset robs perfectionists of feeling satisfied and fulfilled with their work.
Ø  Have stifled creativity. If you are afraid of failing or being less than perfect, your imagination, creativity as well as innovation necessary for positive change and success are greatly hindered.
Ø  Never take risks. Perfectionists have a deep fear of failure and therefore adopt a mindset of “If I can’t do it perfectly, then I won’t even try.”
Ø  Try to make everybody happy.  Always the people pleaser, always wanting people to think highly of them, the perfectionist views herself as “good” if others like her.
Ø  Are highly critical of others, not just of themselves. 
Ø  Don’t/can’t delegate tasks.  They feel that in order to meet their high expectations, they have to do everything themselves because their way is the only right way of doing a task.
Ø  Personalize everything. They believe in themselves when things are going well and people like them, but any negative feedback is taken personally and is an indication of failure.
Ø  Never take time to rest or play.  They have the attitude, “I will rest or play when the job is done.”  But for perfectionists, the job IS never done, IS never perfect enough, and this often results in burnout.

Perfectionism can be coined: the unproductive mindset.  Why?  Because perfectionists get a job 90% done but due to their obsession with perfection, don’t manage to complete it.  Or, they never begin a task for fear of not being able to meet their high expectations.

Perfectionism is born out of a mindset that requires working hard at all costs.  There is an illusion surrounding perfectionism, “If I don’t work hard enough and demand perfection of myself and my work, then I or my work will be mediocre, at best.”

So, let me refer back to my statement at the very beginning of this episode:  Being a perfectionist is not a badge of honour.

In fact, “Perfectionism is the lowest standard for humans because it doesn’t exist.” ~ Tony Robbins

It is a disguised label for “I am not good enough” and a deep-rooted fear of judgement that is holding us back.

I’d like to challenge you to shift your mindset from perfectionistic behaviour to a ‘go-for-it’ mentality.

For the purpose of this podcast, I would like to touch on 5 ways perfectionism affects our mindset followed by some ways to overcome perfectionism when it’s holding you back with some simple, effective exercises and a bit more awareness.

1.)    Perfectionists set unrealistic expectations.  Harbouring the belief that “you can be perfect at any task” leads to disappointment as well as frustration with the results you get.  Perfectionists believe they can always do better.  This means that the goal or end of the task keeps shifting no matter how they improve.
2.)    Perfectionists have a fear of failure.  Many perfectionists never even start with a new task or hobby for fear of not succeeding at it.  Their anxiety levels are far too high due to not being able to do the task well enough or up to their impossibly high standards.
3.)    Perfectionism causes procrastination.  The pressure a perfectionist puts on him/herself can make that person postpone tasks continually. For such people, the standard is always ‘perfection’ which makes is very challenging to begin or ultimately complete projects.
4.)    Perfectionist often experience burnout.  Being under constant pressure is exhausting. Perfectionists spend a lot of time worrying about the task rather than working on it.
5.)    Perfectionists suffer from low self-esteem. Having high levels of perfectionism may have a significant impact on your self-esteem because you are not appreciating your accomplishments, big or small, up to standard or not.  In these cases, it is very difficult to feel good about yourself.  Over time, this compounds and results in feeling of poor self-worth.

For example, let’s say you worked really hard on a project.  You submitted it and received great feedback, but YOU believe you don’t deserve credit for a job well done because you didn’t perform exactly the way you had envisioned.  Your ‘almost perfect’ project just doesn’t feel fulfilling enough or up to your standards. You aren’t satisfied with yourself and therefore, cannot bask in the glory of doing an awesome job.

Losing confidence in yourself and your abilities is the most detrimental effect of being a perfectionist, in my opinion.  I have seen it over and over again in my work as a mindset and life coach.  Being caught up in the vacuum of perfectionism can be stifling when you strive for something so hard and set the bar so high that you end up sacrificing yourself and your worth in the process.

Once you lose sight of yourself, you begin to feel unsettled and insecure.  In addition, your identity becomes tied to how well you perform tasks, big or small.

The truth is… no one really is perfect.  Everyone one of us has flaws.

Whether you classify yourself as a perfectionist or you are a recovering perfectionist, I would like to walk you through some simple exercises I do with my clients when perfectionism is standing between them and their success.

Step 1:  Becoming aware of your perfectionistic behaviours

If you feel yourself NOT wanting to move forward with something, e.g. your proposal for work is not good enough, your social media post/reel is not good enough, etc.

PAUSE and pay attention to your thought patterns.  WRITE them down in a journal.  RECOGNIZE which thoughts are holding you back, so that you can change the self talk next time it happens.

If I were to take my podcast as an example…
§  A perfectionist would keep pushing back the official launch date, never feeling ready or good enough. 
§  A perfectionist would criticize oneself and knit pick at all the small details, never being fully satisfied with any aspect.
§  A perfectionist would procrastinate about topics to talk about, never settling on one to start with at least.
§  A perfectionist would question the quality of the recordings and the sound of one’s voice, never accepting that things will not be perfect from day one.
§  A perfectionist will keep his/her creativity and message from the world because he/she cannot focus on making progress over having everything perfect from the get go.
§  A perfectionist will plan, dream, work on, hope for starting his/her podcast, but in the end, will not be able to put oneself out there to the world because there will be too many aspects that simple aren’t perfect.

I think you get the picture.
Allowing perfectionism to keep you from following your dreams and chasing after your goals is keeping you small, safe and protected in many ways. 

Step 2:  Start focusing on the positives.

If you find yourself wanting everything to be ‘perfect’, you will likely fixate on the negative parts of your work, your appearance or yourself in some way.  It is extremely important to make a conscious effort to recognize the good.

CHALLENGE yourself to identify 3 things you can appreciate for anything that pops up you are not satisfied with.

My example:  I really dislike my recorded voice.  My podcast script needs this to be perfect.
– I am pleased with my consistency in producing my podcasts.
– I figured the technical side out on my own.
– I love the process of writing and preparing for my daily podcasts.
– I never run out of ideas and concepts for podcast episodes.

Step 3:  Allow yourself to make mistakes

CREATE two cue cards with the following quotes:

* Mistakes are opportunities for me to learn, grow and do better.
* The world will NOT come to an end if I make a mistake.  Life goes on!

CHALLENGE yourself to take on a new hobby or sport that you will likely not be good at at the beginning. Rather than trying to be perfect at this skill, ENJOY the activity itself and be happy with your efforts in slowly learning to improve at it.

Step 4:  Ditch the unrealistic goal setting habit

Perfectionists oftentimes set goals that are completely unrealistic and unattainable to reach, only due to their impossible standards.

SET GOALS that are super simple, specific as opposed to vague, achievable, measurable, and can be completed within the time frame you set for yourself.

By achieving smaller goals, you will gain confidence and feel much less stressed in your abilities to reach them.

Step 5:  Lower the pressure you place on yourself

The person who pressures you the most is yourself!  Be kinder to yourself and give yourself some grace.

The minute you find yourself imposing unrealistic standards, flip the script in your head and remind yourself:  If you’re doing your best, you’re doing just fine.

This step reminds me of children or teenagers before writing a test/exam and after receiving the results back.

->During the preparation, all you can do is review, practice and prepare as best you can.  Whatever the situation is, as long as you are trying your hardest and doing everything in your power to get your mind and skills ready for the upcoming test, you are going to be fine.

->In the situation where you get back the test results and they aren’t as high as you had expected or wanted, you need to tell yourself that the world is not going to come to an end.  Putting in your best effort was the key.  Obviously, there is room for improvement, so find out ways of getting better.  Use this opportunity to grow and learn rather than getting down on yourself for receiving a less-than-stellar mark.

There is no such thing as ‘perfect’ but we can be proud of doing our best.
Step 6: Focus on Enjoyment over Perfection

SHIFT your focus to finding meaning and above all else, enjoyment in what you are doing instead of striving to be perfect.

Again, CREATE a cue card with the words:  As I work on this task (or hobby), I will enjoy the process.  I will relish the small increments of progress I make.  I will start loving the skills I am learning.  I will focus on the present task and do my very best.

If something brings you joy and purpose, it will no longer matter whether it is done with perfection or not.
There is much more fulfillment to be had in finding enjoyment along the way.

Step 7:  Stop the procrastination.

Perfectionists are notorious for procrastinating and finding every excuse in the book to slack off.  We all know the hardest part of any task, big or small, is actually starting.

I think back to my days at school and the pending essay I needed to complete for English class.  3000 words were waiting to be written, formatted, reviewed and checked thoroughly for spelling and grammatic errors, and then submitted for grading.

Here’s my tip for you if procrastination is a real thing in your life:

Just start by creating a rough outline of what needs to be done. Next, take one small action step.  Then, take another.  Before long, the momentum will grow organically and like a snowball rolling down a hill, more and more pieces will fall into place.  Before you know it, the task will be done.
So, there you have it.
… the first seven steps anyone can start doing to combat perfectionistic behaviour and those feelings of not being able to reach the high standards you put yourself under to much pressure to achieve.
Allow me to briefly recap:
As with anything of this nature, it takes a certain amount of conscious effort to realize perfectionism is what is getting in your way AND to take action to see change happen.

I’d really like to challenge you to shift your mindset from perfectionistic behaviour to a ‘go-for-it’ mentality.  Let’s flip the script…

“Don’t aim for perfection. Aim for ‘better than yesterday’.”

Personal growth is about progress, not perfection. ~Hal Elrod

Don’t let perfectionism paralyze you and hold you back from things you want to accomplish.  Strive for continuous improvement and be sure to show yourself some love along the way.  The efforts you are making are votes of confidence in yourself.
Just in case you haven’t heard this yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

I believe in you and I know you have the ability to do great things with your one precious life.  Now, go out and show the world what you are truly made of.

That’s all for today’s dose of motivation.  I hope to have inspired you to grow.

With love,

Lisa xoxo


Start Experiencing the Domino Effect in Your Life


A new month has just started, and we are approx. 50 some odd days away from a brand new year.  Now, most people wait for the dawn of a new year to set resolutions and goals which they would like to achieve. People tend to get caught up in the hype around “New Year, New You” pledging to replace old habits with better ones.
And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. 

However, I would like to encourage you to start now, start messy and get the ball rolling toward positive change that you’d like to see in your life.  There’s nothing like having momentum on your side before heading into the holiday season.

There will never be the “right” time when all the stars align for you and your dreams.  You really have to put one foot in front of other, take one day at a time, keep one small promise you make to yourself each day in order to feel the momentum building, and with that comes self-esteem and confidence as an added bonus.

Today, I want to talk about how chasing down one goal will result in a ripple effect or ‘domino effect’ affecting other areas of your life and I will tell you about a real-life example which has had an immense impact on my life.

From our childhood, you might remember those small, rectangular black tiles divided in the middle with white dots in each half. Most of the time, we played a game in which we laid them on the floor and had to match them up end to end forming a long line of tiles.

Sometimes we set them up on their ends spaced a certain distance apart. If done right, once the first one was pushed the rest of the tiles would fall down activating the next one in a kind of chain reaction.  This was called the ‘domino effect’.

Can you picture how activating one tile would cause the others to fall one after the other?

Now, imagine how pursuing one goal of yours could have spin-off effects in other areas of your life? 

Before I jump straight into the example, I feel that setting the stage for goal setting is necessary. While this episode is not about how to set goals, it is closely related to the process of going after a goal.

So, let me start with an analogy that most of us can relate to.

When we first start out with goal setting

I like to tell my clients that setting their goal is the very first step, then mapping out the plan on how to achieve it with specific markers or points along the way indicating they are still on track.  So, essentially, we reverse engineer the road to achievement.  Isn’t this a lot like using your car’s GPS to reach your destination?

Prior to embarking on a road trip, we are all familiar with getting out our smart phones and typing in the name of the end destination.  Now, we also know there may be some detours along the way due to roadblocks, traffic issues, some side trips will come up and we may even get lost, which can be aggravating but not the end of the world.

It’s all in the planning

Taking a road trip will involve some planning in terms of how far your destination is, how fast you’ll drive, where and when you’ll need to make a pit stop, what you’ll need to pack, your car may need to be checked out to ensure everything is in good working order, and you’ll also need important things like snacks and money for the trip.  Your plan is the map of how to reach your end destination and each way point or marker you hit, gets you one step closer to your goal.

Goal setting 101

The first rule in setting goals of any kind is they should be small and specific, bite-sized and doable.  Next, your goals should be measurable and achievable, something small you can do every day for a week or a month.  This allows you to establish consistency and builds a habit which turns into momentum.
Having momentum on your side, you feel accomplished and are more motivated to keep going. You might even accelerate as you come closer to your destination.  It’s like a set of dominoes.

If you intentionally set the path you want to follow each step of the way, it only takes ONE SMALL PUSH to create a chain reaction. 

Goal achievement is not one dimensional

Just like your path to success will not be linear, goal setting is not one dimensional.  That chain reaction is a ripple effect with positive side effects as well as numerous benefits. 

What do I mean by this?

A few months ago, I started swimming for fitness and health reasons.  There is no doubt that swimming offers immense benefits when it comes to fitness: it has increased my heart rate making my heart and lungs stronger, toned muscles, built strength and endurance, etc.  And the biggest advantage of swimming is you get a lot of ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of burned calories.  This activity torches as many as when running.  As a certified personal trainer and sports enthusiast, I was fully aware of all these perks.  What I didn’t know was that swimming would have so many spin-off benefits as well.

When I started visiting the local pool on a regular basis, I could barely swim the front crawl for a distance of 25 meters.  I could move about in the water doing my own version of three different strokes, none of which looked very elegant for onlookers.  But I was determined to learn and perfect the front crawl, the stroke all distance swimmers use to glide through the water making it look effortless.

I also kept telling myself if the other ladies, some of whom were 15 to 20 years my senior, were able to cut through the water with finesse, I could do it too.

I set the bar low to begin with and tried to improve by 1% each time I was in the water moving my arms and legs over the stretch of 25 meters in my lane. I knew that if I could improve a little bit each time, I would reach my goal of being able to swim 1000 meters doing the front crawl with a certain elan and athletic smoothness that I see other swimmers have.

Four months later, I have achieved my goal of being able to swim the 1000 meter distance in one go.

And, the positive side effects have been so amazing – both for my mind and body.  This is what I call the chain reaction or domino effect:

My original goal was to improve my overall fitness and be able to swim the distance of 1000 meters, but I reaped so many additional benefits on this journey, for example:

1. My overall mobility has improved, which means less pain in my hips and back when walking and sleeping.
2.My entire body feels more toned and stronger.
3.I have been able to significantly reduce the pain medication.
4. My sleep has radically improved each night. 
5.  My mood has improved, and I look forward to each swim session with excited anticipation about how I will challenge myself each new swim.
6. I feel extremely proud of my consistency and continuity in chasing this goal. 
7.I am very proud of my body for responding well to the new training it has to undergo. 

And, the list goes on. 

Of course, this is my story and my fitness journey.  But this is a real example of how starting where you are with a goal in mind, staying consistent, taking joy in the small wins along the way, attempting to improve by 1 % each time, following a plan all contribute to the success and ultimate achievement of the goal.  And, once this goal of mine has been achieved, I already know what my next one will be. 

The key is to start small and be consistent. Whether you are crushing small goals every day or chasing much bigger ones, the power is in the planning.  Be sure to take one little action every day to keep your momentum going and GO AFTER THE GOAL!

So, whenever you feel stuck or frustrated, remember that when it comes to achieving your goals, whether fitness-related or not, the benefits are never singular. Think of – the ripple or domino effect. Whatever you are doing will reap surprise and unexpected rewards.  So go for your goals, and when you do, remember there are a whole slew of new ones lining up right behind them.

Just in case you haven’t heard this yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You’ve got this and I believe in you. You have the ability to uplevel your life.   Now, go out and show the world what you are made of, goal getters.

That’s all for today’s dose of motivation.  I hope to have inspired you to grow.

With love,


Setting Micro Habits


As human-beings, we are habitual creatures by nature.  I would even say – our habits keep us grounded.  Everyday life is full of habitual actions – some on a larger scale and others are rather small, insignificant level. In many respects, habits create our routines from the minute we wake up to the time we close our eyes and fall asleep at night.

Generally, people categorize habits as either good or bad.  There rarely seems to be an in-between category.  In today’s post, I would like to challenge you to review your habits from a slightly different perspective.

I think we can all agree on what falls into the two main categories of habits which are affecting you positively or negatively.  Brushing your teeth in the mornings and evenings, exercising daily, eating regular, nutritious meals, keeping your mind fit through learning or reading, going outside for a walk in the fresh air, reducing or eliminating harmful substances (i.e. alcohol and tobacco), getting enough sleep, interacting with family and friends on a regular basis, etc.  This list varies depending on each individual.

Some harmful habits might be:  sitting too long at your desk, watching too much T.V., scrolling on social media instead of getting in some exercise, consuming unhealthy snacks between meals, eating too much processed food or deep fried dishes, worrying too much about future events, isolating oneself, not indulging in adequate self-care.  And the list goes on here too.

Many of these activities are not consciously planned but rather executed instinctively.  For example, grabbing your toothbrush during your morning routine or cleansing followed by moisturizing your face.  It’s all part of a well-established routine, and there is no need to remind yourself about doing it.  There aren’t any excuses that get in the way of doing it.  You feel great once it’s done.

On the flip side, we are often confronted with decisions and choices each and every day that may lead us to sway from our positive habits.  For instance, when you are preparing a meal and you are staring into the fridge at possible ingredients, you are faced with several decisions.  Since I am really hungry, do I quickly grab some cheese (I can hardly ever resist it) and a few crackers while I am putting together this really healthy, wholesome salad? 

Or, do I recognize this as a ‘bad’ habit and stick to the plan of eating a nourishing salad without added calories prior to enjoying the meal?  This type of habitual behaviour falls into the conscious habits we all encounter on a daily basis.

Changing or altering habits can be challenging and frustrating all at the same time.  We tend to fall back into our old, known patterns of behaviour rather than forcing ourselves to get uncomfortable by taking a new path toward a new habit or change in our lives.  It requires an immense amount of conscious effort to make the better choices and completely neglect the voices in our head telling us to stick with what is “easy, familiar, comforting”.

For this reason, it is important to break down habits into miniscule parts and attempt each part step-by-step gaining momentum as you move through the progression of forming a habit.

If, for instance, I wanted to develop an exercise routine in order to improve my level of fitness.  Doesn’t everyone want some level of fitness AND to be able to follow through on an exercise routine at least 4 – 5 times a week, if not daily?  I certainly do, and for very specific health-related reasons, I have to now.

Knowing what I do about the formation of “healthy” habits, I begin challenging myself to a micro habit for one week.  In my mind, if I can practice this small part of a bigger goal over the course of a week, I will be pleased with myself and gain momentum toward the next, bigger step.  In doing so, I also gain more trust in myself as well as confidence that I can, indeed, follow through with what I need to do – exercise.

What does this micro goal/habit look like for me personally?  It started with biking on my stationary bike for just 5 minutes.  I completed this every day for one week and at the end of this time, I felt like adding and committing to more time.  It felt great for my body, and it was manageable to carve out the time each day.  Side note:  we all have the time; we simply don’t prioritize wisely.  I had to keep reminding myself – the day has 24 full hours and there is NO excuse for not taking 5 minutes for my health.

My mini, micro habit turned into a medium level habit as the weeks progressed.  Making sure not to overdo it, get frustrated and quit, I took it very slowly and progressed gradually.  Constantly reminding myself that any little amount of forward momentum and progress was better than none at all. 

Slowly but surely, I worked my way up to a macro habit, which was biking 40 minutes each day. Such a simple task, yet so profoundly difficult to implement into one’s lifestyle.  Now, when I get on the bike, it is almost as if my body craves the exercise.

Since I would like to end on a positive note, I will not go into how detrimental routines go from being small, micro habits and end up being significantly bad in nature to your health, wealth and wellbeing.  I think we have all been there and can relate on some level to poor habits. 

If you feel like change is necessary in one area of your life, I challenge you to do the following:

1.)     Review and record the habits you have formed – both the good ones and bad ones.
2.)     Take a hard look at the changes you would like to make.  List them out.
3.)     Choose ONE habit you would like to shift for the better.
4.)     Break this habit down into tiny steps.
5.)     Commit to changing this habit one step at a time (adding or eliminating one behaviour).
6.)     Using cue cards or sticky notes, write a reminder for yourself of your habit adjustment and place these reminders strategically around the house, office, car or mirror.
7.)     Just get started with this ONE small habit and see your momentum increase as the days go by.
8.)     Be proud of yourself at the end of a week.  Celebrate or reward yourself for being successful.
9.)     Once the first tiny step/habit is manageable and you feel ready for the next level, adjust your new habit accordingly to reflect your next-level of commitment.
10.)  Congrats!  You have sparked a fire inside of yourself that will ignite your inner motivation to continue.

Just in case you haven’t heard this yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You’ve got this and I believe in you. You have the ability to uplevel your life.   Now, go out and show the world what you are made of, goal getters.

That’s all for today’s dose of motivation.  I hope to have inspired you to grow.

With love,