I’m not here to be average. I’m here to be awesome!

Mont Blanc, Quebec
A couple of years ago I took a flight from Toronto to Mt. Tremblant. The airport is a small log cabin building. As you arrive you walk in the back door. There is a large window separating the passengers from those waiting. I was near the back of the plane, so one of the last people to get off. By the time I got into the building there was a line up. I didn’t have any checked luggage so I knew I didn’t have to wait in line for that. I couldn’t understand what the line up was for. My brother was waiting for me on the other side of the glass and he was motioning for me to go around but I couldn’t get through. We moved up a little and I asked the person in front of me what everyone was lined up for. The lady looked up and pointed to a sign “Customs”. (For those of you who aren’t Canadian – both Toronto and Mt. Tremblant are in Canada!) I said – We flew from Toronto, we don’t have to go through customs. She sighed and said well that’s what we’re waiting for. I just stared at her. I then just starting pushing through the line and left the airport.

The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been. ~ Albert Einstein

I’ve been laughing about this experience since it happened. How often do we just do what everybody else is doing. It’s easier than being different. People don’t understand different. They don’t understand why you would get up at 5am to swim when you could sleep for another couple of hours. They don’t get why you don’t know who won the latest season of Dancing with the Stars. They look at you strangely when you say that you’re working on your business on Saturday rather than doing… nothing? It’s ok to be different. In fact you get more out of life when you’re doing what you want to be doing rather than the same boring thing that everyone else is doing. So you just need to get used to the questions and the strange looks!

To be fair, there are mornings when I sleep in.  There are occasions when I watch a movie. And there are days when I just sit on the couch and do nothing.  But these times are the exception not the norm.

At the Warrior Coaching seminar earlier this month we were asked what we are willing to suffer for. It made me think. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it for the past couple of weeks. I have set my goals for the year and that’s great but now comes the hard part. In order to swim 365 kms in 365 days I actually have to do it! I have to get up at 5am and go out in the cold, brush the snow off my car, get into the pool and SWIM… sometimes for hours at a time. Would I like to stay in my warm bed for a few more hours? Yes. But I know if I do I won’t reach my goal. So I get up and do it.

I had a conversation with a friend about what we are willing to suffer for. It changes your mindset when you think about it from this perspective. My reaction to getting up at 5 isn’t “I wish I could stay in bed”, it’s “I need to get my kilometres in this week”. By thinking about the goal rather than the task it’s almost… dare I say… easier!

So what are you willing to suffer for? What are you willing to give up or willing to work hard at to reach your goals?

You can do world-class work. Or you can please everyone around you. But you can’t do both. ~ Robin Sharma

Wherever you are – be all there ~ Jim Elliot


Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

My typical day on vacation – I am at the beach lying on a chair. The sun is out, it’s a perfect day. The ocean, which I will swim in later, is just steps away. I’ve been so excited to get here.

Yet as I lay here I’m not thinking about how perfect the day is or how nice the sun feels or how the sound of the ocean is so soothing. Instead my mind is thinking about what I will do when I get home, or my favourite – I’m thinking about my next trip! Seriously! I often find myself thinking about coming back to this beautiful place rather than being there while I’m there. I know, I know it sounds ridiculous!

This is my standard thought process. It’s not that I’m worried about things, or can’t unwind from work, it’s that I am a planner and so in my head I’m always thinking about what’s next. While there is nothing wrong with planning, there is a time for it. I have been thinking about this for awhile. I have made a conscious effort to make a change in my mindset, to enjoy the moment. I have started to appreciate where I am right now.

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have ~ Eckhart Tolle 

Last May I went to Nashville with 3 of my good friends. It was one of the best trips that I have ever been on. Was it because Nashville is a great place? It was definitely a factor. Everybody there just wants to have fun, the music is fantastic and the weather was beautiful. I will definitely go back, but that wasn’t it. Was it the company? My friends are awesome and we always have a good time. We have traveled together quite often but this trip was different. So what made this trip to Nashville one of the best ever? Before I left I made a promise to myself that I was going to be present. I was going to appreciate who I was with and where I was. I was going to listen to the music and just be there. This promise wasn’t easy to keep. I found myself thinking about going back to Nashville (while I was still there) and where our next girls weekend was going to be. But each time, I stopped myself. As the days went on, the mind wandering decreased.

Ryman Auditorium

The reason Nashville was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken is because it’s the first one where I was really present. I wasn’t just there, I truly lived it! It is incredible that by thinking differently I had a completely different experience. It was amazing. Now, the live bands and day drinking might have helped a little bit! 😉 I mean, how perfect is this place – the bars open at 10am, there is amazing live music in every bar and it’s a party all day long so I can still go to bed at 10pm and not miss anything. 🙂

Try it! Make an effort to be present. Don’t think about the past, don’t think about the future. Just be there. Your life will be different because of it!

Pedestrian Bridge

The book is called opportunity and it’s first chapter is New Year’s Day ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New Year!
New Year’s Day is one of my favourite days of the year. I love the idea of a fresh start. New goals, the planning… I love planning! I actually start looking at what I want to do and where I want to go in December but now it’s official. I have a large dry erase 2016 calendar on my fridge and it’s pretty full already! I have also done some reflection back on 2015. I wrote down accomplishments from the past year. While it’s great to goal set and work towards and achieve those goals it’s also really important to understand how far I’ve come. To appreciate the progress that has been made. 2015 was an amazing year!  So much fun (the most important thing 🙂 ), huge growth and continued health!
Here are a few of my 2015 accomplishments:
  1. Started this blog and published 20 posts – so different from anything that I’ve ever done, very much out of my comfort zone at the beginning and so rewarding!
  2. Had a record revenue year – largely due to an increase in confidence.
  3. Swam a 500 metre race in Lake Ontario in 50F water – did this with, and to overcome, my fear of cold water.
  4. Cancelled my cable TV – allowing more time to work towards doing things that are bettering my life (admittedly I still have Netflix but rarely watch it).
  5. Made decisions for the right reasons – moving away from situations where values didn’t match versus staying for the wrong reasons, money and security.
And most importantly – I am a happier person!
I didn’t accomplish all of the goals that I set for myself in 2015. Actually I would be disappointed if I had. If I accomplished all of the goals it would mean I didn’t set enough goals or they weren’t big enough. Some I accomplished, some are still in progress and others have been deferred. Did I fail? No. I didn’t fail. If my only accomplishments were the 5 above I wouldn’t have failed (and those are only a sample). By reviewing my accomplishments, which I do weekly, I know that I am moving forward which encourages me to do more. I’m not aiming for perfection, I’m aiming for progress.
And I am shocking myself as I write this… I am going to let you in on some of my goals for 2016. This is shocking because I don’t usually talk about my goals until they are well under way for fear of having to tell people that no, I’m not actually going to do that.  So nothing like holding myself accountable to the 200 or so people who read this!!
Some of my 2016 Goals:
  1. Swim 365 kms in 2016 – this will definitely be a challenge!
  2. 10K open water swim race – to put this in perspective that’s 400 lengths of a 25 metre pool but in open water – can’t touch the bottom, no walls.  To date the longest open water swim I have done is 5K…
  3. Start strength training – this will require me hiring a trainer as I dislike doing it and can’t seem to do it on my own. This is definitely out of my comfort zone!
  4. Complete my kitchen renovation – I’m not doing it myself – this should read: hire a contractor, make the decisions and pay for it!
  5. Read 30 minutes per day – I love to read but don’t make it a priority… except when I am on vacation… maybe I should take more trips 😉
So what are your goals for 2016? I’d love to hear them!
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ~ C.S. Lewis