Happy 2021!

Happy 2021!

It’s time to make New Year’s Resolutions!

Or is it?

A problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that by the time we stop saying “Happy New Year” (around mid-January) we tend to stop thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions.

So how about setting some goals?

I have been setting goals for many years. In 2020 I never set any goals. Changes outside my control after 15 years in a business, negatively impacted my motivation and vision… I lost my WHY. I couldn’t face it and needed a break. I drifted through 2020 (who didn’t?), but I still ended up achieving quite a bit – it just wasn’t what I thought it would be. Over the years I have talked to clients about setting goals and many would struggle with it. The idea of wanting more than we have, the thought of change, what to do if the goals are not met – tends to make people freeze.

I started thinking about goals in a different way in 2017. If you were training with me at the time you received my strange email on the 9th January 2018 ( because I tend to keep this stuff!) Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions (that will not see February) or setting goals (that fill you with fear) how about thinking about WHO YOU WANT TO BE? What comes to mind?

For a moment let’s fast forward to Christmas 2021. Think about the kind of person you want to be. Who are you? Grab ahold of the first thoughts you have.
Now ask yourself a few questions – WHO, WHAT, WHERE.

This list could give you some ideas about the kind of questions to ask.
Who is in your life?

Who are the people you are connecting with regularly?

Who is a positive influence in your life?

Who makes you laugh?

What are you doing for a career?

What are you studying?

What do you look like?

What have you done?

What have you read?

What have you watched?

What music have you listened to?

What are you doing for exercise?

What improvements have you made to your health?

What improvements have you made to your home?

What are you driving/riding?

What projects are you working on?

What are you doing to be creative?

What is your financial position?

What clothes are you wearing?

Where are you living?

Where have you travelled?

Where have you been?

Once you have an idea about how your life will look, spend some time thinking about your WHY. Knowing your WHY is a crucial step. Trust me, if you don’t know your WHY, nothing will change. For example, I am thinking about “What am I doing for exercise?”. WHY – because having a fit and healthy body is important to me. It gives me energy and vitality. It’s essential for my mental health. It makes me a better person. My WHY is strong.

Armed with your WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHY. The next step is fun; think about the HOW. How are you going to get there? Do some brainstorming. Talk to the people around you – but be careful with this. Talk to those that will lift you up, that will inspire you and give you courage and strength to be a better person than you already are. If the person you pick is negative, just walk away. The next step is CRUCIAL. Grab yourself some paper and pencils or pens and write it all down. You absolutely must write it down. This is the time to be honest with yourself. If you don’t write it down, you don’t care about the WHY enough. When you care about something you will find the time, you will make it happen.

If you like the idea of a little time travel to the future and being an even better person than you already are, this is a great way to get there. If you want support give me a call – I am here for you.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021 – may it be magical 😊

It must get lonely

Monday 7.36am Monash University.

At this stop I have between 4 and 7 minutes before I need to depart. I tend to get off the bus and stretch, do some high knees and shoulder rotations. Yesterday I noticed a man walking towards the bus stop next to mine. He was quite tall, solid built, dressed in tracksuit pants and a wind-cheater, with a beanie and mask. Then I heard him say “It must get lonely by yourself all day with no one to talk to.” I looked behind me to see who he was talking to. Then I realised that he was talking to me. Foolishly I said “oh, sorry, you were talking to me.” He said “I was.” Then repeated his earlier statement. I replied, “Not really, you kind of get used to it. Thanks for talking to me though!” He laughed and said “No worries, have a good day.”

It made me realise how much I have changed over the last 9 months. Neil and I moved in together in January. That included Neil’s 2 teenage kids, his fur baby and my 2 fur babies. I had left my home, friends, neighbourhood, community and my 15 year business. As if that wasn’t enough, in March the Pandemic arrived. The only person to connect with face to face was on the phone, constantly in meetings and busy dealing with his own COVID world. As I worked through the challenges of this new world I found myself in, my sense of loneliness and isolation was off the scales, fuelled by fear and despair – at times it was unbearable.

I relied heavily on the Be Active Tribe, the Tai Chi gals, the weekly calls with my Dad and Auntie Joy, the frequent messages with my 2 sisters. Without them I don’t know how I would have coped. I have always been a person who can easily start a conversation with whoever I meet. I think it comes from being a country kid! Over the years I have had conversations with people from all walks of life, learnt some really cool things and made lots of great friends. I just love connecting and engaging with people. For six months I have had to change and adapt and learn to be ok without regular connection or engagement. I have learnt to be ok with the loneliness and not having anyone to talk to for long periods of time.

When this pandemic is over we will be different. We will realise that things can be done differently. Life will be changed forever. Some of those changes we can control and some we can’t. I know that I want to go back to being a person who has conversations with random people at bus stops, I want to go back to being a person that has conversations with people all day long. I have also discovered that if I don’t have that I will be ok. We all have a survival instinct – for now I will be ok by myself all day with no one to talk to. Once this is over its conversation time – face to face, without masks and with lots and lots of hugs 😀

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Bus Driver to Phone Saviour in a heartbeat!

Driving South on Stephenson’s Road out of Mount Waverley around 8.50am, I had a cyclist just in front of my Bus. He was cruising along at around 45km/hr – so he was quick!  As there are a few Bus Stops along this part of Stephenson’s Road I decided the safest option was to sit behind him.  He crossed Waverley Road and the lights stayed green, so I crossed with him.  Here the road gently declines down towards the Monash Freeway. The cyclist started peddling extremely fast! His pace quickened to 47km/h, 50km/h, 55km/h. I was still sitting behind and had sped up on the incline as well but maintained a safe distance from him.   He then stopped peddling, lowered his upper body over the handlebars and stuck his backside up. I was instantly jealous as I love that feeling of flying along, not peddling, the wind blasting past – I could feel his bliss! And then his mobile phone came flying out of his back pocket, hit the road to the right of me and bounced a couple of times – DAMN!!

I had two thoughts and two thoughts only – stop the cyclist and keep my passengers safe!

Thankfully, no one wanted to stop at the Bus Stop just after the freeway and with relief I saw that there was no-one there. The hill then has an incline and the cyclist slowed down. Unfortunately, so did my bus! I was able to overtake him and drove to the next Bus Stop with the cyclist behind me. I stopped the Bus – handbrake, open front door, hazard lights, seat belt, driver’s door – all done in record time! I jumped out of the bus and ran to the back – damn he was not in sight. I ran to the front of the Bus and there he was – maybe 30 metres in front of the Bus. Using my voice that I could project across a football oval I yelled out to him to STOP and waved my arms like a crazy woman…which he clearly thought I was! He looked back and then in one fluid motion got off his bike, put it on the ground and stormed back to me. I started yelling out YOUR MOBILE PHONE – still waving my arms around. Finally, he heard me, touched his back pocket and his anger was gone as relief sunk in. When he got to me, I told him what had happened. He was so grateful – ran back to his bike, crossed the road, and headed back the way he had come.

I got back on the bus with adrenaline coursing though me, relief that I had stopped him. No-one on the bus even seemed to notice that they had a loud, crazy Bus Driver…..or they were too scared to look up!

As I drove off, I wondered if I had made the right decision – letting him know or letting him go. I hope he was able to retrieve his phone and I REALLY hope that I did not run it over 😊

13 weeks down!

Had my 13 week assessment yesterday and they asked me back today, so I must have passed 😄
Driving a bus is fun and boring, challenging and routine.
The actual driving is probably the easy bit. The 3 week training and induction program was intense but prepared me well. The regular performance assessments help keep me on track.
Ventura are a fantastic company to work for. They really look after and support their drivers. The other drivers are awesome – so welcoming and considerate.
The really hard bit is staying focused and present through the whole shift. Some mornings it’s like a really long meditation! Focus on the road, traffic, passengers, stops and starts, crazy drivers, pot holes… the list is endless 😱
It’s been a strange career shift and not really one that I picked – one that was almost forced on me as I couldn’t find anything else. At the end of the day it gives me a reason to get up in the morning, gives me something to focus on, I have a laugh with my colleagues and the uniform is pretty comfy 😂

What a woman!

This turned up at Tai Chi yesterday. Some of you may know the brand, some of you will know Audrey. In fact many of you will know Audrey as she used to own the wool shop in Cheltenham. Ahhhh – I hear you say! 
Audrey first started training with me back in September 2004. She was in her late 60’s and had never done any kind of planned exercise. She trusted me to be her trainer and I felt incredibly grateful to have her trust. I was inspired by her determination to do something positive for her health and fitness – not despite her age but because of her age. Almost 15 years later she has joined me for Tai Chi sessions. Once again I am filled with gratitude to have the trust of such an amazing woman. She is in her 80’s now and is still determined to try something new if it will make a positive change to her health and fitness. What a woman – courageous, determined, focused and so incredibly sweet and lovely. So blessed to have her back in my life

The Unicorn Story

A good book by Lilly – aged 8

The unicorn story

One day there lived a lonely unicorn it did not have friends “there’s nothing to do every day! It bad bad BAD! I’m lonely all the time it just…..” And then he heard a mean and growling voice unicorn hid between jarses and then he talked”I am going to take over the WORLD OF UNICORNS! Unicorn just then knew how it was I…t I……s laver UNICORN the baddest unicorn off all! Him him! That’s BAD all BAD she whispered to her self then she RAN out! She ran and ran! She got home to Mrs Unicorn and Mr Unicorn she told them what happened they were sad that he was going to take over the world! They thought to make an anoucment to the unicorns and then Unicorn told stardust her friend and Blue berry her friend she did that and thought to go out and find laver Unicorn to find inforemason she went to find him not true he found them! He took blue berry! NO! Don’t get our friend YEER! Shouted! You two get her back he said well were telling the city that you are taking over unicorn LAND! How do you know!!!!! I heard YOU I hid in the jarses next to YOU! That’s bad he said to his laver dog it’s bad is in it! WOOOOOOOF! The laver dog woofed they battled the unicorn team won! Give blue berry BACK! OK! As you won! I don’t like you then laver unicorn had no power after that! The END!