How to stop feeling overwhelmed and get motivated again

You’re confused. 

Life is pretty good. There’s nothing obviously wrong. 

And yet you’re exhausted. You feel a little lost. 

You’re working so hard… but you’re not sure what you’re working towards and why it’s not paying off. 

Girl, I get it. Something is off. Something is missing. 

You have big dreams and you know you’re destined for more.  

You know the answers are out there, somewhere.  

I mean, everything you want to know is on Google or Youtube these days, right?

It can’t be that hard. 

Or can it? 

Let’s paint a picture here and you tell me if I’m the only one that’s been there.

It’s the end of the day. 

You just sent off that last piece of work to your client. The dishes are done.  

The kids finally fall asleep and you commit to find the answers and get the clarity and motivation you’re looking for.

So, you decide to follow a few people on social media for inspiration.  

Suddenly, your inbox is packed with options. 

Memberships, podcasts, journals, conferences, webinars, courses, and workshops. 

All this, and your bookshelf filled with bestsellers is still collecting dust. 

Where do you even begin? 

Overwhelmed with options and unsure of what direction you should take, you decide to hop back on Instagram and proceed to dive into the scroll hole, only to come out an hour later and no further ahead. 

Can you relate? 

In the days to follow, your to-do and to-research list gets even longer. 

You subscribe to more podcasts. 

You sign up for another freebie and receive ten more emails. 

You’re watching inspiring videos and TedTalks, and yet you’re still not making progress. 

Now, you’re even more confused, and wondering how everyone else seems to be doing it and start comparing yourself (even though you know you shouldn’t). 

Soon, you start to ignore the emails, the videos, the podcast notifications just like the books on your shelf since they remind you that you don’t have enough time or money and you aren’t even sure what it is that you want. 

And yet, every time you open Instagram and see others’ success, you wonder why that’s not you.  And deep down, you know that you TOO are smart, capable and oh-so-worthy of success.

I mean, what do they have that you don’t?  

(Besides an obviously better camera, Instagram husband and thousands of followers). 

Well, I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know this:  


It’s time to do things differently and wake up to get the success you want, on your terms. 


If you can relate to feeling overwhelmed, confused, and like everyone is ahead of you, you’re not the only one. 


I can help.


Women like you are why I created Goalden Girls Community.


Goalden Girls Community has been designed for you so you can stop feeling confused and overwhelmed, and START getting clarity, inspiration and strategies that work for you. 


It’s a safe-haven to block out the noise from social media, your nosy coworkers, and your judgy cousin Tracey. (Amen to that!)


You’re ready. 


You’ve had enough of trying to do it on your own. 


It’s time to get the support, inspiration, and training to turn your dreams into reality.  And get a community that connects you with other goal-driven, like-minded women. 


Instead of comparing yourself to others and being stuck in overwhelm and inaction, join a space that lifts you up and simplifies the goal-getting process by giving you only what you need most. 


Goalden Girls Community is a group of women ready to level up, connect and support you as you go for your big dreams.


Led by me, Success Coach Lisa Michaud, this goal-getting community provides the space to stay focused, reduce distractions, and shift your mindset so you create success and go after your dreams.


Are you ready to feel confident?  Get clarity? And find connection?

Are you ready to step into the best version of yourself?  

If the answer is a “heck yes”, it’s your time. 

In Goalden Girls Community, we focus on ONE thing a month. 

That’s it.  One thing.  

Not time management, and positive thinking, and health, and values, and goals, and focus, and and and…… 

One. Thing. At. A. Time. 

And that’s how we eliminate the noise, the overwhelm and the confusion. 

This is how you get clarity and start getting results, immediately. 

Because taking action and being focused gets results

And nothing is more motivating (or exciting!) than actually making progress. 

Imagine finally prioritizing your health and getting consistent with your workouts like you keep saying you will.

Imagine finally signing yourself up for a 5km run or triathlon after all these years, and the pride you feel as you cross the finish line. 

Imagine feeling confident in your decision to go back to work, or back to school, and leaving behind all the excuses or lies you’re telling yourself about being too old or not a good mom.

Girl, this is all possible for you. And it’s available for only $37/month (no, that’s not a mistake, and yes, it’s less than you’re spending on coffee or diapers, or even avocado and toast in a month). 

Success starts with you but doing it alone just plain sucks. 

Join Goalden Girls Community today to say goodbye to wondering IF you can achieve your dreams and say HELLO to the confident woman who faces her fears!

Now, jump on in - take action now because Goalden Girls Community enrollment opens only three times a year.

Join us before the doors close Thursday, August 1st at 11:59pm PST.

I can’t wait to welcome you into our Community!

See you soon  <3

Xo Lisa 

PS. Here’s a video I recorded last night with 4 steps to get you motivated again and get you unstuck no matter how long you’ve been stuck for.

If you like this type of training, you’ll LOVE Goalden Girls Community.

Here's how to change career paths. Even if you're afraid.

Is the career path you want to take unexpected?  UniqueUnchartered? Or unconventional?


Do you feel scared to take the first step?  Worried you’ll disappoint someone?  Afraid to take a risk?  Or nervous you’ll end up broke eating ramen for dinner every night? 


I truly believe you deserve to love your work and your life.


I believe it’s possible to enjoy what you do in your career


And when you love your 9-5, it spills awesomeness and joy into the rest of your life.


You’ve heard it from me. Now I want to share a story about the journey Kimiko Stella has taken to get to a place of real life career love.



A few months ago, I was getting my hair styled by the lovely Kimiko.  Mid-shampoo, I casually asked her “do you like your job?”  (It’s a habit – I can’t turn the coach off.)


Her eyes lit up. She grinned, threw her head back and said “YES! I love my job”. 


From that moment, I knew I needed to know more.  So I got the chance to sit down with her for some lunch (and bottomless mimosas) to get deeper into her story.


Kimiko has inspired me and I know she will inspire you.


Kimiko is a 30-something Japanese Italian woman who is feminine, strong and beautiful inside and out.   Growing up, she was surrounded by amazing women.  She has a very strong mother, a sweet and gentle aunt, and a Nona you don’t want to mess with (let’s be honest, is there any Nona you would mess with?!).
Life wasn’t always easy for Kimiko.  She struggled with depression.   She has been married and divorced.  She’s a survivor of sexual assault.  She took the unconventional path in her career and it put a strain on her relationship with her family.   At the age of 26, she came out to her family as a lesbian.

But all the steps in her journey have led her to become a seriously inspiring badass, and a force to be reckoned with!

Today, she’s a hairstylist in one of the top salons in Vancouver, Brush Salon (check them out!).  She gets to do hair for all sorts of glamorous events like Vancouver Fashion Week, and several TV shows filmed in Vancouver.  Somewhere in there, she does regular people hair like mine.

Every day, she goes to work and LOVES her job.  And she’s fiercely confidentShe’s uniquely herself

Here’s Kimiko’s journey to becoming a top stylist in the city.
Growing up, Kimiko was encouraged to take a traditional path.  Go to school, they told her.  We’ll pay for your education.  Do something that will make you money and be stable.  Needless to say, Kimiko’s family did not support her being a hair stylist. 
Their vision for her was one of an academic path.  So, she dabbled in kinesiology, counseling, nutrition, customer service and radio broadcasting – things she was interested in but not passionate about
Her family was supportive of her education, even going so far as to paying for her education as long as it was on their terms. 
Have you ever worried what your family might think if you quit your job?  Or if you changed your major?  Or went back to school?
Kimiko knew she wanted to be a hair stylist.  But she also knew they wouldn’t be happy with her decision. 
She needed to overcome this huge roadblock. For Kimiko, she came to the realization that she had to be ok with - and accept - that she was going to let people down.  This was not an easy journey
But she knew she wasn’t going to be able to follow the path others set out for her.  

She knew the journey she was on, easy or not, would be her own.
And she knew it would be worth the challenge.   

She took out her own student loan.
Made the decision to say goodbye to academics. 
And faced many difficult conversations. 

She shared with her family that as much as she loved themshe was going to follow her dream and passion to be a hair stylist.

Lesson #1 – Sometimes you have to walk the path alone.  Sometimes the path gets darker and more challenging, before it gets easy.  It will be worth it.  


Kimiko’s story is painful and strikingly honest.  It’s also one that I know isn’t only Kimiko’s.
Many of the men and women I know have grown up with similar messages.  Well-intentioned families, teachers and even friends tell us “you can be whatever you want to be”.   

But as soon as we step away from the classic “acceptable”and “stable” jobs, fearful comments and ominous warnings instantly begin. 

This is incredibly difficult.  As children, we want our parent's approval. As we grow up, we want our family and friends to support us.  To go against their cautions and wishes is counter to most of what we’ve been brought up doing. 
She persisted despite their growing fears for her.  One family member even told her “you’re going to be living in the gutter if you have that job.”  
For Kimiko, she knew her family’s worries and anxieties existed because they didn’t understand the business.  But she DID understand the business.  Kimiko knew her passion and creativity meant she would be successful!  She wasn’t worried about not making it.  Instead, she focused on following her dreams and has become a mega-successful hair stylist.  

Lesson #2 – People will project their fears onto you.  While they might mean well, know yourself enough to know if your fears are your own… or someone else’s. 

Kimiko wanted to be a hairstylist enough that she was willing to go through the challenges, the financial struggle, and family turmoil because it would be worth it.
For Kimiko, hair styling is about art. It’s about growing a business. It’s about connecting with people and genuinely making them happy.   It’s about relationships. 

And that is what she wanted deeply for herself – to have fun and make others happy.  

Lesson #3 – Your desire for your dreams has to be greater than your fear of taking a risk.

As you’re probably realizing, Kimiko is a deeply insightful, strong and intelligent woman (on top of being an amazing stylist).  Her wisdom is inspiring and beautiful. 
What Kimiko knows for sure:

  • Our choices are ultimately what define our personality. What we choose to do and our actions, are our soul being bare to the world.   Your words and what you say is one thing, but your actions are ultimately a reflection of your true colors.  So take action to create the live you want and need!


  • Societal pressures and expectations will shape us, without us even realizing it.   But your life belongs to you.  Get clear on what you want and be true to that.


  • Careers are an important part of our lives.  It’s what we do for 30 - 50 hours a week.  And the right career is nourishing. It feeds you (pay check, stomach, and soul).


  • Historically, femininity has too often been about being docile, submissive, gentle, quiet and small.  But now, there’s a chance (a need!) for women to be present, have a voice, and stand up.  It’s time for women to show the world who we are. 


  • Strength is having no regrets and no shame in what you believe in.”  Kimiko strongly believes that there are times that the situations we are in are uncomfortable. The setting hits a prickly nerve.  With friends or family, this is even harder - it’s icky, gross, nitty and gritty. And necessary.  Stick with what you believe in – it is the definition of strength.

Are you wondering how you could possibly create a career you love?
Here’s Kimiko’s advice for getting success on your terms:

  • Have a constant pursuit of happiness.  Happiness doesn’t come to you automatically.  Make it a mindful effort to chase and explore what brings you joy and delight.  It’s why we’re here on this planet.


  • Always be reflecting and growing.    There are so many people who live life on autopilot and end up drifting wherever life takes them.  Don’t do that. Be consciously living and critically making choices to take advantage of this short, beautiful life you have been given.


  • Learn. All the time.  Every part of your journey is building you to get you where you need to go.  It all happens for a reason and it will pay off. 


  • Take risks and make mistakes. Sometimes you get hurt. Sometimes you fall down pretty bad.  No risk, no glory. 


  • It’s not too late.  Even if you have no idea what it is you want.  If you know you’re not loving what you’re doing, take the first step. Be ok without knowing and get curious about yourself and what’s next for you.


I’m so honoured to share Kimiko’s story.  I am deeply grateful to her for opening up her soul and sharing her story with all of us.

I am humbled by her authenticity.  But most of all, I KNOW her story is going to resonate for so many of you.  




Her courage is palpable. 

She's courageous for standing her ground.
She's courageous for taking a risk.
She's courageous for following her passion.
She's courageous for sharing her story with us.
She's courageous for opening up to help you.

My hope is that you will also be inspired by Kimiko’s courage
My biggest wish for you is that if you are in a place in your career that you aren't happy, you start taking the steps to find joy in what you do. Today.  
My longing is that you explore your deepest desires and give yourself permission to want more. 

My dream for you is that you find the courage within yourself to create the life that you want. 
Because your life DOES belong to you.  To you and you alone. 
And you deserve to design your beautiful life into the one that you really, truly, madly, courageously and deeply want.

Thank you Kimiko, for your huge gift - reminding all of us that courage and strength pay off with huge bonuses of joy, purpose, and passion.
 - Lisa
Success Coach


PS.  My hair is also eternally grateful that you, Kimiko, a) followed your heart and b) I found you.  
PPS.   If you're not on my mailing list, you're seriously missing out.  If you are reading this on the internet (my blog, Linkedin, etc), you're not getting exclusive tips, products, contests, and gifts.  It's time to change that. Don't miss out anymore -  Sign up for my newsletter today!

What I learned because I refused to learn

“Dad, stop speaking Spanish. Speak English.”

A few weeks ago, I was hosting some guests from Europe and took them to beautiful Grouse Mountain, in Vancouver.  For those that have never been, it’s stunning.  Imagine being surrounded by panoramic views of the city, the ocean, and mountains.  I highly recommend Grouse Mountain for anyone visiting Vancouver – accessible by gondola OR the Grouse Grind hike (2830 stairs to the top) for those that want an extra reward at the top (the reward being sweaty satisfaction).  Here's a picture for you in case you want to know what the reward of doing 2830 stairs looks like.


Up on the mountain, we ate a delicious lunch. We laughed and enjoyed our rich history of forestry at the Lumberjack show.  We experienced Canada’s wildlife by seeing two grizzly bears up close (they are in a protected area so thankfully not too close!).


As I stood and watched the bears cool off in the water during the hot day, there was a family next to me. The son was about 4 years old and his father said something to him in Spanish.  The little boy was embarrassed and said to his father “dad, stop speaking Spanish!  Speak English!”


I couldn’t help but laugh.  He was so sure of himself. So sure that he was right –that he should be speaking English. It was cuteAdorable. Hilarious.


The father probably didn’t think it was so cute.


I leaned over and told the father to keep doing what he was doing.  That one day his son would appreciate it.


I know this from personal experience.


I was that little boy. Except, well, I was a little girl.  And it wasn’t Spanish for me. It was Croatian and Italian.  But otherwise, those exact words could have come out of my mouth at his age.


When I was growing up, my parents spoke Croatian to me. And I hated it.  It was at a time in my life when I didn’t want to be different. I wanted to be like everyone else.  


I didn’t think learning was cool.  But I didn’t have a choice. Croatian was what we spoke in our house and it wasn’t optional.


My parents also spoke Italian and tried teaching me.  I used to call Italian “the angry language” because it sounded like people were yelling.  (It turns out Italians are just really passionate when they speak and not, in fact, angry).


Regardless, I refused to learn it.  I missed out on learning Italian.  I rejected every opportunity to speak it and hear it.


And I regret that I was as persistent and stubborn in not learning Italian as a child because it sure would have been easier to learn it growing up.


When I grew older, I discovered what I called “the angry language,” most people called “the language of love and romance.”


Go figure.


Today, whenever we go to Italy, I learn as much as I can before I arrive. I practice any word I can. I hang on to every word I hear because I think the language is so beautiful.  I wish I could have learned when I was younger.  With my parents to teach me. With my family to practice with.  And a lifetime to improve. 


As disappointed as I am in myself about Italian, I’m super grateful my parents did NOT listen to me when it came to teaching me Croatian.  I argued learning Croatian but my parents made sure learning Croatian was mandatory. 


I’m proud that I can speak a second language (and another half language if you count the Mandarin I brush up on during trips to China).


I love that I can speak to my relatives in Croatia whenever we visit.  I treasure that I can connect with my family in such a personal way, even though they live across the world and we have grown up so differently. 


Croatian comes in handy when Troy and I travel – I’m always his personal translator in any country with similar languages (Montenegro, Czech Republic and Slovenia, so far).  And I never know when I will hear someone speaking Croatian as I travel around the world. In fact, in February, I met two Croatian gentlemen in Cuba after I heard them speaking it at a restaurant.  It’s incredible for connecting with strangers AND for practical things like asking where the bathroom is.


What I’ve learned through learning Croatian and NOT learning Italian is profound for me.  And it’s true for you too.


·      Being different is not only OK, it’s vital for many of the best things in life.  What you have seen, learned and been through in your life is what makes you special and interesting.  Our distinctive cultures are beautiful and meant to be shared.  Our mix of learning, experiences and culture makes each of us irreplaceable.   And today, I’m proud to be uniquely me!  I want you to be proud to be uniquely you too!


·      As humans, we need to push ourselves into the uncomfortable.  There are always times we want to give up.  Times we feel the learning is pointless, or isn’t worth the hassle.  But our own development is irreplaceable.  The reward always comes after we’ve pushed ourselves enough to deserve the incredible learning.  And sometimes the reward is just knowing we did it and proving we could! 


·      As a parent, as a leader, as a friend, sometimes we have to push others past an uncomfortable point.  I’m so glad my parents encouraged me to learn Croatian. I am impressed they could resist my stubborn nature and am forever appreciative of their tenacity.


Through languages – those I learned and those I didn’t – I’ve discovered that all learning is incredible.


Learning is a gift.  It is sometimes uncomfortable, challenging, and perhaps even embarrassing. 


But no learning is ever wasted or futile.


The next time you have the opportunity to learn, take it.  If you haven’t learned something new in a while, it’s never too late.  (I truly believe I will be able to speak Italian one day, hopefully sooner than later).   And please don’t be afraid to teach.  Teaching takes patience, kindness, understanding, and grace.  Even when you are met with resistance, persist.  You may not know it yet, but you will change lives.


Learn or teach others to:

·      Take beautiful pictures

·      Make incredible cocktails in a bartending class

·      Sing

·      Play piano

·      Swim

·      Manage time better

·      Cook Indian food

·      Appreciate art

·      Understand your finances


Learning and teaching will give you:

·      Confidence

·      Joy

·      Experiences

·      An open mind

·      Friendship

·      New skills

·      A conversation starter when meeting others

·      Growth

·      The “cool factor” – yes learning is cool!


Now it’s your turn. 


Go learn.  Teach.  Connect.  Grow.


Thank you to my parents for teaching me Croatian and for never giving up on me.


And know that one day, I’ll speak to you in “the language of love.”


--Lisa Michaud

Success Coach


PS.   The last “The Spark” 4-week One-on-One Coaching Package is now gone!  But, because you are such loyal readers and I love you (I really do!), I’ve decided to offer one more at the last-chance price of $500 for my readers only.  After this, the price goes up to $600.  If you’re looking to be encouraged, I’m here to support and uplift you.  If you want more learning in your life, you’ll be amazed at how much we can accomplish together in 30 days.  If you’re looking to be pushed and challenged, let’s get you kick-started to next adventure in life! 


Contact me at and mention this post to get the special pricing. I’d love to connect (for free) to see if we’re a good fit and find out what’s next for you on your learning journey.






Are you wasting 70% of your time?

“Everybody’s working for the weekend...”


Ahhh…a great song. Nostaligic beats. Just hearing the song might take you back to your younger years.  Or maybe you’re younger than me and don’t know the song, in which case you should YouTube it. Now.

As great as the song is, I think “working for the weekend” is bullshit.

Utter, complete bullshit.



Your life is meant to be full.  Full of fun.  Full of life.  Full of memories and good times.


Too often I hear people telling me they “can’t do anything on week nights.” We frequently laugh and make jokes, calling those nights “school nights.”  As if our parents and school principal are still telling us what we can and can’t do.

It's time to never waste a week night again.

Let’s do some simple math.

There are seven days and nights in a week.

You work five days.

You get two nights a week that you don’t have to work the next day.

That means you only have fun 2/7 nights.

That’s only 28% of your nights. 


If you’re working for the weekend, you are wasting more than 70% of your evenings. Considering you spend 40+ hours at work in a week, wasting 70% of your evenings is just plain stupid.


So, I challenge you to make the most of your weeknights. In those evenings, you could be making time to:

  • Cook your favourite meal
  • Have a Skype date with a friend
  • Take a photography course you’ve been dying to take
  • Go to sleep early because sometimes sleep is just soooooo good
  • Schedule a hot date night with that special someone…or say yes to a weeknight date with someone new! 
  • Book that yoga class because even if you do fall asleep, at least you showed up

These nights are precious time. Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it in front of the TV.  Don’t waste it too exhausted to focus.  Don’t waste it on housework.


And guess what – if at the end of the day you are too tired and mentally exhausted from a job you don’t love?


Then you REALLY need to take my advice and make a change. 

  • Work on resumes you keep saying you will submit
  • Sign up for a new course
  • Commit to one networking event a week.  Hint: networking doesn’t have to be stuffy events with suits. It can be joining a hiking group, volunteering for a local non-profit, or a happy-hour with new friends
  • Start a side-business to test a career move before you leap


There’s time for wonderful indulgences every dayMovement towards our goalsSmall, simple pleasuresSweet memories.  Love. Laughter. 

There's time for Growth. Learning. Working for our goals. Reaching our dreams.  Celebration.  New connection.  Expanding ourselves and our life.


But it’s only yours if you stop wasting your time.

Go get what you want tonight! 

 - Lisa

Success Coach


PS - Here's proof that I DO live life and go out (yes, even on school nights).  One afternoon after work, some friends and I drove up to Whistler, just for the evening.  In just a few hours, we did a 5km run, relaxed at the world class Scandinave Spa and sampled beer and dinner at Howe Sound Brewing.


 I can't wait to hear what YOU do with all your extra time! 


The Advice You Should Never Take

“Never take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with.”

This is one of my favourite quotes.

I remember a lovely first date I had with my (new at the time) friend Matt Corker

For anyone who hasn’t heard of or met Matt – if you live in Vancouver, you’ve been living under a rock – this guy knows EVERYONE! And it’s because he’s fantastic

Matt and I were out for a run the first time we met and we got into the discussion of working women – one of my favourite topics. At the time, Matt worked for lululemon. I told him that I believed it was possible to “have it all” – work and family.


I also told him that I felt like I had it all but didn’t know many other people who did. 


Do you ever feel like this too?  Do you ever feel like you’re the only one?


The narrative out there seemed to be that “having it all” was a myth. Or that telling women they could “have it all” was cruel, and makes those who don’t have it all feel worse about themselves.

Not good.

Matt said something very profound to me.

He said, “If you think you can’t have it all, you’re talking to the wrong person.”


Of course. 

Someone who doesn’t have it all will probably tell you it’s not possible. They’ll tell you it’s a myth, and that you have to pick between work , fun, and family. 


Matt hit the nail on the head. If you ask the right women, they will show you it’s possible. At lululemon, he knew many female executives who still made time to exercise, volunteer, and raise families. 


The same goes for men.  If you ask the right men, they will share wonderful stories from their paternity leave, of backpacking trips through Europe and exciting business accomplishments.


Let’s remember that “having it all” doesn’t mean there aren’t sacrifices. Tough decisions. Constant prioritization. And support required. 


But it IS possible! And isn’t prioritizing, making decisions, and being deliberate in what you do a HELL of a lot better than the alternative? 


Being deliberate beats missing out on having kids that you would love to have. 


Prioritizing beats being lonely because you’ve spent too much time at the office. 


Making the decision to set boundaries with your boss (or your business) sure beats missing a best friend’s bachelorette party or birthday.


Do you ever feel like you know it’s possible but just aren’t sure how to “have it all”?   


Here’s how you can get there too.


1)  Having it all starts with figuring out what “having it all” means to you. 

For some, it will mean running a marathon a year. 

For others, it will mean having three kids. 

For others (like me), it means travelling to new countries every year.

For many of us, it means having great family and friend relationships.


I believe we can have all this and also have rewarding, challenging and engaging work to do!


2)  Having it all also means surrounding yourself with other women and men who feel like they have it all. 

  • Reach out to a friend or mentor who is clearly happy and fulfilled in their lives, and learn from them. 
  • Talk to your friends about what “having it all” means to you, and to them. Support each other and encourage them to “have it all” too.


3)  Having it all means being deliberate with your time and consciously creating the life you want. This might mean:

  • Setting the alarm early to have breakfast with your partner and kids because you aren’t always home for dinner.
  • Saying no to volunteering for the fundraiser.
  • Pumping the song “You can have it all” by JRDN in moments of doubt. Which literally just came on my iTunes random playlist.  Yup – it’s a sign – we can have it all!
  • Having a conversation with your boss about after-hours emails.
  • Working late some week nights and weekends so you can take a Friday off and head out on a wine-tasting weekend early.
  • Taking paid or unpaid leave of absence to spend more time travelling.


All of these things become HEAPS easier when you know you’re doing it because you want to have it all.  


And you deserve to have it all.



Success Coach


PS If you’re looking for awesome books to get into the structure of HOW to have it all, I highly recommend Laura Vanderkam’s books168 Hours and I Know How She Does It.  I’ll be sharing learnings from her work from time-to-time but if you are super passionate about this topic, get her books now!  Side note - If you do follow my links, they don't cost you anything extra and keep me reading and recommending only the best books and advice for you!

Crush Your Dreaded To-Do List By Doing This First

I always hated running as a kid. I was consistently the slowest runner in my class.  I just didn’t enjoy it.



All that changed a few years ago when I found an amazing running gang to join.  I had the pleasure of leading a group of incredible running men and women for 3 years in Fort McMurray.



Since then, I’ve done 5 half marathons.  Run many times in weather as cold as -30 degrees.  Celsius.  (In case you’re wondering, yup that’s as cold as it sounds and it hurts.). I’ve run hung-over.  I’ve given up mid-run to stop for frozen yogurt


It’s all been possible because I loved running.



Recently though, I started hating itDreading it.  Scheduling it and just ignoring the reminders that came up on my phone.



I finally started asking myself “why?”  



At first, I asked self-deprecating questions.  Like “why am I bailing on running?”  That didn’t help.  I would answer it with “because I’m lazy.  Or stupid.”  That kind of talk didn’t get me anywhere. Telling myself I’m lazy and stupid?  That’s just not nice.  Or true.



So I asked myself the different “why”.  I asked “why do I want to run”?  And “why is running important to me”?  And through this, I rediscovered my LOVE for running.






It’s such a powerful question




Pair it with WANT and you’ve exponentially grown the power of the question.




Here’s how it worked:




Why do I want to run?


Because I love being outside.


Because it feels so good to move my body.


Because I love getting sweaty.



Why is running important to me?


Because the thrill of a race is one of the most awe-inspiring feelings I’ve ever experienced.


Because there is nothing better than a great running conversation.


Because I want to be active and healthy during my whole, long life.




For the sake of what am I running?


Because each time I do it, I feel incredible afterwards.


Because I want prove to myself that I can do it!




Suddenly, running has become fun again.  I’m looking forward to it.  I am LOVING it again.





So, what's on your dreaded to-do list? What chore can you redefine?  Where can you ask yourself “why is this important”? 


What lame-ass thing do you “have to” do this week? 

What email are you putting off writing?

What presentation are you dreading creating? 

What awkward conversation are you avoiding

What errand are you procrastinating on week after week?   

What exercise commitment are you breaking to yourself?



I ask you:

Why do you want to do it?


For the sake of what are you doing it?


Why is this important to you?



Ask “why”.  Why do you “have to” do it?


Is it because you want the best work environment for your team?

Is it because you want to congratulate a colleague on their new job?  

Is it because you want to showcase the amazing work of your team in front of your superiors? 

Is it because you want nutritional food in your body to give you energy?

Is it because you want a passport to travel to a best friend’s wedding?



Suddenly, you’ll understand why you’re really doing something.  You will connect deeply to the powerful motivation, emotions and dreams you have within.



Charles Duhigg says it beautifully in his brilliant book Smarter, Faster, Better.  In life, “once we start asking why, those small tasks become pieces of a larger constellation of meaningful projects, goals, projects and values.”   You can start to recognize how small chores and tasks are a part of the bigger picture.  These tasks tie to the big emotional “what” in your life.  They prove that you have choices



Knowing the “why” reminds you that you are in control of your life.



Doing any of these small tasks and chores on their own often seem boringRemedialStressful.



Yet it is the every day that matters.  It is the small things that create the joy in your life.  The happiness.  The fulfillment. The satisfaction.  The memories.



You need to connect these to something you deeply want in your life.  Tie them to a DREAM you have.  Attach what you’re doing to what you most desire.



Once you make the “why” connection, everything changes. Doing that task, that chore, becomes a gift.  Ok – maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. No amount of connection to my desire for hosting awesome guests makes me think cleaning a toilet is a gift.  But it certainly shifts my mindset.   And it makes what I’m doing a choice. 


It reminds me that I’m in control of my life



And you are in control of your life.



Connecting to your why sparks transformation. Suddenly your “to-do” is meaningful. It becomes an opportunity to create the life you want to live.  It’s proof that living a dream life is possible – because you’re DOING IT!


If you don’t have a good “why” answer, I challenge you to reconsider even doing it.  And in case you are wondering, “because I have to” is NOT a valid response.


If you don’t have a good reason as to “why”, I challenge you to not do that task.


It’s that simple.  It will make the difference. You’ll be living a life that is deliberate.   Living a life that is full of “want to’s”. 



Living a life that is created by YOUR choices! 



That will make you happier.  This will make your “to-do” list seem less overwhelming.  You’ll be more relaxed. You’ll be more grateful.  You’ll be more engaged as you do the things you do during the week because you are CHOOSING to do them.  You know WHY you are doing it (and it feels so good!) 



Ask WHY.  Know why it MATTERS.  Reclaim your power to choose



Create the life YOU want.






PS. On this cloudy Vancouver day, I had to ask myself the “why does this matter” question while writing this too.  Happiness, success, pride – it all takes discipline and it’s a constant journey.   I’m no exception. If you, like me, need to make asking “why you want it” a habit, here’s some suggestions:


·      Create a reminder in your calendar to ask “why does this matter” when you review your to-do list every morning. 

·      Put a sticky note on your computer to remind yourself. 

·      Share this newsletter with a friend or partner and commit to each other to ask each other “why is it important” the next time you’re lacking motivation. 

·      Turn on the “Wannabe” song and crank it when the Spice Girls ask you to “tell me what you want, what you really really want.”  After you’re done dancing around the house, make sure you say (or sing!) what you want, what you really really want.


 You’ll either find the spark you need to just do it or erase it from your list altogether


 Either way, consider that to-do list crushed! 

Zigazig Ah to that!