Trainer, Mentor, Tribe: Helping Us Achieve Our Goals

Trainers, mentors and tribes are terrific tools in helping us achieve goals.

These days, these three are found across many fields of interest and disciplines, from the sports world to the creative or corporate worlds, to simply, the local community.

Personal trainers in exercise have become hugely popular amongst fitness-oriented, ordinary people, because they work. Find a good one, that is, one who’s qualified, has good interpersonal skills and who we can connect with, and we’re far more likely to be consistent in training and reach our goal, whether that be short term, I want to lose belly fat, or long term, I want to be fit and toned. Their involvement increases the intensity and quality of our efforts and therefore, the results. And they make it more fun. The number of times I’ve laughed during a workout is countless – I think good PTs dream up some exercises to challenge our brains as much as our bodies.

Mentors have been around since humans first talked. A mentor is a guide, a teacher, a guru. A good mentor is someone who is more experienced in our area of study, career, spiritual practice, or hobby than us, and helps us improve in that area by giving advice based on their understanding of our personal, individual challenges. Once again, if we find a mentor we connect with, they’ll be able to see our needs more objectively, point us in the right direction, and keep us on task. They can help us learn and help us achieve.

My last blog post described my writing style and the angst I suffer because of it. I expressed my fear that novel writing might not be for me, considering how long it takes me to write. At the end, I decided I needed to do something different – after all, if you repeat the same action and expect a different result, then you must be crazy, right? So, I took a step back, away from the computer, and returned to basics. I used coloured cardboard, index cards and felt pens, and had some fun. I played with my characters and their stories and analysed what I had. I found a clear message, the truth, the essence of my novel. And on the computer, a lot of words – 176,000! The story ran like a film in my head but was still not expressed in all those words. So, it finally dawned on me. I need help. I need a mentor. The moment I engaged one, I felt lighter, less fatigued, and my enthusiasm soared. I feel like I’m going to succeed.

The final tool in the shed of helpful resources is the tribe. When we find one, we’re never alone, we’re supported, and we feel part of something bigger than ourselves. When we’re connected to others through values, interests and sensibilities, our minds and hearts are nourished. We’re also encouraged in our personal pursuits.

My writing tribe frequently makes my day brighter. They’re there to share all things writerly – serious or funny – and also to support one another; in times of need (writer misery) and times of success (writer bliss). Thanks to The Twinklings 😉.

My other tribe is my community. Talking about big and small issues together (over afternoon tea), being active together (in walking shoes or kayaks), and pulling together to achieve a common goal, or just help someone out, makes each of us feel integrated and important. Being a part of community, amongst like-minded people, a tribe, gives me a sense of value, of enhanced self-worth. Anyone who feels like that, will be far more likely to achieve their goals. They’re also good enough to share my blog. Thanks to Sussex Inlet Pals😊.

I hope that anyone trying to achieve a goal, succeed in an undertaking, or fulfill a dream, would consider getting themselves a trainer or mentor or joining a community to find a tribe. You’ll reach your goal faster and have more fun along the way. I’m so glad I did. Will you?

New Year Fireworks and Goals

The new year has begun. 2019. It started with the explosion of fireworks, live and on the TV, the abrupt bangs and crackles heard over the low roar and whoosh of the sea, cheering voices and music. The windows were wide open, letting the heat out and the cool breeze in, and the sounds were indistinguishable, the reality from recorded.

New Year’s Eve was a quiet one for me and I couldn’t have been more content. Sharing Australian prawns, Sydney rock oysters and French champagne with an old friend. Cooking up a Thai chicken curry and eating alfresco, glad that the humidity had been washed away by the rain shower. Walking a breezy kilometre along the cliff to the park that overlooks Coogee Beach and the headland.

The fireworks at 9pm attracted families, locals and holiday-makers. The crowd was cheerful and festive. Kids had glow-sticks, parents had picnic blankets, cheeky people had sneaky drinks. Brave dogs paced next to their families, as excited as their humans. The fireworks were varied, colourful and constant for twenty minutes. Everyone seemed happy. (Presumably, those who don’t like fireworks or crowds and those whose animals are frightened, stay at home.) Fireworks were followed by a walk along the promenade and giant serves of salted caramel and double chocolate ice creams in a cone.

The simplicity and ease of the evening, along with friendship, community vibe and foodie indulgence, were what brought on the feeling of contentment. I was in a happy place. And it was the close of a big year. 2018 had its challenges: ongoing divorce proceedings, the death of my beloved chocolate Labrador, and breast cancer. But there were also many wonderful things: the road trip up the north coast to Lennox Head, the writing workshop with author, Fiona McIntosh, in SA, another road trip in Donegal, Ireland, doing research for my novel, and the completion of the first draft. All the while I had the support of caring, loving family and friends. All that deserved fireworks, and my gratitude!

So, to my goals for 2019: take better care of my body, feeding it champagne and ice cream in fewer doses; finish a polished manuscript, one good enough to present to a publisher; write every day and continue this weekly blog; maintain and enhance my relationships and give back to those who love me; have fun travelling; move house; find another dog to love; be kind, to myself as well as to others.

Considering I have a good chance of achieving my goals, I figure I have a lot to be content with. I wish you all good health, good fortune, and good goals to go after. Have a happy 2019.


Thanks to Randwick City Council and my own many blessings.