Another year, another chance for us to make it our best one yet. It’s a great time to take a look back on what you tried to achieve over the past year and assess the outcomes as you continue striving to push yourself in the pursuit of greater heights.

Unfortunately, achieving a goal is challenging; sometimes even seemingly impossible. But with the right attitude and determination, you have the opportunity to achieve a great deal before 2017 passes us by.

Struggling for motivation to keep yourself accountable to all that you want to achieve over the year ahead? Let’s explore some meaningful strategies to beat the procrastination below.

Assess yourself

Everything starts with you! Here’s the thing, you will never achieve something if you don’t see the purpose of it. Think of something that you are most passionate about like Megan Dalla-Camina, who we featured recently. Megan isn’t afraid of dreaming big and just like her you need to determine what you value most and chase that dream! Do not fall into the trap of being guided entirely by those around you.

Set a deadline

Chop your long term goals into little pieces and go over them one piece at a time. For example, you are aiming to read a book by the end of the year. A 400-page book might seem like an impossible task to tackle when you have all the time in the world. Small and achievable goals such as one chapter a week can make a world of difference! Once you’re happily achieving minor goals, up the ante and slowly turn up the pace.

Deadlines are one hell of a motivator. Remember rushing out assignments at University in record time thanks to that impending (or long overdue) deadline? Seemingly impossible tasks are easy to master when you do away with the constant distractions around you.

Set a target date to complete your goals and enjoy the pressure. Of all the people you don’t want to disappoint when you don’t meet your deadlines, you mostly don’t want to disappoint yourself.

Improve your professional qualifications

You may have already completed a degree and completed a number of qualifications though your professional qualifications know no bounds. Find ways to sharpen your mind and extend what you know already. There are a lot of workshops, seminars, and short courses you can take that’ll be beneficial to your professional growth. The key is finding something that fits you.

A site such as is a great place to start, as they feature study options that cover both online and in-class training. Through partnerships with ​Australia’s leading education providers, they provide the most comprehensive course comparison service in Australia.

With over 300,000 users monthly, they are well placed to assist you with your professional qualification or study enquiry. Have you spent any time in 2017 considering where the gaps in your professional qualifications exist? Might be a good time to consider them.

Remember, the world is rapidly changing and professional qualifications are key to staying ahead of the curve! No matter who you are or what your position in the company, it is essential to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date at all times.

Focus on one skill at a time

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were brought into this world armed with a set of skills that we can utilise straight away? But the thing is, no one is born an expert and everything must be learned. Being an expert takes a lot of practice, a lot of mistakes, and a lot of learning. Think of the goal you want to achieve and reflect on the skills you need in order to achieve it!

So you want to be a writer? You can’t be an award-winning writer like Charlotte Wood overnight. Why not focus on perfecting your grammar and spelling before jumping into writing a book? What skill will you focus on acing this month? Is it dancing, singing, or acting? Take your time. Break down your goal. This way, your goal will look more realistic and less intimidating which will make it easier for you to achieve it.

Let people know about your goals

It may be uncomfortable to talk about though share your goals with those around you. Some may think that you’re overly ambitious though where’s the harm in that?

Talking about your goals can benefit you in two ways. First, those people who doubted you? You get to prove them wrong. You now have the drive to work harder so that those people realise they made a mistake on belittling your abilities. You get to prove that you are more than what they think.

Secondly, you recruit a support system. These are the people who will be cheering for you and challenging you to take your goal up a notch because they believe in you. You might also find someone who has the same goal as yours. Now, you may go through the same obstacles together. You will face a lot of challenges on your journey towards your improvement, but at least you have the right people around you.

Isn’t it nice to picture what the whole year would look like and just plan your action ahead to make this year the best year of your life? Taking on new goals is a great start.

Always remember that no matter how grand our goals and dreams are, nothing will happen if we just let it stay as dreams. What will really make the difference is our actions! Whatever you think you should be doing, do it now and do it for yourself. Claim that spotlight and put your best foot forward.

Dreaming big is a great feeling, but keep in mind that goals aren’t instantly achieved. You can’t finish writing a book when you dedicate one week of your life to do it, you need to do it repeatedly until it becomes a habit.

It will be hard, yes. But nothing worth it comes easy, right? Plus, don’t you just love that sense of accomplishment when you get to finish something?

This article was written in collaboration with

One sad, sorry Wednesday morning, whilst lying in bed scrolling through my Instagram newsfeed and ignoring the many alarms emanating from my clock radio, I came across a particular meme that stopped me in my tracks. It was an image of popstar Beyonce Knowles on stage, in costume, mid-dance move. Arms high above her head. The caption read, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyonce”.

I’m not encouraging everyone to become Beyonce, but social media was right. Beyonce DOES have the same 24 hours in a day as us mere plebs, and while I certainly don’t aim to be a pop culture phenomenon (or suggest that her lifestyle and music is for everyone), I do know that I certainly have 24 hours in my day to achieve amazing things. Just like you. Just like Australian pro surfer Sally Fitzgibbons. Just like my hairdresser Sarah. Just like my good mate Jen.

So what does it take to achieve amazing feats of excellence in the same 24 hour period as everyone else? What sets those that do apart from those that don’t? How do they motivate themselves through rough patches, how do they remain humble whilst still reaching for more? Five of Australia’s top athletes, Jessica Fox, Sally Fitzgibbons, Jordan Mercer, Ellyse Perry and Anna Flanagan, give us their inside scoop into their passions, inspirations and motivations behind who they are and what they’ve achieved.

1. They were all influenced and inspired by other people

Greatness doesn’t exist in a bubble. Sure, it ultimately comes from within, but without great role models or personal cheer squads in our corner, clamouring for our success, it can be a long and lonely road to where we want to be. Sally Fitzgibbons says top athletes serve as her inspiration, particularly Australian former Olympic track athlete John Landy. “He exemplified the meaning of hard work, determination and wore his heart on his sleeve”, Sally says. For Australian world champion slalom canoeist Jessica Fox, people who overcame obstacles to reach their goals serve as her inspiration. She cites Olympic Gold Medallist, Australian track cyclist Anna Meares as someone with tenacity and mental strength. “She overcame so many setbacks in her career to come back and perform in those major competitions like the Olympics”.

But it doesn’t always have to be people in your industry that influence and inspire you. Ironwoman Jordan Mercer draws inspiration from kids with special needs, thanks to her charity work with the likes of Noosa Seahorse Nippers, Surfers Healing and Paddle4Autism. She also draws inspiration from family, like her Aunty Jen.


Australian Women's Hockeyroo Anna Flanagan

Australian Women’s Hockeyroo Anna Flanagan



Australian Women's Cricketer and Footballer Ellyse Perry

Australian Women’s Cricketer and Footballer Ellyse Perry



2. They maintain a life that doesn’t always revolve around chasing their goals

Being goal-orientated is a great thing, in fact, it’s essential to achievement. But being a well-rounded individual is also important. It keeps you grounded, it keeps you sane. If you’re constantly chasing your goals without taking a step back and experiencing the joys the rest of your life can offer you, then what is the point of all this goal-chasing?

Top athletes are the same. All-rounder Ellyse Perry, who represents Australia in both cricket and football, maintains hobbies and goals separate from her competitive sporting life. “I study part time at uni, spend a lot of time at cafes, and love seeing family and friends”, she explains. Australian field hockey player and Hockeyroo Anna Flanagan is much the same. “I love blogging and writing”, she says, “But otherwise skateboarding and hanging out at the beach are where you will generally find me in my free time”.

3. They know the importance of staying healthy

We all know that life gets busy sometimes, and you might be too busy to hit the gym, or make yourself a nutritious meal, or hell, even just have a proper breakfast. But life is a marathon, not a sprint, and burning out due to stress or poor diet and inactivity is the quickest way to stop you reaching your goals.

Mercer is a big believer in food being the best source of nutrition, by fuelling your body with food that will nourish you, without potions or pills. Fox agrees, and stresses that fad diets and supplements aren’t always the best thing for you. “I really just believe in a balanced diet, and that you can get everything you need from a good diet. I tend to try and stay away from fads, and try and eat for my exercise”.

In fact, it’s a point echoed by Flanagan, too. “A healthy lifestyle is far more satisfying than constantly being on fad diets and yo-yoing with weight”, she says. “Exercise makes you happy, and is so good for your body”.


Ironwoman Jordan Mercer

Ironwoman Jordan Mercer


Slalom Canoeist Jess Fox

Slalom Canoeist Jess Fox


4. They are passionate about their passions

As you’d expect from top performers, their passions really are their passions. It fuels their lifestyle, it gets them up in the morning, it pushes them to try harder. This is how you should be with your passions, too. Find something you know will make you happy pursuing, and gets you going. Fitzgibbons says it’s important to see women loving what they do in life. “I’m passionate about seeing women radiating happiness, standing up for what they believe in and living their passion with confidence and pride”.

Perry knows that her passion for sports fuels her, with or without the accolades. “Even if I didn’t make it to the highest level, I’m sure I would still be playing sport, but from the moment I played my first game for Australia, I knew I wanted to make it my career”.

A healthy lifestyle is far more satisfying than constantly being on fad diets and yo-yoing with weight

Flanagan’s passion for field hockey grew when she represented the country at the Olympics, particularly as she was surrounded by other athletes at the top of their game. But it’s what you put into your passions that produce what you get out of it. “I truly believe that what you put into a career, you will get out”, she says. “I think good things don’t come easy, and it’s reminding yourself of what you want through the hard times”.

5. They know how to motivate themselves and remind themselves of the why behind their actions

Sometimes you set yourself a goal and then work towards achieving it, but then lose your path along the way. Maybe you needed to take a side step in order to go forward, or even pause for a while to train or retrain, or focus on your family or health. Whatever the reason, if your motivation is strong, you will continue on your path no matter what. “I always have my ultimate goal of becoming World Champion to motivate me and push me through those hard days when you are exhausted”, Fitzgibbons explains. “It gets me out of bed before 5am every morning to go out and work harder than the previous day”.

Australian professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons

Australian professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons

Perry also finds that just getting up and out is a step in the right direction. “I always find once you get going, it’s never as bad as what you thought it was going to be, and I always end up enjoying it”. Sure, you might not be a champion athlete, but this positive attitude can be used in any situation. Got a presentation you need to prepare for? Need the push to finally work on your resume for career progression? It’s the motivation to just get up and take that step that makes the difference between sitting still or moving forward, even just slightly. Fox definitely applies this mindset to her training routine. “The saying goes that the only session you regret is one you didn’t do”.

Remember also that your why is important. Why do you want to achieve this goal? What is it about this lifestyle that makes you so determined to strive for it? Mercer gives herself short-term and long-term goals to remind her that the hard yards she’s working through now will all be worth it in the long run.

The only session you regret is one you didn’t do

If you want to succeed in anything, be it in your career, your health or your finances, your determination to make it through the rough times are what’s going to get you to your goals. Fitzgibbons remembers clearly the advice given to her by tennis legend Martina Navratilova, “She told me that champions adjust. No matter what obstacles you are faced with, they find a way to be the best they can possibly be”.

All images courtesy of athlete’s promoters and used with permission. Featured image via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0


EricaEnriquezPhotoErica Enriquez

Erica is a Sydney-based writer and digital marketer, and can often be found pounding away on a keyboard, writing about everything from travel, lifestyle, well-being and anything in between. When she is not writing, she is STILL writing, developing copy and content for websites and marketing collateral. Erica is passionate about film, literature and culture (high brow and low brow), as well as pro-social causes supporting cultural engagement (counting travelling as one of them). In her spare time, she loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book, go for a nice dinner with friends or spend time with her partner.



If you ever feel discouraged while you’re trying to achieve a goal, staying motivated can be one of the most impactful differences between success and failure. Whether you’re preparing an important year-end project at work, attempting to lose weight, or trying to survive a weekend with your in-laws, sometimes getting through to the other side of your goals is hard. Really hard. The most accomplished people are motivated to succeed by something; whether it’s the feeling of success, the potential for future reward or simply the love of doing what they do, they have a reason that keeps them going when the going gets tough.

If you start to feel your motivation waning, here are some useful tips to help keep your eyes on the prize:

1. Focus on the Positive

If you’ve had a bad day and meeting your goals seem harder than ever because you’ve slipped up or lost sight of things, it is important to change your focus. Instead of paying attention to what you aren’t doing or how much time you don’t have, congratulate yourself for what you did accomplish. Maybe you felt embarrassed for having asked for help with something, but followed up with an in-depth report that you were able to present to your manager. It is important to not feel down about the setback, but rather focus on the fact that you were able to provide value to your team leader and learned during the process.

Staying on track to meet your goals can be frustrating, even stressful and emotional. But if you learn to work through the boredom, focus on smaller goals, and learn to recognize what you are doing right, you’ll find it much easier to keep pushing until you reach the big reward.

“Sometimes getting through to the other side of your goals is hard”

2. Set Small Goals

If you’re struggling to stay motivated, take a moment to step back and examine your goals. Are you focusing on the end results or small manageable goals? There is a popular joke that asks “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer: one bite at a time. If you focus too much on the end goal, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and discouraged when you don’t immediately see the results you expect to see.

While remembering your end goal is important, setting manageable micro-goals can make the process less discouraging and a lot more rewarding.

3. Reward Yourself

Working towards a goal is no fun if you don’t feel a little rewarded for your accomplishments. It doesn’t have to be anything lavish or expensive, but it is important to reward yourself when you meet one of your milestones. A Vanilla Frappuccino from Starbucks, a fresh manicure, or some new shoes are simple rewards that give you something more immediate to look forward to when you really need the extra motivation to finish when deadlines are fast approaching.

“Instead of paying attention to what you aren’t doing or how much time you don’t have, congratulate yourself for what you did accomplish”

4. Keep Reminders Around

When times get tough it’s important to remember why it is you do the things that you do. For me, my family and kids are a huge motivator to my success when I’m feeling overwhelmed at the office. Being a big coffee drinker, my children got me a personalized mug with their pictures on it that I like to keep on my desk as my own personal reminder. Having access to a reminder of why you are working so hard can give you an extra boost of energy when you’re finding it difficult to continue.

5. Suck it up

One of the most important things you can do to accomplish your goals is to accept that it’s going to be hard. It might even be boring sometimes. When you go to the gym and you hop on the elliptical or the treadmill and your legs just don’t want to move, accept that it’s going to be a hard workout and push through it. Come back the next day and do it again anyway.

“… It is important to reward yourself when you meet one of your milestones”

Sticking to a goal when it’s easy or fun is exactly that: easy and fun. The reason so many people fail before they reach their goals is not because they aren’t capable. It’s because starting out is easy, but when the results are slow to come, it gets really hard to remain motivated. Learn to enjoy – or at least survive – the boring parts and you’ll be golden.


Featured photo credit: george.bremer via photopin cc

Hank-McKinsey-bio-img-Leaders-in-HeelsHank McKinsey

Hank McKinsey is a lifestyle how-to blogger located in Central, California. Having graduated from Fresno City College with a major in business administration and a minor in journalism, Hank now resides as a SAHD (Stay At Home Dad) while his wife works as the Assistant Director of Operations for a Fortune 500 company. Be sure to follow Hank on Twitter to see what he’s up to.