5 Game Changing Tips For Your Most Productive Day

We all have the time and energy to accomplish miraculous things in a given day or a short period of time.

18 Quotes From Extraordinary Women To Inspire You Today

“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”

How To Boost Your Self Confidence

Let’s face it… there’s no quick fix which will automatically give you good confidence overnight. There are a few different factors which contribute to having a great self-esteem and even better confidence, one of which is age. If you’re looking to boost your confidence in the long-term, then the following tips might be of good use to you and your friends!

RELATED: The Greatest Love of All – How To Foster Self Love

Get healthy

How many men and women are actually happy about their body? It’s probably hard to find someone who likes everything about themselves… and if you do, that’s great! Keep fit and healthy by nourishing your body from the inside out – we’re not suggesting you #cleaneat and exercise every single day. Try and incorporate a few different super-foods into your diet, and see what works.

Fake it

For many of us, good confidence comes from sucking it up and pretending that we already have it. This is just a fact of life! Make more eye contact, contribute to a conversation and let your voice be heard.

Take up a hobby

Hobbies are a great way to meet new friends, stay healthy, and interact on a weekly basis. This might be a little tough if you’re a new mum, but search for activities which will work around you and your newborn. Then you will have something consistent to look forward to, and build a new network of friends along the way!

Positive thoughts

This might be a little difficult for all the pessimists out there (don’t hate, I’m also one!), but positive thoughts go a long way. Rather than dwelling on all the negative, think and partake in activities which will actually make the most of your time. Sitting around on Facebook complaining about others isn’t exactly an attractive trait… right?

Learn more

Education is always important, long-after you’ve finished university, Tafe or even a vocational course. I certainly didn’t enjoy university (the first, or second time), but maybe a short course is exactly what you need. If you’re scared to go it alone – bring a friend! You will learn so much more about yourself, and have some fun doing it.

Look the part

Sometimes a big part of feeling good on the inside, is looking good on the outside. Re-vamp your wardrobe, sell a few of those clothes you never wear, donate the rest, give yourself a face mask, take a bubble bath… these are all great ways to pamper yourself during a rough patch.

What are some of your tips to boost self-confidence?

Image via Softpedia

Coach Yourself To Better Health

Have you ever decided to make a change towards a healthier lifestyle, then found yourself returning to your old ways within a week or a month? This often happens because the goal we set for ourselves is too ambitions and we’re trying to change too much, too fast. There’s a gentler way to better health – taking one little step at a time and celebrating your wins along the way.

RELATED: A Shortcut To Changing A Habit For Good

While the cold-turkey method can work for some people, it leaves most of us disappointed and feeling bad about ourselves. Lifestyle food and wellness coach Magdalena Mandryk shows us how to coach ourselves to better health from a place of gentleness and self-love instead. So grab something to write with and follow along!

What would you like to change in your lifestyle?

Magdalena believes that a happier and healthier life starts in these three areas: good nutrition, regular physical activity and positive mindset. It’s important to create good habits in all three, but without being too strict on yourself. It’s okay to enjoy a bit of chocolate or a glass of wine from time to time!

What area do you feel needs most attention right now? Pick one positive change to focus on: it could be drinking more water, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep. It’s always better to define your goal in positive terms and move towards something you want rather than away from something you don’t want. For example, losing weight has an element of loss attached to it and what do you do when you lose something? That’s right, you want to find it again! Instead, focus on eating healthy food that nourishes your body and all of a sudden your goal seems a lot more attractive.

Why is this important to you?

Your motivation is everything. If you’re doing something just because your friend or an expert told you it was a good idea, the chances are you won’t stick with it. Imagine yourself achieving the result you want. How is your life going to be different? How are you going to feel? Is that what you want for yourself? If not, now is the time to go back to the first step and make adjustments to your goal.

What are your strengths?

List 3-5 of your innate strengths (your strengths are activities and qualities that come naturally to you and bring you joy). They don’t have to be related to the goal you’re setting for yourself, but when you’re stuck for inspiration you can always get creative and draw on your strengths to overcome obstacles.

What could get in your way?

Make a list of the challenges that can come up along the way: work emergency, losing motivation, kids getting sick, all the things that can happen to distract you from your goal. This list can get long, but don’t let that discourage you. It’s better to be prepared than to fall apart and forget all about your goal at the first sign of something not going to plan.

What are some possible strategies?

Here’s where you brainstorm strategies to achieve your goal and overcome your obstacles. It always helps to have a list of strategies ahead of time – in the heat of the moment you may not be able to find a solution and you might not even remember that you need one.

Are you having a hard time coming up with strategies for some of the things that could get in your way? Now is the time to call on your strengths. How can you engage your strengths to overcome your obstacles?

For example, you may be trying to get enough sleep, but you’re struggling to detach yourself from your computer at night because one of your strengths – curiosity, is always driving you to look for more answers online. You can consciously send your curiosity in a different direction and get curious about interpreting dreams. Then you’ll need to dream first before you have something you could interpret.

Choose a task for next week

Finally, it’s time to make your goal a reality. Choose a small, doable task for next week. It has to be achievable, measurable and attractive, something you want to do. For example, you could choose to go to bed 15 minutes earlier, exercise every day for 10 minutes or drink one glass of water. While it doesn’t feel like much, it’s easy to do and you’re far more likely to succeed than if you decide to stick to a bed time of 9 pm and exercise for 45 minutes a day.

Magdalena recommends that you focus on each task for at least a week before you move on to the next step. Once the week is up, review how you went, do something to celebrate your success and set a new task for the following week. When you succeed week after week, you start feeling great about yourself and you build momentum, so it’s much easier to keep going. One little step at a time and you’ll see that better health is well within your reach.

Image via Pixabay

How To Motivate Yourself

“You can do anything if you put your mind to it.” How many times have you heard that in your life? It’s usually from older relatives, who you don’t want to admit have life experience and may actually be onto something, but if you’re looking to motivate yourself to achieve a particular goal, you should listen to their wise words.

RELATED: How to create more time in your day

Whether it’s getting back into the gym, renovating your house or changing your career, motivation can often be hard to gather, especially when you’re tired, busy or comfortable. But we should always be challenging ourselves to go above and beyond, so here are our top tips to get motivated!

Write it down

Write down what it is you want to achieve so that you have a clear goal in mind. Once you’ve written that down, add in smaller steps that can build up to your goal, for example, if you’re looking to lose five kilograms, your steps would start with things like easing yourself off naughty food and going doing some form of exercise three times per week for one month. When you break down a bigger task into smaller ones, it makes it more manageable and you’re more likely to try and complete the steps.

Write down why you want to achieve your goal as well. You could accompany this with pictures that you find inspiring. This may help you when you’re a bit lost and feel like giving up. Knowing why you want to do something and having this written down reminds you of the end result and how you’ll feel, which is the most important part.

Get a planner

Planning your day is a key part of achieving your goal. Putting a small amount of time, even ten minutes into working towards your goal makes you focus on it more and can make you want to work harder. Planning your day also gives you better time management which will give you more free time to work towards what you’re after and also have some me-time.

Have fun

Leave some time to enjoy yourself. What you are motivating yourself for should be your passion, but you still need time to relax and recuperate. Letting go and having fun will help you to unwind, which will make you available to work harder to achieve your goals.

Make healthy decisions

No matter what your goal is, you should always be treating your body with respect and fuelling it efficiently for you to function. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly will make you feel great, improve your energy and get you in the great mood that you need to get working.

Invest in the right tools

Make your environment supportive of your goal. By investing in the right tools, such as a computer or a gym membership, you are empowering yourself to go ahead. A great environment will have you itching to use your great tools, which will in turn, achieve great results. Not having efficient tools can kill your motivational drive.

Image via motivateplay.com

How To Get Motivated After A Holiday

Holidays are there so that we can rest, have some fun and get fired up to return to our everyday life, right? Only it rarely works out that way. Holidays never seem to be long enough and getting back to our routine can feel like an ordeal. It’s hard to get up in the morning, we have tons of work to catch up on and our mind is still back there, at the beach, on the slopes or in Paris. If this is happening to you, here are some tips on how to get motivated after a holiday.

RELATED: All Work And No Play… Creating Balance In Success

Get some rest

“What? But I’ve just come back from holidays. I don’t have time to rest”, I hear you say. But often we come back from holidays tired. Not the same tiredness that you feel after a hard day of work, but tired nevertheless. You may be jetlagged or you may have engaged in more physical activity than normal, or you mind might be full of new impressions. So don’t push yourself too hard for the first few days and take as much time for rest as you can.

Set your priorities

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the mountain of work that’s waiting for you, so your first instinct is to start doing stuff as fast as you can. A couple of hours into it and you’ll get frustrated that your to-do list doesn’t seem to become any shorter. Instead, spend some time evaluating what’s most important right now and do those tasks first.

Start small

Understandably, you’d want to get up to date with everything immediately, on the very first day. And this is the quickest way to burnout. Remember, you’ve just come back from a holiday, your next one is probably not coming for a while, so you need to pace yourself. As long as you get the important tasks out of the way, it’s OK to give yourself some time to catch up with everything else.

Focus on what you love

As much as you’d rather be on holidays, there’re probably plenty of positive experiences in your day – being able to eat your favourite food, sharing your memories with a colleague, getting a new client who loves you. Acknowledge these special moments and you’ll find that your day flows with a lot more ease.

Do you have more tips on how to get motivated after a holiday? Please share them!

Image by wilofcom via pixabay.com

Why You Should Exercise With a Partner

We know how it is: you want to get fit, but finding the motivation is half the hurdle. But did you know that statistics show that women have twice as much motivation to get out there and achieve their goals when they train with a partner or a group?

Fitness and yoga expert, Kate Kendall from Sydney’s Flow Athletic says keeping company while you exercise is a strategy for success.

“We find that not only do our clients have a lot of fun when they train with a partner or a group, but they often work harder too. We design many of our outdoor classes around partner work as we find that everyone gets so much out of it.”

Kate’s tell us how training with a partner can really boost your health and weight loss goals:

1. Share your goals
Whether they are weight management, finishing a marathon or to see a little more definition in the abs, your friend can help keep you accountable in those times when things get tough!

2. Have a laugh
Laughing triggers the release of natural feel-good chemicals, improving your overall sense of wellbeing. When done with a partner it tightens your bond making you more likely to want to get up at the crack of dawn to train with them.

3. Eye of the tiger
A little bit of banter and healthy competition never hurt anyone. If you can be picky, choose a workout partner who you know has a little fire in their belly and will want to push themselves to beat you.

4. Share the expertise
Two heads are better than one when it comes to getting fit. Talk it out and share your learnings with your partner. You’ll accelerate your results and both get across the finish line faster!

5. Give back
Encouraging a partner and helping them achieve remarkable things for their health can have incredible ripple effects and be great for your own sense of wellbeing.  Do it and see what happens.

Do you train with a partner or in a group, or prefer to exercise by yourself? Tell us in the comments!

To help encourage Aussie women to start the New Year with a boost to their exercise regime, Special K® has partnered with New Balance to offer a free training top in exchange for the purchase of three specially-marked packs. Let’s get training!

Michelle Bridges: The Motivation Myth

Forget motivation – The Biggest Loser’s Michelle Bridges shares the real secret to achieving your fitness and weight loss goals.

Extract from the book Get Real!: Inspiring Stories and lessons from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation revolution by Michelle Bridges and photography by Jane Allen published by Viking RRP $24.99. 

When people tell me they’re struggling  with their training, the first thing they say is that they’ve lost motivation. Most people believe that if they inject some motivation into their lives, they’ll be fine – right? WRONG! It’s like we have all become motivation junkies, just waiting for the next hit.

If you’ve done my 12 Week Body Transformation you’ll already be aware that I think motivation is a complete crock – in fact, it’s a trap! I always say that motivation is like a bad boyfriend – never there when you need him most!

I know, as a personal trainer and a human being, motivation is not always going to be there, so what’s going to happen when you wake up and it’s gone? Is that game over for you? Motivation is like any emotion – it comes and goes, so if you’re going to rely on motivation to get the job done, it will let you down. And that’s the trap – motivation is an often an excuse in disguise:

‘As soon as I don’t FEEL motivated, I’ll just stop’.

Don’t get me wrong here – it’s great to set goals and be positively motivated by them, but understand that you do not need to be constantly motivated or even have set goals to exercise. And knowing THAT should make you feel relieved! You don’t need to be wound up like a spring coil in order to get a training session done, and you don’t need to feel anxious and vulnerable when motivation disappears.

Motivation is not necessarily your friend. So…what’s left if not motivation? Well, there is something far more effective, and here’s the secret…athletes know it, coaches know it, and successful business people know it. There is something out there that will support you and will take you where you want to go. It will not let you down. What is it…? Consistency.

Be consistent and you will achieve. No bells and whistles, no hype. And we don’t just do it for three days and then go out and celebrate with cake! You don’t think, you just do. Consistency isn’t something that you need to recharge and it’s not something you need to go out on the hunt for! Consistency is steady, it’s relentless and it’s steadfast all the way through. Take the emotion out, go into robot mode, and get on with the task at hand.


Q&A with Surfing Legend Sally Fitzgibbons

Sally Fitzgibbons is one of the hardest working athletes in world sport – and her incredible passion makes her one of SheSaid’s most inspiring women. A child surfing prodigy who dreamed of emulating seven-time world champion Layne Beachley, the 22-year-old holds the record for shortest time ever to qualify for the world tour, in 2008.

Addicted to any form of competition that involves a bat, ball, watercraft or finishing line, the ever-energetic Fitzgibbons lives for sport and for perfection. When she’s not on tour, you won’t find her shopping or attending a plethora of parties and events but instead doing anything possible to get an edge on her rivals.

Fitzgibbons is outspoken about the plight of women’s surfing, often going in to bat for her comrades in the name of equality. And with her infectious lust for life, endearing charm and clean-living lifestyle, she has become not just an amazing surfer but the ultimate role model.

She’s never had a drink, never tried a cigarette and the only speeding ticket Fitzgibbons has every received in her Mini was courtesy of dad, Martin. No wonder she’s proud to be an Arrive Alive ambassador, supporter of numerous charities and the reigning Australian Bachelorette of the Year.

SheSaid chats with Fitzgibbons about how she stays healthy and motivated, and where she gets her inspiration from.

What is a typical day’s eating plan?
I have to be really flexible when it comes to an eating plan as I’m constantly travelling around the world competing for the most part of the year. I try to keep it pretty simple and eat mostly a diet of fruit, vegetables and a variety of meats and quality proteins. Being lactose-intolerant I am a little restricted as to what I can eat and it can get tricky on the road but I love trying different cuisines around the world – often including some cultures’ ways of eating into my own regime. Like eating more of a dinner meal for breakfast; chicken soup or a stir-fry with vegetables and protein. It seems to keep me going for longer. I snack on fruit and nuts and I’ll often have a Red Bull before or halfway through a training session to help me push through.

How do you train on an average day?
Day-to-day my training sessions are forever changing according to what location I am in. I try to use my surroundings and create sessions around what I have in front of me. I use my training to help me see and explore all these amazing locations I get to travel to. I make my training sessions out of the water into a bit of an adventure, it can be anything from running to famous landmarks, biking, hiking, swimming or paddling kayaks or boards up and down the coast.

Having a competitive running background I love jumping in fun runs whenever I get the chance and Charity events like City2Surf, Biarritz Breast Cancer Run and I am also ambassador for Run Wollongong’s inaugural run which is raising money for Wollongong Children’s Hospital. It’s so much fun getting active and bringing a community together with exercise, it’s an awesome vibe. I’m also in the gym everyday for strength and conditioning on top of the my training sessions in the water.

How do you stay motivated?
I had the dream from a really young age that I wanted to become an elite athlete but wasn’t sure which sport I would make it in, so I signed up for every single one under the sun. Being driven by myself and my own will power to want to achieve this goal meant that I was constantly self motivated. I want to be the best so bad that I know myself how much hard work and long hours I need to put in. Great partners like Red Bull who are really supportive of my training definitely help when it comes to setting goals and making the impossible happen. There is still so much I want to achieve so this is what keeps me motivated and moving forward.


You have amazing skin – what’s your skincare routine?
It is hard to keep your skin protected from being in the harsh elements and the sun so much but I know how important it is to look after it and save it from getting damaged as best you can. I use a lot of Garnier products in my daily regime to moisturise and rehydrate my skin after surfing and use the BBcream as an all in one daily foundation with the SPF in it for my day to day go to. When we travel to extremely hot places I layer face suncreen with a foundation coloured zinc. Making sure at the end of the day you cleanse and clean your skin to avoid break outs.

Where are your favourite surfing spots in Australia and around the world?
That’s a really tough one to narrow down. There are so many amazing waves around the world and right at home in Australia. My top few in Australia would be the breaks on the South Coast of NSW where I have grown up Sandon Point, Werri Beach and Seven Mile Beach, Bells Beach in Victoria and Margaret River in WA.

Abroad I would say Fiji, Mexico and Hossegor, France are up amongst the top performance waves that I enjoy.

How do you like to relax?
I find it hard to sit still and relax, even in my time off I like doing a lot of things in a day. I love going hiking with friends or going on long adventurous runs. I am a bit of a sports fanatic so I try to go to big games and sporting events with friends and family.

Who inspires you?
I’ve always had a great passion for sport from this my inspirations were elite athletes at the tops of their sports. I loved watching those magic moments when you see them achieve their ultimate goals. Claiming World Titles, Olympic medals and personal bests. There was something really special about seeing someone’s hard work, dedication and sacrifice pay off. Athletes like Cathy Freeman, Kerryn McCann, Ian Thorpe, Robbie Maddison, Kelly Slater, Layne Beachley, Rodger Federer and Adam Scott are definitely ones I’ve drawn inspiration from.

What changes if any do you think we’ll see over the next 5-10 years in women’s sport?
In our sport of surfing I think you will really see it take off in the next 5-10 years. It’s gathering great momentum amongst fans and the public around the world and more great sponsors are wanting to host Women’s World Tour events. With the talent level at an all time high in our sport it is only fitting to see it get thrust into that main stream spotlight and have the addition of great events in world class waves for us to perform on.

As an Arrive Alive ambassador, how do you convince your friends to be responsible with drinking?
For me it was a lifestyle choice not to drink. I always wanted to wake up for the early dawn patrol surf and wanted to go and train and drinking never really fitted in with that. But I love going out with my friends and having a great time without alcohol. All I need is a Red Bull to keep up with them on the dance floor! I also like being able to look out for my friends too. I would always be able to drive everyone home at the end of the night and I felt that need to make sure everyone got home safely.

What’s your life motto?
A smile will take you the mile. Love what you do and make the most of every moment.

How to Deal With a Stressful Job

According to research, the average professional has 30 to 100 work-related projects on their plate. They’re interrupted seven times an hour and distracted up to 2.1 hours a day. Adding to this, 4 out of 10 people working at large companies are experiencing a major corporate restructuring, and therefore facing great uncertainly about their futures. This may be why more than 40% of adults admit to lying awake at night plagued by the stressful events of the day. Sound familiar?

But a stressful work environment doesn’t mean doom and gloom. We chat with Mark Bennet, Head Chef at the award-winning Esca Bimbadgen, who knows exactly what a stressful day at the office is all about – working in a job that demands unflagging commitment and energy, gruelling hours and inflexible deadlines.

Mark shares his top tips on dealing with an overwhelming workload and keeping cool in an ever-changing environment that pulls you from every direction.

Get outside
Being outdoors for some period of the day has an amazing power to calm and connect us with our roots. Light exercise can be a great release for stress even if its as simple as walking the dog in the early morning along your street with the sunrise and the birds singing. It is a great way to create a clear slate in your head and organise your thoughts. Even heading down to the beach and strolling barefoot through the sand with the waves of the ocean in the background has a strong power to instantly relieve symptoms of stress.

Sleep well
Getting enough sleep seems counter productive. You are busy and you have lots to do, so sleep more. Plenty of experts say that a lack of sleep can make us more stressed and ultimately less productive. Everybody’s sleep demands are different, some people thrive on 6 hours sleep whilst other need a full 8 hours. When you are assessing how much sleep you need, be true to yourself. If you only ever get 6 hours sleep and you are always relying on coffee to be awake and are constantly irritable and tired, chances are you are the sort of person who needs 8 hours sleep.

It’s amazing how just being organised reduces the pressure placed on you. Planning your workday with realistic work loads and goals can make you much more productive and breaks down a seemingly large task into small little pieces. This is how chefs manage to prepare large amounts of food for large amounts of people to serve in a short amount of time, organisation. A prep list at the start of the day helps chefs to be much more productive then just jumping from job, to job as they arise. Tackling large amounts of your workload and being productive in your day, greatly reduces the amount of stress you feel.

Prepare for potential problems that may arise
Preparing for things that might go wrong helps tremendously to ease your mind. This is as simple as just having a plan should something not work out the way you intended. In the kitchen we always prepare for the unexpected, just by talking about what dietary substitutes we may be able to offer people, should they come and dine, rather then leaving the discussion to when the situation arises.

Remember what is important
Yes your job is important and without it, it would be very hard to pay the bills and do all the things that you enjoy. However do not let work get in the way of enjoying your life. We all work, so that we can live. We don’t live, so that we can work. Take time off to enjoy your life. I tell my new apprentices working in a kitchen is tough and stressful at times. Always remember to maintain a lifestyle outside of work. If all you do is eat, sleep and work you will burn yourself out and leave the industry before your career even starts. No one’s job can substitute for all that life has to offer. Get up early and do something before your shift starts, embrace your days off and see your family and friends. It’s the little things that will keep you grounded and happy in the industry for years to come.

How do you cope with a stressful work environment?