A better us for our better world.

Friday, November 09, 2012
When it actually IS about us.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
– Leo Tolstoy

We all want to see change in the world, especially at Christmas, but deep down we all know that if we want to change OUR world it has to start with us, and the best place is in our own backyard;- our home, our work place and our own persona.

Yes, this is when it really IS about us. And remember we are working towards giving the best of “ourselves” as a gift for those we care about.

Sound self- absorbed? Not when we consider this. - How we act towards those we live and work with can be very powerful. Change ourselves and everything around us changes.

Hopefully we’ve all been continuing our spring cleaning and energizing;- getting our homes, businesses and selves, in as good order as we can.

So let’s look at our goal again; - “To be the best we can be for Christmas” To be more thoughtful, cheerful, sharing, caring, helpful, tolerant and -insert your own additional words here, please, good readers- to all we come in contact with.

Let’s commence with the knowledge that it’s easier to be all of the above when we feel good about ourselves, - thus the spring cleaning, organising and energizing is well worth the effort, as it all helps us to be Happier Healthier and Stronger.

So where are we up to? Let’s do a pre-Christmas stock take right now; - What have we done so far to set up a great holiday period and what do we need to do to ensure it actually happens? This afternoon finish what we need to do to close off the week, then check that we are organized for next week. Next, note the things we HAVE to do on the weekend and what we WANT to get done.

Remember, there are some things we need to do, - to maintain our livelihoods, families, health and so on, and there are things we want to do. These can be almost as important, such as social, community and sporting events, hobbies, family fun and good old “time out”. Lets’ make sure there is a bit of both (needs and wants) this weekend.

Now take a moment to reflect that real satisfaction comes from effort. Real pleasure comes from things we work for, and real peace of mind comes from knowing that we are giving attention to all of the important areas in our lives. And remember that we are human so let’s be fair to ourselves about what is achievable- about what actually is our "best".

The past few years have been hard for many of us. For myself, as well as many friends and acquaintances, it has been the most challenging period of our lives and there were times we struggled to maintain faith in the future. But when we look around we see that we have many blessings. We're still standing people. And where there's life there's hope.

So now let’s continue to take the steps to make this Christmas truly a season of goodwill - and next year great.

This weekend I'll be training with my Subak Martial Arts students, doing a planning session with a wonderful friend and colleague to complete the packaging on the iKiFit Schools program, then going to a very good friends’ wedding. All the best Wez and Teresa. Sunday will be rest and a bit of gardening. Maybe.

I think that’s balanced and if I don’t want to do anything on Sunday I’ll be happy with that, as I have next week well planned. What more can we do? Have a great weekend everyone.

If you want to try something different this weekend, take a moment to do an iKiEnergiser class .


Check out the Brewarrina Central School Choir. I think it contains a future star.

How to get into the real spirit of Christmas this year.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Do we get to this point faster every year? Christmas is only 8 weeks away. Again.

We will hear many times in the coming 8 weeks that Christmas is a time of giving, but most of us agree that the message has been hijacked by runaway commercialism.  I’m sure we also agree that giving can be good, and that there’s a lot to be said for the Christmas spirit…peace on earth and goodwill to all men is a wonderful dream, after all. But when it comes to giving, the question arises, “What can we give that isn’t just more “stuff’?”

When I ask myself what I most enjoy giving at Christmas, the answer is, “The nice me’ The one who is relaxed and pleasant to be around and shares Christmas cheer. So how can we work on being the best we can be this holiday season?

One of the new “traditions” that have developed in the past decade or so is that we frantically strive to get everything done by Christmas Eve, so that we can relax for the Christmas-New Year break. And we  find that it can be SO stressful getting everything done, that by the big day we’re totally exhausted.  How great would it be to have everything possible done, all things ship shape, - with a bit of space and energy left over so we can be in good spirits for the holidays?

Here’s how.

Let’s start with the knowledge that we feel  the best- the most relaxed- about ourselves when our lives are in balance. When all of the important things are getting a fair share of attention; - family, physical health, work, social connections - and don’t forget the finances. So let’s work towards being SATISFIED that we’ve given rest of the year our best shot. I know personally that it can be daunting thinking of all the things to do…but when we write lists it’s easier. There’s usually not quite  as much as our fevered brain imagines and it’s satisfying to cross them off.

So, make a list of the things to do;- Jobs that absolutely have to be done, things that it would be good to do and then ones that can probably be left till next year; - prioritize them, and make sure you include something from all of the important areas of your life. Do it now, even if it’s just making a start.

While you’re doing this, “tidy as you go” I find that keeping things tidy ensure that I don’t overlook tasks and it also helps get into a positive frame of mind. If you have a business plan, make sure that all is on track to finish the year the best you can.

Then this weekend do a tidy at home and garden. Do a quick de-clutter, continue that spring clean. Remember there will be plenty of new stuff coming in on “the day”

So that’s it;- tidy the desk, make a list and then the same for home. Over the next 8 weeks we’ll count down the days and cross off the tasks so that we’ll be able to heave a satisfied sigh on Dec 25. We may not have done EVERYTHING but we’ll have given it a fairdinkum go. And we can give the Nice Us for Christmas.








From little things part 2

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Last week we had  a look at the common reasons some people struggle to improve their physical fitness and/or maintain their ideal weight.

This week let’s look at the “secrets of success, -” but before we commence, let’s be clear that they aren’t secrets at all, they are simple and self evident truths and can be divided in two groups; - the science and the practise.  Firstly, the science, - and again we have two things; - how we eat and how much we move.

  • How we eat.  Notice, I  said HOW we eat rather than WHAT and the reason  is because even thought WHAT we eat is very important for good health, WHEN we eat is even more so. In a nutshell, research shows that the single most important factor in a long, healthful life is eating  regular meals—at least two,  but preferably 3 or 4 meals a day, eaten at regular times at least six days a week. These meals should be as fresh and whole as possible. When we eat fresh whole foods we get the nutrition we need and feel satisfied.  If you ‘do’ snacks, make them fresh and limit “treats”.

 If we think about it, the reason is obvious. Our body craves routine and certainty and is a very smart machine designed to survive. When our bodies know when the next meal is, it knows it doesn’t have to store extra for when it misses a meal..or two.

  • How much we move. It adds up –or not!! Stretch,stand up, walk. Lengthen our necks at the desk, take the stairs, walk to the corner and back, join a gym or a sports club. Everything physical we do makes a difference but, like eating, it’s much better to create good long term habits than to do things in fits and starts. Which brings us to the practise; -

The practise is about two things as well – with a final, binding key at the end; -

  • Consistency and regularity. Just as “slow and steady” wins the race, it’s better to do small, sustainable, regular activities rather than occasional intense, draining sessions that you will look for excuses to avoid. Little thing done regularly and consistently add up, particularly over a lifetime.
  • Make it achievable. Remember the biggest reason we fail in our goals is when we set high expectations but don’t make realistic allowances for other things. In other words,  Cut yourself some slack—sometimes. I always find a good rule of thumb is to allow myself an “out” 1 session in 4.

Finally, plan. Remember, it’s about whole of life.  Set a goal that you can live with long term, vary it when necessary but establish good habits and  reward yourself realistically.

For more information and some excellent, free tools, have a look at the Smart Goals in iKiChallenge 

Did you know that  we now have extra content with more on the way? If you have a smart TV or DVD player you can get started at home for as little as $59 for and iKiStick and DVD with Online Memebrship included.You can do songs, energiser classes, master classes depending on your time and fitness. Get happy healthy and strong at home.

This week, start one of the above.



From little things big things grow

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Ahhh spring! Season of new life, energy and hope. Longer, warmer days, pleasant evenings and cool nights. Just right for getting more active,  working on achieving and maintaining our ideal weight, or starting new projects.

In all my years as a Gym and Martial Arts Instructor,  I’ve seen many people successfully improve their fitness, learn new  skills and gain more confidence and control in their lives, but have also seen some  start with the best of intentions, only to  fail. As with most things, the ones who succeed share common beliefs and actions, just as the ones who don't succeed, share mistakes.

Firstly, let’s look at the top reasons for failing.

  • “Bull at a Gate” syndrome - sometimes also called the  “All or Nothing” notion; -  Many  suffer from the mistaken belief that they have to exercise every day and then hurt themselves or lose heart because they can’t keep it up. Make it realistic, manageable and commence with amounts that leave you energised and positive rather than sore and tired. Activity  is like saving money or building a house, -every bit counts and even once a week is  better than nothing and creates a platform to build on. The mistake  is starting with too much, -then falling off the wagon and feeling like a failure.
  •  A related problem in this category is the belief that we have to exercise hard for more than 30 minutes at a time whereas, particularly if we are starting out, it can be much more realistic and effective to do sessions of  5-15 minutes. Even simple addition can be an a powerul thing; - just 3 x 15 minute sessions a week is 45 minutes!!!  
  • Expecting to see rapid changes in weight, body shape or skill  and not understanding the reality – that it takes time for physical changes to show. Often those around us will notice the change in us before we do. Studies show it is usually 30 days or more, before WE SEE physical changes, even though they are there. There can be other factors at work here as well ;- For example,  If  we have been inactive, or not our ideal weight for a long time, it can take quite a while to achieve our goal. The key is to understand that it’s about long term habits; - about mostly eating well and habitually being physically active, rather than following fads. Learning  new skills and habits is one thing, keeping and building on them is a life journey.
  •  On the other hand, just getting started on a new project or goal can be exciting and energising. iKitip Start Something,  But did you know that we are up to 10 times more likely to achiev a goal if we take the time ot write it down. Go to location of goals.
  • This week make a start.  If you have been thinking about a new you start this week. Go to and write out your goal. Start now.
  •  If you're already active, add a session or up the intensity or duration. Write it down. Spend a little time on where you are up to and plan the next and refine it. if you are already going well do some fine tuning. Sharpen the saw. Hold the string. Keep the attitude.
  • Next week we’ll be looking at the simple secrets of success...



365 days of finding the positive

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

My wife has just completed a 12 Month Gratitude Diary. Yes, she actually completed it, a full 365 days of making thoughtful, positive posts, every day. Following is her very last instalment—day 365, which she posted yesterday; -

 "GRATITUDE DAY 365!!! I did it! 365 Days of Gratitude on Facebook... A whole year of finding things to be grateful for EVERY day, thanks to my beautiful friend Sue who asked me to do it with her. Thanks Sue for the challenge. This has been the most difficult year of my life, so it hasn't always been easy, but when we take our focus away from what's wrong and think about all the things we have to be thankful for, it changes our lives and magic happens. I am so grateful for all the lessons along the way, about patience, trust, forgiveness and being present in the moment. About the Law of Attraction- what we think about, we bring about, - or what we focus on, we get more of.

So it makes sense to look for the joy in every moment and to always remember that it's not what happens to us, but who we become because of those life experiences, that matters. As we overcome, we grow and become more of who we CAN be. It's not about getting to our destination, for that can change in an instant, it's about choosing to be happy and enjoy the journey. It's all a choice and that is always up to us. We have the option to blame others for our circumstances or take responsibility for our own lives, for once we do that, we can reclaim our power and change where we are, by how we look at it. Our attitudes are ours to choose and that is a very powerful thing to know.

 No-one can make us feel happy/sad/angry/lonely/or ecstatic, it comes from within. By making a decision about what we want our lives to be, through forgiveness of ourselves and others and by letting go of the past. When we are in the present moment we have the power to create our best future by every thought, word and deed we choose or don't choose. We create our own destiny!

 So today I'm thankful for all the sunny days and rainy ones too, for all the laughter and tears, for the flowers and birds, for our pets, for my absolutely wonderful and amazing family and friends who have always loved me through all my crazy and not so crazy days and nights, nurturing and supporting me. Even when I made huge mistakes they forgave me and allowed me to be myself and learn from those mistakes, so I could choose to do it better next time. And of course I'm most grateful for you guys, my FB friends who have allowed me this opportunity to ramble on for a whole year and never judged me or told me it was all a load of rubbish, even though you probably thought it on occasion! I don't think I've had one negative comment in a whole year, so that really IS something to be grateful for! So now, here is YOUR challenge... To start your own Gratitude Diary! You don't have to do it on FB if you don't want to, but just do it somewhere and watch your life change. Let me know if you're in!”

Well said Carol. While she does annoy me sometimes (she’s a woman after all) I’m grateful that she’s my wife.

Next week will be the first of a three part series of the simplest and most effective ways to fitness and heatlh.

Have a great day.



Great teachers inspire for life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I must admit there are times when I despair for Public education: - the recent announcement of huge funding cuts, witnessing a "lock down" in a local High school and standing in a stunning facility in a private school still under construction by the BER (while Public Schools got often inferior work and facilities) - were highlights - or lowlights of the past few months.

Fortunately, these negatives have been balanced by the brilliant teachers I've come in contact with over the same period. They are young and old, in Private and Public Schools, as well as working in health and fitness; - talented, passionate, hard working role models in places as far afield as Sydney, Bourke and the Central Coast, from Wilcannia to Warren, Baradine to Brewarrina and many other places beyond and in between.

I know we can all think of teachers that we didn't (or don't) like, but when we stop and think about it for a moment, it soon becomes clear just how much impact they have on our lives.

This week's iKiEnergiser Challenge has two parts. First, think of a teacher you didn't like. Not so hard, but here's the catch ;- what lesson do we remember them for? I can think of one particular teacher I thought very little of at the time, but whose wise words in just one class keep coming back to a good way.

Next, think of the teacher that you remember the best for being the best. What did he/she give you? Enthusiasm, love of a subject or sport, the realisation that you can do things or be someone you didn't think you could. So this week give a little thought to your teachers, and consider how important a good education system is.

Have a great week,

All the Best,



Mistakes, we all make them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Today's thoughts are inspired by some comments that flowed from last weeks' blog. Firstly, a friend wrote in;-

"great newsletter; but is it necessary to feel so enthusiastic about urinating as well? (hint: see your closing line)".

On investigation I had a great laugh, which I suppose says something about my sense of humor (very basic). When I relayed this to an assistant in Cobar (more about her at a later date), she replied;-

"I noticed the typo but didn't think twice about it. I'm sure most people were the same. If that's the worst thing that happens this week, it's a good week!" and "This gentleman's comment makes me think of German backpackers we had a few years ago. Every few beers they would stand in the middle of the room, wave their hands in the air and announce with great enthusiasm, "I must take GLORIOUS p*ss now"!! Hilarious after a few drinks."

It seems there's a few of us who'll have a chuckle at this base level humour.

She went on to say ;-
"Saw something interesting this morning - a topknot (crested?) pigeon doing his springtime dance in the middle of the road, trying to impress a lady pigeon. Didn't end well for him. A good lesson that no matter what we're focused on or how important it seems in that moment, the world stops for no man or pigeon!".

Hmmm, Lots of room for thought there about the nature of mistakes. Some are inconsequential, or can lead to hilarity or good outcomes, while others can be fatal, as in the case of the dancing pigeon. So sad that his thoughts of romance ended that way!! But life is like that. An interesting aside is that I met the person who pointed out my typo as a result of an accident. I crashed a car and he was the good Samaritan who helped me out.

So, what do we take from all of this? Lessons can be learned, laughs can be had and friends can be made in unlikely places. Despite the best of intentions and the utmost effort, things won't always go as planned. Life happens! We can only speculate about what will come next. Remember, DON'T sweat the little things but DO take away any positives you can.

This week, find beauty in an unlikely place or situation. It's out there, because life is like that - throwing us something good when we least expect it. Choose to take it in.This weeks challenge is to spot it and tell us about the unexpected positive outcome you've experienced.

Sunlight is the best medicine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunshine the best medicine

Spring has well and truly sprung. You don’t have to go far to hear, feel and even smell it in the air. Trees are blossoming, birds are singing, the grass is greening. You might have noticed the days getting longer or the washing drying quicker. Is it just me, or does everything feel like it’s looking up? Is it just Spring in the air? There might be more to that than we think.

Did you know that some people suffer from depression only during the winter months and recover fully when the season ends? It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). People with SAD start to improve in the spring. Studies show that light hitting the back of the eye (retina) stimulates the brain to reduce melatonin, increase serotonin and reset the circadian rhythm. No wonder we’re getting a spring in our step!

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, muscles and overall health. We all know about the link between too much UV exposure and skin cancer, but did you know, sunshine is the best natural source of vitamin D? In fact, UV radiation from the sun is necessary for the production of vitamin D in the skin. It’s also free. Couple that with the benefits of going for a walk and you’ve got a great energy boost. Be sun smart of course, even at this time of year, go outside of peak UV times – morning or late afternoon.

This week, take the time to welcome Spring. Go for a walk around the block, or to your favourite spot. Aside from all of the health benefits, you never know what you might see - and hear (REMEMBER ;- Unplug before you go). Stop and “smell the roses” and admire the pride someone takes in their yard – even if it’s not your thing! 

Have a great week


Unplug and hear the Music of the Spheres.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Just a quick iKiEnergiser this week (below.) I've been burning the midnight oil for the last week completing a submission for the Origin Rhino Business awards in Dubbo. iKiFit has been nominated in two categories which is great. We have been involved before but not for the past five years and it's a great opportunity to stop and have a look at what we have achieved in that time.

And it's soooo good to get a big job like that FINISHED

This weeks’  Energy Tip: Unplug, switch off, unwind.

"If you are seeking creative ideas (or solutions to niggling problems) go out walking. Angels whisper to us when we go for a walk". So said the sage Raymond Inmon. And if you happen to not believe in angels it doesn't matter, - it still works.. It just means that when we walk our mind can relax and we see things in a different light. Scientists tell us it's our brains switching hemispheres, like when we get a good night's sleep.

A problem these days of course is that so many of us are constantly plugged in: - to an iPod, a 'phone, a tablet, - so we never get an opportunity to listen to our angel...unless it's Kylie or who-ever, Ha Ha! The point is we are constantly distracted by stuff ; - Mechanical noise, music, 'phones, information overload, with the result that we rarely have the REAL downtime our bodies and minds need to stay happy and healthy.

The solution is there. Like so many things it just takes a decision. So this week make some time to unplug and unwind. Walk the dog, sit under a tree or beside the river, chill in the backyard. But NO GADGETS. Put the answering machine on. If it’s really important they’ll leave a message.

This week, at least once. Unplug, switch off, unwind.

When you plug in again do a quick 3 minute Yoga session with Sue Curley.

Thanks so much to those people who wrote back last week --or was it the week before, it's been a blur and I know I missed last week. Thanks particularly to Amber Wallace in Cobar. I’ll quote from Amber’s comments in weeks to come.

Have a great week, and remember. Make some time to unplug.


It's the basic things in life that keep us Happy Healthy and Strong

Friday, August 24, 2012

Is it just my imagination, or is there more sickness and stress around than usual? A lot of people I know have had flu that has held on for weeks and weeks, while others have attended a frightening number of funerals in recent months.

Everywhere we look, the world is more demanding, frightening, challenging. The media and politicians paint pictures of doom and gloom that is always someone else's fault; - yet most of our leaders show no inclination to sit down and talk things through like adults who all happen to be in the same boat..

There is so much negative, frightening information that it can be hard to stay on top. I must admit it's been wearing me down lately, so I've had a good think about what keeps me sane and have remembered one of my favourite parables. It goes like this; - A seeker of truth goes to a sage and asks him/her how to achieve inner peace. The sage replies "Chop wood, carry water" - meaning, the honest performance of the basic, mundane, life giving chores is what give us real grounding and form the basis of a healthy life. Things like shopping, cooking, tidying cleaning, gardening. Even - or especially, the drab things like washing up or doing the laundry, personal grooming and hygiene. They connect us to our basic, animal selves and help us keep our feet on the ground. Every "normal" person has to do them and so they give us a human perspective.

The seeker then asks the sage what to do when we have achieved peace of mind/success/nirvana or "fill in your own definition of success here". The answer; - "Chop wood, carry water" Meaning of course that no matter how successful (or not) we are, it is still, and always the basics that matter.

Like all deep truths it is so simple. Just yesterday I was talking to a friend who commented that with the demands of modern life, it is SO hard to find time for even the simplest relaxation. So a part of the solution is to find peace and calm in the mundane necessities. This weekend think about the basics that have been slipping (after all it's been cold and dark) and reflect that no matter how hectic it is, you still have to do the laundry--or insert list here. Therein lies an answer.

This weekend. Chop wood and carry water. And love it. And please tell us about your favourite "chopping" or "carrying" activities.

In finishing, thanks for the emails (remember--please email) commenting on our attitudes to sport. Ian Redpath supports grass roots sport because that is where a big proportion of the champions of tomorrow come from. Jenni and Andrew mentioned that most of us can still see through the media hype, and that we Aussies still share the same decent values. "Love this country' they say.

Have a great weekend.

 All the Best,