Tag Archives: Success

My Blog: New Year, New Name


I decided that for 2018 I would change the name of my blog from God, Faith, & Fitness to Feathers for Your Journey.

When I started this blog four years ago my interests were in losing weight, becoming healthier, and doing so while integrating my faith. After a short amount of time I realized I didn’t enjoy writing about fitness or weight loss, but for whatever reason I kept going and with each passing year I contributed less   posts to this blog.

In 2017 I was happy to go an entire year for the first time in several years without having to go for physical therapy, my pain remained, but it had decreased significantly, and I managed to lose some weight and keep it off (so far). I think 2017 was more successful for me in this area because I didn’t focus on weight loss, food, exercise. I turned to meditation and mindfulness and I believe this helped significantly.

I kept daily reminders to eat healthy posted within sight (in my day planner, on my phone), I was mindful of what I was eating, and regular (not strenuous) physical activity was based on things I enjoy. I decided I wanted my blog to focus on life, learning, and goals without being too narrow and specific.

I discovered the word ‘novaturient’ today; it is when you desire or seek powerful changes in your life, your behaviour, or situation. I learned that I lived in a novaturient manner during 2017. I listed the things I wanted to change, achieve, and eliminate for that year. The best that we can do in life is live with intention without being so goal oriented that you prevent yourself from being flexible. There will be times when your goals have to be altered, eliminated, or put on the back burner for a while.

There is another word I recently learned, it is ‘meraki’ [mey-rah-kee]; it means to do something with creativity, soul, or love. It is the act of putting a part of yourself into whatever it is you are doing.  I realized by the end of 2017 that I had lived with novaturient and meraki in my life. Not everything went as planned, but I was able to grow from unexpected changes and opportunities because I did things with meraki.

Three weeks into 2018 and time feels like it has flown by quickly. I won’t encourage you to make new year’s resolutions; I don’t believe in them. However, I will encourage you to live intentionally this year.

What values are most important to you?

What are your goals and desires?

Who are the kind of people you want closest to you? Who are those you want to spend most of your time with outside of work?

What does money and material items mean to you and how important are both of these in your life?

These are questions we can ask our self any time throughout the year. It’s important to check in with ourselves regularly not only during holidays, birthdays, and tragedies.

However you choose to live in 2018, I wish you all a year filled with pleasant surprises, blessings, spiritual growth, and success.

Goals That Never Happened


September is a month of change. Changes that we don’t have a lot of control over. Young children start Kindergarten and Grade One for the first time. Young adults begin college, some leaving home for the first time in their lives.

Mother natures brings change in the form of fall coloured leaves, garden vegetations; some dying, some just coming into season.

September is a great reminder that change is a part of life, some changes are pleasant and welcomed, others are not.

I live within walking distance to our provinces’ largest university. Each Fall I see a wave of teenagers with big dreams and goals of becoming something. I know they are at school to achieve something; a job, a title, status; something. No one enrolls in a four-year program with the intention of failing in life or going no where. School, whether it is grades K-12 or post-secondary is about achieving something.

My friend and I were thinking back to when we first started college and noted that none, not a single goal that we had at the beginning of this stage of life came true. Things changed significantly. Between then and now there were accidents, injuries, a change of academic interests, jobs we loved and jobs we hated, moving to different cities, and a host of different friends entered our lives.

We are taught to pursue our goals at any cost, to not give up, stay focused, and not fall off track; but I have to say, sometimes not pursuing and achieving our goals can be a good thing.

Goals can turn from healthy to destructive when the following happen:

Over focusing on one area of your life while neglecting other aspects of your life. Goals certainly require focus, but it’s also important to engage in other activities not related to your specific goal. Variety in life is important and fuels creativity. It also gives you a break from focusing exclusively on tasks related to your goal.

Engaging in unethical behaviour to meet and maintain a goal. A strong desire to meet a goal can lead to desperate actions. If you lie, cheat, steal, or hurt others you’ve gone too far. Your achievements should never involve bringing others down. Success can be obtained through honest means.

Jealousy towards those who have achieved what you are working towards. If you find yourself experiencing feelings of jealousy and envy towards others who have achieved what you want, then it’s important to stop and do some self-inventory and reflection. Envy is a sign that you are focusing more on others than yourself. One way to ward off these negative feelings is to admire the work of others. Let their work inspire and motive you in a positive and non-competitive manor. Learn from them instead of hating them.

Allowing your identity to be based on accomplishments towards your goals. We are more than our job title, hobbies, and achievements. We are well rounded people, we wear many hats: spouse, employee, parent, child, community member, etc. Our identity changes with time. The accomplishments you reach are only one aspect of who you are. People often “fail” at something while achieving a goal. If you have too much of your identity attached to your outcomes, any mistakes or mishaps can be taken too personally. Remember, failing at something doesn’t make you a failure.

I believe The Son of David was wrong when he said,

Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1: 2). There is meaning in our lives, there is meaning in the things we do. What matters is the meaning we give to it. This bitter sentiment is what happens when people place too much importance and focus on goal achievements.

Pursue goals, but don’t neglect to enjoy life!






Fitness Failure: Here We Go Again!


I was thinking about those of us who fail to meet our summer fitness goals. Every year I make a goal and fall short. I’m at the age and stage of my life where I have no desire to stress over my fitness failures. I didn’t run a half marathon one year; another year I didn’t meet my goal of running a 5k every single month during the Spring and Summer; I didn’t’ lose 50 pounds in 5 weeks; and I didn’t stick with whatever latest Beach Body DVD that I had purchased. For me, summer has always been a season of missing the mark.

Success is Small Steps

It all started in elementary and has continued ever since. There were my major summer fitness fails, resulting in zero weight loss and zero increase in fitness level and in some cases a lot of waste money.

In desperation after many diet and weight loss failures in my 20’s I begged doctors for weight loss pills. I was refused. They all used the same spiel about eating more vegetables, exercising, and drinking water; something I didn’t want to hear. I had great success with an over the counter product called Xenadrine. I didn’t lose any weight, instead, I had increased concentration. I was no longer fidgeting during college lectures, my mind no longer felt scattered, I was more organized, and my habit of constantly interrupting people and being hyperactive had decreased. Xenadrine was temporarily taken off of Canadian shelves due to one of it’s ingredients named ephedra. I noticed the difference in my behaviour when I could no longer access the product. My positive experience with Xenical is what finally led to me seeing a doctor and educational psychologist for a diagnosis of ADHD. There were people, including my professors who hinted that I might have ADHD, but at the time I didn’t believe it. Turns out they were correct. In hindsight I’m not sure how I had missed all the classic symptoms of the disorder. Oddly enough, I didn’t lose any weight from taking medication for ADHD. I have no explanation for that seeing as weight loss is one of the side effects. I laugh knowing that I even failed at loosing weight from a stimulant.

My doctor offered what was deemed to be a safer weight loss pill called Xenical. It worked, I lost weight, and I also lost a lot of oily stool from my butt. Yes, leaky, smelly, oily liquid would uncontrollably ooze out of my bottom night and day. I went through numerous underwear and pants that got discarded when even Tide couldn’t help. I lost weight because I eventually became afraid to eat. I was afraid to eat because everything that I consumed turned into the gross oily mess that leaked out of me.

It was after the leaky butt episode that I decided I would never diet again. Out of desperation and frustration I was willing to risk heart problems from prescription weight loss pills, but there was no way I would continue to risk oozing grossness all over me and anything I sat on. No way.

Failure is not Final

My earlier summer fitness failures taught me that I often make unrealistic and often ridiculous decisions when I become desperate to lose weight or try to become fitter in a short period of time. I also realized I wasted a lot of money trying to lose weight. It’s important to invest money in becoming healthy, it’s worth it, but spending money on things that are made during rash, desperate moments are never a good idea.

Despite repeatedly falling short each Summer I know I’ll keep making health and fitness goals. Despite my failures I continue to make progress with each new goal that I attempt. I keep making progress because I don’t stop. I continue to move forwards by not letting the fact that I continue to fall short become my destiny. Maybe you didn’t do a 10K, can 7k be enough for your right now? So what if you didn’t lose 30 pounds, can 15 be enough for you? You might have planned to eat a cooked breakfast every day, but only seem to average 3 days out of the week. Is this an improvement? Yes, then good job, keep going and 3 days will eventually turn into 5 days.

Phil 4:13


Consider some of your goals that became “failures”. Can you see them in a different light? Are your “failures” a form of progress? Might those “failures” actually be a form of success?

Take some time to think of your failures and find the positive in them. No life experience goes to waste when we learn from them by growing and transforming.