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Tag Archives: Live a Life You Love

“Yes!” Will Change Your Life!

When was the last time you said YES to something new? When was the last time you said NO and regretted it? These two little words have the power to change your life!

Life changing opportunities come in all  shapes and sizes and usually show up when you least expect it. It could be something as simple as accepting an invitation from a stranger to go for coffee, or it could be more complex like taking on a new health and fitness challenge. Either way, you never know where an opportunity may lead. That cup of coffee may turn into a life-long friendship or even the love of your life, and that new fitness challenge may turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself. Like Forrest Gump’s mama used to say, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Everything You've Ever Wanted is on the Other Side of Fear

New things used to scare me. I used to think that routine was what I needed to live a comfortable life. Then several years ago my life went through a drastic change (heartbreak can do that), and I learned how VERY wrong I was! While building myself and my life back up, I made a promise to myself that I would say YES! when opportunities came knocking. It was uncomfortable at first, but through this commitment to get out of my comfort zone, I’ve discovered so much about myself and about the life that is possible for me!

YES’es That Have Changed My Life:

I said YES!

“Yes!” will change your life!

Life is too short to pass up new opportunities. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Maybe you won’t like it? Maybe you won’t have fun? Maybe you won’t be successful?  But…

WHAT IF you LOVE it??? And…

WHAT IF you achieve MAD SUCCESS??? And…

WHAT IF you EXCEED your goals and expectations???

You will never know unless you get out of your comfort zone, take that first step and say, “YES!”

YES. It’s a powerful little word. “Yes!” will change your life!

So my advice to you: Just Say YES! 🙂

How I Fit Shakeology Into My Budget

When I considered joining my first Beachbody Challenge and Challenge Pack purchase, my initial thought was, “Wow, that’s not cheap…” But when I considered all of the bad habits I had developed since going back to working a desk job, I decided I wanted to find a way to make Beachbody and Shakeology fit into my budget.

The workouts were a no-brainer. I could buy a workout package and do it over and over at home at no additional cost; this would save me money on monthly gym membership fees. The gym near my house is more expensive than most, as it’s attached to a resort, so eliminating this from my budget was easy to justify. Even if I was to add a new workout every couple of months to switch it up, it would still work out cheaper than a gym membership, and I would have the workouts for life.

Shakeology, was a tougher sell for me. A bag of Shakeology contains 30 days worth of product. Even though Shakeology comes at a great deal when you purchase a Challenge Pack, I thought it wouldn’t be sustainable to continue with it on a monthly basis unless I made some changes to my budget to help it fit in. My goal is to get healthy and fit and if I can save some extra money in the process, then YAY! So I looked at my daily routine and expenses to find a few places where I could cut costs to fit Shakeology into my budget.

How I fit Shakeology into my budget

Where I Found Room to Fit Shakeology Into My Budget

I made a list of the areas where I spend money regularly to see what I could eliminate. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Starbucks – I used to hit up Starbucks (or other small local coffee shops) three or four times a week. Drinks and snacks would add up to somewhere between $3-$8, on most visits. I could make my own coffee at home or at the office, and cutting out the baked goods would be a good start to a healthier diet.
  • Wine – Not only does drinking wine almost daily get expensive (especially when your guy is a sommelier), but there is a lot of sugar in wine (especially white wine) that was going straight to my hips! So I chose to cut down on my wine drinking to only having a glass or two on the weekend. (See! I’m making healthier choices already! Haha!)
  • Energy Bars & Energy Drinks – I stopped buying energy bars. I used to buy energy bars (Clif Bars, Builder Bars, Power Bars) and energy drinks (Rumble, Muscle Milk), and protein poder shakes (Vega Sport) as quick, easy and healthy(?) snacks. But at around $3+ a pop, these things add up fast, especially if you’re consuming them almost daily!
  • Eating Out – I don’t tend to eat out at lunch time much, but my guy and I LOVE going out for good food! I chose to cut our restaurant budget in half and cook more fun and delicious (and healthy) meals at home. This alone freed up the money I would need to fit Shakeology into my budget – and added a fun couples cooking activity to our lives too!

The next thing considered in my Beachbody/Shakeology purchase decision was the 30-day money back guarantee. If you decide that you are not 100% satisfied in any way with the product, you can return it for a full refund – even if the bag is empty, you just send back the empty bag! And with that, I had absolutely no reason not to at least give it a try!

How I fit Shakeology into my budget

Then I found out later that there are discounts available to those who choose to sign up to become a Beachbody Coach! You can be an active coach or a discount coach, either way, you get a 25% discount on your Shakeology and other Beachbody purchases! (If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a Beachbody Coach or want to sign up, feel free to contact me.)

Are You on the Fence About Beachbody or Shakeology?

If you’re on the fence about giving Shakeology a try, and the cost is your main concern, I encourage you to have a look at areas of your routine where you could cut a few costs, especially costs that will benefit your health at the same time. After drinking Shakeology everyday for almost 2 months now plus the daily 30-minute workouts, I can honestly say that I feel amazing!

Finding room to fit Shakeology into my budget was the best thing I’ve done for my health, fitness and general wellness in quite some time! And all I had to do was give up a few Starbucks treats and energy bars! Easy! And, as L’Oreal says, “I’m worth it!” 🙂

 

The Next 21 Day Challenge Starts Soon!

Take the next step to improved health and joining a monthly challenge group of for daily support and accountability and get on your way to reaching your health and fitness goals and see results in just 21 days!

Contact Me to Join Today!

 

10 Ways to Make Drinking Water More Fun!

Let’s face it, water is tasteless and can sometimes be a boring choice when choosing a beverage, but it’s a necessity of life for all of us. I’m going to bet that most of us (me included) could drink more water in our daily lives, and with so many other drink options, it’s tough to choose water over something a little more flavourful.

Our bodies are composed of 60% water, which means that when we are dehydrated, our entire bodies are affected. So let’s talk a bit about WHY it’s important to drink water everyday.

11 Benefits of Drinking More Water

  1. Drink WaterWater helps you maintain healthy skin.
    Drinking enough water helps flush out the toxins that clog your pores, reducing skin inflammation and the chance of developing pimples.
  2. Promotes healthy digestion.
    We need water for our digestion system to function properly. Waste and toxins get flushed out through our sweat and urine, if we don’t drink enough water, there is nowhere for the toxins to go and they collect in our bodies.
  3. Improves your mood.
    Have you ever noticed that when you’re dehydrated that you are a bit grumpy or moody? Drink more water and you’ll be much more pleasant to yourself and to others.
  4. Boosts your immune system.
    People who drink a lot of water are less likely to get sick. Water helps fend off the flu, cancer and other health problems like heart attacks.
  5. Hydrates us after workouts/exercise.
    Hydration during exercise is so important to avoid cramping and other injuries. I make sure I’m adequately hydrated before diving into my Beachbody workouts, I drink a bit during and a whole lot afterwards to replenish my body. Make sure you do the same!
  6. Pumps up your metabolism & lose weight.
    Staying properly hydrated boosts your body’s ability to burn fats. Studies have shown that drinking more water can increase the metabolic rates of healthy men and women by up to 30%.
  7. Decreases the chance of headaches.
    Drinking more water is an easy and natural way to avoid or get rid of headaches. Our brains are made mostly of water, so a common symptom of dehydration is headaches and migraines. Drink your agua to avoid that annoying head pain!
  8. Boosts productivity.
    Drinking enough H2O helps you focus, concentrate and helps you stay fresh and alert. Have you noticed that you feel tired when you’re dehydrated?
  9. Helps you lose weight / helps keep you satisfied.
    If you feel hungry or a craving, reach for a glass of water and chug it down! If you feel full, you will be less likely to reach for that easy snack, treat or junk food.
  10. Drinking water saves you MONEY!
    Unless you want some fancy bottled spring water or something with bubbles, in most cases, water is FREE! Save a few bucks by choosing water over that Starbucks fix, sugary beverage or wobbly pop.
  11. And well, if you don’t drink water, you’ll die. It’s true!
    We can only live a few days without water and can live far longer without food. The vast majority of people should be prioritizing water consumption a lot more than we currently do.

How much water do we need?

drink-more-waterBut how much do we need to drink per day? Well, the answer to this question is different for everyone. The classic “8 glasses of water per day” rule is a good rule of thumb if you’re already struggling to get enough H2O into your body everyday, but everybody’s daily water requirement is different. A 140lb woman is not going to need as much water as a 225lb man – that makes sense, right?

The way Beachbody calculates the amount of water we need to drink is to take your weight and divide it by 2; that’s how many ounces of water you should drink each day.

So for example, if you are that 140lb woman I mentioned above, you take 140 /2 = 70. So you should drink minimum 70 ounces (8.75 cups) of water everyday. If you are that 225lb man I was talking about, you would take 225 / 2 = 112.5. So you would need to drink at least 113 ounces (14 cups) of water everyday to properly hydrate your body. (There are 8 ounces in a cup.)

10 Tips to Make Drinking Water More Fun

So now why water is so important and how much water we should be drinking each day, let’s talk a bit about how to make sure we are drinking enough water.

  1. Team Beachbody WaterbottleMake it a morning habit to drink  a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning. I keep a glass of water beside the bed and I down it before my toes even touch the floor.
  2. Buy a SodaStream and make your own carbonated water – this is the BEST thing I have ever done! I LOVE my SodaStream and drink 2 litres of water from it everyday.

  3. Add fresh fruit or herbs to your water
    to give it some flavour and colour. I add these right to my SodaStream bottle to make it easy.
    Suggestions: Lemon / Lime, Strawberries, Cucumber, Watermelon, Basil, Ginger, Mint, etc.
  4. Always keep a glass of water on your desk at work and take a gulp every time you look at it.
  5. Drink a cup of water every time you get back from the bathroom.
  6. Buy yourself a cool new water bottle and take it with you every time you get in the car and finish it before you reach your destination.
  7. Eat your water! Eat water-rich foods like watermelon and cucumbers.
  8. Create a challenge and compete with a friend or co-worker: Who can drink the most water today?
  9. Use a water tracking app with reminders. Try the Daily Water Free – Water Reminder and Counter app.
  10. No one expects you to completely give up your other beverages, but make a commitment to drink a glass of water for every other bevy you drink (make it 2 glasses for every boozy drink).

I’ve always known that water was vital to a healthy lifestyle, but since I’ve joined Beachbody and started coaching, it has become top of mind again and I’ve found that I have been making more of an effort to get more H2o into my body. If you’re interested in learning more about Beachbody or if you would like to join the next challenge group, please comment below or shoot me a message.


What are some of your favourite ways to drink more water? Leave a comment below.

And in the meantime, DRINK UP! 🙂

Weekend Getaway: Middle Beach Lodge, Tofino BC

You’ll find Middle Beach Lodge at the end of Mackenzie Beach Road in Tofino, BC on Vancouver Island. I headed here a few weeks ago with a group of girlfriends for a much needed weekend of beach walks, food, wine, and relaxation. Tofino is always a perfect weekend getaway destination for friends, a girls getaway or a romantic retreat.

Getting to Tofino

The Pacific Rim Highway to Tofino is twisty and windy and on this particular Friday afternoon, it was raining so hard that I literally drove through waterfalls cascading off the rock walls along the roadside. So depending what time of year you plan to travel to Tofino, be prepared for crazy road and weather conditions.

Coming from downtown Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the trip took about 4.5 hours. My friends came over on the ferry from Vancouver (a 1.5 hour boat ride), the drive from Departure Bay in Nanaimo taking them approximately 3 hours.

Middle Beach Lodge in Tofino

When I arrived, my friends had already staked their claim to the two couches in the lounge in front of the giant fireplace of the Middle Beach Lodge public lounge. It was cozy and comfortable and when we weren’t out exploring the beach or the town of Tofino, this is where we spent the majority of our time catching up over tea or wine and relaxing. There were several couples at the Lodge, enjoying a romantic storm-watching weekend getaway.

Middle Beach Lodge Garden ViewThe View from Middle Beach Lodge TofinoMiddle Beach Lodge Lounge - Tofino Middle Beach Lodge Lounge View - TofinoDrinking Wine at Middle Beach Lodge

Our rooms at Middle Beach Lodge were small but comfortable. Our adjoining rooms both included a queen bed, in-room sink and vanity and a bathroom with toilet, tub and shower. Perfectly simple with everything we needed. But what really made the room was the view of the ocean and the sound of the crashing waves just outside the window!

A Room at Middle Beach Lodge Tofino

Hello Tofino! I’m so looking forward to spending the long weekend with you!

A photo posted by Mariska Richters (@mariskar) on

Our stay at the Lodge included a continental breakfast, including croissants, cinnamon buns, toast, meat and cheese plate, hard boiled eggs, cereals, yogurt, fruit and more. Plus, of course, your standard coffee and tea. My favourite food part about our stay was the fresh cookies they bake mid-afternoon each day. Deeeelicious! Breakfast at Middle Beach Lodge Breakfast at Middle Beach Lodge 2 We had a mix of weather conditions from stormy wind and rain to clear sunny skies. I highly recommend bringing your rain gear to Tofino any time of year, as it is on the edge of a rainforest on one side and the open ocean on the other. This combination makes the weather unpredictable and susceptible to quick change. If you plan to stay at Middle Beach Lodge, they have a healthy supply of bright yellow rain coats and rubber boots for guests to use during their stay. When we saw this, of course we HAD to wear them! So the four of us traipsed down to the beach in our yellows for a photoshoot!

Oh #Tofino! You impress me! A photo posted by Mariska Richters (@mariskar) on

Trail to Middle Beach TofinoGirls at Middle Beach Tofino 4 Girls at Middle Beach Tofino 1 Girls at Middle Beach Tofino 2 Girls at Middle Beach Tofino 3Girls at Middle Beach Tofino 5Beach Walk at Middle Beach Lodge Tofino

For more information or to make your reservation visit the Middle Beach Lodge website or contact them at 250 725 2900 or toll free 1 866 725 2900 or by email at info(at)middlebeach.com

See more photos of Middle Beach Lodge here and more Middle Beach Photoshoot pics here.

The Universe Provides What the Soul Needs – 14 Life Lessons to Remember Everyday

After sharing my favourite poem with you the other day, I’m inspired to share some of the lessons the universe has provided me with through my years.

We all learn lessons in life as we experience new things and meet new people. Some experiences are positive, some not so much, but each one has a lesson built into it that you will carry with you to the next experience. This is how we grow.

Below are some of the life lessons I’ve learned the hard way in life. I can apply them to almost any new situation or person I meet. Remembering them helps me to live an honest, clean and positive life.

[Tweet “The #Universe Provides What the Soul Needs – 14 #LifeLessons to Remember Everyday #LiveALifeYouLove”]
  1. People are who they are at their core. Some people will never change, regardless of the number of chances they are given.
  2. Never abandon your values and friendships for another. A true friend accepts and respects both.
  3. Always be kind. Kindness builds and preserves character.
  4. Forgive quickly. Holding grudges only hurts you, while the other person moves forward completely unaware of the pain you carry. Let it go.
  5. Leave the past where it belongs: In. The. Past. Move forward, don’t carry it with you and leave any grudges behind.
    Leave the past where it belongs. Move forward. Live a life you love. © 2010 Mariska Richters - Lovina, Bali

    Leave the past where it belongs. Move forward. Live a life you love.
    © 2010 Mariska Richters – Lovina, Bali

  6. Don’t waste time with people who treat you poorly. Spend it with those who those who value your presence in their life and treat you the way you want and deserve to be treated.
  7. A true friend will stand up for your friendship. If they need to hide it, or if you are disposable, they were never a true friend.
  8. If something works, it works. If it doesn’t, timing will not change that.
  9. Listen to your friends and family; they have your best interests at heart. When they warn you that something or someone isn’t good for you, trust that their outside perspective is a lot clearer than your blinded one.
  10. Never let others’ negativity or mean streaks rub off on you. Spreading negativity only spawns more negativity, and life is too short to to be mean.
  11. Take no interest in gossip; it is usually either a sign of envy or a delusion of grandeur. Both are negative emotions.
  12. Trust your intuition. It tends to know things that your mind will take more time to learn.
  13. Be careful of the bridges and friendships you burn. Although apologies go a long way, some friendships will be irreparable and you can only be forgiven so many times.
  14. Have no regrets. Everything happens for a reason and there is a lesson in everything. Know that you are learning and growing as a human being.
[Tweet “Take no interest in gossip; it is usually either a sign of envy or a delusion of grandeur.”]

It’s tough sometimes to stay positive or to stay away from things or people that you know in your heart are not good for you.

Not long ago a friend asked me, “Why are we attracted to people who are not good for us?”
My response was, “Because we have visions of them being better people.”

That’s not to say that they are in any way bad people, but just that they are bad for us. We tend to think that we can change people for the better, but in the end they are who they are and nothing will change that. When this happens, we need to either accept them completely as they are, or move on and leave them behind to preserve our own wellbeing.

Life is too short to be anything but happy. Learn from your experiences and don’t regret a single one. The universe provides what the soul needs to grow.

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from life? Please share in the comments below.

Life is Short

“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.” ~ Mark Twain

Happier Than A Billionaire – A Must Read For Costa Rica First Timers!

Happier Than A Billionaire by Nadine Hays Pisani

During my first visit to Costa Rica last fall, the friend I was visiting handed me Happier Than A Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, and Living the Zero Hour Work Week, by Nadine Hays Pisani. He said that it was a great introduction to anyone visiting Costa Rica for the first time. He was right! I had already been in the country for a week, so it was a lot of fun reading about many of the things that I had encountered during my introduction to Costa Rican life.

The book is a hilarious true account of an American couple (Nadine and Rob), who had had enough of their rat race cookie-cutter American life. They were not happy or inspired by their day to day lives anymore, so they sold everything and moved to Costa Rica! I laughed out loud at some of the hilarious experiences Nadine talks about in the book, from encounters with bats, to suicide showers.

What I loved most about this is that I saw so much of myself in their story. Just before my trip to Costa Rica I had done the same thing. One day I simply decided that I had had enough. The next day I gave notice to my landlord and over the month that followed, I sold all of my furniture, donated a bunch of stuff I never used to the thrift shop, and boxed the rest up and put it into storage before hopping on a plane to Central America.

So now, here I was, reading about this couple’s crazy adventures doing exactly the same thing! Nadine and Rob had more of a plan than I did at the time, but after aching to do this for the past five years, I was so excited and happy that I finally got the ball rolling!

Sunset at Playa Ostional, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Sunset at Playa Ostional, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Now I follow the Pisanis’ journey online from Canada, as I continue to set my life up to live a location independently myself. Soon I will be off to Central America again. Costa Rica is the first place I have traveled where I have felt truly and comfortably at home. It’s such a beautiful country! There’s so much life, nature at every turn, beautiful sunsets, the people are wonderful and the food is delicious! Not to mention that I LOVE the language! I have always wanted to be fluent in Spanish, but taking classes in Canada is nothing compared to learning where it is the mother tongue.

I keep Happier Than A Billionaire at my bedside and read a passage from it when I need a little escape from the cold rainy days of a Canadian spring (which is often). Between the book and looking back at the thousands of photos I took of sunsets, jungles, volcanoes and beaches during my visit, I get my fix. But it’s never quite the same as breathing that tropical air, feeling the hot sun on my face, or hearing the waves crashing on the beach… Costa Rica, I will be seeing you again soon!

So if you’re going to Costa Rica, and you’re not quite sure what to expect, or if you want a fun book to read on the plane or on the beach when you get there, pick up Happier Than A Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, and Living the Zero Hour Work Week! It’s a light and funny read and who knows, it just might inspire you to create a tropical dream life of your own!

The book is available on Amazon. You can also follow Nadine Hays Pisani’s journey online on Facebook, where she shares beautiful images of her daily Costa Rican life.

Have you read Happier Than A Billionaire? What did you think?

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali – Your Paradise in Paradise

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali is the most beautiful villa I have ever stayed at. I visited Bali for the first time in the spring of 2010 to photograph this gorgeous paradise. The home is built on an old mango orchard, on a mountain with a 180 degree view over Lovina and the ocean. It is more of an estate than a villa really; there is the Main House, the Guest House, and the Sunset House.

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main entrance

Welcome to Villa Kembang Kertas – Bali

The Garden

There is a rice paddy on the grounds which they harvest throughout the year, as well as a full garden boasting fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables year round. They grow their own peanuts, mangos, lemongrass, beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, lettuce, corn on the cob, citrus fruits to name a few. The kitchen staff serves fresh home grown ingredients whenever they are available. It’s so wonderful to know that you are eating fresh, local, organically grown produce while staying here!

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Grounds and Garden

The Main House

The Main House is a 2-story home plus a basement with laundry and storage facilities. It has three bedrooms (2 upstairs and one downstairs), which each sleep two people. Two rooms with king-sized beds and one room with twin single beds and each room has its own private ensuite with toilet and shower and the two king bedrooms have giant stone bathtubs.

The Bedrooms

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Bedroom Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Bedroom Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Ensuite Villa Kembang Kertas Bali Ensuite Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Master bedroom with ensuite bathroom including giant tub and shower. Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Master bedroomVilla Kembang Kertas Bali - Twin Bedroom Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Twin Bedroom Ensuite

Both levels of the house have a gorgeous deck with an incredible ocean view and sunsets that are out of this world. On the main floor is a kitchen that a chef’s dreams are made of. The main indoor area is open concept with a living space, dining area and a lounging area. All of this opens up to giant sliding glass doors onto a beautiful deck. Outside is an outdoor living room and dining room, which (when I wasn’t in the pool) is where I spent most of my time at the villa when I wasn’t photographing it. In front of the house, below the deck, there is a big mango-shaped infinity pool, with lounge chairs and a gazebo in case guests want to get out of the sun.

The Living Spaces

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main house, upper deck Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Upper deck Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main floor deck and lounge areas. Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main floor deck and lounge areas. Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main floor deck and lounge areas.Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Swimming Pool

The Guest House

The Guest House is much smaller than the Main House, but is a lovely cozy place to call home. It is a single level house and sleeps two. The house consists of a bedroom/living space with king-sized bed, a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom with an enclosed outdoor shower. The main living space is on the deck with a view similar similar to that of the Main House.

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Guest house Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Guest house Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Guest house Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Guest house

The Sunset House

The Sunset House was closed when I visited, but it is equally beautiful. I was only able to photograph it from the outside while they were renovating.

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Sunset House Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Sunset House

More Information

For more information about the villa or to reserve your own stay at this private paradise, please visit the website at VillaKembangKertas.com.

To see more photos of the house and the grounds, please visit the set on Flickr.

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Sunset View from upper deck View from upper deck.

8 Things I’ve Learned in the Last 8 Days

Last Tuesday I launched my Olympic Spirit Project Kickstarter campaign, and the past week has been a wild ride! I launched the campaign on January 14th and now 8 days later, thanks to so many incredible people, I have raised 37% of the funding goal, got one corporate sponsor on board (so far), have a local newspaper article coming out this week, and have an interview booked with CBC Toronto for next week!

Throughout this crazy journey, I’ve learned a LOT, and I wanted to share some of those things with you.

8 Things I’ve Learned in the Last 8 Days:

1. I have incredible friends and family.

I’m so grateful to all of you, who have stepped up to support me and this project. (I already knew you were all amazing, but just had to tell you again!) You have all been so generous with your pledges and sharing the project around and your support has me feeling confident that I will reach my goal of publishing an inspiring book!

2. How to craft a Kickstarter campaign.

Crowdfunding is a new experience for me. There is definitely an art to crafting a good crowdfunding campaign. I’ve done a lot of research and have learned and applied so much, and am continuing to learn as this experience continues.

3. How to promote a Kickstarter campaign.

I’m pretty good with social media, but things change dramatically when you are asking people to put their money into something. I’ve learned a lot about how to craft my emails, tweets, blogs and other social media posts to have the most impact on the reader and inspire them to get involved. This is an ongoing learning process, and I have by no means mastered it, but I’m a lot farther along than I was a week ago.

4. How to create a crowdfunding video.

My video is still in progress, but I’ve learned that it’s harder than it looks. As a photographer, I tend to be more comfortable behind the camera, so talking on camera will be new for me and will I’m sure require many takes before I get it right. Writing a good script and planning your message is key. I’ve had a lot of help  and feedback from the people around me and I am so grateful for your honest feedback and comments to help make my first ever video!

5. How to reach out to the media.

This week I secured two media outlets to tell my story. The Olympic Spirit Project will be featured in my hometown’s local newspaper this Friday, and then next week I will be doing a live interview with CBC Toronto’s Heather Hiscox. This has been the first time I’ve ever approached media on anything and will be my first television appearance. I’m pretty proud of the results so far, and I’ll admit that I’m a bit nervous about the live interview…

 6. It’s all about ACTION!

I tend to get in my own way, and make excuses for why things are not progressing. Because this project has such a short timeline, the past week has been all about ACTION! And I’m seeing incredible results! I’ve realized that “done is better than perfect,” and it has made me so much more productive. You can always tweak things later, but if you don’t get it out there, no one will ever know what you’re up to and you will never move forward.

7. I really CAN work from anywhere.

It’s been a challenge to get my message out to people primarily over the web. I’m currently living in my small hometown of Duncan, BC, and it is a very different experience after the hustle and bustle of life in Vancouver. I don’t know many people here, so the in-person conversations have been mostly with the Safeway cashier and the barista. But, I’m managing to do it! The online impact of this project has brought me one step closer to location independence and have made me so much more confidence that I will soon be location independent and living a life that I love.

8. What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

This is my new favourite quote and words to live by from Napoleon Hill’s, Think and Grow Rich. I’ve been using the mantra, “Thoughts become things,” for a while now, but this one from Napoleon Hill is so much more inspiring to me. I thought it, I believed it, and now it is becoming a reality. I’ve just proven to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to! It’s an incredible feeling!

 

So there it is! It’s been a huge learning curve for me this past week and I don’t see that slowing down any time soon! I’m so excited to see what the next month brings to both me and this project! I’m on a roll and don’t intend on stopping!

What are some of the things you’ve learned and accomplished in the past week? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

And remember…

Napoleon Hill Quote

© 2013 Mariska Richters – Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica

 

 

My Heart is Heavy As I Leave Costa Rica

Playa Langosta, Costa Rica

My last walk on the beach at Playa Langosta this morning.

My heart is heavy as I sit at the departure gate of the Liberia airport. Costa Rica has captured my heart and made me feel at home. I feel as though I’m leaving a piece of myself behind as I prepare to go from a month straight of 30C in this amazing place back to zero degrees in Vancouver.

I mean seriously, I have to put on PANTS! That is just insanity! I haven’t worn pants in over a month! And socks and shoes? Whaaaat?! No gracias!

My mind, body and soul are all connected to this place and as I get closer to flight time, they are all resisting the reality of leaving.

Yes, I will get on the plane, but I am already planning my return as soon as possible. And if I play things right, it will be more permanent. This place has become home. I have fallen in all-encompassed love with Costa Rica. The culture, the people, the language, the food, the beaches, the lifestyle. I’m in love, Love, LOVE!!!

Pura Vida! It’s go time!

Staying Fit While Traveling

Staying fit while traveling can be a challenge. It can be tough to get into a routine when your location changes often. While in Costa Rica I’m happy to say that I’ve been getting a workout in almost everyday. My favorite has been the beach workouts. I started doing them every morning while in Tamarindo, either with a local personal trainer or self-led HIIT workouts at the water’s edge.

For the personal training sessions, we used Nick Holt Fitness. We did several amazing TRX suspension training workouts with Nick. He tied the TRX to a tree, and with the jungle on one side and the ocean on the other the view was gorgeous, no matter which way we turned.

We worked out barefoot in the sand with the TRX and used a log for ground work and kettle bells for an added challenge. Nick pushed us HARD and our post-workout dip in the ocean was well deserved. I would recommend him to anyone who wants to maintain regular training while in Tamarindo and surrounding area.

Tamarindo Workout

While traveling around Costa Rica, I continued my beach workouts wherever possible. I would do a 35 minute HIIT workout with a different combination of exercises each time. With the heat and humidity I would do half my workout in the water. It was perfect!

What I love about the HIIT workouts is that you don’t need any equipment, and if you’re doing them on the beach, you don’t even need shoes! All you need is a timer of some kind and music to keep you moving. (I use my iPhone for both.)

All exercises are are completed using your body weight. Some examples of some would be:

  • Squats
  • Lunges (walking or stationary alternating or reverse)
  • Pushups
  • Lizard Crawls (these are fun when you do them on the beach when you see your lizard tracks in the sand)
  • Planks (do them in the water and let the waves pull the sand out from under you for added challenge)
  • Single Arm Alternating Planks
  • Site-ups / Crunches
  • V-sits
  • Burpees (the one everyone loves to hate)

I always include squats and planks in my workouts (cuz who doesn’t want a nice beach bum and killer abs?), and then I mix in a bunch of other exercises, depending on which are I want to focus on. I could add many more to the above list, but these are great if you’re just getting started with HIIT.

I drink a protein shake about an hour before I workout and I always ensure that I’m well hydrated. You should always make sure you drink plenty of water but if you’re traveling in the tropics this is especially important. In warmer climates your body loses a lot more water through sweating, so make sure you are drinking LOTS of water throughout the day. This will ensure that you are well hydrated for your workout as well as for general your health.

While in Costa Rica, I have had several days where I’ve missed my beach workouts, but those days are usually spent exploring which involves a lot of walking and/or hiking, so I get my exercise in other ways. When I returned from Central America I was so hooked on the TRX that I bought one to use at home and I love it!

Travel is no excuse to get lazy!

How do you stay fit while traveling? Please share in the comments below.

To give you a little taste of my workouts, this is my gym in Montezuma: