Monday, December 31, 2012

Create a successful 2013 NOW!

I am writing this on the 1st January 2013

Yes that's correct on the first day of the new year I am writing a Blog on Goal setting, not because I don't have a life but more importantly that I have a great life and want it to be better. The quote that is to the left is so true and i think we often forget that we do have a choice in everything we do. When we take 100% responsibility for our choices we take responsibility for our failures and our successes

I have already set my Goals for 2013 and am in the process of writing then down in detail and then writing my action steps to move me closer to these each day. Last year seemed to go so fast and before I and many others knew it Christmas was here. So I decided that I didn't want the year to fly by without a plan for what I really and truly want for me, my family and my team at Mantra Training & Development in 2013.   

So I thought this is no better time than to do another more detailed Blog on Goal setting. I had written one in the middle of last year and as I still believe very much in goals and action toward them I would expand even further.

I once heard Anthony Robbins say that if you are not growing you are dying, and I am still growing every day and will continue to do so in many ways. We can grow in all areas of our life, Financially, Spiritually, Relationships can grow and most importantly our knowledge can grow .

You may think you don’t set goals but in one way or another we all set goals, they can be a small goals of getting somewhere on time if you are often late. It could be to get a pay rise or promotion in your current career. We set bigger goals for fitness, and exercise or to give up smoking or drinking for a Month, year or for good. many people will have a New Years Resolution (Bad idea as they are often short lived)

I have been setting goals since I was very young; however I am not sure that I knew I was setting goals. I would decide I wanted something or to go somewhere and then I would find a way to do it. As I have looked back over many years of doing this and also being a keen observer of others, I have noticed a few key facts that are fairly consistent.

Why do we achieve some Goals and not others?

Let me see if I can shed some light on what I think are some of the reasons for success and failure to reach our goals.

If you fail to plan you plan to fail “Jim Rohn”

TRY and moving away from goals opposed to moving toward goals!

TRY – This word drives me crazy and is used so frequently when it is an excuse word. What I mean by that is, it lets you off the hook….. I will try to get there…..I will try to lose weight…….I will try to stop smoking…….I tried to call. Lets look at each one of these and break it down.
Someone asks you out and you say “I will try to get there” what they may have wanted to say is “I don’t want to go but if I say I will try and get there and don’t make it I know I tried
I will try and lose weight, really! How do you try, you either do lose weight by doing something differently, like walking round the block each day and eating smaller portions, or you don’t!
The last one is I tried to call…… What about, “I called and you didn’t answer” or “ I Did call and left a voicemail message”

You see I use this activity in my training…..I ask someone to try and pick up a chair, they pick it up and I say no I asked you to try, so they pretend its heavy and can’t lift it, again I say no now you didn’t pick up the chair. I often get looked at with frustration until it clicks…..You either pick up the chair or you don’t….NO TRYING! “Anthony Robbins”

Moving Away from Goals V Moving Toward Goals

If you don’t achieve your goals someone else will “Jim Rohn”

What do I mean by moving away from goals?

When you are moving away from something it is generally because you have a negative outcome where you are, so you want to move away from it (use Fear or Pain as a good example). Take a heart attack for example, you may need to lose weight change your diet and exercise, which you were not doing before, hence why you have had a heart attack. So when you get away from the risk you tend to go back to old habits.

What we should be doing consistently is setting toward Goals with positive outcomes, let me give you an example;
In August 2011 I set a goal to walk the Kokoda track and I was specific about a number of reasons for setting this goal. I understand this is a big one however the same concept applies t small goals as well.
Smart format applied

Specific – To walk the Kokoda Track in April 2012

Measurable – Researched the most reputable company to do the trek with, costed flights, trek gear and time frames that fitted in with my daughter being away on school holidays.

Achievable – A plan was required with a deadline and results focused to ensure I would be successful (it was truly achievable with a plan)

Relevant -   It was relevant in a number of ways both physically and emotionally and also one of my highest values is growth “I was definitely going to grow

Timely – I had a number of deadlines and it was the perfect time in my life to do this journey

Whilst a lot more in-depth planning and reasoning behind this goal, I am sure you can see the concept. Take the time to think of a small goal you want to achieve and use the SMART format to set the goal. Then set some bigger Goals and have a clear action plan to start moving you in the direction of achieving them.

Here are a few additional steps you can take to ensure you keep momentum.

  1. Write them down and stick it on your bathroom mirror so you see them every day
  2. Take 10 Minutes a day to so something toward planning or acheiveing these goals, as little as 10 minutes a day can work.
  3. Say them out loud, tell people about it so they can support you getting there.
  4. Get an accountability buddy to keep you on track
  5. Even if you fall off the horse so to speak don't give up just get back on the horse. 
  6. Make sure you reward yourself when you achieve the goal or get to a major milestone.
I look forward to hearing about your goals and if you need any help to set goals feel free to contact Mantra Training & Development and we can help you not only set the goals, we can help you create a plan to achieve your goals in 2013.

Have an amazing year and remember to enjoy the journey.


Donna Moulds 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Planning Is A Key to Success

The 6 P's help me remember the benefits of planning

Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance, this is a reminder of how planning means things go smooth and mostly in the order I have planned. This concept helped me achieve my Kokoda Trek in April of this year (2012) and meant that I was organised and had a successful journey.  

One of my great mentors helped me understand the power in planning and that this is also about taking control of your destiny. Without a plan you have very little direction and you may not even have a destination. Planning is all about choices, think of a map, when you get to the fork in the road you have a choice to turn left or turn right. Now turning left can get you to your destination or take you in a completely different direction. if you take the wrong turn you may not be able to reach your planned destination.

"If You Fail To Plan You Plan To Fail" Jim Rohn

His words have never left me over the years and I know in my deepest knowing that this is so true and with the best intentions doesn't always happen the way we planned. Or sometimes we do plan and it doesn't work out for one reason or another. This can be because something outside our control changed.

I once heard someone say to me "My plans never worked out so whats the point in planning"? and my answer was "if you don't plan you leave your destiny in the hands of everyone else" 

I have also been told I need to be spontaneous and not plan everything, I agree with this for general things and to create fun in your life spontaneity is great. For the big things in life though I know that without a plan things can not possible go the way you want it to as you have not decided.

Imagine a Trainer not planning their courses and winging it? This would be disastrous for the students and the organisation, so i am sure you can see how planning is an important part of our professional life. Below I give you a more simple example with a vegetable garden to get your planning started. 

Deciding is a choice



CHOICES…. This is a simple word that can have negative or positive results, either way we get to choose or alternatively if we don't choose I can assure you someone else can make the choice for you. Think about the last time you procrastinated on something, what was the outcome? I recently had to make a choice and it wasn't a pleasant choice but the outcome was definitely for the greater good of all.

One way you can plan is to mind map your plan, this is a great tool if you are a visual person. You will see clearly once you have put this on paper or a white board. Then add to this or take parts away until you are happy with the plan. Another strategy is to know your outcome and work backwards from there. Act as if you have already achieved the end results, write down what you had to do to get there and you can create a plan to achieve the outcome. This strategy is very powerful as you can create an image and a feeling of what the plan will be like and what the plan will look like once completed.

Planning a Vegetable garden
Step 1 - Where do I put my garden, how much space do I have or need?
Step 2 - What do I want to grow in my Garden?
Step 3 - What will this cost or what is my Budget?
Step 4- Where can I buy this?
Step 5 - What else do I need to make this work?

We can have a very simple plan or a complex plan depending on what we want the outcome to be. I recently planted some hers and a tomato plant that will produce lots of fruit enough for Nicole and I to enjoy for summer salads. I used pots as I don't have a garden I have a courtyard.

So go plan some things and have fun with it and remember if you don't plan someone else will achieve your dreams.

Donna  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Success

What does success mean?

 "Accomplishment of an aim" This is one of the definitions in the dictionary and I would agree wholeheartedly. Some would argue we don't have to have a goal or purpose, but where would we be without purpose? The picture in this blog for me sums up determination which I feel can lead to great success or great failure. We can be so determined to be great, which can drive success or we can be so determined to be right which can lead to failure.

I asked some of my friends what Success means to them, and as I thought their were a number of varied response leading to the same. Accomplishment of an aim, a purpose. But more importantly I also think it is about Self Worth.  

Here are some of the responses I received. 
Success to me at the moment is getting past this anxiety and depression and being myself again..sounds lame but that's it..want my life to be normal again (I am grateful for her bravery to share this and do not think this is lame)  

To live your dreams and have a fulfilled life

Success is having a calculated and realistic WRITTEN plan in place stating your goals as well as the detailed steps/actions that you need to take to achieve them.

Success to me means, being truly happy with where you are right now, and who you are in this point of time.

Achieving the goals that you set for yourself is what success means to me , I think you know if your successful by the amount of pride you gain in yourself whether it be from material , financial or everyday living achievements !

For me personally I think I knew I was successful in many aspects of my life but I had all these rules around allowing myself to feel successful. One of them was “if I'm not successful am I a failure….wow where did that shit come from, I mean who thinks like that? was the only one? NO....after asking around it seems I was not the only one.

After further contemplation and questioning of others, it seems evident that there is a sense of purpose and direction around the idea of success and many stated an alignment of goals and values, leading to self worth.  
As a Mother I feel very successful as I have raised 4 children and they are all good people with a strong sense of love and family. To me this is one of my greatest successes. 5 years ago I started a Business and this has been a very big challenge and for a large part felt that success would never come till I realigned my values and purpose and realise we are successful when aligned with those values. 

I remember having a purpose to trek Kokoda and I was very driven and had a clear specific goal to complete the trek. It was also in line with my values and after walking into the Village of Kokoda I felt I had achieved success and I had a great sense of self worth.

Why do some think success is unobtainable?

I looked back on my work with the some of the homeless shelters and have observed the lack of direction and purpose in their lives and  realise that without the knowledge of setting a goal or having a future focus that success may seem unobtainable. As the saying goes "we don't know what we don't know." 

So here is what I want to finish with and as usual please keep in mind this is my personal opinion based on my experience and observation. Its not right or wrong it just is.

With increased awareness and self worth we can open up our creative thinking about our future, therefore aiming for something that we want to achieve to bring us closer to inner peace, happiness and successfully living in the now with a future focus.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Investing In Your Education!

Habitual Learning

Most people that know me, know that I am addicted to reading and listening to educational materials. For the past 10 years I have been listening to educational programs in my car, when I am walking or just waiting for an appointment at the doctors or dentist. In fact I like it when they are running late as this gives me more time to stop and listen to some great stuff. Over the years I have had a walk-man, an iPod shuffle to an iPod touch and an iPhone. I have it on my computer and in the office, it is everywhere.  

I wasn't always a strong reader, in fact i used to have to read a book many times to be able to absorb the information but it never stopped me. I recall reading paragraph over and over again. I also remember many years ago having one of Steven Covey book and I had to read it with a Dictionary next to me as i didn't know the meaning of many words in the book so it took me months to read. Now I can read a book in a day or two.
I recall last year I had a strong desire to be by the sea so I took myself and my book to the Ocean and stood in the water reading and I was in heaven, i felt like I had the best of both worlds at my fingertips.

I have listened to some of the audios that I have more than 20 times. Jim Rohn has a seminar that was held in 2004 and I have continued to learn from him for the past 10 years. One of the great lessons he taught me was to listen to it all. Listen to Gandhi and Hitler and then make up your own mind on what you learn from them. Over the years I have built up a library of many great Philosophers to one hit wonders, as my father would call them. I read as much as I can and then decide what to take from each one and apply this to my life but only if this is aligned with my values and Goals.  

Many years ago when I was learning about NLP(neuro linguistic programming), I though I was learning too slowly and was frustrated and fearful I was never going to get it. Then one day I realised everything clicked and I found myself using this tool effectively and often unconsciously. Now I understand that I am learning as much as I can in the time that I need to and it all comes into your consciousness at the right time. One thing is for sure, we never stop learning. As Tony Robbins once said "if you aren't growing you are dying, just like a tree"

Formal Education + Self education


Formal Education is a necessity of life. If we want to progress in our Career formal skills can provide opportunities or if we need to enhance skills as technology changes and the needs of the organisation change. Just look at marketing for example, this has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and more so in the past 5 years. How marketing was done 10 years ago doesn't work today.We can reach more people in less time that 10 years ago.

Formal education such as Traineeships and Apprenticeships allow us to get a foot in the door of the industry we want to explore in our early years or even later on in life when we want a career change. These opportunities allow us to earn at the same time as learning and obtaining a Formal education in Vocational Education and Training. Self education is where we educate yourself by identifying their is something we don't know and researching how to apply this in real life.

If you look at Entrepreneurs for example you will see that they are all self educated and had very little formal education. Take a look at Richard Branson, Jim Rohn, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Ford. They all dropped out of College or didn't even go to College. They have all become successful but I can assure you they certainly worked hard on their self education and surounding themselves with the right people.

Education makes you wealthy?

Recently I went to PNG to trek Kokoda and I learned that they choose one child to go to school and get an education as it is not affordable to send all children to school. Just one child out of 2 or 4 children gets an opportunity to have an education....this was a great shock and also a realisation as to how fortunate we are.  Its just normal for us all to go to school and get an education. Its normal for us to have constant access to books. Lets face it how much does a library card cost??......that's right its FREE!!

I recall reading in Richard Branson's Biography about a lady who wanted to borrow $300 to buy a sewing machine and she promised to pay him back. She was an educated Business Woman who saw an opportunity and took it with both hands. Now Richard didn't think he would see the money ever again but three years later when he visited that village again, he got the money back. They were waiting for him to return the money and thank him for his kindness. The lady had built up her business and employed a number of staff and she was thriving.

My own personal experience has been a true testament to this. When I wasn't educating myself it was costing me my future. It was costing me as a Parent and it was costing me as an Entrepreneur. When I wasn't reading, I wasn't learning, I was making mistakes and didn't have any leverage to learn from them. Once I understood what self education could do for me I never stopped reading, listening and learning.

I am currently listening to The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, this is great self education program that also has access to some supporting documents to help you implement the learning.

and remember, knowledge is not power it is potential power.

Till next time D

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Journey to Kokoda [Part 2]



Day 5 – Brigade Hill to Bombers Camp


We were up for an 8 hour day and changed our direction slightly to end up at Bombers Camp where we would be the only trekking group to staying there for the night. We were told that swamp lands were on the agenda today, little did we know how much swamp was coming, or should I say how many hours of swamp. It was always the unknown and that was part of the journey of being in the moment and seeing some of the most beautiful scenery, sunsets and people. We are heading off to Efogi to see the last surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy and stop for lunch. I recall the last part of the walk before lunch being so very hot and I was really struggling to walk we seemed to be going up and up and up in a winding path of red dirt and heat. When we arrived at the outskirts of Efogi we all sat under a tree and cooled off. I recall seeing Francis my porter looking very tired and hot. He cooled off under the running water and then he went off to rest while the rest of us went into the village to meet the last surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy. 

We all had photos and just listened to the stories that his Nephew told while he briefly spoke about his experience. The Fuzzy Wuzzy is said to be 106 and he was covered in medals and very proud. I remember him grabbing my hand and shaking it. He looks very fragile but happy and proud to be able to share his experience with many generations. I had thoughts of my grandchildren and when they are at school learning about the war they will have a lovely story of their Nanna and her trip to Kokoda. It was a very special moment and a great memory to have created.
We had lunch in the village and they made dumplings, lunch was nice but I had this uneasy feeling about eating too much as I knew we had a big climb to go. I was right; it was not a good idea to eat to much as lots of the boys found it very hard going walking up Mt Bellamy with dumplings aboard. As we head off up Mt Bellamy where they use to meet to transfer the post its 2190m above sea level so you can imagine how much climbing we will do. It is said that it was the mid-point so they would meet and swap the mail over and return to deliver to the soldiers. It was the highest point on the trip and was very cool, even though you are sweating it is a cold seat and I have to say a bit of a relief.
Plans had to change slightly as the other group was going to our planned camping spot, so Bill decided to take up to his favorite place Bombers Camp. After walking for what seemed like forever we arrived at the camp to find the most picturesque place I had seem yet. It was beautifully manicured with a lovely creek flowing through. Francis set my tent up right near a flower bed and I just sat in awe and wonder at this place in the middle of nowhere. Then the news came, one of the little huts on the other side had a hot shower, yep Hot running water, all they had to do was start the fire and I would have a hot shower in private without my clothes on….I was excited. After my shower I felt a little more feminine and clean to say the least.

Day 6 - Bombers Camp to Eora Creek

Waking up at Bombers Camp was wonderful, it was so beautiful and peaceful and you could hear birds and running water. Then breakfast came and it was freshly baked Banana bread, in the jungle, like how did they do this? Without being rude or unsociable I wanted to sit outside and eat breakfast as the sun was rising and the air was so crisp. It was just stunning, there was a mist over the stream and the smell of banana bread was all consuming.
After we went to look at the bomb site and the plane propeller I decided it was time to go to the toilet before heading off for the day. I am not sure if I mentioned this before but on this trip I would have paid anything to be a boy. As they just went in the bush for the most part. Anyway every time I went to the bathroom I had to take my trusty toilet buddy Bill and he would keep a watch for me so no one walked in on me and I was safe do my business. On this particular morning I was off to the little toilet hut and as you can imagine there is no sitting, just squatting and coordinating wipes and pants so you don’t touch anything or fall in. I have just finished zipping up my pants and cleaning my hands with wipes when I go to step over the hole and the floor collapses out from under me…..now there is no way I am falling in the shitter!!!, so I grabbed onto the very first pole I could and the floor fell in and I am hanging on for dear life…..at this point I scream and Bill say “ are you ok” I stated that I am not and need help. Bill then replied “Are you decent?” and all I could say was “Does it F%#@&?& matter?’ yes I was decent, and they all came running. As you would imagine I was very shaken, but relieved that I didn’t fall in the shitter…phew!!!. They got me out and I had a bit of a gash in my leg and a hand full of splinters and some grazes on my arms……It was not one of my most graceful moments but we managed to laugh about it later on. I was cleaned up with disinfectant and bandaged up ready to trek out. The boys didn’t know whether to laugh or not, but I am sure if it was one of them they would have pissed themselves laughing in no time. I often look at the scar on my leg with pride, let’s face it no one has to know it’s from the toilet. I call it my bravery scar…..lol
After another long day and a bit of a limp I was pumping myself with antibiotics as there was no way I am going home…I am here to finish this wound or not. We arrived at Eora Creek which was Sia’s family’s land (Trek Master) and we got the most beautiful camp spot right on the river, running with rapids and it was amazing, every camp seemed to get more beautiful than the last. I went straight into the water to clean up and get my wound clean and wrapped again. The water was like ice, it took your breath away but you loved the feeling of the water on your skin, well the parts that were exposed. We sat on a rock with a fire and at popcorn. I showed Sia how to play snap and we just enjoyed the afternoon and reflected on the journey to here. 

Day 7 – Eora Creek to Isurava Memorial site

Leaving Eora Creek was sad as it was such a beautiful place and so hidden in between mountains, you could hide there forever. As we crossed the first river we head straight up the side of another mountain. By this stage of the trip I am getting a little slower and wearier each day. I still feel very positive and have energy to keep going but I know I am a little slower. As usual I headed out first with a couple of general porters and Francis. I remember Francis telling me about things we see along the way and I always told his when I could hear the Owls early in the morning. When we set out Sia was with us and he said to me “No falls and No tears today Donna” I said that sounds like a great plan but I can’t promise anything other than to do my best. I feel like I am savoring every moment as I know we are nearing the end of the journey and part of me doesn’t want it to end.
Arriving at Alola village after a big walk up a massive hill (again) their was a shower on the hill with the most amazing view for what seemed like forever across the mountains. It was cool water and very refreshing. I walked into the village about 10 minutes ahead of the rest and the kids all greeted me. I think I ate three bananas before anyone arrived. The little girl in the photo just loved me taking pictures of her and showing her.
We had a very early lunch at Alola village and were taken up the hill to a museum which was filled with memorabilia from the war, there were guns and grenades and ammunition
Just prior to arriving at Isurava we saw some memorial plaques off one of the Bissett brothers and listened to the stories of their bravery and the few hours together before Tom dies in his brothers arms.  We also hear the story of Surgeons rock where they assessed the soldiers and performed amputation’s to save the soldiers’ lives. It was very confronting to hear what really happens at certain points along the trip.
Walking into Isurava was a great feeling and a big relief. This was definitely a milestone on the journey and we arrived early in the afternoon which gave us time to relax and clean up. We went down to the memorial site with the other group of Kokoda Spirit trekkers and had a service. It was so emotional to hear the stories and sing with the other group. We heard poetry and acknowledged the fallen soldiers. Rueben sang and played the guitar and then all the porters sang their national Anthem and we sang the Australian National Anthem.
All the boys found beers and cigarettes, what an eventful night of singing. No stars in this group I can assure you!!!
After the service we went back to the camp site and I was asked if I would lay a wreath on behalf of all the trekkers. I felt so honoured to be given the opportunity and it is a moment I will never forget. The next morning was 4am start for the main service and then we were staying for the second service. This is where we got to meet and shake the hand of 4 amazing soldiers who were part of the 39th Battalion.  These men played an enormous role in the war and defending Kokoda. This was one of those moments where you watch these men in admiration and wonder, how they did what they did and survived both physically and mentally. 

Day 8 – Isurava to Hoi

After all the formalities it was back to plodding one step at a time. I often remembered along the trek what Jock taught me and that was to plod, never stop just slow down and keep plodding, one foot in front of the other and at times one foot next to the other. I recall plodding along and feeling very smug. I felt like I had done it, I have done the Kokoda trek…., now realistically I knew I was still a day away but something inside me knew I was going to make it. We were heading off to Deniki for lunch before stopping at Hoi for our last night. As I was walking I was feeling great. It was mostly downhill so I was going pretty quickly and walked passed a running stream and then SPLAT…….I fell flat on my face, almost smashed my face into a rock. I had my arms hit the rocks. And I literally went down like a bag of shit. I remember one of the boys coming up to me later and said “that fall was a 10! We had lunch at Deniki and then 40 minutes to Hoi and that meant a wash in the river and a restful afternoon. We were also promised a feast, what a feast we had, great food, stories and thanking all the Porters and guides and especially the cook.

Day 9 – Hoi to Kokoda

Up before the crack of dawn and its still dark and we are getting ready for our short walk into Kokoda. We are all excited and relieved that we are really at the end, we made it! The walk is like a stroll it was a little scary in the dark as we never trekked out in the dark this entire trip. But we had a plane to catch and for the boys they had beers to drink.
We walked through Kokoda Village and it was a very different feel to being out in the villages. It was almost like being back at Port Moresby, which was not nice at all. Our plane arrived as soon as we got to the Airstrip and half of the group were off to the Airport. What was scary is how close the planes fly next to each other in what seems like a race. I recall saying to Bill "I didn’t just survive Kokoda to die in a plane crash"…lol
Back at the Hotel and it was 9.50am and the bar wasn’t open for another 10 minutes. We all smelt really bad and by 10.30 we were eating Burgers and Chips and drinking beer, yes including me.
Even after 3 months I am still in awe and wonder about this entire journey, the experiences and the total determination I had to succeed. I remember getting our certificates and we all reflected on the trip and some of the boys told me they were not sure I was going to make it but I just kept going. I know inside me I would never have given up and I was determined to make it to the end, even if I had to crawl.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Porters who kept us safe and also to Kokoda Spirit for an experience of a lifetime. Thank you Francis for your care and concern for my safety each and every step i made. I would not have been able to do this without my Francis, he had my back. 

If you have Kokoda on your Bucket list make sure you do it or you may just wonder for the rest of your life what if ?????

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Journey to Kokoda [Part 1]


Notes from my journey


In the footsteps of heroes is what we were told the experience would be when trekking with Kokoda Spirit , along with a great team providing the history and the relevant information at distinct points along the track. I was so honoured to be part of this in April of 2012 and being able to attend the Anzac Day ceremony at Isurava was one of the big highlights. This year was the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Kokoda and it was an extraordinary experience and one I will never forget.

In this blog I have shared some of the experiences with you knowing it's really not going to give you a real feeling of what it was like, just a glimpse. I think it’s an experience you have to be there to really understand the emotion, the physical and the mental challenge that you go through from moment to moment.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank some very special people who kept me safe and made this experience so rich and rewarding, Bill Kelly our Trek Guide who kept us all motivated with his genuine care and consideration, thank you also for volunteering to be my toilet buddy (especially at Bombers Camp), Francis my Porter who looked after me day and night keeping me safe and always laughing at with me not at me, John our Trek leader always so serious, strong and a true leader and Sia our Trek Master who has an incredible presence about him and his soul is truly kind, thank you for carrying my day pack when I just couldn’t anymore. All these wonderful people were from Kokoda Spirit. Thank you to all the guys I trekked with you truly were gentleman and especially Phil who encouraged me all the way, it was a pleasure to meet you all.

I had been in Training for about 6 Months now and every week apart from 2weeks rest I had been working out 3 times a week and walking up Mt Majura. I had been walking with 10kg in my pack for the last month and had even walked Black Mt Tower, and I felt ready and that my fitness was pretty good. I rested two days before leaving for port Moresby and was excited to be able to have a break from work and experience something that I had been drawn to emotionally for many years.
I arrive at Port Moresby airport about 4pm on the 17th April to find Helen from Kokoda Spirit waiting to take me to the Gateway Hotel. We all meet up at 7pm to go over the plan and what has to happen in the morning. We also meet all trekkers and Bill Kelly the Trek guide from Kokoda Spirit. The reality of being the only girl in the group starts to sink in and I feel a little uncertain about what to expect. After the induction and safety brief I’m off to get a good night’s sleep ready for tomorrow.


Day 1 - Owers Corner to Uberi

 

Up bright and early making sure my pack is ready and I have a good breakfast as I wonder what we will eat for the next 8 days. I have done lots of preparation and think I have everything covered that I could possibly need. I was the first to hit reception at 7.30am ready to go. I was excited and nervous at the same time. Last night was like Christmas eve when you are a kid, you toss and turn and can’t sleep till 3am. We get into the bus with all our gear ready to head to Owers’ Corner. 
First we are given a tour of Port Moresby and it is a real eye opener to see the poverty and how many people just sit in the streets and you can tell by the bars on all the shops how it is also seems to be rid with crime. We head toward the Warf and then out to Bomana war cemetery where all the history stories began. When we arrived the feeling was one of amazement that so many were buried here and the other was of peacefulness as they had been laid to rest and Bomana is so beautifully kept.
We then headed off the McDonalds Corner and it was lovely to stop and see some local children and hear the history of what happened in the area 70 years ago. We drove for a bit longer and the further we got away from Port Moresby the nicer the landscape.
We arrived at Owers’ Corner and laid all our packs out on the ground and then we had lunch before were allocated our porters. My Porters name was Francis, and he was tall enough but so thin and I looked at my pack and thought “how on earth is he going to carry my pack”? Oh no I have got too much stuff in my pack, then Francis said he needed to repack to fit his stuff in. What an idiot I was, where on earth did I think he was going to put his things.
Here we are ready to get started on this amazing journey. We knew today would be pretty easy as it was only about 3 hours to camp, how hard could it be?
Well holly shit it was hot, and so humid you had sweat running down your face, my glasses fogged up in 2 minutes and the first sign of a hill and my heart was beating out of my chest, I started to wonder what the hell I was thinking walking up Mt Majura. Who on earth called that a mountain?
We walked into our first camp at Uberi and crossed a small river to set up tents, and get washed up before dark. Just as we were almost set up we had a huge downpour of rain that lasted an hour or so, another trekking group unfortunately were still walking in this.
The rain was heavy enough that the river soon became uncross able and the porters quickly went out to our tents and dug trenches around them so we could sleep in our tents. Some of the men’s tents were leaking already so they were put in one of the huts. Bill reminds me about how hard the first day is for everyone, this gives me hope!

Day 2 – Uberi to Ioribaiwa

I slept well and we woke about 4.45 and headlamps on its time to pack up and get ready to move out after breakfast. Our Porters setup and pack our tents and thank goodness because he does a much better job than I could. At this point I now realise being a girls is not so good in the jungle and going to the toilet is nothing short of a strategic challenge. It’s about 6am and we are all ready to go. John our trek Leader gives us a big gee up and we all feel pumped and ready to go. We head out and its up, up and more up to Imita Ridge and we stop at a lovely creek for lunch and a swim. After lunch My porter and I were told to head off first, I knew I was a little slower on the hills and I had two porters with me so I felt safe. With the many river crossings it was boots off and wet shoes on, so a lot of stopping and starting which was good.

We got to Ioribaiwa and set up tents and got cleaned up, I was able to have a bit of a shower and that always made me feel a bit better, my spirits were good but I was really fatigued, I sat for a while and wrote in my  journal and watched the porters and the boys I was trekking with play footy (how on earth they had the energy) and after dinner I went to my tent to prepare for the morning. Our porters get our water for the next day so we are getting the good water and you need to make sure its purified, I was carrying about 4 litres on me a day. I then made a very big mistake and took salt tablets not realising they need to go in my water (yep a dumb moment) within minutes I am projectile vomiting. Note to self……Salt tablets go into the water bottles.
Today we cross the same river 14 times, it’s hard to imagine but there is so much water and beauty around us and that makes it so worth all the blood sweat and tears.

Day 3 – Ioribaiwa to Nauro

Waking up early seems to be so easy as you are excited about the day and the stories we hear from Bill about the Australian Soldiers is amazing. Each evening we go over the map and the stories about what took place where we stay and surrounding areas. I do miss hearing some of the stories in the evening as I go to be after dinner completely exhausted
Today is going to be our biggest day as we will trek for 10.5 hours before we make it into camp. It’s really hard to enjoy the view as you can’t take your eyes off where you are walking or you will fall. There is not a lot of opportunity to take photos because I am using both poles all the time so you try to capture each moment in your mind as best you can. As you walk you think about the Soldiers and wonder how they did it, they had guns and packs and very little food. They were sick and you can only imagine how exhausted they were fighting the Japanese day after day night after night.
The last stretch of today was through swamp and it was tough as you walk with so much mud on your boots your feet are so heavy. We walk for what seems like hours and when we finally get to Nauro it starts to rain. I went down to the creek which was breathtaking and sat in the water and couldn’t move, I ached so much it was incredible, yet I was still in good spirits and looked forward to the next day.

Day 4 - Nauro to Brigade Hill

Francis and I trek out early before the others so I can stay in front as we are told we have a big hill in front of us. As we started out it is still a little dark and because of the humidity I am unable to wear my glasses so it makes things that little bit more of a challenge. We are walking on mostly flat ground in what feels and looks like a rain forest. 30 minutes or so we start to climb and climb and climb and it’s not long before the rest of the group catch up. Half way up (seemed liked hours) I am a broken woman, I hurt I am emotion and crying, It was so hard. Mentally I am struggling and physically I am literally one step at a time and my muscles are burning. I felt a little panicked as my water bladder seemed to be blocked and I had run out of water in my bottles, I really had to re focus and Bill calmed me and said he would fix it at the top, “we are almost there” do you have any idea how sweet those words sounded.
When we reached the top of The Wall it was truly an amazing view but I was shattered and hurting (as you can see by the photo). It was a relief to hear Phil say that he was struggling just as much. I remember Phil telling me at one point “It’s about the journey not the destination” that was a great reminder to enjoy the journey and embrace the challenges one step at a time.
Walking through the Village of Menari was very peaceful as it was Saturday which is the day they go to church. As we walked into the village its beauty was stunning, and we came across the children singing. Yes again I cried with such joy and also felt like I was in another world. They grew vegetables and there were flowers everywhere, it was so tidy and calm. They had an airstrip and also a school that we were able to go into as we walked to sit and have morning tea. Because it was raining we were not able to get any water as the water is dirty and not good for drinking.
Later on in the day we walked up many more mountains (I am sure they call them hills) and we passed many trekkers coming the other way. I recall seeing one of the porters walking in front of an elderly man in his 70’s and the porter was walking with a large pack playing the guitar and singing to the trekkers. I remember my spirits lifting as they all said “well done, not far to go” even feeling as sore as I did I was still smiling and feeling so privileged to be here. As we were walking once again Sia our Trek Master had been nearby I feel he was just keeping an eye on me and he looked at me and in his soft but direct voice he told me to give him my day pack, this time I did, I was running out of steam and I then also ran out of water. I was stressed and tired and to run out of water was another challenge. Sai had some reserved of water from one of the other trekkers and he gave me some, this then allowed me to keep going. I was never giving up, not for one moment.
  
We walked into Brigade Hill and it was such a relief to be able to stop and take your boots and pack off. I also just wanted a shower (pvc pipe with water running out, it was beautiful) and because it was about 1415m high the water was like ice especially when your core was so hot.
After we freshened up and got our tents set up we had a ceremony at the top where we could show our respects to the lost soldiers on Brigade Hill. This was very emotional and we also had the porters sing the National Anthem and we sang ours to them, some poems were read by Tim and also names of the men whose lives were lost were read by Sam and Declan.   
We ended the evening with an hearty dinner and then sat around the camp fire reflecting on the time and for me it was about being proud of what we had achieved so far. I’m not really sure how everyone was feeling but we all seemed to be in great spirits and enjoying the time together.

I will post days 5-8 shortly so keep an eye out the best is yet to come. Thank you to those that want to read about the journey.

Donna Moulds

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Goal Setting For Success!


Have you achieved every goal ever set?

Have you ever wondered why you achieve some goals and don’t achieve other goals?

You may think you don’t set goals but in one way or another we all set goals, they can be a small goals of getting somewhere on time if you are often late. It could be to get a pay rise or promotion. We set bigger goals for fitness, and exercise or to give up smoking or drinking for a Month, year or for good.
I have been setting goals since I was very young; however I am not sure that I knew I was setting goals. I would decide I wanted something or to go somewhere and then I would find a way to do it. As I have looked back over many years of doing this and also being a keen observer of others, I have noticed a few key facts that are fairly consistent.

So why do we achieve some and not others?

Let me see if I can shed some light on what I think are some of the reasons for success and failure to reach our goals.

If you fail to plan you plan to fail “Jim Rohn”

TRY and moving away from goals opposed to moving toward goals!

TRY – This word drives me crazy and is used so frequently when it is an excuse word. What I mean by that is, it lets you off the hook….. I will try to get there…..I will try to lose weight…….I will try to stop smoking…….I tried to call. Lets look at each one of these and break it down.
Someone asks you out and you say “I will try to get there” what they may have wanted to say is “I don’t want to go but if I say I will try and get there and don’t make it I know I tried
I will try and lose weight, really! How do you try, you either do lose weight by doing something differently, like walking round the block each day and eating smaller portions, or you don’t!
The last one is I tried to call…… What about, “I called and you didn’t answer” or “ I Did call and left a voicemail message”

You see I use this activity in my training…..I ask someone to try and pick up a chair, they pick it up and I say no I asked you to try, so they pretend its heavy and can’t lift it, again I say no now you didn’t pick up the chair. I often get looked at with frustration until it clicks…..You either pick up the chair or you don’t….NO TRYING! “Anthony Robbins”

Moving Away from Goals V Moving Toward Goals

If you don’t achieve your goals someone else will “Jim Rohn”

What do I mean by moving away from goals?

When you are moving away from something it is generally because you have a negative outcome where you are, so you want to move away from it. Take a heart attack for example, you may need to lose weight change your diet and exercise, which you were not doing before, hence why you have had a heart attack.

Set toward Goals with positive outcomes, let me give you an example;
I set a goal last year to walk the Kokoda track and I was specific about a number of reasons for setting this goal. I understand this is a big one however the same concept applies t small goals as well.
Smart format applied

Specific – To walk the Kokoda Track in 2012

Measurable – Researched the most reputable company to do the trek with, costed flights, trek gear and time frames that fitted in with my daughter being away on school holidays.

Achievable – A plan was required with a deadline and results focused to ensure I would be successful (it was truly achievable with a plan)

Relevant -   It was relevant in a number of ways both physically and emotionally and also one of my highest values is growth “I was definitely going to grow

Timely – I had a number of deadlines and it was the perfect time in my life to do this journey

Whilst a lot more in-depth planning and reasoning behind this goal, I am sure you can see the concept. Take the time to think of a small goal you want to achieve and use the SMART format to set the goal. 

I look forward to hearing about your goals and if you need any help to set goals feel free to contact Mantra Training & Development and we can help you not only set the goals, we can help you set a plan to achieve your goals.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time Management = Success!!

If time runs away from you, this may me an interesting read!
Welcome to my Blog, it has been a while since posting and let me just say not because I have been on holidays or taking it easy, quite the contrary. This has been a very busy and tiring time with lots of physical activity included. This is a very personal story this time and not a personal opinion but an experience I wanted to share.
Do you feel like time is passing you by? Do you feel like you don't have enough hours in the day, days in a weeks or weeks in a month? well I know how you feel. Busy people tend to fit lot's into their days, weeks and moths. Have you ever asked yourself why that is, well I have, and recently more than ever. So i thought I would share some personal stuff with you in this blog about how much I have fitted in recently.
Ask yourself these questions and then please read on for my personal story:
  • Do you plan your day before it begins, plan your month before it begins?
  • Do you allow constant disruptions that take your focus away from the priorities?
  • The day before you go on holidays, reflect on how much you get done and how focused you are?
  • What could you do better to create more time in your day or even week?
School holidays are generally a time for me to recharge and put on a different hat. My Youngest daughter being the only child left at home generally goes to visit with her Dad and his family in Darwin. I miss her a lot but I use this time to recharge, work longer hours to catch up and also have some creative thinking time. Unfortunately this has not gone to plan these holidays, let me explain why.
In December I moved my business from one location to another, now if anyone has done an office fit-out before I am sure you can empathise with me and even more so as I am not very smart in the electrical area of an office. So doing an electrical plan was where I was at breaking point. When I say breaking point I mean my boundaries and comfort zone were certainly pushed. I can coordinate many different things and I enjoyed creating a new learning environment for Mantra Training & developments staff and students. Well…….5 weeks later and a few melt downs we are in the office and very happy with the outcome.
I am also very proud to say that my Son has been recovering in a Rehabilitation hospital since the beginning of January and has been doing exceptionally well. Driving to Sydney every week (6 hour round trip) to support him may be tiring, but again I find a way to use this to my advantage and University in the car has been very re energising for business and me personally. For the past 4 weeks I have been watching my Son recover from 8 years of addiction and self destruction. It has been an amazing process and he is working very hard to recover and get life on track. He has been supported by Nurses, Counselors and Support Workers who have helped him in his path to recovery. I am so very proud of him; this has not been an easy journey by any means.
For the past three months I have been training hard for my trip to Kokoda in April and I am getting fitter and stronger every week. As the time draws closer I start to wonder if I have done enough but with 11 weeks to go I am sure I still have time to up the anti and make sure I am fit and ready to take on the trek. I look forward to the history, meeting the people in the villages and the physical challenge. I can’t wait to experience the different cultures and see the scenery of the Kokoda Trek.
So I think when we have to step up we can achieve greatness and fit a lot into a short period of time. Now I don’t think for a minute it is sustainable long term without reflection and rejuvenation, and very achievable in the short term. I think it is soon time for a 4 day long weekend kayaking with my Daughter to slow down and recharge my batteries and brain.
Remember this...... we all have 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year, how we use those hours, days, months and years will provide varying levels of results. if you want to learn some great strategies for time management then contact Mantra Training & Development
Till next time, remember to set your Goals for 2012, Donna
Goal setting with purpose will be the next blog

Friday, February 3, 2012

Amazing How Much We Can Do In Just A Few Weeks!

Welcome to my Blog, it has been a while since posting and let me just say not because I have been on holidays or taking it easy, quite the contrary. This has been a very busy and tiring time with lots of physical activity included. This is a very personal story this time and not a personal opinion but an experience I wanted to share.
School holidays are generally a time for me to recharge and put on a different hat. My Youngest daughter being the only child left at home generally goes to visit with her Dad and his family in Darwin. I miss her a lot but I use this time to recharge, work longer hours to catch up and also have some creative thinking time. Unfortunately this has not gone to plan these holidays, let me explain why.
In December I moved my business from one location to another, now if anyone has done an office fit-out before I am sure you can empathise with me and even more so as I am not very smart in the electrical area of an office. So doing an electrical plan was where I was at breaking point. When I say breaking point I mean my boundaries and comfort zone were certainly pushed. I can coordinate many different things and I enjoyed creating a new learning environment for Mantra Training & developments staff and students. Well…….5 weeks later and a few melt downs we are in the office and very happy with the outcome.
I am also very proud to say that my Son has been recovering in a Rehabilitation hospital since the beginning of January and has been doing exceptionally well. Driving to Sydney every week (6 hour round trip) to support him may be tiring, but again I find a way to use this to my advantage and University in the car has been very re energizing for business and me personally. For the past 4 weeks I have been watching my Son recover from 8 years of addiction and self destruction. It has been an amazing process and he is working very hard to recover and get life on track. He has been supported by Nurses, Counselors and Support Workers who have helped him in his path to recovery. I am so very proud of him; this has not been an easy journey by any means.
For the past three months I have been training hard for my trip to Kokoda in April and I am getting fitter and stronger every week. As the time draws closer I start to wonder if I have done enough but with 11 weeks to go I am sure I still have time to up the anti and make sure I am fit and ready to take on the trek. I look forward to the history, meeting the people in the villages and the physical challenge. I can’t wait to experience the different cultures and see the scenery of the Kokoda Trek.
So I think when we have to step up we can achieve greatness and fit a lot into a short period of time. Now I don’t think for a minute it is sustainable long term but achievable in the short term. I think it is soon time for a 4 day long weekend kayaking with my Daughter to slow down and recharge my batteries and brain.
Till next time, remember to set your Goals for 2012, Donna
Goal setting with purpose will be the next blog