THE iKiFit BLOG

Join iKiFit founder, Kim Macrae for snippets about education, life choices and self empowerment that encourage us to be the best version of ourselves - Every Single Day! (Click below to hear iKi Crews Every Single Day excerpt. Full version for sale on iTunes).

Life Coach and working mum Amy shares her experiences of how iKi helps her meet the challenges of juggling children, partner and career, while striving to be a happy, healthy strong role model. And staying sane!.

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Curiosity is Cool.

Monday, October 15, 2018

 So Investigate.

But why Mum?” That nagging question can be annoying but is part of developing - and maintaining - a healthy mind. Encouraging children to explore and investigate doesn’t just help set them up for a fulfilling life, it can help extend the quality and length of life as well. And it applies to people of all ages, so don’t be afraid to go along for the ride.

Lots of research – as well as common sense - tells us that the best way to stay young is to act the way young people do.
Stay curious, keep learning, be interested, get involved. Practise and model the good behaviours of young people.

If the tap won’t stop dripping, have a look and see if you can fix it. It might be easier than you thought. Or it may challenge you in such a way that you develop a whole new set of skills.
Being interested is a great way to strengthen family bonds. Try asking these two questions over dinner with your family:

1. What was the best thing that happened to you today?

2. If you could, what would you like to change about today?

This way, you’ll learn more about what the ones you love are doing and what makes them happy or sad. Also, you might find out about an issue like playground bullying before it gets out of control.
We’re never too young or old to learn, in fact when we stop learning we get old in a bad way.

Curiosity may occasionally kill the cat ---but much more often it prolongs and improves life.

Have an interested week,

Kim.

 


Dedicate to be great.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018


This weeks' word is “Dedicate"

I’ve been worrying for weeks about what to write - and then it all became clear when I remembered the “Australian of the Year” awards way back in January.

The winners have dedicated much of their lives to things they believe in.

I’m still excited because 2 of the 4 category winners are teachers: The Australian of the Year for 2018 is Professor Michelle Simmons, a teacher and researcher, and the Local Hero for the year, Eddie Woo, is a visionary high-school maths teacher. It’s great that teachers, who play such an important role in nurturing tomorrows’ leaders are being recognised and valued.

I’m inspired by the message given by Professor Simmons, who says “Quantum physics is hard. Technology at the forefront of human endeavour is hard. But that’s what makes it worth it. I believe that the things that are most worth doing in life are almost always hard to do- but when you succeed the euphoria is immense”

When we dedicate ourselves to doing something hard, we often have to sacrifice other things – luxuries, time off, hobbies – but the rewards can be immense. And here's just one of the exciting things that happen when we dedicate time and effort to something we believe in - it's gets easier. When we regularly do something difficult our abilities grow. Remember the story about the little engine who 'thought she could' 

Yes, it always takes discipline and effort, but what is at first hard gets easier with dedication. And think of how we’ll feel when it’s done.

We’d love to hear about the things that excite you: things that you’re passionate about, that make you feel rewarded, valued and respected, or that you feel 'just need to be done'.

Have a satisfying week

 

 


Learning to relate creates great mates.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Learn to relate.

Human kind is made up of multiple colour, national, ethnic and cultural groups, not to mention myriad body shapes, genders, religions, fashions, fetishes, etc, etc, etc. But we are SO the same. We all want to feel safe, respected, valued, loved and secure.

Learning to relate to others is one of the most life affirming things we can do, for SO many reasons.

For example, the Dali Lama teaches many things to help us live more productive, satisfying lives and his key lesson is to: “Exchange a self-centred attitude for one of thinking more about others. It is much easier to handle our problems when we realise everyone else has their own. A problem shared is a problem halved”.

It’s easier to get along with each other when we focus on the things we share in common, rather than our differences. Our likes, needs and dreams are similar, and even our differences are less than we think they are. All it takes is the effort to look past the “packaging”. And not only can relating to others add to our feelings of happiness, it can impact on our health and safety.

Creating positive relationships in our personal and professional life brings enormous benefits. How we speak and what we choose to say can either make people feel valued and understood or disrespected and marginalised. And let’s not forget that the way we treat others tends to come back to us. Our behaviour really matters.

We humans share 99.9% of our DNA. We are (MUCH) more closely related than surface appearances may suggest. Think of others as like ourselves and it builds better relationships. After all we are all related!

“Treat others the way you want to be treated” Not for nothing is this called the ‘Golden Rule’ or the ‘Rule of Life’

Or in the words of the iKi Rulz song, “Treat each other nice today – you will earn respect that way”

Have a caring week.

 


Education is a great investment.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Educate

I’m going to start this week with a couple of quotes, followed by the results of a research project that make a powerful point.

Somebody older and much wiser than me once told me that “The best investment you can ever make is in education.”

Another person, whom I didn’t take a lot of notice of at the time, said “The main point of formal education is to learn to learn”.

Finally, the results of a recent study:- “6 months after spending a relatively large amount of money (several thousands of dollars) on either a new 'gadget' or an ‘experience’ (holiday, education, activity) the people who invested in the experience reported much higher levels of long term satisfaction”.
Remember, the people who bought the gadgets still had the goods, while the ones who’d invested in the “experience” had nothing material to show for it. But they were happier with their investment.

Why? Because they had grown in skill, confidence, experience. As a result, they were empowered, having learned - or reaffirmed - that the more you do, the more you can do.

And that knowledge improves “quality of life” a whole lot more than material things.

At this point in the discussion let’s consider that education isn’t necessarily about going to school or doing a course, it can include practically any situation where you challenge yourself - travelling to new places, interacting with different people, broadening your horizons. DOING things that involve active engagement, new mindsets and/or some kind of change.

This week, do something educational. Learn something new. It can be as simple as opening a dictionary and looking up a new word, through to embarking on a university degree. It can be as quick as Googling information about a place you’d like to visit, right through to learning the language, planning and going on the trip.

Education isn’t just about facts and figures, it’s about ability and confidence. The knowledge that we can learn, grow, and take control of our lives.

A couple of education themed proverbs to end with.

First for the pupil. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear”

The second for the teacher. “When you teach, you learn”

Finally, for all of us. “Tell me, I forget, show me, I remember, involve me, I understand”

Have an interesting week.

 


Delegation - great for all involved

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Delegating can be good for you - and for them.  .

There's an old saying; "If you want something done properly, do it yourself" There's no doubt that in some cases this is true. However, someone else said; "I have so much to do, that I'm going to bed" Occasionally, life can be so overwhelming, we just want to stop.

Sometimes, doing things yourself is good strategy, while at other times getting help can be smart. If you’re struggling to get everything done it may simply mean you've got too much to do, or that you are trying to do things you don't have the skills or aptitude for. 

It can be good management to bring in specialists who will do the job quickly and efficiently - and there are other reasons and circumstances when delegating is a good choice.

Delegating a job can be a well-deserved reward. An occasional baby-sitter, cleaner, gardener or ironing helper can be a gift from heaven. Then, there are those times when it’s a great idea to get someone else do a task for us because it is empowering for them. If they offer, let them do it. If they don't offer, ask them. Remember the adage, "Give a person a fish and they eat for a day, teach them to fish and they eat for life". 

Sometimes you just have to let go and ask the children or partner to do some of the chores. Great teams are made up of members who play their own part the best they can, as well as helping each other when needed. 

Remember, the key to successful delegation is clear communication. Give enough instructions to make the job achievable and then trust the person you have asked to do it for you. That way they can grow in confidence and ability - and it’s a win-win for everyone.

Have a sharing week

Kim

 

 


Clear Communication Creates Calm Community

Saturday, September 01, 2018

1.Communicate.

No matter how old we are, there are some things we remember clearly from our younger years, while others are a blur.

One of my favourite memories is of sitting in a potato paddock having a break, discussing the world with a couple of mates. We were about 16 years old at the time. I recall we agreed that the world would be a much better place “if we could just communicate”.

But even in our early teens – when we thought we knew so much - we understood that was no simple thing. There are so MANY things to disagree about - with 40 different words for snow, hundreds of models of cars, multiple life choices, not to mention sport, politics and religion. We were the same age and gender, from the same small town, with similar interests, speaking the same language - and we still disagreed on lots of things.

We did agree there was massive room for misunderstandings to arise in the real world. And this was before smart phones, thousands of TV channels and the myriad other new distractions demanding our attention, our loyalty, our time and money. The risk of being misunderstood, misheard or mistaken is now so vast it’s a wonder we agree on anything.

So, with this in mind, this week (and all weeks hereafter) take care – be aware, when communicating. Let’s be clearer when we text. Follow up emails with a call to be sure our intention is clear. When interacting face to face, be mindful of our body language and tone of voice and make the effort to listen to the other persons’ point of view.

Taking a little more care can save a mess of stress by ensuring we’re on the same page. After all, we are in the same story.

Have a great week.

 


Teach our children the boundaries of social existence.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Clear guidelines help build confidence - and competence.

This week I’m excited to be reading the long running best seller “The 12 Rules for Life” by professor Jordan B Peterson.

He says he is surprised by the popularity of the book given that his main message is that we take responsibility for our actions – and teach our children to do the same.

We all benefit from structure in our lives and a key is to teach children boundaries: – remembering that those guidelines, or rules, are there to do two things – to give children (and everyone else) the security to explore, learn and have fun, while protecting them (and ourselves) from the chaos of anti-social behaviour.

It’s about protecting us ‘enough’ that we feel secure to explore and learn and so become competent – but NOT about trying to save us from all possible pain, as that destroys challenge, initiative, fun and resilience.

He says in Rule 5 that our job as parents and teachers is to set boundaries consistently and fairly. To punish when those boundaries are crossed and reward when the boundaries are adhered to. “Clear rules and reasonable discipline matter for the self- secure, psychologically mature and socially developed child”

Some argue that we should protect children from negative emotions as much and for as long as, we can, but Professor Peterson makes the point that negative emotions serve a purpose. “Pain is a signal of what not to do. Anxiety is a signal of things: – situations and people, to avoid. These feelings protect us by teaching us how to operate in this wonderful - but dangerous – world, in order to promote our survival. Preventing our children from experiencing negative emotions can result in more harm because we defer their learning”

“It’s far better to render the beings in our care competent, rather than to “protect” them.

Have a great week. 

Kim.


 


Self Care - It needs to be up there!

Friday, March 02, 2018

Hi folks. As we head into the weekend I wanted to touch base with you and ask a question! 

What have you done this week for YOU? What have you done to take care of yourself? 

I've been waiting with baited breathe for the last 5 years for my partner to buy me flowers as a romantic gesture. I've even mentioned in passing the great deals he can get from the flower guy at the local service station. Every Friday when he comes home empty handed I end up feeling deflated, disappointed and even slightly unappreciated. But why? If I want the flowers that bad, why don't I just buy them for myself? 

If flowers mean so much to me, if I feel I have earned them or deserve them, why don't I reward myself? Why should it be up to my partner to buy me flowers? Yes, it can be a romantic gesture, but what I'm learning is that this is not necessarily how he communicates his love or his romantic feelings towards me. He does this in so many other ways. But it leads me to the question: what loving gestures am I making to myself? 

Because as a busy mother of 3 who works full-time, it's really important that I take care of ME. Because there are a lot of people relying on me. 

At first it seems selfish, even a little indulgent. But trust me, once you get into the swing of it: stealing that extra 10 minutes in the shower for yourself, taking an extra 30 minutes to do the grocery shopping, or buying that bunch of flowers for yourself, it can go a long way to maintaining your sense of self. Nurturing and caring for yourself  is good family management. Ultimately it can make you a better parent, not to mention is great role modelling for our children. 

Now, this doesn't negate the need to check in with your partner and throw them a bone every now and then in the romantic department. That can be a topic for another day: "Love Languages" and all that. But for now - for this weekend.. what are you going to do for you? 

I bought my flowers, aren't they lovely!  

iKiMum : ) 

 


Learning resilience.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Resilience is a matter of habit

Firstly, a big thanks to my regular readers. As you’re aware, each weeks’ blog is around a word from the song “Every Single Day” which mentions some of the many ways we can make each day a little better.

In this weeks’ blog I’m taking a break from that format but sticking to the theme.

I’ve just finished reading Joe Williams’ new book “Defying the Enemy Within” and was amazed at the number of great adjectives that can be applied to it.

The book is a great read, fast paced and engrossing. Joe outlines his childhood with humor and humility and shares the excitement, the ups and downs of his impressive sporting career. He is articulate, honest and humble.

He deals with his substance abuse and mental health issues openly and bravely and takes us on an involving journey to where he is now – making a powerful, positive contribution to all Australians. His advice on how he stays positive, healthy and highly functional is clear, inspirational and truly helpful.

His comments that the Australian nation as a whole can learn much from the First Nations, if we will just listen, is visionary and timely.

Great job Joe. I’m proud to be a friend and fellow Australian.

Kim


 


Welcome to 2018!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

I hope you have had a relaxing, re-energising break and are excited about the year ahead.

Traditionally, this is the time of the year for revising our priorities and resetting our goals – or to use the old-fashioned phrase, for making New Years’ Resolutions. While the phrase may be ‘old hat’, the idea is sound – that we take a break and re-prioritise.

Normally, New Years’ resolutions cover things like doing more exercise, eating better, spending more quality time and so on – and traditionally they don’t last past the second week of February.
But like most things, there are ways to make resolutions stick. The trick is to find what works for YOU.

I’ve found that the best “resolution keeping tool” is to continually monitor my attitude, and to remind myself, when necessary, that ‘It’s up to me”

 


 
When we blame others for our problems, shortcomings or disappointments we cancel any chance of personal growth. To work, a resolution has to be practised and reaffirmed regularly, so please try this with me: Let’s remind ourselves daily that what happens to us – how happy healthy, strong and successful we are, is up to US alone. Yes, things outside our control occur all the time, but the attitude we take and the choices we make, determine what happens next.

Let’s keep at least one New Years’ Resolution this year. Let’s say to ourselves every day: It’s up to me.

Happy 2018.

Kim.