Do You Think You’re Looking After Yourself? Think again..

Work no play

Credit: hisks

Q: What happens when you turn your hobby into your full-time job?

A: It takes over your life!

That’s definitely what it feels like for me these days – after almost 2 years of half-hearted business on the side, in 2014 this coaching business has become my main focus.
And at the end of month two, I’ve realised it’s become my only focus. Thoughts and ideas follow me everywhere, even when I’m supposed to be taking a break. Probably the only time I completely forget about it, and all the pressures that come with it, are when I sleep, and when I addict myself to TV.

The funny thing is, up until yesterday, I thought I was looking after myself pretty well. I get up in the mornings and exercise, and meditate. But my morning routine has an ulterior motive: I do them to set me up for a productive day, not actually because I want to look after myself. 

Likely you have something similar going on. You go to the gym because you know you’ll work better because of it. You don’t revel in the joy of running, instead you get it over and done with, pat yourself on the back for doing something good for yourself, and then move on with your day. You go through the motions of self-care as just another thing on your to-do list. Continue reading

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What TV Taught Me About Life

This weekend was supposed to be amazing. It was a public holiday. I had three days off work and amazing plans to wow you all with my accomplishments. The guest posts I would write, the coaching program I would create… I was going to be able to stand back on Monday evening, tired but extremely satisfied that I had truly created something meaningful. Alas, this was not meant to be. You see, I developed an obsession.

[This is a guest post I wrote a few months ago for Steven Aitchison, to read the full story, click here and you will be directed to the original post.]

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You’ve Been Lying – and why I haven’t been completely honest either

oldaboutI have a confession to make. For the past 2 years I haven’t been exactly who I said I am. In fact I actually lied directly in the very first sentence of my “About” Page.

 You see, it used to say “Hey! I’m Annika Stahlberg, a young gym instructor based in Auckland, New Zealand.” – and well, I’m not a gym instructor. Sure, I trained as one, but I don’t work as one and never have. I worked in corporate hospitality for the better part of the last 18 months, and have been doing various forms of waitressing & catering since I was 15.  

 So why did I lie? For the same reason we all do sometimes – because I thought I “should. I felt that to do what I do: helping people to eat well, exercise and look after their bodies, I felt like the kind of person that does that, is the kind of person that works as a gym instructor.  Continue reading

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How a Bath Made Me into a New Person

2014 is now well underway, and yet all has been quiet here at I’ve been fairly reclusive on social media these past two months as well, because I’ve been going through some pretty big changes. I never planned to; all I did was go on a four week holiday to visit family in Germany, but I’ve come back a completely different person.

From "Waitress Wannabe" to a woman that takes her business seriously!

From “Waitress Wannabe” to a woman that takes her business seriously!

In hindsight, I probably should have seen the change coming. After all, I did quit my full-time job before I left, and don’t intend to find a new one.

That’s right, I’ve gone full-time with coaching, and with! Continue reading


How to Create a Kick Ass Plan for 2014

Every year, around this time where summer starts to kick in  (sorry Northern hemisphere folks) and people are wishing for Christmas to hurry up already,  I like to sit down and look ahead. The year is coming to an end, and regardless of whether it was a good one or whether it kind of sucked, these next few weeks are a great time to look ahead and come up with The Plan to make sure that 2014 is really Kick Ass!
So how does one create The Kick-Ass Plan for 2014? Have a read below, or alternatively you can watch a quick 6-minute video where I give you all the deets.

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How My Superheroes Failed Me

I greatly admire full-time bloggers and online entrepreneurs. I always imagine them to be highly productive people that sit at their computers easily for hours every day and accomplish weeks worth of work in a single go. So imagine my surprise when one of my superheroes, Tim Ferris, recently published this article: “Productivity” Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive and Crazy (Like Me)”  In it he provides us with a glimpse of the rather un-glamorous aspects of his life: like us mere mortals, he also has mornings where he just doesn’t want to face the day ahead.
One of the quotes that really stuck our at me was this:

“Most “superheroes” are nothing of the sort. They’re weird, neurotic creatures who do big things DESPITE lots of self-defeating habits and self-talk.”

This was me for an entire weekend. No cartoons for me though, I watch grown-up stuff. ;)

This was me for an entire weekend. No cartoons for me though, I watch grown-up stuff. ;)

Woah!  A few weeks ago, I let myself become completely addicted to TV. That’s why I’ve been absent on this site for a little while: I was completely consumed by the events in the lives of fictional people (anyone else a fan of the ex-addict that goes around New York solving crimes with his sober companion?) I was highly unproductive, and I felt bad about it, especially after talking about how unfulfilling a meaningless life is. Continue reading


Looking for your Life’s Purpose? I think I found it…

Have you ever wondered why it is you are here in this world? What the point of your life is? I’m pleased to say I may have found an answer, and it’s one you’ll like! I was recently reading Randy Gage’s Risky is the New Safe

Everything is changing

Everything is changing

It talks about how drastically the world is changing, and that saying the conventional path is no longer the safest option. That “Good Job” your parents wanted you to get? It may not exist much longer. Software like Xero is reducing the amount of work for accountants, the job market for lawyers is massively over-saturated with equally qualified young people all applying for the same position, and there’s a handheld machine being developed that can diagnose quicker and more accurately than a GP.  Sound scary? It is. But it’s also incredibly exciting, because now more than ever before, we each have the ability to make an incredible impact on the world.

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“Anything you’ve been taught, you can be taught to change” and other lessons from the world’s top sales coach (Interview with Tom Grbich)

Every once in a while I interview someone whose life is freaking amazing to see what they did that sets them apart. I try and dig out some useful nuggets of wisdom that we can use to move closer to our own dream lives. “Learn from great people who inspire you, for in watching them, you can aspire to greatness yourself”


This week I want to introduce you to a special friend of mine, Tom Grbich.

This is Tom. Tom has learned to make lemonade out of the many lemons life gives him, and then say “thank you” for them too!

Tom grew up an abused kid living on a rural farm in New Zealand, and has completely turned his life around. He now makes his living as a Business & Sales coach, does Personal Development coaching and alternative healing. He’s written a book, The Wow of How
and even developed his own martial arts form – which is pretty freaking cool!”  He’s got an amazing story to share, so stick around. If you’re short on time, I’ve bolded the nuggets of wisdom, there are many because Tom is awesome!

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How to Eat ALL the Pies – and Beat Overwhelm

PiesDo you find yourself starting 10 different projects at once, and have plans for 10 more? Maybe you joined the local Toastmasters group, and are also a member of the Small Business Networking group, and then you volunteered for that extra project at work, AND there’s that triathlon you signed up for.. Many of my clients find themselves dealing with complete and utter overwhelm, just treading water and trying to stay afloat in the sea of projects, and never actually making any progress towards the deckchair on the beach of their dreams.

I used to struggle with this too, when I was first starting as a coach. I had my day job to pay the bills, and I was in the middle of completing my fitness instructor certification after hours. At the same time I was teaching German, was researching something I want to invent, as well as keeping about a million other things in my head that I wanted to do. So imagine my surprise when my business growth stalled!  How strange, there weren’t any more clients coming my way…

Mmmmm... pie

Mmmmm… pie!
Thanks to for the pic

Of course it’s not strange at all. It’s pretty obvious for anyone on the outside: I had my fingers in too many pies! Imagine a little girl surrounded by pies, using a different finger to try each one because she didn’t know which one to choose. By the time she tries them all, she is full, and surrounded by a pile of half-eaten pies. That was me, and I’m pretty sure that’s you sometimes too.

So what to do? Time to step back, take a deep breath, and… Prioritise! It’s not rocket science, you probably already know you need to do this, but how to know which pies to ditch, which to put in the fridge for later, and which to stuff your face with right now?

This is where your values come in. Your values are the things that are most important in your life right now. You know, things like family, friends, fun… or maybe charity, fame or adventure. The easiest way to figure out which things you value, is by taking a look at your current projects. So for me, the business pie was all about helping others and gaining freedom, the certificate was about education and security (it’s good to have something to fall back on) and the inventing pie was about fame. What do the pies in your life represent? 

Whatever it is that you value in your life, you need to eliminate any project you’ve started that will take you away from that. So if training for the marathon is taking time away from your kids, and family is massively important to you, then the marathon’s gotta go. It’s tough, but there’s other ways to live healthily (another value) that can give you the best of both worlds. (By the way, if you need help with this, get in touch with me here, I’m also a health coach!)

Sometimes one value will come ahead of the other for a short time. So if your marathon is next month, you won’t mind missing out on a couple of get-togethers with friends in the lead up to race day. In my case I decided it was OK to let my business stall for a while, until I got my certificate out of the way. Not because I rank education any higher than helping others (they’re pretty even), but because I only had a couple of months left on the course, so I was comfortable putting my business pie in the fridge until the certificate was complete.

What about the those pies that just need to get thrown away? How do you spot those? Easy: how do they make you feel? If some fairy came along and turned your pie into a pumpkin and you no longer had to eat it, would you be relieved?

Nooo... the F**k did you do that for?!

Nooo…! The F**k did you do that for?!

Or would you get really pissed off at the fairy for taking away one of the highlights of your week? Why couldn’t she have eliminated the need for the day job! (The day job has got to be a Vitamin D & Fish Oil pie, you eat it because it’s good for you, and nothing else!)

Living out of line with your values makes you unhappy and stressed. So does having more pies than you can possibly eat and not making any visible progress towards your dream life. So take a step back today and analyse your life – does your fridge need a clean-out?


Is Your Dream Really YOUR Dream?

I've traveled the world a lot. And I'm on a horse - it's relevant, because I like horses. Which is how I met Teresa, who asked me this question.

I’ve traveled the world a lot. And I’m on a horse – it’s relevant, because I like horses. Which is how I met Teresa, who asked me to answer this: How do you know your dream is your own?

This site is about creating dream lifestyles. Traveling the world, working from home – things that 10 years ago would have seemed impossible for most of us! But in this day and age, it feels like we can have anything we want. But how to know what that is?

Since childhood we’ve been exposed to outside influences. What our parents tell us, and what they do themselves, our experiences at school (my 1st grade teacher made me hate maths for the rest of my school life – she caught me looking at my friend’s paper to see if I got the right answer!) All these things really affect our perception of the world, so when it comes to deciding on a dream lifestyle, how do you know it’s your dream and not someone else’s?
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