Mary-Ann Owens and Associates

Resilience Blog

Reaching your goals with Grit

Exercising Your Way Through A Crisis

Exercising Your Way Through A Crisis

I listened to a talk by Daniel Miller the other day. He was talking about keeping yourself healthy through the crisis we are going through.

He recommended doing 10,000 steps a day. His rationale for doing this is based on history. He said we were once hunter/gatherers and that if we didn’t move we didn’t eat.

He stated that if we don’t move we don’t deserve to eat now. So if you are eating you need to get moving to keep the body healthy and in balance.

He said to get an accountability partner and support each other. I decided to use a checkmark on my calendar as my accountability. If there is no checkmark we go for a walk after dinner.

It is fun exploring new paths while checking out the neighborhood.

So I wanted to share this wisdom with you.

I’m still not up to 10,000 steps a day, but feeling lighter and calmer through self-isolation.

Where do you want to be at the end of this crisis?

Where do you want to be at the end of this crisis?

When you envision the end of the COVID19 crisis where do you want to be? Mark Gasparotto says that personal resilience requires us to look at all 4 legs of our table, ensuring that the table doesn’t tip. We need to look at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of ourselves.

  • Maybe you have a physical goal, such as being healthier in some way. Your goal could be to learn new methods to boost your immunity or keep fit.
  • Maybe you have a business goal of wanting to pivot your business in the short term to assisting essential service personnel to keep some revenue coming.
  • Maybe you have a spiritual goal to find a type of meditation you enjoy and make it a part of your daily routine.
  • Maybe you have a household goal because you are spending so much time in your home.
  • Maybe you want to establish a closer relationship with your partner by reading a relationship book together.
  • Maybe you want to establish closer friendships by reaching out to more of your network through supportive emails, texts or social media.

Keeping a vision in mind, could you detail your goal in words or pictures and keep it somewhere you could look at it daily. In this way, it stays with you, top of mind and can help to motivate you.

It is often a good idea to think of obstacles to your goal and resolve ways through those as well.

For instance, I have a goal of cleaning up a room in our basement. Envisioning it as organized instead of the way it is now is motivating. I need to enlist another person I live in my vision though because all the stuff in there isn’t mine. If we both work on the vision of what we want in that room, the outcome is more likely to happen. This would be a new process for both of us which brings some excitement with it. Also going to work on this room when we both have some energy to tackle it and limiting the stretch of time we work on it to something manageable might be ways to overcome other obstacles.

Paul Romer said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

I have a friend who is used to working out on an outdoor exercise park. The park is closed due to COVID19. So she is lifting tin cans to keep her arms strong and lifting her legs and body weight between pieces of furniture in her living room. These are effective ways to keep her body in shape. Good for her.

What creative new method can you bring to your goals?

Calm Wisdom

Calm Wisdom

What makes you calm in stressful circumstances?

This is an important question right now, so take the time to answer this for yourself.

My way of staying calm is to meditate. When I do this my nerves settle.

There are many ways to calm oneself though. What are yours?

Like the quote above says, we are in a very stressful period.

Being able to calm yourself is very important.

Some people calm themselves by doing:



Being in nature


Quieting themselves


Listening to podcasts



I hope you are able to take some time to do a calming activity today.

Best wishes on your journey!!


What it Takes to Coach for Pride

What it Takes to Coach for Pride

I saw an article in the Globe and Mail on the weekend that outlined how Bob Johnson, the hockey coach, emphasized pride in his coaching. This is a motivating way to coach people and is also important for leaders in organizations. The article stated that this way of coaching was a switch from the aggressive style of coaching using fear and humiliation with hockey players that was common in the early years of hockey.

I bet you are thinking to yourself that coaching for pride would motivate and engage you a lot better than coaching based on fear and humiliation. This is also what they found with hockey players. 

Why would this method of coaching be discussed in a resilience blog? To make coaching for pride happen, the leader or coach needs to ensure they have a positive relationship with themselves. If the leader cannot see what is right for themselves, they won’t be able to see what is right and what they can be proud of in others.

Be aware, though, that some leaders present themselves in an arrogant way, they seem to act as if they are the only ones who have positive qualities. This is actually an insecure way of leading which is not based on a positive sense of self. These leaders need to get feedback from others to verify what they are truly good at. They also need to confirm with others what their skills are and support themselves in those skills.

To gain skills in this method of coaching you may need to:

  1. Start by asking yourself what you did well today. Notice where you feel good about the things you have accomplished. This can range from simple accomplishments such as writing a great email or having a productive conversation to completing a complex project in an effective way. The important thing to acknowledge is that you contributed and made this result happen.
  2. After a period of time focusing on the first point, start to shift your attention to notice what others are doing well. Notice how your team members contribute weekly and with time and increased awareness, you will want to start to notice others' abilities. 
  3. Changing deep beliefs that keep you stuck and focused on what is going wrong, rather than what is going well may require you spending time meditating or working with a coach.

When you are able to have pride in your own accomplishments, you can encourage others to have pride in theirs. 

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