Hot, sweaty and fabulous! This summer I went back to the UK. Since the Brexit I am struggling with that. I cannot really call it home anymore because I have lived here in Germany since 1999 but it’s where my roots are, let’s put it that way. Anyway, I visited my favourite cousin and his fabulously funny and down to earth wife where we got onto the subject of the love of cakes and the fact that despite making them she had obviously lost weight. Her secret weapon was …. running. She had never mentioned the word ‘sport’ in any of our previous conversations but hey if running helped her to look so great, then it was certainly worth thinking about. Now many of you know that I walk, a lot. With clients, alone, with my guys, at the lake, in the mountains – I love to walk, with poles or without. But quite frankly it clearly isn’t enough to counterbalance my love of good food, cake, biscuits, wine and beer and many other of life’s delicious edible luxuries. So as Rohan put it, it’s a case of run or accept the muffin top figure. She runs and looks great. So after a few nights – and probably a few beers – I asked her exactly how she had got started and she told me about this NHS (National Health Service) Podcast called Couch to 5K (5KM). That’s right it gets you off the sofa and into your running shoes. They claim that in just 9 weeks you really can make this transformation. Well I love podcasts so I was sold on that, but 9 weeks? Motivational? Possible? Frankly I was sceptical! But I was also curious and couldn’t wait to get my running shoes on. I would have to wait until I got home though, so that I could go running in the dark. Why run in the dark? Well nobody can see my scarlet red cheeks in the dark, can they? Nobody would recognise me puffing and panting either, I hoped. We got back from holiday on the 25th of August and my first run was on the 4th of September. Laura, the podcast narrator ran with me it seemed, encouraging me and telling me when to walk then run, then walk, she became my running partner – with motivational words of confidence as I gasped for air. By the time I got 75% through the run, I was ready to lynch (hit hard) Laura. Thank goodness she was only in my earbuds! But by the end of the run, I felt a surge of self-satisfaction as I walked at a brisk pace all the way home. I had done it, I had taken that all important first step. A step outside of my comfort zone and I knew that on Wednesday I would be back, with Laura, walking then running to the sound of her voice and her motivational choice of music to keep me going. Never underestimate the impact of music on motivation. Knowing that I had broken free of my lethargy felt good, I felt in control, finally doing something about my fitness and hopefully my weight too. I thought I would be exhausted afterwards but actually, I got lots done that day and after my shower I was breezing through my to do list like a gas turbine and it felt great! So the plan is to find a 5K run in October, I am due to finish the programme on Saturday 28th October, I am thinking about doing the Mugglesee run but it is a long way from here. If you hear of one closer to Kladow/Spandau/Potsdam, please let me know. So this got me thinking about how I could come up with a SMART goal for my language learners and a system for helping them get there. You see, with the Couch to 5K challenge, I have a Specific (walking to running), Measurable (5Km), Achievable (3 times a week), Realistic (yes, others have done it too) and Timed (9 weeks) goal. A SMART objective to aim for. I have the podcast but actually what keeps me going is Laura, with her words of instruction, motivation and inspiration to keep me going. I had tried running before but without a system and savvy voice to help me it was a miserable failure. Sure I should have been able to work out how to get fit like the podcast tells me but clearly it wasn’t enough of a priority. If I am honest I just wanted the result without having to work it out and experimentation. I wanted something simple and guaranteed. 4 weeks through my nine week plan already So I have decided to offer a 9 week online course to business owners and experts who want to be able to transform their English from reluctant and rusty to sensational speaker on the stage. Specific (give a talk or speech) Measured (script ready and practiced) Achievable (if you follow the week for week plan sure) Realistic (I help lots of go getters that offer to speak in English then call me) Timed (9 weeks) I will walk you through step by step through each and every step, from finding the gig, introducing yourself at networking events or by email, negotiating the deal, writing your speech in a way that makes you a popular speaker, standing up and practicing it and then delivering and following up afterwards. This might sound like a lot, but with my tried and tested system it isn’t impossible at all, in fact I am so confident that you will be ready to take your place on the stage that I’ll give you your money back if you don’t feel that I have helped you to make that all important transition. The truth is that the most successful business owners are constantly reaching beyond their comfort zone, pushing themselves constantly, not because they are raving psychopaths, but because they want to make a difference. It doesn’t mean that they are not scared stiff, it just means that they rise to the challenge. They tend not to think about failure as much as they visualise and plan for success. This coaching course will need some time to create, so far I have only worked with ladies on a one to one basis and in person (watch this space) but in the meantime if you want to give your English a bit of a wake up call why not check out my WhatsApp Refresher starting on Wednesday 4th October and of course, you know me, I am here at the end of the phone if you have any questions. Or email me, I would love to hear your questions, concerns or .. perhaps excuses not to join us for the conversation course that is always at your side. Challenging yourself always brings us out in a sweat, even if you are not running, the first time I had to present in German, I broke out in a sweat too, but I received the best feedback of all the speakers, because I had planned, practiced and spoke from the heart. I’ll show you how. The page is in German, but the first video is bilingual.