happy healthy strong


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!.

Every-Single-Day-60sec Every-Single-Day-60sec (936 KB)


Clear Communication Keeps us Calm

Tuesday, September 08, 2020


 Clear Communication is challenging..

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

One of my favourite memories is of sitting in a potato paddock having a tea break, discussing the world with a couple of mates. We were about 15 years old at the time. I recall we agreed that the world would be a much better place “if we could just communicate better”.

Even in our teens – when we thought we knew so much - we understood that communicating clearly was no simple thing. There are so MANY things to disagree about - with 40 different words for snow, multiple life choices to consider - and that’s before mentioning sport, politics or 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 long before smart phones, thousands of TV and social media channels, plus the myriad other new distractions demanding our attention, our loyalty and our time. The risk of being misunderstood, misheard or mistaken is so vast it’s a wonder we agree on anything.

On top of all the above, social, political and environmental threats are mounting at the same time that patience and compassion seem to be in decreasing supply.

So, with this in mind, please let’s take care, be aware and fair 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.


Lets' Choose Happy this Spring

Tuesday, September 01, 2020


It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness. It is the epoch of belief, it is the epoch of incredulity. It is the season of Light, it is the season of Darkness, It is the spring of hope, it is the winter of despair…

Those words perfectly describe our world right now - and they are the opening lines of “A Tale of Two Cities” written by Charles Dickens in 1859.

They would be correct any time. The world has always been this way. There have always been amazing, life affirming, exciting things happening alongside awful, crazy/bad and sad things. And just as those people living 20, 200 or 2000 years ago did, we have a choice; we can do our best to be positive, contributing family and community members.

Or not.

Looking back at what we’ve been through in the past few years, I believe we can confidently say that the vast majority of Australians are helpful, positive, community minded people. While it’s easy to point out things that we have got wrong, we can be proud of the many things we get right, every day, as individuals and as a nation.

I’m using the first day of spring to relaunch my regular blog based on the sentiments of ‘Every Single Day” It will celebrate, in bite size chunks, the actions we can, and do, take every day to help ourselves and those around us to be happier, healthier and stronger.

I won’t be trying to provide answers to the big challenges facing us but offering simple ways we can keep a positive attitude and orient on the things that really matter; Like being fair, loving, optimistic and solution focused.

Who remembers the old proverb ‘Look after the cents and the dollars will look after themselves? Or the line in the movie The Castle, ‘It’s the Vibe”? When we look after the little details that help us get the vibe right, most things work out better in the end.

A big thank you to Niki Thomson for providing the great illustration for this blog.



How to raise Happy Healthy Strong children

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


 If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that if you have a young family, you’ll be worrying about how you can bring them up to be happy, healthy and strong in today’s world
Not only are we faced with work, health and environmental challenges, there are SO many poor role models in prominent positions. In sport, business, entertainment and government, there are people we see constantly that we do NOT want our children to grow up like.
But - amid all the fear and uncertainty there is one other thing we DO know for sure; that children are much more likely to become balanced, positive adults when they grow up in a home where certain things happen. There have been years of confusion and conflict about what works best, but the news is out. It’s not rocket science, in fact it’s simple, but it does take commitment. Fortunately, like all good habits and investments, it’s about the long term and the more you do, the easier it gets. And the rewards are fantastic.
It works like this; If we want a healthy body, we need to build and maintain good habits like being active, eating real food, getting plenty of sleep and practicing good hygiene. Similarly, if we want well adjusted, happy children, we need to help them feel safe, valued and confident to learn and explore. And we also must teach them to ‘own their life’ – to take responsibility for their choices/behaviours and to allow them to fail and learn from their mistakes.
Each Saturday I’ll be writing and speaking with you about the proven, common sense, powerful things you can do to help you grow your happy healthy, strong family.
To begin, I’m going to refer to “The Successful Parent” Top Ten Tips for raising happy healthy strong children.
1. Build a parent/child relationship
2. Spend time with them.
3. Understand their Developmental stage”
4. Set clearly defined rules
5. Use plenty of positive reinforcement
6. Provide consequences for their choices
7. Repeat the above (and below) regularly
8. Be consistent
9. Be ‘on the same page’ as your spouse.
10. Be a positive role model
When we think about it, these tips are all absolutely obvious, but in reality, it can be easy to get them wrong in the constant pressure of every-day life. Over the next three weeks I’ll discuss each one in a little depth and suggest some tricks to help them become second nature. The great news is that the rewards are wonderful. Yes, I’ve already said that but it’s worth repeating, regularly.
Meanwhile, did you know we are giving free access to the new iKiMagic at Home eBook, Quickstart Guide, Rewards Charts and more? AND there are seriously no catches, no hidden costs, no marketing materials. Just good old-fashioned information, great music and fun activities that will surprise you.
Just go to www.ikifit.com.au and click the Join iKiMagic for Free button. It takes less than 2 minutes to sign up.
And the rewards are awesome.


Let's lead by good example

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


Let’s Lead by Good Example

Working with children and teachers as I do, I’m optimistic about the future. Although there are those who struggle and it can be easy - as it always has been - to find fault, most of the young people of today are vibrant, engaged and positive.

Australia recently set a world record for the longest continuous economic boom in history - 29 years and counting. I believe it’s a fair bet that the next 29 years will be more challenging, as that’s how business cycles work. There are growing signs of turbulence ahead, and as the younger generations will bear the brunt of those times, we need to address some of the issues that will potentially make the challenges for them even greater.

I’m going to highlight just two things that were discussed in separate articles in the Sydney Morning Herald recently: -

One, by Jordan Baker, headlined ‘Coddled Children Too Fragile’ warns about the threat posed not only to children but to the rest of society by parental ‘over protection’ in the middle classes of the English-speaking world. The article is inspired by author Johnathon Haidt’s bestseller “The Coddling of the American Mind” in which he says “Coddling is the determined effort of adults to deprive kids of feedback from their own experience and replace it with lectures”

He went on to explain… “When you deprive children of unsupervised play, you make them vulnerable to anxiety and depression because they fail to develop basic skills of self -regulation and interaction that will help them be successful in life”

In the same edition, Tim Soutphommasanes’ article titled “Leaders can heal but, right now, all is not well” he laments the poor example children are being set by the ‘market’ as well as by many of our leaders. “Everything now replicates the market. People’s worth is measured by their monetary value, or by the quasi-market value of social popularity.”

“And then there’s the gap between our professed ideals and lived reality. In schools and universities, we teach young people about their responsibilities to societies and the world, only to let them down through our collective failure to meet those responsibilities.”

“We teach them about public virtues, only for them to see sectional self-interest prevail. We encourage them to be democratic citizens and to use their voice, only to frown when they protest.”

Like most of us, I’ve been horrified – and angered – by the selfish greed, exposed over recent years by many of our major businesses and institutions, along with government and community leaders.

We Aussies pride ourselves on being easy going most of the time but will step up when danger calls. I believe that time is now. I believe we must insist our institutions put people and community before profit. I believe we must insist our leaders lead by positive, community building example rather that playing the fear card for power, and then using office to feather their own nest. And I believe we must refocus on ‘old’ values of strengthening our children by not only teaching them to accept responsibility for the consequences of their choices but on remembering the value of leading by good example. And doing it.

There is a Chinese proverb we would do well to heed:- If we want prosperity next year, grow grain, If we want it in 10 years, grow trees, if we want it in 20 years and beyond, invest our time, our energy and good example - in our children.

There is room for hope. As a society we are increasingly recognising the importance of early education and are investing in it. The industry is full of dedicated, well trained educators. Teachers who understand that key to teaching resilience is setting high expectations and giving children the tools to achieve them: by teaching them to take responsibility for their choices and the consequences that result. They lead by good example.

Let's hold ourselves and the rest of our society to the same standards.


Celebrate our Strengths

Thursday, June 20, 2019


 Who do you listen to?

Mark twain said, “The unexamined life isn’t worth living.”

I’ve been conducting iKiFit Team Building Workshops for a while now and am surprised at the number of people who don’t realise that we all experience negative thoughts. Recently, a mature, professional and competent lady who is retraining as a teacher was overwhelmed when she learned she wasn’t alone in having a ‘negative voice’ in her head.

In the workshops we discuss how we learn, leading to the understanding that we're designed to learn by recognising where we’re ‘failing’ and correcting the mistakes. As one of the most important elements of daily life is ‘fitting in’ to our group and community, we are designed to mentally compare ourselves to our peers, our neighbours, our family and of course, the people we see in the media.

Our subconscious is constantly calculating how we measure up - and endeavoring to adjust accordingly. The “problem” with this is that we all have that built in “nag” which is giving us feedback on how well we’re doing. Or not. We can be our own worst critic. While this is an important survival feature, it can become overwhelming. And then there are those people in our lives who say they're ‘just trying to help’ by pointing out our many failings.

To make matters even more difficult, we're bombarded with images of “perfect” people; - celebrities, sports stars, models. It’s easy to overlook that they have dieticians, physios, plastic surgeons, personal trainers, P.R managers and stylists to help them appear their best. Then their images are photo-shopped and filtered to hide normal human “flaws” like cellulite and wrinkles.

It can be hard to maintain a positive self- image in the face of that kind of competition. If we’re not alert, we start beating up on ourselves. Just realising that this is the way we’re built is an important first step in managing it. Knowledge is power. From there it’s a matter of developing ways of keeping our thoughts in balance.

The mature lady I mentioned had taught herself to imagine "grabbing hold of the negative thought and twisting it 180 degrees into a positive". Some people use a 'mindfullness' method of 'choosing rooms'. When they feel themselves being drawn into a negative place, they visualise themselves walking out of a dark room and into a place of light and laughter.

In the iKiFit Safe Respectful Learner workshops we come up with, - or get someone to help us create, - a Power Name. While this can be challenging, as we live in a culture where peer pressure can be strongly against seeming to be “up yourself”, particularly for teenagers, it can change a bad day into a great day. Or turn around a life.

So, if you find yourself negatively affected by that voice in your head, remember: it’s not just you. We’re all in the same boat. We all feel bad about ourselves sometimes. Examining our life is worthwhile but remember to be fair to yourself. None of us are perfect but we all have our good points and it's healthy to remind ourselves what they are.

Take a moment to listen to the ‘good guy’ on your shoulder.

Give yourself a smiley face today.


Reach the Skies via Blessings in Disguise

Thursday, June 13, 2019


 We've all heard the phrase 'a blessing in disguise' and are familiar with stories of people overcoming huge difficulties or amazing odds to achieve great things. And we all have our own stories of challenges overcome and understand that the more difficult the struggle, the sweeter the rewards.

Those blessings in disguise can take the form of ‘afflictions', ‘misfortunes' or accidents, that, with the benefit of hindsight or thoughtful perspective we come to recognise as positives - as they have helped develop our talents, build our strengths, or put us in the ‘right place at the right time’.

I was a normal farm boy growing up but when, in my late teens, I 'discovered' TaeKwon Do and found my path in life as an instructor and teacher  I also learned to my horror that I had degenerative arthritis in both hips. This wasn't great news for practicing TaeKwonDo, which requires super flexibility, particularly in the hip joints.

There were times I became discouraged, depressed and angry- Why me?- by the pain and stiffness. I had to do a lot of extra work, stretching and conditioning to be able do things others found easy.

After some years, however, I recognised this as my own blessing in disguise. My "problem" had forced me to discipline myself, -something I hadn't done before - and the extra work I had to do made up for a lack of athletic talent, as well as helped overcome a natural inclination to be lazy.

Another affliction that I've been blessed with is a spectacular intolerance of certain foods. Eating them has unpleasant results better not gone into here. There were times I felt I was missing out, but viewed from another angle it's a real blessing, as having stopped eating those foods has resulted in eating better overall. Outcome, better health.

Years ago my wife was forced out of a job, which seemed at the time to be the end of the world. Now she is SO grateful it happened as it provided the impetus - and opportunity - to find her true path.

Now, when life throws up challenge or thing don’t go as planned we’ve learned to look for the opportunity, the blessing in disguise, the silver lining in the dark cloud. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Have a great week


Stoke your internal fires this Winter

Tuesday, June 04, 2019


Stoke your internal fires this winter

Winter is here. The days are getting shorter and the cold months loom. It’s time for cosy fires and snuggling up, but winter can be a gloomy time and with no relief in sight from the drought, for many farmers and businesses the future looks bleak. So, while it may not be an option to lift our spirits with an overseas holiday or a new outfit, there are some great, free, old-fashioned ways to boost our mood.

Following is an idea I was given years ago that I’ve come to appreciate more, the more I do it.
Thanks Beth Shea for emailing this:
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past; brings peace for today and creates vision for tomorrow." Melody Beattie from “Simple Truth”

In our busy everyday lives it can be all too easy to focus on the negatives. In fact, because we learn most of our lessons by making mistakes:- "Oh, I got that wrong, I need to do it this way next time" it can be easy to slip into an habitually negative mindset. And how many of us have had the experience of completing a task, only to have a colleague or a family member glance at our efforts and point out the faults, neglecting to mention, let alone praise, some of the good points?

This has certainly happened to me and I must admit I've been guilty of it too!
Yes, we were "just trying to help" But if we stopped to think about it, could we have done it better?

There is so much pressure in our 1st World, social-media-connected lives and we are continually encouraged to “have it all” The perfect body, life, job, house, holiday, car, family etc etc etc. It can be SO easy to feel inadequate and then focus on the things we DON’T have.

It’s worth making a habit of reminding ourselves that we are all human, with flaws, faults and failings. And then reminding ourselves of all the things we DO have. Like so many things, being grateful is a mindset that takes practice, but the benefits are immense, infinitely renewable and have nothing but positive side effects.

The more we do it, the better we get and the better we feel.
Let's take a moment to think of something we are grateful for. Now let’s think of a person we're grateful to havein our lives! Why not go and say something nice, or send a text? Go on, just do it.

Thanks for reading.



Find a win-win way.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Change is challenging. Look for the win-win solution

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be aware of the climate change ‘debate’. You’ll have noticed it has become a divisive issue, with a dedicated tribe of die-hard deniers, a passionate collective of the completely convinced and a growing group who just wish we would find middle ground and move forward.

Disclosure; I move between the second and third groups

There is much smoke and noise, claims and counter claims, cover ups and conflicts of interest. It’s become highly emotional – to the extent that powerful points are being overlooked and friendships frayed.

I’d like to suggest a moment of calm and highlight an idea that’s being overlooked in the fire and fury.

To start, I’ll mention that one of the many strengths of Australia has been our ability to lead the world with progressive ideas. Historically we’ve been prepared to discuss issues in depth and ultimately come to the right decision. Yep, we can be slow at times, but we get there.

The fundamental issue is whether climate change is happening and if so, what is it’s cause. The ‘denialist’ position is that climate change isn’t ‘real’ or that, OK, maybe it is, but it’s NOT caused by humans. The argument then goes that because “we didn’t do it” we shouldn’t have to do anything about it.

Consider this: If you’ve taken any notice at all over the past 10 years, you’ll recognise that much of the environment IS different – and the weather IS changing. No matter who or what is causing it.

It IS impacting our farms, our rivers and it WILL impact everyone eventually. So, let’s forget the blame game and discuss opportunities – because there are plenty.

And here’s a thing – the positives in looking at new ways of doing things can far outweigh the negatives. Yes, there will be costs but there will be benefits as well.

In the 70s, there was a big ‘oil shock’ and fuel prices went up. Initially there was panic and predictions of doom. But the innovations that resulted from the recognition of the need for change created whole new technologies, new jobs, new industries. LOTS of great things came of it.

Change is challenging and it’s normal to resist it at first. We all have our comfort zones. But history shows that it makes us stronger and results in more opportunities and options.

On the other hand, we have our world to lose if it IS true - no matter who or what causes it- and we don’t adapt. We need to manage that risk. We have so many great new things to learn and we’ll be doing something positive instead of dithering, fighting and whinging.

Let’s find the win-win.


The 3 Rs - Respect, Responsibility, Resilience.

Friday, May 17, 2019


An article called 'Parents Behaving Badly' in 'Good Weekend' (SMH) April 20th says "unreasonable expectations and bullying from parents is the number one issue facing school Principals"

High school Principal Karen Terry, 54, links this development to a pervasive "happy-ology" - a belief children must be happy all the time. "They don't want their children to feel any sense of discomfort or distress," she says. Another exasperated principal recently wrote a pleading note to parents at a middle class suburban school in Melbourne "It has become more and more apparent to me that we are raising some of the most fragile children ever" the note read. "It seems that many parents simply will not allow their children to experience any kind of challenge, setback, discomfort, sanction, or to take responsibility for their actions"

At the same time these parents are demanding that schools teach their children to be able to excel at any task they attempt and question every exam or assessment mark that isn't an A+

The Principal mentioned above went on to say, "Parents, I implore you, please, let us do our job. We are professional educators who know how to deal with and develop young people. Every time you needlessly second guess us, question minutia, (tiny details) or simply refuse to support the school, it actively damages your children.

We all know that the great majority of parents are fair and reasonable and support their children's teachers and schools. We also know schools and teachers don't always get it right or don't communicate as effectively as they could...they are humans working in an imperfect world like the rest of us. But we also know there is a growing group of people who shrilly complain whenever they or their children aren't treated as the best and fairest all of the time.

There are two points I feel we should regularly remind ourselves of:

Firstly, Australia is not a perfect country;- there are many things we could do better - but we are still a healthier, better educated, safer and more equal country than most. It's up to us all to work on, and discuss the things that matter to us, positively, calmly and fairly.

Secondly, -and I'll illustrate this with a proverb; "the most successful people are usually those who have failed the most" No matter how good we - or our children - think we are, or how we feel we should be treated, we all have to learn to take responsibility for the consequences of our choices or actions. Falling and getting back up makes us tougher, making mistakes and learning from them makes us wiser, admitting we have been disrespectful or unfair and making amends makes us more caring, decent, happier people.

Protecting our children from scrapes, poor results following lack of effort or the consequences of inappropriate behaviour, ultimately affects everyone.

And abiding by the 'referee's' decision - whether it's on the sporting field, the road, at work or school - and getting on with the game of life makes it safer, fairer and more fun for everyone.

Let's remind ourselves to be reasonable, responsible and respectful.


"Positives" even better than Chocolate

Wednesday, May 01, 2019


Hand out “Positives” like chocolate.

Although Easter is over for another year there are lots of ways we can feel good without chocolate.

I’d like to start this week’s column with a heart-felt ‘thank you’ for the positive feedback. We all like to feel we are appreciated. Which brings me to the theme this week:- Positive comments go a loooong way.

One reader wrote to say she loves the positive slant I try to impart and went on to say: “I recently read a book called “How full is your Bucket?” by Rath and Clifton. It’s based on the bucket and dipper theory:-

“In a nutshell, we all have invisible buckets and dippers. Every day we each have hundreds of interactions with other people. When it is a positive interaction initiated by you, you are putting a drop into the other persons bucket - and also your own bucket because it makes you feel good as well. Negative interactions do the opposite and take from buckets”

“I taught this to my 9-year old, and he regularly comes home and tells me how he put a drop in someone's bucket today. I firmly believe it is 'the' most effective way to teach school aged children empathy. A teacher I recently told felt this knowledge was gold and she would use it in her classroom. Needless to say, my life has improved greatly since I and my family members have made the bucket and dipper theory part of our lives”

Here are several interesting facts to reinforce the massage:

Scientists have identified receptors in our nervous systems that respond positively to some of the chemicals in chocolate. That’s one of the reasons chocolate makes us feel so good.

Positive feelings boost our immune systems, improve our energy, our appetites and help us sleep, not to mention encourage us to spread the good cheer.

So, as a follow on from Easter, dish out positive comments, smiles and hugs in place of chocky eggs. It's so easy, costs nothing and comes back with interest. A smile, a kind word, a helping hand.

Have a great Term 2 --and dish it out with a ladle.