You may know my mom from the stories of her bungee jumping off the highest bridge in the world or making her way from Alberta to Ontario on her bicycle with a tent (at age 61),  but the truth is, she lives what she preaches.

I have been on a bit of a ‘be a #rolemodel for your family’ campaign lately, and looking back at my childhood, I can’t help but be amazed at not what my mom said, but what she did (and didn’t do). It is for this true example of living what you preach that I say a heartfelt thank you to her this Mother’s Day.

Here are the Top 10 Things that have stuck with me over the years and strengthen me as I wade through the daily struggles of parenting.

My mom always reminds me to “Just Move Forward” and not let all the small daily setbacks detract from what you have accomplished.  Keep your attitude positive and maintain forward momentum.

Make decisions based on you, not on any one else. Take into account how they affect those around you and make a decision based on what you can live with. There is no use constantly walking forward and looking back or you will bump into too many  obstacles and miss what’s really going on in the present moment or what opportunities lay in front of you.

3. Travel is Education

Experience new languages, cultures, and ways of life.  There is so much to learn about what else is out there and so much to appreciate when you come home. Travel also teaches patience, empathy, independence and so much more.

4. Have No Regrets in Life 

It’s ok to make mistakes, but learn from them  and move on.  You can wish you did or didn’t do something, but do not dwell on it.

5. Other’s Opinions Should Not Matter
It doesn’t matter what others think. Besides, they tend to change their opinions often and rarely do they have all the facts.  Think  for yourself.  “Do you and do it well”(Jon Goodman).

6. It’s All About What Your Body Can Do

I was fortunate to grow up with a healthy view of body image- ‘it’s about what your body can do, not what it looks like’. By just making it a lifestyle, you don’t need to cram workouts and diets into your day. It just is what you do. Do something you enjoy that makes you move every day and eat real food.

7. Fear is Taught

My mom believes in leading by example and being aware of your reactions and the power of suggestion. “Aren’t you afraid?”, “be careful” and so on…only suggests you should be worried and cautious.  If it’s not a matter of life and death, react with curiosity instead of fear.  In the grand scheme of things, keep things in perspective, and ask yourself “What’s the worst that could happen?” Typically, if you keep it realistic,  the answer is not all that bad.

8. Busyness Is What You Make It

You are responsible for how much ‘busyness’ you put in your life, so look at your decisions before you complain that you don’t have time.  You may just need to not try to do 100 things in a day.  My mom rarely ever owned a car and therefore scheduled fewer things in each day, leaving her time to take in everything going on around her and as she said “time to smell the roses”. It’s amazing what you see and how much more connected to your community you are when you walk in it. I am one to talk about over scheduling, so I am so thankful for our recent opportunity to do just that while voluntering in El Salvador.

9. Don’t Depend On Others

Don’t depend on doing things with others as you may never get to do them, just be prepared to do them anyway if they don’t follow through.  My mom has always done a lot alone, but she has done a lot (been to at least 40 countries and every province and territory in Canada).  When I was younger, I hated doing things alone, but in my early 20’s I realized that I was missing (many) opportunities, so I  got on a plane and went to Saint Lucia to learn to kiteboard. Best decision I ever made. More recently, I took a family-free holiday that served as another great learning and growing experience.

10. Time is the Greatest Gift You Can Offer Someone

The one thing my mom never skimped out on was her time. Because we walked everywhere, we had time to discuss and digest our days together.  She was an incredible listener and never pushed things to a future date that may or may not happen. She was selfless.  Just being with your kids and doing what they like shows interest in who they are. That’s how communication doors are open and deeper relationships formed.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Amazing Women in this World!

I would love to hear about what valuable lessons your mother taught you. Leave a comment or connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube

Check out my Online Personal Training or connect personally with me here.




Written by Dawn Joseph
Dawn Joseph is an Online Personal Trainer who focuses on form and function! She loves to travel and kite board. Train with her online or ask her a question here.