I have a confession. I’m not much of a goal setter. I tend to follow my gut, have a bias for action (yes I do jump in boots and all) and am characterised and guided by my get shit done attitude.

I used to beat myself up a little bit about this lack of goal setting, until I found a new way to stay true to my chosen pathway. Thanks to some expert guidance from the simply terrific Margie Warrell, I found a better way. I chose guiding words instead.

I arrived at this method after being asked by Margie in late 2016, “Who are you going to be in 2017 Michelle?” I was at Margies Live Brave weekend with 25 other women. We worked through a bunch of stuff that helped us to live bigger, be braver and frankly, (well for me anyway) get out of my own damned way!

As a result, my 2017 was characterised and guided by four words. Global. Driven. Vulnerable. Committed.

It was a tricky time for me.

It was a tricky time for me when I shot off for the weekend in November 2016. I was navigating exiting my corporate working life to enter the word of self-employment. I was filled with excitement, exhilaration and anticipation as well as blood curdling fear. Fear that I was going to end up a pauper after 30+ years of working my arse off because now I had to hustle for my income!

The weekend was a profoundly positive experience in so many ways, because with Margie’s skilful guidance, I got out of my own head, got out of my own damned way and got serious about being truly brave. For me.

So last last year, I chose to commit to the same process that Margie took me through. Which was:







I have decided!

After diligently following this process (for a bit longer than I had originally anticipated) I’ve decided that my 2018 defining and guiding words and what they mean are:

Fearless: I have to be fearless, a lot. The conversations I have to have with people in powerful positions, mean fearlessly calling out what its time for now. Now!

Audacious: I adore this word that I cottoned onto in 2017 whilst judging the TBWA. You can read about it here. I must continue to be audacious. Pick up the phone. Stalk to that person. Write that contentious article. Audacious women will change the world.

Persistent: Persistence, resilience and tenacity are traits I must draw upon regularly. Don’t let the knock-backs, the setbacks and the drawbacks distract me from what I must do.

Simple: Now this is a new one for me. Simplifying my life, my business, my clients lives and businesses is a pathway to joyous success. Ive started by making sure I communicate what I do, simply and ensuing that I stick to my knitting…don’t try to be all things to all people.

The Next Step

I have a beautiful journal courtesy of Margie. My words for 2018 are written there (check my insta account for the vid) and as I did in 2017, I’ll refer back to them and their meaning whenever I get a bit wobbly or need a dose of self-inspiration.

What are your words or ways to keep you on track for the year? I’d love to hear your ideas. 


  • Michelle Redfern

    Moving gender diversity from conversation to action

    Michelle is an award winning advisor, speaker, MC & facilitator. She is founder of Advancing Women, professional women’s network, Women Who Get It & co-founder of Culturally Diverse Workforce’s. Michelle is determined to contributeto achieving global gender equality in her life time, with particular emphasis on advancing women working in the sporting sector.