Connie Garner Real Talk

Achieving Success by Connie Garner

What does it take to win a World Title? Is it achievable? Can anyone do it? Or to be successful at anything you are passionate about…

The answers you seek are here, I’m happy to tell you that: Anyone can do it!  And; It is achievable!

But it isn’t easy… Nothing worth having is ever achieved easily, nor is it handed to you on a platter.

There are keys to success, neither difficult nor unattainable but a plan you need to stick to and replicate:

  • A Plan
  • Focus
  • Determination
  • Hard work
  • Sacrifice
  • Persistence
  • Attitude
  • Patience
  • Going the extra mile

You have in you the ability to do all of the above and success will follow, in anything you apply that formula to.

I’m going to talk in depth on each of these areas with specific examples of how they led to my success.

My Background
I grew up in Canberra, Australia. I have three brothers all younger than me. My parents separated when I was 7. I played all sorts of sports throughout my school years; Soccer, Netball, Hockey, Basketball, Water Polo, Athletics.

Looking back now, I used sport as an escape from a difficult childhood; my life was no easy road. I danced outside of school, which was something I loved to do very much. In my junior high years my physical education teacher got me involved in Aerobics classes and I found something I really loved. I was a regular participant, later becoming an Instructor and then a Sport Aerobic Champion.

I then found a love for weight training and in combining Aerobics and Weight training I found the sport of Fitness Competitions and fell in love. I would watch competitions all the time and then competed successfully locally then nationally and later internationally.

A Plan (Your goals and how to achieve them)
You need a plan if you are to achieve anything in an organised and methodical manner – which will lead you to success.

Think of it as getting in your car and knowing where you want to go and deciding to use your navigation system (your plan) or just guessing which way to go. You may get there if you don’t use your navigation system or you may get lost along the way. The navigation system (your plan) will keep you on the right track, give you guidance on what you need to do in order to get to the destination (your goal).

You may use vision boards, written plans, sticky notes, project software, whatever you are comfortable with using and what’s familiar and easiest for you to follow. You may like a combination of methods.

My plan was in a large A4 folder, which held everything I needed to guide me to success.

The cover page was where I wrote my end goals:

  • Complete my University Degree
  • Win Australian Fitness Title
  • Compete Overseas (I hadn’t even dreamed of a World Title at that stage)

These were on the front cover of my folder, I saw them daily. Inside the folder was the roadmap of how to achieve these goals; things like daily training routines, dieting information, special routine moves I was working on, outfit ideas, music ideas, fitness magazines, to do lists and positive inspirational quotes.

Your goals:

  • Make sure the goal you are working for is something you really want, not just something that sounds good.
  • The important thing to remember here is that your goals must be consistent with your values.
  • Write your goal in the positive instead of the negative.
  • Work for what you want, not for what you want to leave behind.
  • Make sure your goal is high enough.
  • Shoot for the moon, if you miss you’ll still be in the stars

Focus is a must to stay on track with your plan and keep moving toward your goals. If you are passionate about what it is you wish to achieve you will find it very easy to focus on what you want.

The difference between almost and complete success is determination. Many people quit when they are so close to success. On your path to success you will have setbacks, failures, negative influences and self doubt. Your determination needs to be stronger than the negative influences in order for you to succeed. Determination is within you, if it’s not apparent then dig deep. When you really truly want something so bad, determination is found.

Hard work
Nobody died from hard work, nor will success come without it…

I had very good role models for hard work growing up, my dad’s (I have had a father and a step father since I was 7 years old) both of whom have ridiculously strong work ethics. They are the hardest workers I’ve ever known, they thrive on keeping busy and achieving outcomes. I had a stay at home mother who did everything in the house.

I have never been afraid of hard work; I’ve never really viewed anything I do as work. Strange you may think, but when you choose to do things that you love to do and you get paid to do it, not a day goes by where you feel that you work, but rather it’s all play.

How much hard work can fitness be? Here’s an example of my day (and you wake up and repeat it all again the next day) when training for a competition;

05.00 – Wake up, have a strong coffee, pack everything I need for the day and head to the gym
05.30 – 07.30 – Cardio and Weight training
08.00 – 17.30 – Work
12.30 – 13.30 – Run during lunch break
18.00 – 19.30 – Skills and Flexibility training
20.00 – Prepare food for next day
Sleep for 5 – 7 hours.

Training for fitness competitions my payoff wasn’t financial; it was achievement that was the pay off. Achievements were getting stronger, more flexible, nailing my routine or getting fitter.

You just read a typical day and you’re wondering, where’s time for TV, socialising, partying and other time fillers. Well now you’ve hit success front on – only through sacrifice do you see results and success. What you sacrifice depends on what you wish to achieve, I never looked at it as a sacrifice. If you have addictions, food, TV, partying etc. then you will see it as a sacrifice and you need to be willing to commit to being able to let go of the old to make way for the new. During this phase of my life I did not have time for TV or partying or eating junk food but I’m absolutely sure that my life is better for that.

I can tell you one thing for sure, you can’t be successful without persistence. It’s about the ability to keep going even when you want to quit. The ability to push yourself where you thought you couldn’t go. Persistence is about not accepting failure as an option.

Your attitude impacts your success. We all have ways of seeing the world that are influenced by our genetics and our environmental effects, however you can most certainly choose your attitude be it good, bad or indifferent. Let me give you an example, I participated in a competition where it was close first between myself and another girl, in my opinion, she was in front, however this girl was the most unhappy and unfriendly looking person I’ve come across in all competitions. I am the polar opposite naturally, I was born happy, on top of that I was competing which I absolutely love to do. There were TV crews interviewing us, judges walking around everywhere and not once did I see this girl smile on or off stage. To put it politely she had a bad attitude. It lost her that competition.

Success does not just happen, it won’t come overnight, you will need patience. Injuries require to be patient, you can’t force the healing process, allow it to be time to plan to succeed. Setbacks come in many forms and often cause frustration, this is when patience is your friend. Ride out whatever setbacks come your way.

There are times when you will think you are ready, prepared, you’ve done everything you can and you don’t win. Hey that’s ok, it’s happened to everyone! Just be patient and you will succeed

Going the extra mile
Successful people don’t do what everyone else does. Sure they may model some traits, behaviours, styles etc. from other successful people but they find a way to go the extra mile, to shake things up, to do things differently. What can you do to go the extra mile towards your own success?

I suggest you surround yourself with positive influences and role models – get a good mentor not someone who tells you what they think you want to hear but someone who will tell it like it is.

Now you have the plan, what will you decide to do with it and the rest of your life?



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Written by Connie Garner

I'm a Miss World Fitness Champion, I'm into fitness, I have two degrees and work in IT and fitness.


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