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…ballet, a basket full of eggs, and a room full of diet books, exercise apps and fashion magazines.

Hi everyone or as they say in Ireland, “What's the craic?”


...time and unexpected events overtake them all

Have you ever had a specific goal in mind that you were working very hard to reach when suddenly, an unexpected event, thing or happenstance seemed to derail everything? If this was a one-off experience, you probably just shrugged it off and moved on, but - more commonly these days - have you found that between you and your goals is this weird, nightmarish mine field where the mines can move? Or, less dramatically, do you feel that you are in some game striving to reach the goal line but someone keeps changing the rules without telling you. Consequently, you keep getting penalties which set you back. Ugghh! Hashtag: #mydreamsinameatgrinder

Well, if you do, you are not alone. In our case - visa delays, accommodation challenges and just recently, getting COVID are definitely rubbing little of the shine off our goals. However, the good news is, we are in this together! In our newsletter this month we will share three steps to get you standing up again and ready to overcome ANY setback. We’re going to use ballet (that right guys, I said ballet!), a basket full of eggs, and a room full of diet books, exercise apps and fashion magazines to do it.

Step One-Focus

Setbacks and disappointment can send your life into a tailspin, leaving you unsteady and anxious. It reminds me of how I felt as a kid after twirling around a playground roundabout. I never could last longer than 30 seconds on those crazy things!

So how do professional “twirlers” like ballet dancers keep their dance routine in perfect control after spinning around multiple times? The answer can help us to keep our focus when life seems to be spinning out of control.

They learn to spot their dance turns. (For a more detailed description, follow this link,

Basically “spotting” is a technique involving the head and eyes that help keep a dancer oriented. The dancer, when required to make a turn or pirouette, keeps the eyes focussed on a distant focal point while turning. When the head can no longer turn enough to continue focussing on the spot, immediately the head is turned around toward the other shoulder to find the spot again. The rest of the body continues rotating until the head catches up with it at the last moment. Okay so what is the point for us? Let’s apply this to your life goals as you face obstacles.

Tips on how to spot your goals

  • When things are going well, keep your eyes, thoughts, association, and decisions level with your goals. Just as tilting the head or body in any way will throw off a dancer’s turn, wasteful meandering of any sort will weaken us when obstacles appear.

  • Keep your eyes on your goal as long as possible. An obstacle may temporarily make you wobble or even fall down but strive to quickly regain your focus. If you do fall or are even figuratively thrown down, before even getting up, refocus your “eyes” on the goal right away.

Step Two - Be Reasonable

We often associate being reasonable with saying “yes" to other people’s requests. However, in this very uncertain world, when it comes to making personal goals, to be reasonable requires us to plan for when we need to say “no”, or more reasonably - “not yet" to ourselves. We need to avoid putting all our eggs or goals in just one basket.

The ever-present reality these days is, stuff happens! So, we have to be prepared beforehand to be reasonable or modest with our goals. You will be much happier and content if you avoid the mentality, “I will be happy if I only get this one thing.” Make credible plan B’s, and C’s. Take them seriously by truly and methodically thinking them out. Strive to identify early on the red lines that, once crossed, will automatically springboard you into an alternate, previously planned direction.

Knowing when to reasonably say “no” or at least, “not yet”, whilst having other great plans to fall back on, will cushion any setback or speed bump that comes up. You may find that your plan “B” ends up being what you really wanted anyway, or what may have seemed like a setback initially ends up leading you to an unexpected but better solution.

Step Three - Embrace flexibility

What do a room full of exercise apps, diet books, and classic fashion magazines have in common? Well, fundamentally, they ALL work! Sometimes you have to experiment with a few different approaches until you find out which style or approach works the best for you.

What does this general truth have to do with staying happy and progressive when your goals and dreams seem to be in churning around the meat grinder of inopportunity? (Is that even a word???) Answer - There is always more than one way to reach a goal. Embracing flexibility and being open to try a different approach can spark ideas and options that, with a little creativity, could get you to your goal or close enough.

In conclusion, your life goals are precious! You have invested much time, energy, and lovely daydreaming in forming them. Therefore, enjoy and expand the critical planning stages of your journey. Stay focused, be prepared well beforehand to be reasonable and always stay flexible. May all your dreams come true in one way or another!

Join us in June for our next TESOL Certification course and get the tools and confidence you need to Travel.Simplify.Teach.

English Grammar Boot Camp:

Starting again on Saturday, June 5, 2022.

It will be taught each Saturday for 10 weeks straight: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Back by popular demand is our English Grammar Boot Camp - 10 Class/15 hour program. Once thing that holds many newly-trained English instructors back is feeling like they don't know enough about English Grammar. We always help our newly-certified TESOL course graduates to understand that, - because they are fluent in English, they are more than qualified to start right away with their English classes and applying for jobs with schools. What most students of English want and need is a chance to practice their conversation, fluency, reading and writing skills with a fluent speaker - not another grammar lesson.

Having said that, as teachers - we need to be committed to always improving our teaching skills and expanding our knowledge of the language that we are teaching. No one should stagnate because it is a competitive market and students will gravitate towards the most confident and successful teachers. We can help you to fast-forward and greatly accelerate your understanding of how English works on the grammatical level and what the grammatical and technical "labels" are that you need to know to be able to explain the WHYS and HOWS of the most commonly used English structures. This includes understanding all 12 tenses, what they are called and how they are different from each other. You also want to have a working knowledge of all Parts of Speech - Nouns, Pronouns, Adverbs, Adjectives, Conjunctions, Interjections, Verbs and Prepositions. How to teach question sentences in all 12 tenses? What is the difference between a Gerund and a Present Participle? Why are Past Participles the backbone of so many English grammatical uses? What is Passive Voice and why do students need to master it?

These and many more MEANING-BASED grammatical questions are answered in this 10 class course where you will have the chance to analyze English grammar from a language teachers's point of view. This "crash course" has been especially designed for newly-trained TESOL graduates and other language instructors who would like to brush up on their understanding of English Grammar.

Feel free to contact us with with any questions you may have about this course. Ruth - the instructor will be happy to discuss the course with you. Her email is

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