What does an extraordinary life mean to you?

What does an extraordinary life mean to you?

Maybe living an extraordinary life is being positive, optimistic, resilient and perseverant.

Maybe it’s all about taking risks and trying something new even if you’re scared or feeling vulnerable…

An extraordinary life could be living and using your gifts and strengths to make a difference, even a small one…

An extraordinary life could be dreaming and taking action to realize your dreams, no matter how small.

Maybe living an extraordinary life is simply sitting at a gathering with your family and friends telling stories and sharing in laughter.

Whatever extraordinary means to you, just remember, to be the best version of yourself.

You don’t need to be a rock star, a millionaire, a CEO of a company…you just need to be you, the best ‘YOU’ can be, and make the most of every minute you can.

How are you going to live your extraordinary life today?

Who inspires you?


My mom was a pretty special lady… #understatement

She always had a smile on her face, treated others with love and respect, saw the good in everyone and everything, and really enjoyed the simple things in life.

You could definitely say she’s my inspiration.

I got into coaching to help others lead a happier life and one of the things I love most is when one of my clients has a huge insight or breakthrough and learns something important about themselves or their path.

When I can help someone see the possibility of what their life can look like and take action towards achieving their personal and professional goals, I get pretty excited.

If you’re looking for specialized retirement coaching you can’t find anywhere else, check out my online course called Power UP Your Retirement. I truly want to see you live your best life. https://www.powerupyourretirement.com/power-up-insider

What, or who, inspires you on the daily?

Tips to destress about retirement

The “S” word is a very very bad word.

Yes, I’m talking about STRESS.

And for a lot of you, you may have spent the majority of your day today caring for everyone but yourself.

I know the other “S” word….self-care….can be a bit overused these days but honestly, caring for yourself and your needs is one of the best ways to manage stress, pre-retirement and during retirement.

If you’re getting close to retirement AKA living’ the dream, or you’re already there — you may be worrying about things like not having enough money, or losing relationships…so it’s time to take a deep breath and think of what you can do to ease these woes…

Take a bath, read a book, meditate, take a class at the gym, go out with friends…whatever floats your boat.

Other ways you can battle stress?

  • Eat a balanced, nutritious diet

  • Get more sleep

  • Drink water

  • Start a gratefulness journal

  • Laugh

  • Enjoy a hobby or learn a new one

And seriously, lower your expectations for that “perfect’ retirement life and take one day at a time. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Right now, I want you to take a deep breath and write down one thing you’re grateful for and it’ll be your first step in self-care today.

“What do you call a person who is happy on a Monday – Retired”

Being retired also means your boss can’t say to you, “Looks like you’ve got a case of the Mondays…” EVER AGAIN. #officespace

Since retirement means more time with friends and family, more freedom and a lot less stress, feeling those happy feels should hopefully come a lot easier.

But maybe you’re feeling a bit lost in this new chapter of your life, or maybe you’re approaching it and feeling a bit anxious…Either way, I have some tips for you to maximize your happiness levels in your post-career life.

The ‘best life’ looks different for everyone, just focus on what you need to do to create ‘your best life’.

  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Practice gratitude
  • Start the day off with positive intentions
  • Stay focused on the present and enjoy every moment
  • Bring humour into your life every day
  • Quiet your brain with meditation or deep breathing
  • Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk!

Start by applying just one of these tips this week and see how your mindset changes!

What do you do on the daily to lead a more positive life?

Retirement planning is not just about money

It used to be most Canadians shared an idea of what retirement looked like. You worked until you were 65 and then you punched your timecard and spent the rest of your days on the golf course, travelling the world or spending time with your grandkids. If you were lucky enough to have squirreled away more money, you might have quit your job five or even 10 years earlier than you planned.

In 2019, not so much. The definition of retirement is evolving and it’s now different for everyone. One person may be able to fully retire at 55 while others are working part-time after they’re 65.

Some people are starting new businesses, going back to school or selling their homes, buying an RV and travelling. Some people are buying a recreational property down south or maybe staying close to home to be near family and friends. Some people will go back into the workforce, and some people have no idea how they want to spend the next 20 to 30-plus years of their lives.

People need to plan before they retire so they know how much money they’ll need to make their dreams come true. It’s important that people have a plan and know what they’ll need to financially support it.

But it’s not all about money. One of the most important things people can do to prepare for retirement is to deal with the non-financial side of retirement. If you’re one of these people, ask yourself:

  • What will make you happy?

  • What’s on your bucket list?

  • What are you passionate about?

  • What do you want to do less of and more of?

  • What will bring meaning and fulfillment into your life?

Doing this type of planning before you retire will help you determine where you can start making changes now and will also help you reduce any fears or anxiety you may have about the transition. It will help you not to waste a minute of your precious post-career time and planning will give you the confidence that you have enough money to live the retired life you want. This all adds up to a healthy, active and meaningful second half of life.

One of the biggest challenges people face is finding their purpose and living a meaningful life. Some people experience a loss of identity in their post-career life, which is totally normal, especially if you’ve spent the majority of your career at one job.

If you’re experiencing any worries or fears about retiring, try to identify the reason behind it. Taking action to explore those fears will help you overcome them. It’s the first step in preparing yourself psychologically for your retirement.

If you need to get clarity on your purpose – create a vision for your retirement, explore what you could do and develop goals you wish to accomplish. The most important thing is to write this all down. Putting pen to paper will increase your chances of success in accomplishing these goals.

Retirement can be a little scary, but it doesn’t need to be. Planning for your retirement will help generate a deeper understanding of what is important to you, gain clarity on what you really want, and will help you focus on your desires and personal growth.

That way you can take action, get energized and start getting excited about this incredible life change.

Marielle Gauthier, owner and principal of Redworks Communications, is a certified Results coach; an Associate Certified Coach (ACC); a Conversational Intelligence Coach, and an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC).

To receive updates about Marielle’s retirement coaching program, training and webinars or for more information on coaching services contact Marielle at marielle@redworkscoaching.com or visit www.powerupyourretirement.com.

‘Most Common Fears About Retirement’ Series

Are you one of the 400,000 Canadians who will be retiring in this year? Are you 2 – 3 years away from retirement but have many fears about your retirement or retirement in general? If you do don’t worry you are not alone!

Retirement is commonly an emotional time. Whether it’s missing the ‘comfort’ of a schedule, loss of structure and routine, dealing with the loss of work relationships, or losing a sense of purpose, it’s common for people adjusting to retirement to experience a range of worries and fears.

The impact of the non-financial issues like social and psychological factors plays a HUGE role in a successful retirement.

In fact, research has shown that almost half of people entering retirement struggle with the transition into a post-career life.

For many people who don’t plan or manage the transition well, the consequences can be significant including boredom, inactivity, isolation, depression, and even addictions.

But it’s not all doom and gloom – you can decrease your feelings of overwhelm, fears, concerns, and apprehension about retirement by working on preparing yourself psychologically.

In this ‘Most Common Fears About Retirement’ blog series we will look at the fears people have and a few tips for consideration on how to overcome those fears.

Fears can be debilitating as they can stop us from achieving our dreams and doing the things we want to do. So, don’t let your fears stop you from living the life you want.

Identify, understand and take action to overcome your fears. These are important steps in preparing yourself psychologically for your retirement.

If you are curious as to what pre-retirees are struggling with, watch the FREE Masterclass on the Ten Most Common Retirement Fears at: www.powerupyourretirement.com

Marielle Gauthier, owner and principal of Redworks Communications, is a certified Results coach; an Associate Certified Coach (ACC); and a Conversational Intelligence Coach, and an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC).

To receive updates about Marielle’s retirement coaching program, training and webinars or for more information on coaching services contact Marielle at marielle@redworkscoaching.com or visit www.powerupyourretirement.com.

She is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Ten years after the Chilkoot Trail

This year I celebrated my 10th anniversary since I climbed the Chilkoot Trail. Luckily, I was in the Yukon this past August for both personal and work reasons, and definitely on my ‘must do’ list was to go back to visit the Chilkoot Trailhead.


After a lovely visit in Skagway with my sister Lucille, and my niece Sophie, we drove off the main highway and made our way to the trailhead to where it all started.

Once there, I was surprised to see how much the area had filled in with trees and vegetation. The little registration station is now gone most likely opting for an electronic sign-in. The beautiful Taiya river, however, was flowing ever so strongly and majestically, and I felt like I was being greeted by an old friend.


My sister and I started talking about our experience on the Trail as well as what had changed in our lives since our hike. Certainly there had been a lot of changes in the past 10 years, most memorable being changes in our work life and career; the loss of so many loved ones including our parents; and health issues. But for the most part, despite heartache and losses, there was a lot of personal and professional growth as well. We both had had new wonderful and rich experiences to meet great new people and to try new things that provided us with purpose, fulfillment and happiness.

I enjoyed our little journey down memory lane and am very grateful for all of the lessons that I learned while on the Trail. I truly believe that the strength and courage that I had to find within me to complete the trek has helped me tremendously to weather life’s little storms and to come through the tough situations even stronger and more resilient.

If you’re interested in finding out the life and leadership lessons I learned while on the Chilkoot Trail, I invite you to visit my six part ‘What the Chilkoot Trail Taught Me about Leadership,’ blog series.

Here is Part 1 of the series.  Enjoy.



Marielle Gauthier, owner and principal of Redworks Communications, is a certified Results coach, an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation; and soon a Certified Conversational Intelligence Coach.

To receive updates about Marielle’s coaching program, training and webinars or for more information on coaching services connect with Marielle at  marielle@redworkscoaching.com or visit www.redworkscoaching.com. She is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

My personal coaching journey – Andrea Lauder

My client, Andrea Lauder talks about how personal coaching impacted her life. She worked hard and got amazing results! A special thanks goes out to Andrea for sitting down with me to discuss her experience!


Have you heard about my ‘VIP Power UP Your Life’ Retreat? If you’re ready to propel your career or business to the next level and want to start today, then you will love this exclusive one-on-one powerful and transformative retreat. The ‘VIP Power UP Your Life’ retreat is entirely focused on you. The session is designed to spring board you on a new a path to loving your life.  Click here to learn more.


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What the Chilkoot Trail Taught Me about Leadership – Pt. 6.

Trail signIn part 4 and 5 of my Chilkoot Trail blog series, I told my story of how it took us 14 hours to hike over the summit from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp. We endured miserable weather throughout the day – cold, rainy and very windy.

At times, especially hiking up to and down from the summit I was quite frightened as I was afraid we would either be blown off the mountain or slip careening down the mountain. Luckily, neither happened. We arrived into Happy Camp exhausted, cold, wet and hungry but at least we we’re safe.

In this blog, I am going to talk about the decision we had to make that would impact the rest of our trip.

Morning finally came after a fitful night with pelting rain and gale-force winds that beat the sides of our tent causing it to shake violently. Also keeping me awake was whether or not I could continue due to my physical injury. I was conflicted between wanting to finish the hike and not wanting to cause further and perhaps worse injury.

As we left our tent, we were very thankful that it was still in one piece. We made our way to the communal hall so for breakfast and discuss our plans for the day – who was going to continue and who was going to go home.

It would take us another three days to hike the remaining 13 miles / 20 km to Lake Bennet where we would catch a train back to Skagway and our vehicle. If we missed this train we would have to wait a couple of extra days for the next one. We had to make a decision at this point.

I was honest and said that I was in a lot of pain as my knee and now ankles were very swollen, decreasing my strength and stability. I did not want to slow them down nor put us in a dangerous position where I wouldn’t be physically able to continue.

My sister was also unfortunately feeling the pain of her injury and didn’t want to risk further injury.

So my sister and I talked and we both agreed that our hike ended here at Happy Camp.

Waiting for chopperWe strongly encouraged our hiking partner, Michelle, who was absolutely well enough to continue on, to join another party of women who we’re leaving in a few hours. Michelle flatly refused and said no, that we had made a pact at the beginning of the hike, that we we’re in this together, so she was coming home as well.

The only way off the Chilkoot Trail and out of Happy Camp was by calling an airlift – an expensive helicopter ride. The Parks Canada Warden chartered a helicopter to come and pick us up later that morning.

As much as I felt relieved that I was leaving I was also very disappointed that I wasn’t going to finish the hike. But I knew that was my ego talking and I knew that this was the best decision for me.

In my heart, I knew we had accomplished what we had set out to do – to climb the Chilkoot Pass. I am definitely proud of having been able to accomplish this. And we did get to see the Yukon’s beautiful, rugged and awe-inspiring pristine environment from a unexpected vantage point.

I found some footage of Happy Camp, Yukon and our helicopter ride. Have fun viewing the videos.

So what did I learn?

  • Be proud of what you accomplish even if you don’t quite complete what you set out to do.
  • Don’t let your ego dictate what is right for you – find your courage and voice what you need despite the feelings of failure that your ego is screaming at you.
  • Ask for help when you need it – let others in – you don’t need to do things alone. Human beings are hardwired to want to help out.
  • Don’t leave your friends behind – honour the covenant or agreement made.
  • Encourage others to meet their goals.
  • I am strong, resilient and determined

What the Chilkoot Trail Taught Me about Leadership – Pt. 5

In part 4 of my Chilkoot Trail blog series, I told my story of our climb from Sheep Camp to the Chilkoot Pass. This section was the most arduous of the hike and one of the most physical, emotional and mental challenges I have ever had to go through.

This blog post will focus on our hike from the summit to Happy Camp.

Having finally arrived at the top of the Chilkoot Pass at approximately 4 pm, we stopped at the Parks Canada warming cabin and warden station where we were finally able to eat a hot meal, change out of our drenched clothing, warm up and rest for a little while.

We had arrived very late as we still had another 8.4 kms (4.0 miles) before we could lay our very sore bodies down at our next camp. I would have opted to camp at the shelter for the night, but there were signs prohibiting camping. We had also spoken to a park ranger earlier in the afternoon and had informed him of our health conditions, but that our plan was to reach Happy Camp that night. We wanted to avoid any international search parties sent out if we didn’t arrive.

EPSON MFP imageSomewhat rested, we headed out (it was now snowing and still howling) and started descending. I was very surprised at the number of snowfields that remained this late in the summer season. We didn’t have the right equipment to hike on snow and ice, so consequently we slipped and slid down the snowfields, but we miraculously all stayed upright. I found hiking down the mountain very challenging because of the snow, ice, and a shift in body weight to negotiate the descent. All of these factors added a lot of pressure on our legs, knees and ankles.

We finally arrived at Happy Camp at 11:30 pm, completing a 14-hour hike (minus an hour or so) with a 25-pound pack. All we wanted to do was to get out of our wet clothes and eat a hot meal. Unfortunately the propane was out, so a hot meal or warming ourselves near a heater was out of the question.

After resting a little, then changing into whatever we could find that was less wet, we found the strength and courage to face the weather to set up our humble accommodations for the night. Due to the very strong winds, we decided it would be safer to stay in one tent. I am thankful we did, as the wind was so strong that it pushed the sides of our tent up rolling us into the centre.

Needless to say the hike over the summit from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp was quite frightening, but I was grateful that we were safe and had succeeded in climbing the Chilkoot Pass – a day I would always remember. As I tried to relax from the challenging day, I started thinking about the decision we would have to make tomorrow which would impact the rest of our trip.

To be continued…


So what did I learn?

  • Allow others to support you when you require it; then you support them in their time of need.
  • Dig deep within yourself and find the strength you need to put one foot in front of the other – others are counting on you.
  • When you can’t lead for whatever reason – that’s okay, others will step up to the challenge.
  • Allow others to shine and lead.
  • I am strong, resilient and determined.
  • I realized I did not know much about first aid or pain management. So as a leader if you’re lacking required knowledge or an important skill, commit to doing something about it.