Goals or No Goals for Golden Girls

When we first decided on the topic of setting goals, we felt it would be a great fit for our Women of Influence guests and given the upcoming Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, who better to teach us about setting and achieving goals than professional athletes Sam Riley, Michelle Mitchell and Danielle Appi.

When we sat down to talk to our athletes about the topic of goal setting, we were surprised to find so many different shades and aspects of the topic.


Sam Riley admits that goal setting has been a huge part of her life; keeping focused on the end game was the only way she could get through 8 hours of training a day.  Today, Sam’s focus is more about balance.  She runs various businesses; Sam Riley Swim Schools and SNAP Fitness franchises, she is on the Board of Gold Coast Suns Football team, dabbles in property development with her husband and is a Mum to 3 boys.

While Sam admits that any elite athlete would have some component of OCD, these days she has to let things slide a little to keep all the plates spinning.  Her goals are more about being able to work out each day, keep the businesses running, her family happy and still have time for herself.


Michelle Mitchell has a different approach and doesn’t even like using the term “Goal Setting”.  In her role as Player Development Manager for Gold Coast Suns Football Club, she is responsible for nurturing and strengthening the playing group outside the playing field.  She does this by teaching the importance of knowing what your objective is and to just keep going, that’s enough.  Rather than “Setting Goals”, which can scare the players she focuses on their values, intentions and encourages them to communicate effectively and honestly.

As a winner of Olympic, World Cup and Commonwealth Games Gold, Michelle has done her fair share of personal goal setting.  However, these days she is regarded with her ability and experience to lead and challenge high performing teams, so achieving objectives has moved to another level.


Danielle Appi is a Personal Trainer and Boot Camp operator with her business BodyWorks Personal Training.  She has been involved in body sculpting and won Oxygen Magazine Cover Girl competition at the age of 44.

So, Danielle is an advocate of the traditional approach to setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, Time based)

goals then breaking them down to daily, weekly and monthly targets and activities.

“Learning, growing, achieving and goal-setting should be ongoing and challenging,” says Danielle.  “Your dreams and goals should excite you and get you pumped for every day and the opportunity you get to chase them.”