Achieve More: A Goal-Getter’s Toolkit To Sustain Momentum – Part II

Personal BrandingSuccess Strategies
A Goal-Getter’s Toolkit To Sustain Momentum

We humans are multidimensional. And it takes multifaceted skills to thrive.

My first post on building and sustaining momentum covered foundational aspects for you to incorporate: quality sleep, a healthy diet, regular exercise, managing stress, and cultivating hobbies and interests.

Here, we examine two more keys to flourishing – having the right people in your life and setting healthy boundaries.


Have you noticed that people with solid relationships progress more in life? A supportive network offers us encouragement, opportunities, resources, access to their network, and advantageous perspectives to thrive. It is like fertile soil for a seed, providing the right conditions for growth. Studies show that social support has a significant positive effect on goal pursuit.

Whether personal or professional, our connections with others shape our experiences, influence our well-being, and determine the richness of our journey. We must do the work to nurture our relationships.



Relationship authority Dr. John Gottman tells us trust is the pillar of any healthy relationship. To build trust, it is essential to be vulnerable and authentic with others. “Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness,” says researcher and author Brené Brown. When we open ourselves up and share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, we create a safe space for others to do the same. This mutual vulnerability is the key to developing deep, meaningful connections.

Trust is not built overnight. It is a gradual process going beyond words, requiring consistent actions and a willingness to take emotional risks. Start by sharing small, low-stakes pieces of yourself and observe how others respond. If they reciprocate, you can gradually increase the level of vulnerability.


  • Be reliable. If you say you will do something, do it.
  • Be honest. Honesty fosters trust and respect in a relationship.
  • Show integrity. Stand by your principles and values.
  • Be transparent. Share your thoughts and feelings openly.
  • Apologize when you err. It shows you value the relationship over your ego.
  • Keep secrets. If someone confides in you, keep their confidence.
  • Show empathy. Understand and share the feelings of others.
  • Be consistent. People trust predictable behavior.
  • Show up. Be there for the person in good times and bad.
  • Give without expecting anything in return. This shows you care about the person.


Effective communication is crucial to building rich relationships. One of the most important communication skills is active listening. It strengthens your relationships and deepens your understanding of the people in your life.


  • Be present. Give your full attention to the speaker.
  • Show interest. Nod and maintain eye contact. Lean in. Uncross your arms. Face the speaker directly.
  • Avoid interrupting. Let the speaker finish their thoughts.
  • Reflect. Paraphrase what the speaker said to show understanding.
  • Ask clarifying questions if something is unclear.
  • Avoid judgment. Keep an open mind.
  • Respond appropriately. Show empathy and understanding in your responses.
  • Give feedback. This lets the speaker know you are engaged.
  • Be patient. Allow pauses and silences in the conversation.
  • Practice. Active listening is a skill that can improve with practice.
  • Listen more than you speak – Communication expert Debra Fine.


Small talk may seem trivial, but it plays a crucial role in relationship building. As networking expert Susan RoAne explains, “Small talk is what we do to build to big talk.” Engaging in lighthearted conversations about shared interests, current events, or everyday experiences helps to break the ice and establish a rapport.

This skill may not be easy or natural for many of us. I can relate. If we want to get ahead we must learn the art of small talk. And many communication consultants like Leil Lowndes provide us with guidance on how to learn and improve this skill.


  • Be approachable. Smile and make eye contact.
  • Observe your surroundings and identify potential conversation starters.
  • Start with a compliment or a positive statement.
  • Ask open-ended questions. This encourages the other person to talk.
  • Listen actively. Show interest in what the other person is saying. Follow up on their responses with additional questions or relevant anecdotes.
  • Share about yourself. But keep the focus on the other person.
  • Be aware of body language. Non-verbal cues say a lot.
  • Develop an engaging voice. Be mindful of your tone, pitch, resonance, and words.
  • Keep the conversation light. Avoid controversial topics.
  • Be genuinely curious about the other person. Authenticity goes a long way in making meaningful connections.
  • Practice. Like any other skill, practice makes perfect.
  • Be patient. Good conversations take time to build.

Remember, the goal of small talk is not to impress or dominate the conversation; it is to create a comfortable and enjoyable exchange.


A supportive community is one where everyone feels valued and heard. It is about fostering a sense of belonging and mutual respect.

Surrounding yourself with a network of supportive individuals can significantly enhance your relationships and overall well-being. As author and community-building expert J. Kelly Hoey states, “Your network is your net worth.”


  • Invest time and effort into building and maintaining a diverse community of friends, colleagues, and mentors.
  • Engage in activities that allow you to expand your network. Participate in local events, join professional organizations, or volunteer for causes you care about. These connections can provide valuable resources, emotional support, and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Focus on quality over quantity.
  • Seek out individuals who share your values, interests, and goals and those willing to offer support and encouragement.
  • Remember that a supportive community is not a one-way street. Be an active and generous member, offering your time, expertise, and emotional support to others. This reciprocal exchange fosters a sense of belonging and strengthens the bonds within your network.
  • Routinely check in with the key people in your life, make time for meaningful interactions, and be willing to adapt to changing circumstances.

By continuously investing in your relationships, they are more likely to remain vibrant and fulfilling.



Building fruitful relationships is a journey that requires intentionality, empathy, and a willingness to learn and evolve. By incorporating these expert-backed tips into your life, you can cultivate meaningful connections, foster a supportive community, and experience the countless benefits of thriving relationships.



Establishing healthy boundaries is crucial for maintaining mental health and fostering rewarding relationships. I wish my parents had known about this one tool and how to apply it.

I come from the despised union of a light-skinned Brahmin man and a dark-skin Muslim woman. Hence, they had little support. I believe that led my parents to excessively extend themselves to others, only to have their generosity exploited. With proper boundaries, we would have experienced greater happiness, suffered fewer financial losses, and my father would have lived longer.


I have thrown around the term boundaries. Let me now define it. The American Psychological Association defines boundary as a psychological demarcation that protects the integrity of an individual or group or that helps the person or group set realistic limits on participation in a relationship or activity. They serve as clear guidelines we identify and employ – through our actions and communication – to show others how to behave around us and how we will respond if they overstep those limits. Boundaries reduce stress and anxiety as we no longer feel overwhelmed by the demands of others.

Boundaries are about who we give power to. Establishing healthy boundaries allows us to prioritize self-care and say no without feeling guilty, ensuring we care for ourselves before giving our energy to others. They help prevent burnout and resentment in relationships. With explicit boundaries, we consciously choose when to be emotionally and physically present instead of operating on autopilot. Boundaries allow us to foster deep and meaningful relationships while selectively connecting with others.


  • You may feel resentful, exhausted, taken advantage of, constantly drained, and burnt out from overcommitting yourself while not prioritizing your needs.
  • Your work constantly infringes on your personal time because you say yes to extra tasks.
  • You let others dictate your values, even if it means compromising personal values to gain their approval, which can result in a loss of self-identity.
  • You can also increase the risk of entering abusive relationships and encouraging unhealthy dynamics.


Past experiences might make us afraid of rejection or conflict, and we may feel guilty for refusing the requests of others. Safety can be a concern, and like my parents, you may struggle with setting, enforcing, and upholding your boundaries.

Remember, you have a right to self-care.


Mastering the art of setting healthy boundaries is a transformative journey that can lead to improved self-esteem, healthier relationships, and greater overall well-being. It takes courage and commitment to understand your limits, communicate assertively, and prioritize self-care.

  1. Ideally, we should set boundaries early in our relationships.
  2. Walk slowly and carefully when setting boundaries. They may trigger experiences rooted in your past.
  3. Pick one (1) area that may significantly impact your relationships or a small one that builds your confidence. Master it before moving on to another.
  4. Review and adjust your boundaries based on evolving needs and experiences.
  5. Script clear, tactful, realistic responses and practice them.
  6. Respect the boundaries of others.
  7. TIPS from Nedra Glover Tawwab
    1. IDENTIFY areas where you are exhausted, resentful, or angry. Remember that journal I nudged you to start? Reflect on your notes.
    2. DEFINE BOUNDARY. What do you want to hear, see, or do?
    3. TRUST YOUR INTUITION. Intuition, aka your gut, tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
    4. SAY NO. You do not need to give explanations that dilute the power of no.
    5. BE ASSERTIVE, CALM AND POLITE. If someone got upset, maybe a boundary was needed.
    6. DEFINE CONSEQUENCES and address boundary violations early.
    7. LET GO OF GUILT from saying no.
    8. USE SUPPORT. Read a book or talk to a mentor, life coach, or therapist.


You may not get all you want, but the rewards are significant when you make small, controllable steps to safeguard your time and energy. Boundaries foster strong, dependable relationships founded on mutual care and respect.

As Dr. Brené Brown highlights, boundaries are fundamental to empathy and compassion. She notes that “daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” Boundaries, according to Dr. Brown, assist us in striking a balance between kindness and preventing exploitation. They provide a feeling of liberation, control, and self-confidence that positively radiates into every area of life.


You need a comprehensive strategy to build and maintain momentum toward your goals. It is your choice to use these strategies to move you toward a more fulfilling life. And heed the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a learning that came late for me, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”

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Kasindra Maharaj is the Founder and Chief Momentum Officer at KM Career Insights – a boutique establishment providing workshops and coaching services to early and mid-career professionals. With her diverse upbringing and progressive perspectives, she believes in offering fair opportunities for all. Kasindra’s portfolio career traversed roles as a consumer insights expert, a data miner, and an educator.

You can reach Kasindra via www.LinkedIn/IN/KasindraMaharaj, X: @KasindraMaharaj, or her website @

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Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.