Aspirational April is here. It has been just long enough since the New Year that many have forgotten or just given up on all those resolutions. April has become the month to commit again to a goal and take active steps to achieving it—though it does not need to be the same as your abandoned resolution. With that in mind, this month is all about attaining your goal through creating a habit or set of habits and then sticking to those habits for 30 days. To help kick start your Aspirational April, we have found an inspirational story about a woman sticking to her own aspirations to hopefully help you start thinking about your own aspirations.

Ernestine “Ernie” Shepherd is a personal trainer, a professional model, and a competitive bodybuilder. She also just happens to be 80 years old and holds the current Guinness World Record for World’s Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder. However, Ms. Shepherd did not achieve all these aspirations overnight. In fact, she did not start her own fitness journey until she was 56 years old.

At the time, Ms. Shepherd lived a mostly sedentary lifestyle and had not stepped into a gym even once in her life. Initially, she started her fitness journey as a joint venture with her sister; however, her sister suddenly passed. Ms. Shepherd stopped her journey while she mourned her sister. Though after some months and with the encouragement of friends, she recommitted to her aspiration of fitness and returned to the gym.

Ms. Shepherd’s journey to achieving her aspiration has been a slow one. Fitness is not something that can be achieved over night. Instead, Ms. Shepherd recognized that she was taking on various habits that allowed her to get fit and, moreover, to lead a healthier and more fulfilling life. After years of sticking to these habits, she finds herself where she is today. A passionate trainer, model, and completive bodybuilder. She has never felt healthier or happier then she does now. Ms. Shepherd especially draws energy and joy through sharing her journey with other seniors and helping them to train and move along the road of their own fitness journeys.

Ms. Shepherd’s journey to achieving her aspirations was successful in part because of the following:

– She had the support of those around her. When you start your own journey, talk to your loved ones and explain what you are trying to do and how. They can act as your cheerleaders along the way and will be there to celebrate your successes and to support you through your setbacks.

– She maintained a positive outlook throughout her journey. The power of positivity will get you far. If you remain positive you can accomplish far more than if you sit and pick at every little thing that is wrong. Keeping positive will help you maintain forward momentum on your journey and to remain positive when facing any setbacks that cross your path.

– She realized that it would be process. Realize from the start that you may not see returns on your efforts right away. The journey is called a journey for a reason. One of the things you are dedicating when you choose to pursue an aspiration is time. It is the combination of this time and your effort that pay off in the end.

– She armed herself with tools that would allow her to succeed—training schedule, nutrition plan, etc. Make sure you are ready for your journey by equipping yourself with the tools you will need along the way. This all comes down to planning and to proactively troubleshoot barriers that may block your progress.

Ms. Shepherd’s journey is an inspirational one. However, her story also demonstrates that it is never too late to pursue your own aspirations. This April is the month where you can choose to take those first steps on your journey to changing your life and yourself for the better.