Featured Goal Digger | Anna Watson @ofsomethingelse

Super excited to introduce this inspirational and like-minded babe, Anna, as this weeks Featured Goal Digger. I came across Anna’s fabulous blog months ago as it popped up in my Facebook newsfeed, I read and loved Anna’s vibe. The universe obviously wanted us to connect as I had a mutual friend of ours contact me last week who told me all about Anna and how Goal Diggers NZ had been featured in her latest blog post, you can read that here. Then if that wasn’t a sign, Anna herself contacted me directly!! Dig in to this epic feature to read about how Anna left her corporate job as a lawyer to live a fulfilling life full of adventure and passion!!

A little bit about me…

I’ve just moved to Wellington to take up a position with Inspiring Stories Trust. Going back a step or two, I used to live and work in Auckland as a corporate lawyer before quitting to become a hiking guide in Fiordland for the 2015-2016 summer season. My hobbies include baking, writing and bird-watching. Looking at this list I realise it makes me sound waaay older before my time but they’re all great things to do, trust me..

I am a Goal Digger because…

I dug deep last year and realised that all the goals I cared most about involved this life where I wasn’t a lawyer living the ‘corporate dream’ in Auckland. So I quit and became a hiking guide for the summer instead. Taking my goal of getting outdoors to a whole new level!

I was held back from achieving my goals when…

I have been a Goal Digger since way back. But after I left university I got myself into this really interesting and puzzling situation where I was living out my life goal (i.e. building my career as a corporate lawyer under the supervision of some of the top legal minds in NZ) but just not getting any sort of positive kick out of achieving these idealised life goal. The stuff I cared about, like my values and my friends and my creativity, was totally getting left at the wayside.

I was given the opportunity to transfer to London and work at a ‘Golden Circle’ law firm for six months. It was the perfect way to dip my toe into the legal world outside little ol’ NZ without having to fully commit. I think it was that experience which made me realise I would never achieve my values-based goals if I continued hauling myself up the legal ladder.

The point in my life where I realised I wanted to live life my way and break the chains of societal pressure was …

Unfortunately there was no striking epiphany. And no drama either. I would love to say I threw my files into the air and stormed out of the office but the truth is that I had, and still have, a great relationship with my employers.

The turning point came after my six months in London where I took a holiday in Spain and read a fantastic book called The Escape Manifesto. By the time I came back to NZ, I knew something had to change.

I’m a risk taker because…

I turned my back on the legal world in favour of guiding total strangers on the Milford Track. It may be the most beautiful hike in the world but it definitely wasn’t why I studied law for five years!


Currently digging for…

Ironically enough, I’ve come full circle and my top goal revolves around work again. But I am SO much happier about it. I’m digging for a successful pilot of the Future Leaders Programme (my new role with an awesome charity, Inspiring Stories Trust).

The best part of sharing my journey on of Something Else…

Definitely has to be the number of people who have reached out to me, either to share their own journeys or to encourage me to continue pursuing mine. Everyone has a story. I just happen to wave mine in front of the world via a fortnightly blog post.

Top 3 bucket list goals ticked off…

(1) Do something a little ridiculous with my life (bet you didn’t see me as a legal drop-out, Mum!).

(2) Go on a solo hiking mission in the most beautiful country of the world (Aotearoa, obviously).

(3) Become a blogger whose following extends beyond the faithful mum / dad / sister combo.

Top 3 bucket list goals to tick off…

(1) Live outside of NZ, not forever, but definitely at least for a year.

(2) Complete a half-iron man.

(3) Learn Te Reo Maori.

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Life expands and shrinks according to one’s courage.

Currently watching…

I guess Game of Thrones goes without saying. But an awesome doco series I have found super fascinating is the four-part Why Am I series about the Dunedin Longitude Study.

When self-doubt and CBF creeps in…

I get straight onto the phone with one of the gals (that includes my mum). Or I go for a run. Preferably at the same time actually.

While you’re here, lets set some magic and mindful intentions! I will…

Do More … mindfulness.

See More … of Aotearoa’s national parks (just can’t get enough!).

Be More … confident in taking ownership of my wins.

I invest in my mind, body and soul by…

Exercise every day. I know that my mind thrives after some fresh air, and I can’t wipe the grin off my face when I’m hitting a fresh trail. It’s gotta be good for ya!

In 5 years I will…

Be somewhere, doing something. One of the coolest things about where I am today is that I could have never predicted it one year ago. So, five years down the track? No idea. And that’s super exciting.

My top 3 tips for living a kick-ass fulfilling life…

(1) Listen to whatever your gut has to say. So hard to do (especially those with a legal background) but so important!

(2) Make time for your friends and family. If your lifestyle won’t let you do that, it’s a pretty good indication that a change or two is in order.

(3) Spend some time in the mountains. Go on a hike, do a day walk, heck go all out with a guiding season. Your soul will thank you for it.

My typical day from AM to PM..

6am: Wake up and do my morning pages (750 words worth of a brain dump to clarify the mind first thing!).

6.30am: Get to work via some epic run or bike ride.

8.30am-5pm: Work at Inspiring Stories as programme manager of Future Leaders. Anything could happen during this time! Coffee with an awesome community mover/shaker, catching up with my amazing Future Leaders or developing the programme curriculum.

5.30pm: Swings between heading back to the flat to whip up whatever Nadia has popped into My Food Bag and doing something epic like checking out the Banff Film Festival. After working in the corporate world for the first couple years of my post-uni life I am making the most of now being the one in charge of my evenings.

10.30pm: Bedtime. In an ideal world that is.

IMG_6854See More from Anna and of Something Else…

of Something else – Anna’s Blog

Inspiring Stories – The organisation Anna is currently working for as the Programme Manager of Future Leaders

CHIA – Anna interviews inspiring people over here once a month

Anna’s Instagram


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