Woolf Works’ Member Spotlight: Aimee Barnes

Aimee Barnes

Aimee is a Lite-Time member of Woolf Works. She is a big inspiration to us through both the awesome content she creates for Tangram Fitness and through the Woolf Works’ events she has had a hand – sharing her journey in a moving speech at a Woolf Works Wednesday social night and the sell-out Vision Board workshops she hosts in the space.

The next inspiring and powerful Vision board workshop  for 2015 is on Saturday 24th January in the afternoon – more details and tickets available here. Don’t miss out!

What’s your business?
I’m an Integrative Health Coach and Personal Trainer, focusing on behavior modification and habit change. I began making a career shift to this field three years ago; previously I worked as a writer and researcher in development and public health.

What ignited the spark in you to start on this venture?
I went through a transformation in 2009, regaining control of my physical and mental health by applying habit change and recovery techniques to my own life, and by adopting a consistent fitness program. This led me to eventually become an athlete and through the journey, I became very interested in how exercise and other wellness tools could be used as therapies for healing from physical illness, depression, addiction and other major life changes. Movement has incredible power. The less we move, the more we seem to suffer.

Describe your typical working day
I’m usually up by 5am and out of the house by 6am to begin my first training session. I try to start the day with meditation and prayer. I conduct personal training from 6am-1pm Monday through Saturday, traveling between East Coast and Botanic Gardens. Then, I squeeze in my time at the gym; I’m a competitive physique athlete, so I spend around 6 hours a week lifting weights- more during on-season. In the afternoons and evenings I conduct health coaching – I have clients in Singapore and the US, and most of the sessions are held over Skype. I work on emails, blog posts and articles whenever I can fit it in. Right now I’m also developing a program and book and working on my certification as an addiction recovery coach, so that’s where Woolf Works comes in.

What would be the three top skills needed to be successful in your field?
1. Empathy
2. Motivational skills to inspire positive change
3. Strong communication skills

What motivates you?
My clients motivate me, as I have the opportunity to witness their own transformations, which in a sense keeps me on track as well! I’ve learned to become very self-motivated, but it certainly wasn’t always that way. I never want to slide back to where I was- mired in depression, reliant on pills and booze, without hope. That is hell on earth. So, I know what I have to do to stay healthy, and I do it.

How do you maintain a healthy life-work balance?
Ha! I’m not sure if I do these days, but I love my work. As I mentioned, I carve out time for meditation and prayer, which helps me stay balanced overall, and I’m not tied to my email inbox or phone- it’s not too hard for me to set them aside. I take a fair number of vacations with my husband- we love exploring new countries- and that makes up for the long hours.

Where did you work most often before you discovered coworking?
I’m often working outside or in a gym, but for computer-related work and writing, I used to spend a lot of time at my kitchen table.

What do you love about being a member at Woolf Works and how has it helped you in your business?
I’ve noticed that I tend to get a lot more done when I’m sitting at Woolf Works as compared to when I’m at my kitchen table. There are few distractions and yet, if I need a break, good conversation and coffee are always available. I love the events held at Woolf Works, from seminars for entrepreneurs and creatives, to Woolf Works Wednesdays. Being a member at Woolf Works also facilitates the development of meaningful professional relationships, and I’ve had the good fortune of leading a few events at the space as well, including my Vision Board workshops.

How can people connect with you?

Aimee_TANGRAM FITNESSEmail: aimee@tangramfitness.com

Website: http://tangramfitness.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tangramfitness

LinkedIn: sg.linkedin.com/in/aimeebarnes


Woolf Works is a women-only work space located in a renovated shophouse on Joo Chiat Rd. Our community includes writers, entrepreneurs, photographers and consultants. Come for a visit and see for yourself! To find out more about membership at our space please click here. You can also check our website and get in touch at info@woolfworks.sg.


Sticking with those New Year Resolutions

The presents have been unwrapped, a few kilos have been gained through holiday food, the sports shoes are gathering dust in the cupboard and the new year is starting to loom ahead.

This is a great time of year to reflect, regroup and strategize. And we all have the best of intentions, but how do we stick them out, beyond February 1st?

Keep it Realistic, Attainable and Actionable

When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, it always helps to keep things realistic and attainable. Think about it:

  • Is it easier to target losing ten kilos next year or to aim for logging in around a minimum of two and a half hours’ worth of exercise every week for the first few months and then increase from there?
  • Will it be easier for you to “get rich” by the end of next year or “deposit at least 15% of my salary every payday”?

The smaller and more actionable the goal, the more likely you will keep it and be motivated to see it through. This article  on setting more realistic New Year’s resolutions will explain it further.

Keep Inspiration Close

Weeks (or even mere days) into your New Year’s resolution, you may feel a bit of slump or boredom. This may be for lack of progress or you simply find it dull to keep up with what you started. When this feeling starts to creep in, it is very important to turn to inspiration to keep your drive up. Inspiration can be sourced anywhere. Think motivational posters, vision boards, keeping a role model in mind, or seeing your personal progress in the form of a blog or a photo journal (best for fitspiration!). Inspiration helps you see how far you’ve come, especially when you feel like you’ve reached an impasse in your journey. These motivational quotes are good to read, memorize by heart, print out and stick to anywhere and everywhere just to keep you going.

Use Tools and Trackers

Keeping tabs on your progress in your mind may not be the best thing to do, especially if you are a very visual person. There are many tools to help with day to day jobs: filling out a grocery list, monitoring heart rates, staying updated on the whereabouts of the kids… and keeping your New Year’s resolutions. Don’t give yourself a hard time when it comes to keeping resolutions; everyone knows staying with it is already hard enough! These apps may come in handy for a variety of resolutions and keep progress tracking right within the palm of your hands.

You are Your Competition

And finally, always keep in mind that in keeping a New Year’s resolution it is never a “me against them” mentality. Each person is on her own journey. The only competition you have going on is beating YOUR last best time/loss/gain/development – and that’s it. Everyone else is a mere spectator and cheerleader in your quest towards self-improvement. These ten tips can help give you the drive to be better than you were yesterday and help you forge on ahead with your plans.

Still in want of tools, inspiration, focus and motivation? A vision board workshop may be just what you need.

vision board

Woolf Works, together with Tangram Fitness’ Integrative Health Coach and personal trainer Aimee Barnes, is hosting a fun and inspiring workshop entitled “Creating Your Vision for 2015”. It aims to help you “develop a more positive frame of mind, map out your desired future and set you into forward motion” no matter what resolution or goal you intend to keep in the coming year. This 4-hour workshop will be held at Woolf Works on January 24, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. Slots are limited and are going fast so it’s best to reserve yours today here!

Set Yourself Up for a Rocking 2015

At the beginning of 2014 I was at a point of real indecision in my life. My second child had crossed six months old and I had been a stay at home mum for over five years. I was feeling ready to launch myself into something exciting and involving but wasn’t sure if I had the courage. I was also quite unfit and generally felt exhausted by the end of a day with my kids so couldn’t imagine being able to work as well. I also felt aimless, adrift, with lots of ideas but no concrete plan.

When I lived in Mumbai I learnt a fantastic word that it used to describe ripping up the tar seal roads and laying concrete ones. Its is called concretisation. I love this – and it feels like just the right word to describe what I needed and what I actually ended up doing with my goals.

I sat down. I wrote them out. I thought about which path spoke to my true heart. I thought about what I would regret in ten years, what could be shelved for a while and what couldn’t wait.

I concretised my goals.

I decided that getting fit was a great first step. I’d never been a runner (and I really mean never!) but I decided that my 2014 goal would be to run 10km and to lose 10kg. I knew that feeling good about myself would help all other aspects of my life.

I had met my fantastic personal trainer Aimee Barnes in December 2013 and it didn’t take much time working with her and really watching my nutrition before I started to feel more positive about myself and have more energy to get out in the world and do something. The concept of Woolf Works had been there in my mind (and in dusty excel sheets) for a while but by February I made a commitment to throw myself into it fulltime 9-5pm.

In July 2014 Woolf Works was opened and today we have a growing, thriving community.

My success this year is due to a lot of factors – things that I had to work at, things and people that came to me through being open and looking for opportunity but mostly from

  1. Being physically fit.
  2. Having concrete goals and a clear vision of where I wanted this year to go.

In essence – its about creating a map and making sure the vehicle was strong enough to get me there!

So, now we are heading into 2015. I have a lot of great plans and ideas for Woolf Works, for myself and for my family.

In order to get some more ‘concretisation’ on these plans, I’m going to be joining Aimee on a fantastic workshop she is offering at Woolf Works in a few weeks:


Creating Your Vision for 2015


This three hour workshop will help you concretize your goals and create a vision board – a collage of images and words that represent your aspirations. Aimee will guide you through and inspire you with her transformational journey.

The workshop will take place on Saturday, 6th December from 10am – 1pm. Tickets are available at the link above and places are limited.

See you there!