10 Life Lessons for the New Year as Discovered on Maui

podcast Jan 01, 2019

This week, I'm sharing 10 life lessons from my recent family vacation to Maui, and I will share my ideas for how we can translate this to our everyday lives. I would love to experience Maui every day, and I think if we all took this approach, we would feel so much more content with our lives. So whether your favorite place is Maui… or Breckenridge or Nashville or someplace else... as I go through this list, think about what you love about your happy place and how you can take a piece of that place with you every day.

Here's the start of my list of 10 things I learned, or thought about, while I was on Maui:

(To see a video that includes our trip highlights, plus some of the things I mention on the podcast, check out this video my daughter put together.)


  • Feeling calm and being in the moment. When you’re on the islands, it’s like time stands still. No one is in a hurry. How would that feel if we could maintain that sense of calm in our daily lives? What would it feel like to feel like you didn’t have any big things like work, or chores or appointments hanging over your head? I don’t have a lot of ideas for how to translate this feeling to everyway life - because once school starts up again, we have places to be! But I would like more of that feeling that I have when I’m floating face down with the sun warming my back as the ocean waves carry my body over the reef where I am watching fish, searching for creatures and taking in all the colors!
    • Surely, we can each set aside a time each week to do something that is calming, like taking a hot bath, getting a massage or sitting with our morning tea.
    • We can also create habits that help us be more intentional and in the moment. Maybe it’s a routine we develop at dinner time so that we are not watching TV, or reading or using electronics at the table. Or maybe it’s a word that we use to remind ourselves to relax when we start to feel rushed and stressed.
    • Being outdoors and active and enjoying nature. This is one of my favorite things about being in Hawaii… the amazing weather. 80 degrees is ideal weather to me, and it’s always sunny. I’ve never been to Hawaii when it was cloudy for an entire day. And even when it rains, it never rains for long. I am someone who needs sunshine. Cloudy days affect my mood and energy in a big way. And I just love being in the sunshine all day long on Maui. Plus, there are so many things to do. I start each morning with a run by the ocean when I am there, but there are also people who do yoga on the beach or who stand up paddle board yoga bright and early. There is canoeing and kayaking and surfing and hiking. And let’s not forget swimming and snorkeling! One of my favorite things we did on this trip was a hike with Hike Maui. Christina was our guide, and she was fantastic. She told us all about the plants we encountered and encouraged us to taste some of the flowers. But the best part was swimming under waterfalls. My girls and husband all jumped from a waterfall…. I … unfortunately… chickened out, and it is something that I regret.

  • So how do we bring this one home? For me this means finding something active to do each day, and finding a way to get outside each day. For some of us, that might mean expanding our interests or trying new activities. But even in the colder months, it means maximizing the adventure and fun. Maybe it’s indoor rock climbing, or bundling up and walking the dog and exploring all the dog parks in your city. In Kansas City, we have a race called the Groundhog Run that takes place in underground tunnels… that’s something that’s different and fun, and you could look for something similarly unusual in your area.

You can get the remaining 8 life lessons when you listen to the full podcast on iTunes, Google Play or Sound Cloud (Or the player below).

Below I am going to share some of our favorite places and tours in Maui because I always get lots of questions when we come back. I did not talk about any of this in the podcast, but wanted a handy place to share this information for those who have asked...

Places to eat:

 1. Aloha Mixed Plate. I first discovered this restaurant about seven years ago. I was on my morning run and asked a surfer where the best place to eat breakfast was. We fell in love, and we have made a point to go there each trip since. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and can get quite busy. To make sure you get in, go to their website and make a reservation. They are behind the Safeway, about a half block down the road. (If you're staying in the Lahaina area, you'll probably go to Safeway for your groceries.)

2. Down the Hatch. One of my daughters found this one when she was searching Maui dining hashtags on Instagram. Their feed makes all the food look delicious. Although their tagline on the website is "a place to eat fish," we didn't eat any fish. We loved the Brussels sprouts (yes, really!), the shrimp tacos, the fun atmosphere, the quick service and cheerful staff. They are in old Lahaina in the center of the two story mall structure near the big banyan trees (which you also must see!)

3. Flatbread Company. This is my kind of place, with wood-fired pizzas, and organic ingredients from local farms. My family raved about their pizzas and I loved my No Boundaries salad with Hawaiian goat cheeses. Our hiking guide recommended this restaurant to us and we were not disappointed. It's in Pai'ia, which is a surfing town on the road to Hana, and it has almost entirely local (no chains) stores. It's on the road to Hana, so it can get quite busy, but our wait was under 10 minutes. (Website)

Places to go:

1. Hike Maui. We did a hike with Christina from Hike Maui and loved every minute of it. The five hour rainforest hike was about three miles, and we saw waterfalls and lots of native plants. Christina told us all about the vegetation, and we got to taste some of the plants and flowers as we hiked. We had the opportunity to jump from a waterfall, swim at the base of another, and eat a picnic lunch after we swam. The hike was very muddy (but so much fun!), so if you do this, plan on your shoes being covered in mud. You'll want a tennis shoe or a sturdy hiking sandal (no flip flops or flimsy sandals). We loved our guide, so if you want to make sure you get her, be sure to call Hike Maui to make your reservation, and ask for Christina. (And if you want to see some video from our hike and my girls jumping from cliffs, check out my daughter, Sarah's, video here)

2. Trilogy Lana'i trip. This is a full day sailing adventure. It takes about an hour and a half to sail to Lana'i. On the way, the crew will tell you about whale and dolphin behavior. We have done a tour with this company twice, and each time, we have seen whales and dolphins. Once you get to the island, you'll have about three hours to snorkel and tour the island. (They also give you a very tasty popcorn mix and POG juice for snacks) After your fun time on the beach, they take you to a shelter they own where the boat captains have prepared a delicious meal. (We had chicken, noodles and veggies.) When it's time to sail back, they open up the bar and crank the music. We took a 10 am tour on Christmas Eve and had a beautiful sunset on our cruise back to the marina. The staff is friendly and full of fun ocean facts. If Lana'i isn't your thing, they also offer a variety of options, such as the fabulous Molokini area. 

3. Ho'okipa Beach Park. This is a short drive past the Flatbread Company and is on the road to Hana. I'd recommend a quick stop here because this is where we found the turtles sunning on the beach (which you can see in the previously-linked video) and where we watched some surfers tackling some big waves. You need to check this out. For real. When I first looked down at the turtles, I thought they were boulders. Then I saw one move, and realized the whole beach was covered in turtles!

4. The beach in front of the Westin on Ka'anapali Beach. This section of beach had beautiful fish. This is also one of the areas where we swam with turtles. I easily found a turtle each day we were there. We also saw some sort of ray (I didn't get close enough to investigate which type!) and tons of colorful fish. If you don't want to get on a boat, but want some good snorkeling, check out this area. All beaches in Hawaii are public, so don't feel weird about going to the "hotel beach."

What we always wish we had brought/ or we always make a point to pack:

1. Binoculars. We never remember binoculars! You'll see lots of whales spouting and smacking their tails, and unless you're in a boat where they've stopped, you're going to wish you had a better view of the show. We had several times where we could see the whales while we were driving. We'd pull over at a lookout point, and watch, sometimes through the camera lens so we could get a closer view.

2.  Lots of Reef Safe Sunscreen.  It really should be illegal for sunscreen other than reef-safe sunscreen to be sold, especially in areas where people do a lot of ocean swimming. You can read more about why your favorite brands are usually bad for the reef here. Sunscreen is expensive on the island, and the stuff that is good (aka not harmful) for the ocean is priced like gold, which is a shame. Parabens are not reef-safe and unless it says "non-nano" next to the titanium or zinc oxide, the sunscreen is not reef-safe. Really... if we are going to enjoy our beautiful oceans, we need to take care to not destroy the habitats. 

3. A donut. You can buy rafts and floaties on the island, but if you're trying to save money, pack some cheap inflatables that you buy on clearance at the end of summer. A donut or a kick board are ideal for riding the waves in to the beach if you're spending a day playing around or body surfing. 

4. A cooler. Okay so you won't pack a cooler to take with you, but you might want to pick up a styrofoam cooler on your first trip to the grocery store. It's great for taking to the beach, and helpful on that last long day on the island. We usually wind up with an 11 am check out and a 10 pm flight home. We spend that last day doing sight seeing that doesn't involve getting full of sand, so  it's helpful to have cold drinks in the car (especially so you don't get on your flight dehydrated... which is a bad thing if you are prone to migraines.) This time around, the place we stayed provided a nice cooler and beach chairs, so on our last day, we had to give up the perks.  We made our own cooler by putting our ice and beverages in a garbage bag that we placed inside one of the paper bags from a previous shopping trip. (Strange, but it worked great!)

5. Goggles. It never fails. If I don't take goggles for each of my kids, we spend the entire vacation sharing. Your kids will want to open their eyes under water, even when you don't have snorkel equipment, because there is always something incredible to see under water. 

Here's the recording for this week's podcast! Also, be sure to talk to me if you're looking for a coach for your 5K, half marathon or marathon training! I would love to help. 


About your Podcast Host:

Coach Kim explores topics that will help you power up your life so that you can design a life you love. If you are ready to think, feel, train and live like a champion, tune in for expert interviews and real talk that will give you the tools and courage you need to chase your dreams.

Coach Kim Peek is a fitness and real-food enthusiast who is also a theater-mom, dog-mom and breast cancer survivor. Kim has a number of coaching certifications including: ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor, USA Track and Field Level 1 Coach, USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach and Healthy Running. She is certified to teach a variety of fitness formats, and is constantly studying movement, motivation and other wellness topics to unlock success secrets for her audience. Kim is also a Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist and a Functional Aging Specialist.

You can hang out with Coach Kim online at:



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