Discover Yourself

Unlock the Secret & Make Your Dream a Reality

March 16, 2016
dream secret

unlock the secret

Do you know the secret to making your dream a reality?

The answer: It’s all about TIME!

You CAN make your dream a reality by managing your time

We know that to achieve anything you need to Commit and Plan.  Sometimes we have to make some sacrifices but these sacrifices are worth it when you DO achieve your dream and make it a reality.

In my Dare to Dream series we have met Gigi Whitford who retired to France with her husband.  (If you missed it here is the link) Gigi certainly fired the passion in us all to dream of moving to a new country and I’m ready to pack my bags!  Gigi proved that with planning you could achieve your dreams.

This week, we meet a beautiful lady – mother, author, runner, bloggerMonica Bruno.  Monica is currently trying to fit in writing her second book whilst juggling all the other balls in her life.

In my interview with Monica she reveals how she manages trying to ‘fit it all in’ and still achieve her dream of writing plus why exercise is so important in helping her cope.  Her answer describing a ‘normal day’ in her life made me feel exhausted just reading it!!!  Yet Monica proves that you can achieve what you want it is a matter of prioritizing!

We can all make excuses for not achieving what we want in life – too busy, family pressures, financial pressures or maybe we just don’t ‘want it’ enough.

Fulfilling our dreams takes passion, commitment and sometimes sacrifice.Click To Tweet

So be passionate, make the commitment and sacrifice and make your dream a reality

Let’s meet Monica and learn how we can make time to achieve our dreams.

monica bruno and children

Tell us about where you live and where it is in the USA.

I live in Austin, Texas. Texas is a large state in the southern U.S., it borders Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Austin is the state capital and is located in Central Texas.

What is the best part of living where you do?

I love living in Austin! It’s home to the University of Texas, which keeps the city young and liberal. Austin has gorgeous lakes and tons of trails for running, hiking and biking. This city is a big part of why I became a runner. Austin is also the “live music capital of the world” and host both South by Southwest and the Austin City Limits Music Festival. We love music and have a street named after Willie Nelson and now, David Bowie.

Bluebonnets 2

Your website is mainly about connecting with other runners. What is the one tip you could give someone who wanted to run but lacked motivation?

I used to hate running and never thought I was psychically capable of running a mile without stopping. After I moved to Austin in 2000, I saw runners everywhere. They were of all ages, too.

My neighbor, who was 68 at the time, would run 5 miles every morning. I was so inspired by him, I decided to give it a try. I’m not going to lie, it was hard. It took me many weeks before I could run a mile without stopping or feeling like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. Now I run about 25 miles per week and I’ve been running for over 15 years.

I suggest starting slow with a combination of walking and running, setting a weekly mileage goal (even if it’s just a few miles) and then breaking that weekly goal down into small daily goals. When I first started, my goal was to run 9 miles per week (or 3 miles, 3 times per week). Once you start running, you can gradually build up your mileage and speed.

Also, it’s important to make sure you have proper running shoes (designed for your type of feet) and that you adequately stretch after your run. That’s why yoga is the perfect complement to running.  Click here to read Monica’s Guide to Running Shoes

If you’re a person who loves to use to-do list, like myself, then schedule your run into your daily routine. If you like being motivated by others, get a running buddy, like a coach, friend, co-worker, or even your dog.

Just know, it does get easier and it will change your life!Click To Tweet

You have a family, a website and you are writing your second book. What are some time management tips you could give others who are trying to do it all?

Well, to be honest, I struggle with time management. I’m naturally a night owl, but working all night and sleeping all day won’t do when you have small children.

So I adjust.

I prioritize my to-do list and try to allocate time for what I need to do. Not everything gets done, but there are two things I do nearly every day, without fail. One is run and the other is meditate.

These two activities help me the most when it comes to stress management and staying in the present moment.

Tell us about a normal day in your life?

I wake up at 6:00 a.m., get the kids ready for school, (if I’m really tired, I’ll take a 30 minute nap) make coffee and head upstairs to write and work on my blog. I’ll eat a quick breakfast and around noon, I’ll meditate, and then go for a run. I pick up the kids from school, help them with their homework, take them to their afterschool activities, come home, make dinner, help the kids get ready for bed, and then write or work on my blog for a couple of hours. I’ll do some yoga right before bedtime and try to be in bed by 11:00 p.m.

What coping mechanisms do you use to cope with your daughter’s autism, and having other children to care for?

I have nine year old twins. My daughter is usually easy to manage. But because she can’t verbalize all her needs, she can become very upset and sometimes even combative. When she has challenging behaviors, I try not to react and remain as calm as possible. I take long breaths and sometimes I need to remove myself from the room. I remind myself she wouldn’t behave this way if she could only use her words.

I think this is another reason why I rely on running and meditation to help keep me as calm and non-reactive as possible. My son knows how to read his twin sister and tries to help any way he can.

The hard times can be challenging, but thank goodness they aren’t too frequent.Click To Tweet

Did you always want to write a book?

No. Just like I never thought I could run, I never considered myself a writer. I never took creative writing courses in college and didn’t even enjoy writing. However, even though I was never a writer, I have always been a good story teller. I loved making up stories and telling them to my family and friends when I was little.

Your book is fictional, how did you come up with the storyline?

Rachel's folly cover

I was turning forty and I had a friend who had a pretty scandalous affair with her coworker. I remember her telling me what happened and it sounded like something straight out of a movie. I started thinking about all the things that could have happened, envisioning different directions and outcomes. A story started forming in my head and I just couldn’t shake it.

One day I woke up, turned to my husband and said, “I’m going to write a book.”
And that was that. It took me four years to complete it. But I did it.

What advice could you give to others who would like to follow a dream and write their ‘best-seller’?

Just do it. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t. Don’t let anyone convince you your story isn’t worth being told. There’s never been an easier time to publish a book, so the only thing holding you back from writing your story is you.

How can people get a copy of your book, Rachel’s Folly?

rachel's folly

Rachel’s Folly is available on Amazon, including Amazon Australia (kindle edition):


About Monica

Monica BruniMonica Bruno is an avid runner, dedicated yogi and indie rock music fan. She lives in Austin, TX with her family and two dogs. Rachel’s Folly, a suspense thriller, is her debut novel. She’s currently working on a sequel, entitled Reprisal.

Visit Monica’s website at for updates, insights, upcoming book signings and more.

Follow Monica on Social Media


Are you ready to make time to make your dream a reality?Click To Tweet


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  • Reply Monica Bruno March 16, 2016 at 22:48

    Sue, thank you so much for interviewing me. I hope my story helps anyone who wants to write a novel or start running. I really appreciate you and all you do!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2016 at 05:16

      It was my pleasure Monica! You are an inspiration being able to ‘juggle all the balls’ and I’ve had some really positive comments back about your story. Thank you again for participating and have a great week.

  • Reply Toni Pike March 17, 2016 at 06:41

    You’re such an inspiration Monica – fulfilling all of your dreams and living life to the full, while also dealing with plenty of challenges. It sounds like you’re very well organised, which must be a great help.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2016 at 05:17

      Monica certainly is an inpiration Toni. I thought you would enjoy this post as you are an author. 🙂

    • Reply Monica Bruno March 18, 2016 at 07:29

      Thanks Toni! I appreciate it. I do the best I can, some days are better than others.

  • Reply Leanne@crestingthehill March 17, 2016 at 15:34

    what an amazing and inspirational woman – I love that she admits that running was hard to start with. Runners always make it seem so easy when I’m sure it’s tough for most when they start. To fit in writing books, blogging and twins as well is quite amazing. I feel like I need a little rest after reading this!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2016 at 05:21

      Hi Leanne! Yes, Monica is truly amazing and such a beautiful woman. I don’t know how she fits it all in!

  • Reply Daniela March 18, 2016 at 09:38

    Sue and Monica, I absolutely love learning more about Monica and how she handles everything in her overflowing life. Both of you are such an inspiration to me. I especially enjoyed learning about how you were inspired to write Rachel’s Folly, Monica. It was a great read, and it’s interesting to learn where the idea originated. Keep rocking it, ladies!!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 19, 2016 at 15:38

      I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post Daniela and Monica certainly is an amazing woman that is for sure!

  • Reply Shannon March 18, 2016 at 21:47

    Wow how inspiring! Monica looks full of energy just looking at her. And reading her daily routine I agree- it exhausted me too!

    I, like her, am just starting to enjoy running and really enjoying getting back to working out twice a week. I enjoy the routine aspect of it and feel so good after and I can see myself getting stronger! Reading this actually reminded me of how much I have been doing too and how planning out my life helps me so much as well- I am obsessed with the planning community [ decorating your planner, using it as like a journal] and helps me a lot since I juggle working full time, going to the gym, blogging, and taking a vet tech class and pursuing that dream. This was a great read!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 19, 2016 at 15:41

      I’m a planner from way back Shannon and it makes life so much easier! I’m so pleased Monica’s story inspired you. You seen to be doing well yourself! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

  • Reply Lori March 19, 2016 at 01:09

    What an inspiration both of you are! Time management is something I struggle with too. The book sounds like a juicy read and it’s now on my reading list. Thanks for sharing Monica’s story!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 19, 2016 at 15:43

      I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post Lori and the book is great! Have a lovely day and thanks for your comment.

  • Reply Lisa March 19, 2016 at 07:00

    I loved this post too. Being a mom, and juggling all that there is to do, is such a challenge. And, fitting in self care is hard too. This post reminds me that to do all that we want and need to do, we need to make time for ourselves too. I’ll credit Gretchen Rubin for this quote (even though I’ll mangle it) “to GET from ourselves, we must GIVE to ourselves.” Thanks Sue and to Monica!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 19, 2016 at 15:49

      I love your website name Lisa and you are right it is challenging being a mum plus every other hat you wear. I love the quote it is so true! Thanks for stopping by to comment and have a beautiful weekend.

  • Reply Wendy March 19, 2016 at 09:10

    Loved this post, Sue and Monica! It was great hearing your story, Monica. And yes, I did just head over to Amazon and get the book — can’t wait to get started! 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 19, 2016 at 15:49

      Hi Wendy! Monica is a star and such a beautiful soul. I’m sure you will enjoy the book!

  • Reply Angela March 19, 2016 at 16:25

    Thanks for sharing! I’m ready to check out running shoes.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 22, 2016 at 07:43

      I’m so pleased you enjoyed the interview Angela. I love getting new running shoes!

  • Reply Doreen McGettigan March 19, 2016 at 21:35

    I’m having trouble getting motivated to walk, good for you!
    Congratulations on your first novel (what s story) and good luck with the second!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 22, 2016 at 07:45

      Hi Doreen! You should join my #couchpotatotofabfit community where we inspire and motivate each other to live a healthy lifestyle. Thanks so much for stopping by to comment, Monica is an inspiration!

  • Reply vicki March 19, 2016 at 22:59

    Thanks for this one! I needed to read this article. Monica, you inspired me to keep going- keep trying. And MANAGE my time so that I CAN get my book done.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 22, 2016 at 07:45

      Hi Vicki! I’m so pleased Monica’s interview inspired you. Good luck with the book I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!

  • Reply Life Loving March 20, 2016 at 18:22

    I’ve only heard good things about Austin, Texas. I would love to visit someday. I wouldn’t say I like to run but I now can run. I was quite pleased with myself running 2.5km in under 19 minutes a couple of days ago. Not fast but I did it without stopping or slowing down. Good luck with the book Monica – it sounds fab.

    Sally @ Life Loving

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 22, 2016 at 07:56

      I’ve been to the US three times but haven’t visited Texas it does look lovely though in Monica’s images. Well done you with the running! Don’t worry about speed that will come it is all a matter of building up to it. xx

  • Reply Debbie Rodrigues March 20, 2016 at 18:55

    Lovely interview! Monica is such an inspiring woman, mother and athlete.
    Thank you both ladies for the opportunity to learn more about you.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 22, 2016 at 07:57

      She is inspiring isn’t she Debbie. I am lucky to be surrounded by inspiring women of all ages. xx

  • Reply Janice Wald March 23, 2016 at 12:19

    Hi Sue,
    This woman sounds like she has it all together. I am planning a post soon on productivity. What did you use to make your graphic? I use Canva. Was it Canva or something else? Thanks for bringing your post to Blogger’s Pit Stop,
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 23, 2016 at 14:08

      Hi Janice! Yes, Monica is an inspiration. I use Canva and I believe it was one of the Canva images that I used.

  • Reply Kathleen March 23, 2016 at 15:42

    Woot. Sue you made it into the most clicked on The Blogger’s Pit Stop. A feature coming right up.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 24, 2016 at 06:13

      Oh thank you Kathleen! I have had a really positive response to this post – Monica is fabulous and an inspiration to all working mums. xx

  • Reply Sandy Sandmeyer March 27, 2016 at 10:33

    I think that time management is a huge problem for me. I spend pretty much every evening on the computer after spending my whole work day on one. I know I’m going to have to figure it out eventually. Thanks for sharing your post at the Over the Moon Link Party.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 28, 2016 at 12:24

      Yes it is easy to get tied to the computer isn’t it Sandy. I try to have technology free days but I fail miserably. It is a work in progress. I don’t know how you work full time and blog! What an inspiration.

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