Anna Maria Locke


Inspired Life Interview with Kate Hickey of Sunshower Coffee

December 2016, 2016Anna Locke

Hello friends!

I'm breaking my blog hiatus with the first sneak-peek installment in a new video series I'm going to be launching in 2017: The Inspired Life Interview Series!

The more I dive into my self discovery/creative/life coaching journey, I'm learning that I LOVE connecting with ambitious women who are hustling with heart to create an inspired life.

Let's face it: life is hard and scary, and it's important for us to know that we aren't alone by connecting with other people who are in a similar journey or facing similar struggles.

Connection is especially important when we're pursuing something that's really important to us, and MOST important when that thing is something that goes against the grain, because your friends and family might not immediately support or understand you.

My vision for this interview series is to sit down for a casual virtual coffee or wine date with other multi-passionate and creative women who are trailblazing their own path, chasing dreams, and making it happen on their own terms. And you're invited to the conversation!

Wherever you're at on your own journey I hope you'll leave these conversations feeling uplifted, encouraged, and inspired, or at least entertained :)


First up is a fun chat with my friend Kate Hickey of Sunshower Coffee in Holualoa, HI!

It's perfect timing for Kate to share her story because we just had our first snowfall here in Chicago and if you're from the Midwest (and a large city in particular), you've probably experienced one or many of those life crisis moments in the middle of winter. You know what I'm talking about.

When you haven't seen the sun in weeks because you go to work before dawn and come home long after 4:30 sunset, the sidewalks are encrusted with dirty salt and yellow snow, your morning gym routine has been replaced by shoveling out your parking spot (dibs!) and chiseling a new layer of ice and snow off your car everyday, you can't get warm because the drafty windows in your 19th century walk-up don't fit the frames, small talk with strangers/friends/co-workers is dominated by the topic of the weather and you start to wonder "WHY DO I EVEN LIVE HERE!!??"

Have you ever let your imagination wander to would happen if you actually listened to your heart and broke the seasonal depression cycle to relocate somewhere sunnier? Or quit your draining desk job with long hours to be your own boss and create a passion-driven career on your own terms?

That's literally what Kate and her husband Doug did three years ago, and she's here to tell the tale!

In 2013 Kate and Doug decided to leave their successful yet draining law and finance careers and move to Holualoa, HI without a master plan.

They fell in love with a farm in the heart of the Kona Coffee Belt and decided to start a coffee farm because that is what one does in the Kona Coffee Belt. I recently met with Kate over Skype to chat about how her life has changed, where things are with the farm these days, and what prompted her to make such a drastic life change.

This interview is for anyone who:

+ Is feeling a little stuck or in a life rut and wants to hear an inspiring in-progress success story of someone who was brave enough to take a chance and pivot from a stereotypically successful and "secure" career (law/finance) to a start-up entrepreneurial venture.

+ Loves coffee!

+ Is a conscious consumer passionate about social justice, supporting small business, the slow food movement, and buying local.

+ Anyone who wants to know what it's REALLY like to start a Kona coffee farm (hint: it's not all sunshine and rainbows! Just 80% of the year…)



3:17 Kate shares how she went from a Philosophy/Political Science/Public Administration triple major to law school to practicing lawyer to coffee farmer

8:52 Why choosing to stay where you are is just as risky as choosing to make a big change

10:00 Be careful of the "fallacy of sunk cost" -- just because you might have spent time and money earning a degree doesn't mean you have to directly use it. Focus on the skills you're gaining, because they'll be applicable to any path you choose.

15:00 The realities you need to face before starting an organic farm (or any small business)

18:30 The biggest lessons Kate has learned on her entrepreneurial journey

21:00 "The Tractor Metaphor": start small wherever you're at and grow as you go. Earn your business investments!

25:45 Why a "weighted" pro/con list is important when you're thinking about moving or making a life or career pivot

29:00 How to shift your perspective to be happier if you hate your job (without quitting and moving to an island!)

34:00 The process of starting a coffee farm and growing coffee trees.

39:00 What makes Kona coffee special and better, and the social justice impact of supporting the Hawaiian coffee industry (especially small family farms). Hint: the price is worth it!

43:00 Why supporting small family farms is the most socially and culturally conscious choice when buying coffee.

44:00 The difference between Fair Trade coffee and small local farms. Know your supply chain!

45:45 How you can order Sunshower Coffee and follow Kate online!


"If there's something in your life that's consistently bringing you down, cut it out!"

"Nothing's perfect. You need to be ready to face your failures because you will fail sometimes. Embrace that as a learning experience."

"When you buy coffee from a Kona or Hawaiian farm, you know you're supporting fair labor practices."

Use coupon code "annamarialocke" to get 15% OFF or "ship100" for free shipping for orders over $100! Good until Jan 1, 2017.


Enter to win a free tasting gift pack with all 5 flavors (pictured).

Giveaway closes Friday 12/9. The winner will be contacted via e-mail by Anna or Kate no later than Saturday 12/10.

If you or someone you know might be a good fit for future Inspired Life Interviews, click here to reach out and send me a message! I love connecting with like-minded female entrepreneurs, coaches, creatives, and big dreamers :)

September Update

September 2016, 2016Anna Locke

Oh heyyyy bloggyblog friend!

Long time no update, so let me catch you up on what's been going on behind the scenes, because September was a crazy beautiful month over here in my little corner of the world.

I always love the energy of autumn.

At the beginning of the month, I journaled out what success would feel like and look like in my life in September. I believe one hundred percent in the power of intention setting, and loved doing this exercise because almost everything I wrote down came true!

I wrote that SUCCESS this month would feel...

  • calm
  • confident
  • content and fulfilled
  • proud for digging in and doing the work
  • excited about everything I'm manifesting
  • lean and strong in my body

And I'm proud to say that yes, based on my intentions I feel super successful! #winningatseptember 

September was a month of deep inner shifts for me, and integrating all the growth and learning I've done this year through my life coaching course.

It's officially been two years since I quit my job to work for myself, and I can finally say that after two years of breakdowns/breakthroughs/ego trips/epic highs and lows, I'm finding my groove! Hallefreakinluiah.

I think this is the first full month I've ever had with ZERO anxiety, which is probably due to a combination of lots of things, but to me it feels like at 29 years old I'm finally growing into myself. And I like who I'm becoming. And yoga.

I'm finding a sweet spot between working hard and trusting the flow of my intuition.

Obsessed with Jess Lively's podcast episodes lately

I'm taking a TON of pressure off myself and releasing my attachment to goals that stress me out or trigger my perfectionism.

Lots and lots of inner and outer shifts and leaps!

I'm transitioning into this new, bigger, brighter version of myself. I've accomplished so many "bucket list" dreams over the past few years (quit job, become a full time coach/entrepreneur, hit a business milestone, become a life coach) and to be honest it feels like I'm being mentally and emotionally stretched to my limits every single day as I expand into my new reality. Nothing major has changed on the outside, but everything has changed on the inside.

Change maybe isn't the right word, because I'm still the same person I've always been. Maybe evolved is more appropriate.

I'm not the insecure, shy, fear-driven, seeking and striving girl anymore. I spent years of my life wishing I was this confident, self assured, successful, powerful woman, and now I'm actually recognizing those qualities in myself it's kind of scary! In a good way.

And the best part is that it's my job to help guide other women along their own paths now!

The personal development book I read this month was Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain, and it was perfect for the season of life I'm in right now.

It's all about how to create a vision for your life, and then how to shift your mindset so you align yourself emotionally and energetically with all the GOOD stuff you say you want.

Some of my takeaways from the book:

Emotional resistance is our natural fear of change and growth.

If something feels like you're forcing, pushing, or straining, DON'T DO IT.
If it feels helpful, releasing, opening, strengthening, or inspiring, DO IT.

Simple, right? But it's so easy to ignore our intuition and the cues our body sends us.

I've been practicing letting go of the stuff that stresses me out, and proactively practicing having a more grateful, abundant mindset.

September was a kaleidoscope of work, play, planning, and travel.

I spent a week in North Carolina visiting my friend and business partner Hannah in Raleigh, then we drove to the coast to meet our fellow teammate Amanda for our first ever leadership retreat.

We spent a long weekend on the beach masterminding, creating visions and plans for our businesses and team, drinking tons of rose, watching sunsets, and laughing. It's crazy to think I met both of these girls on Instagram, and now we're best friends and business partners!

I spend most of my time working behind a computer screen, and creating opportunities to connect with my coaches in person is so important to me.

It was a full circle, dream-come-true trip. I've had this vision in my mind for so long of creating a community and sisterhood of strong, empowered women who want to become leaders and leave an impact in the world, and it's happening! So surreal. Hard work pays off. If you have a dream, keep your nose to the grindstone and don't. give. up. Everything will take 100x longer than you think it "should," but it will all come together eventually!

After a quick one day pitstop back home, I hit the road again to fly to Dallas for the annual business conference hosted by the bigger team we're part, The Platinum Edge, with two of my other coaches, Bri and Katie!

We spent the weekend at the beautiful Gaylord Texan resort (aka the Texas Bubble) learning how to brand and market ourselves, drinking margaritas, eating tons of food, and of course working out!

This was my third time attending this event, and it felt more like a fun and relaxing family reunion than a work trip. It was fun to notice how much I've grown on the inside and out in the last two years since my first time there just two years ago. I still hold the same core values and beliefs, but I feel so much more calm and confident, ha!

Oh yeah, and because September marks the official beginning of SCARF SEASON, I also found time to re-launch the Etsy shop!!!!! I can't wait to get back to my creative outlet, and have mountains of flannel to sew up for the season. Stay tuned...

This faux fur cowl is my new obsession.

Apparently "level up" was officially my theme of the month.

You might have noticed some new pretty pictures around the blog... that's because I stepped way out of my comfort zone and booked the talented Ashley Biess of Artistrie Co. for my first official lifestyle and branding photo shoot!

Having professional photos done has been a huge checkbox for me this year. I want to stop pretending that my businesses are my hobbies and start taking myself more seriously as a coach and entrepreneur.

And nothing says CONFIDENCE BOOST like new pretty photos! Seriously... go have a photoshoot date with your girlfriends this week. Go search out a blank wall or mural in your city, find each other's best angles, laugh, be silly, have fun, and show each other how gorgeous you really are.

And finally, this guy. I'm so grateful to have a Ben in my life to keep me grounded and remind me where home is. We're celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary next weekend!

What's up next?

I AM SO EXCITED FOR OCTOBER! First of all, no more trips, which makes my inner homebody very happy. I'm planning to buckle down and get to work!

Most of what I'm working on right now is branching out and separating my Beachbody (health and fitness) coaching from my new life coaching brand. Yup, it's happening!

I'll be launching a brand new website and blog to share the health, fitness, and business mentoring side of my world, and continue to use this website to share my personal updates, Etsy adventures, and NEW life coaching services! Yes, I'll be taking on a limited number of 1:1 clients and I can't wait.

Time to set October intentions!

This weekend I'll be journaling out my answers to the following, and if it feels good, you can too! 

1. SUCCESS this month would feel like....

2. A SUCCESSFUL LIFE this month would look like...

Time flies and life moves fast, but we're in control and get to choose our path and how we respond to the crazy.

Take off some of the pressure you're putting on yourself. Do more of the things that make you feel happy and most like yourself, and let everything else fall into place.

Get clear on your vision for your life, what you want, and where you want to go, and start making small shifts in that direction every single day.

You deserve to feel unapologetically happy and confident in your own skin, and the gap between where you are and where you want to be is closing a little more each day. Have patience and trust the journey, gorgeous girl!

xo Anna

How to stay on track while traveling (or when life gets in the way)

September 2016, 2016Anna Locke

Last weekend I took the Amtrak from Chicago to my hometown in central Illinois to celebrate my best friend’s baby shower. It was the first time I’ve taken the train home, and it was a lot of fun!

It was also the first trip home I’ve had with zero food shame, guilt, internal pressure, or struggle to reconcile my love of all things healthy with my love of celebrating life with food, a MAJOR WIN for me!

“Anna, what are your tips for staying on track while traveling?”

I get asked this question by my health and fitness coaching clients all the time.

And to be honest, up until this summer, every trip home/vacation/work trip/wedding/holiday was a huge mental battle for me. I’d tell myself that I was going to make good decisions, avoid emotional eating, avoid the cake/wine/etc, and then inevitably I’d get caught in the moment, over-indulge, and then feel extremely guilty and beat myself up for letting myself down.

Now I'm proud to say I feel completely free around food and my body!

What changed for me this summer?

Not much in terms of what I do, but everything in terms of how I think and feel about myself.

I’ve learned how to be more self-compassionate, and how to make mindset shifts that allow me to make positive decision for my body without feeling deprived. I’ve been able to integrate “Anna the health and fitness girl” into...simply Anna, and it’s effortless for me to make positive decisions that honor the person I want to be.

And it’s my mission to help as many other women as possible make these mindset shifts too! We waste so much emotional energy worrying and stressing about what we eat and how our bodies look. Let’s take away the inner struggle so we can use our energy to do bigger things for the world, ok?

Here’s the thing: LIFE is always going to get in the way of our goals and dreams like a hole in a bouncy castle, deflating our initial excitement and distracting us from what really matters.

There will always be a trip, vacation, work deadline, holiday, birthday, move, death, new job, illness, personal drama, relationship drama, family get the point.

And for some reason, it’s incredibly hard for us to stay connected and committed to our goals when we’re thrown out of our usual routine.

So how do we hold ourselves accountable?

We can do all the obvious practical things like bring healthy snacks, pack our Shakeology and travel blender, pack workout clothes, vow to ourselves that we won’t overdrink, will say no to dessert, and will order ONLY SALADS when we go out, and we’re always looking for easy solutions and quick fixes to our struggles.

But as my mom always told me, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” which means the key to staying committed to your goals is to make sure you’re turning your intentions into ACTIONS that are second nature, aka habits.

Habits are automatic, no matter what life throws our way, and they don’t actually stem from what we do, but rather from who we ARE and what we believe about ourselves.

So my tips for staying on track with your health and fitness goals aren’t the usual practical advice nuggets, but rather the mindset shifts I’ve made to implement lasting, long term, sustainable changes in my life!

How to stay on track while traveling (or when life gets in the way)

1. Get clear on the person you want to be

Why do you want to make positive changes in the first place?

We can’t take action without a destination, and if you’re trying to motivate yourself to be healthy because you want to lose’re going to quit. The process of losing weight isn’t inspiring!! It takes soooooo long, and you're going to get discouraged if you can't inspire yourself in a deeper way.

Evolving into your most vibrant, confident, empowered, radiant, best version of yourself-- now THAT is pretty dang inspiring.

So take some quiet time to journal and brainstorm who you really want to be!

  • As your best self, what would you wear?
  • How would you feel when you wake up?
  • What kinds of things would you say to yourself?
  • What would you do?
  • How would you nourish and move your body?

Create the profile of your Best Self, and then make daily decisions based on what she would do.

For example, the Anna I want to be eats food to nourish and fuel her body, but also loves celebrating life and the people she loves with food traditions and wine.

2. Make HEALTHY your lifestyle, not a wagon from which you can fall on and off

We always use language like “staying on track/falling off track” when it comes to habits. I think this is dangerous because we’re essentially telling ourselves that healthy living is an all-or-nothing thing, and that we can succeed or fail at it.

This mindset comes from the diet culture we’ve grown up in, and the belief that we have to restrict or deprive ourselves to lose weight, and can be “on” or “off” a diet.

The wagon is your LIFE.

You can’t fail.

You can’t fall off.

You can’t cheat on a diet. Cheating means that you’re doing something bad or unethical. Eating a cookie isn’t bad unless you make it bad...and that would be sad.

So let’s stop beating ourselves up for no reason, ok?

(Read: how to overcome food guilt)

You get to make your own food rules, based on what FEELS BEST for YOUR body. 

3. Give up the all or nothing mindset

The all or nothing mindset is the number one thing that holds the women I work with back, but here are some truthbombs I want you to really think about.

You don’t have to work out 6 days a week and eat perfectly in order to feel better or lose weight. One pizza won’t make you fat, just like one salad won’t make you thin.

When you eat the donuts at breakfast, are you tempted to throw in the towel and eat crap for the rest of the day? Remember that every single minute is a chance to press the RESET button. Forgive yourself if you do something you aren’t proud of instead of wallowing in guilt and self-pity, pick yourself back up, and learn from the moment so you can make a positive decision next.

There’s this Pinterest quote I love that goes something like “If you get a flat tire, would you slash the other three? Of course not! So don’t give up on your entire day if you make one bad decision.”

It’s about letting go of your need for control, and opening yourself up to creative solutions in imperfect situations.

You might not be able to workout for an hour and eat perfectly portioned and timed meals every single day, but there’s no need to be perfect to see and feel changes in your body and energy.


4. Cut the drama

Stop making a big deal out of everything! That just puts more pressure on yourself, and we’re naturally rebellious when it comes to irrational rules and strict boundaries. If you go into a trip telling yourself “you aren’t going to eat the cake,” guess what you won’t be able to stop thinking and obsessing about? Eating the damn cake. And then you put yourself through mental torture: obsessing about eating the cake, and then guilt and regret when you finally cave.

Give yourself wiggle room and approach the trip with curiosity, not strict rules.

Ask yourself “I wonder if I can go on this trip without eating the cake like I did last time?” and be calm and neutral around the decision.

5. Trust your decision making abilities

Deep down, we’re all still like little kids. When you set hard and fast stupid rules like “I am not a good person unless I workout for an hour” or “I have to be perfect with my nutrition” you’re going to want to break them, just like a kid when you tell them they have to do something or they can’t have something.

When you respect and trust yourself enough to make the right decision in the moment, you’ll feel empowered and will have the mental clarity to actually make the right decision instead of freaking out, losing control, and sabotaging.

Stop setting hard rules and boundaries for yourself. You’re an adult! You know deep down what’s best.

When you’re faced with the decision to sleep in or get up early to workout, practice asking yourself “how will this make me feel? Why does this matter to me?” and you’ll remember why you want to get up in the first place.

When the decision is whether or not to eat the junk food appetizers, ask yourself “will this food really make me feel my best, or can I pass for now?”

Explore and experiment until you figure out what kinds of food make you feel your best, and then decide to eat more of those and empower yourself to pass on the stuff that will make you feel like crap.

If everyone else is eating crap and judging you for saying “no thanks, I’m not in the mood right now,” remember that you aren’t doing this for them. They don’t have to understand, and they’ll get over it faster if you don’t make a big deal out of things.

7. Get your workout done first thing in the morning, no matter what!

This is the one practical piece of advice that I’ll give you, and it’s my golden rule while I’m traveling or thrown out of my routine!

While traveling, I recommend walking or running outside, because you get to explore your surroundings and get some quiet time in nature, which will help you deal with the busy day to come.

When you start your day with a positive decision, it’s a million times easier to continue to make positive decisions. And flooding your body and mind with endorphins, fresh air (if you can get outside) will make you more confident and empowered for the rest of the day.

Plus let’s be real - when you’re traveling for work, family, or pleasure, working out later in the day isn’t going to be an option. Get it done, girl! Action before emotion. Get your body moving before your brain can convince you all the reasons why it would be better to slack off and stay in bed. You will never regret a workout.

Speaking of which, I’m off to do my Pilates.

I hope these tips have helped you. If you also struggle with staying on track while traveling or have any tips to share, I’d love to hear from you!

xo Anna

p.s. Accountability is the glue that holds everything together. If you want some support and guidance in making your own lifestyle shifts, you can learn more about my health and fitness coaching here!