Pursuing Happiness with Kate Lemere and Katie Henry

The Lunch and Learns during #SweatworkingWeek have been an amazing chance to introduce the community we love to some topics outside of the gym. We wanted to create these lunches because although we know you love to work out, we’ve also heard some amazing and powerful stories through the years that we want to share with you.

Tuesday’s lunch with Kate Lemere and Katie Henry was a chance for us to talk about a topic that we care about so deeply: happiness.


That can sound fluffy, but it’s not. Happiness is your relationship with yourself. Like any relationship, it takes work. Kate – founder of TheFourPercent.com, Barry’s Bootcamp Chicago Founding Trainer and Nike Master Trainer –  chose to pursue her passion and to skim a few things off her plate. Katie – a Danielle LaPorte Desire Mapping facilitator – decided to move a little slower, choose health and to help others enjoy life.

So, we asked these ladies – each of whom made choices to live a happier life – what it took. These were our takeaways:

1. Ask yourself the hard questions.

Both Katie and Kate reminded us that if you’re up against a wall in your life and you’re deciding what matters, you need to start asking yourself the questions that you’re avoiding. Some of those questions could be:

  • “What do I enjoy most about my week?”
  • “Am I doing the things that make me happy?”
  • “Why am I doing the things in my day?”
  • “What am I afraid of?”

Asking questions forces you to try to find answers. Your answers could be, “I’m working my dream job and that’s what I love most,” or “the best hour of my week is reading alone with a cup of coffee Sunday morning before anyone wakes up.” It’s the “why” that really starts to tell you something, though, so keep pressing.

Kate and Katie both asked tough questions of themselves differently. Kate worked with a coach and she was asked to imagine what her 80-year-old self would think of her upon meeting her current self. Katie, as a Desire Mapping facilitator, asks herself how she wants to feel each day and builds her day around that.

2. Put less on your schedule

Both Kate and Katie talked about reprioritizing their schedules so their days are less packed and they’re able to take time to do the things they love.

Being in charge of your own day is a big responsibility. Take a look at your calendar and prioritize your meetings according to your mission for the day and ask yourself, “Does this have to happen now?” and “Am I being realistic with my time?” Start making choices based on that, what makes you happy and what won’t get you fired.

3. For some things, it’s OK to be selective about sharing what you’d like to pursue in the beginning of your journey. 

Both Kate and Katie had moments of clarity at which they realized that not every opinion matters, but some matter a lot. Take inventory of the people in your life to source who will be your support system; it may not be those who will just blindly support you, but those who will join you in asking the tough questions, like, “Can you make enough money to live?” or “Is becoming a VP at your company by age 32 realistic?” Don’t treat those questions as criticism, but as a challenge to find solutions.

And give yourself permission to let go of relationships that don’t serve you or only bring you negative, destructive energy.

Kate talked about the vulnerability of sharing her Big Idea, which is something we can relate to and we know a lot of others can, too. The founder of Spanx, Sarah Blakely, shared a similar thought on the NPR podcast that I bring up in conversation about three times a day too many: How I Built This. On that podcast, she said, “I made a conscious decision not to tell anyone in my life. Now I tell people – don’t tell anyone your idea until you have invested enough of yourself in it that you are not going to turn back. When a person has an idea at that conception moment it is the most vulnerable – one negative comment could knock you off course.”


Upon leaving the Lunch and Learn discussion, I overhead a group discussing how refreshing and how much of a relief it is to hear someone say the words aloud that go through their heads on a daily basis. One thing is certain – pausing to talk about what happiness means on a personal level is one step in the right direction towards actively pursuing it.

Goals Happiness Think & Feel

About Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of asweatlife.com a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison - and fresh out of college she worked on the '08 Obama campaign in Michigan. From there, she created and executed social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience in building community and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana leading the team at aSweatLife, trying to join a book club, and walking her dog Maverick.