If asked to rank my favorite Greek yogurt, they would be: Trader Joeâ€™s, Oikos, Fage, and Chobani. TJâ€™s wins on creaminess and value. Just wish it was organic like Oikos!
With 1/2 cup raw oatmeal and a banana:
Achieve the â€œImpossibleâ€
After a week of personal reflection, I wanted to answer one of the most common questions I receive on the blog, a variant of: How did you achieve that book deal / plan the Healthy Living Summit / get into graduate school (I decided not to go) / quit your corporate job / train for a marathonâ€¦ without going crazy?
Iâ€™ll be the first to point out that I certainly do NOT have the Midas touch. Most notably, the Operation Beautiful book was rejected THIRTEEN TIMES by different publishers (and oh â€“ how each rejection stung!).
And perhaps my weakness, which Iâ€™m sure has cost me as much as Iâ€™ve gained, is that Iâ€™m a workaholic who struggles to find balance between work and my personal life (the summer where I was working full-time, blogging, and taking science courses to go to graduate school was the worst 2.5 months of my life). I do manage to reign in my workaholic tendencies to some degree, and the following tips have literally stopped me from going crazy when working hard. Because it is possible to achieve the â€œimpossibleâ€¦â€ without losing your mind in the process. 🙂
- Identify your goals in a quantifiable, concrete manner: I actually have a Word document on my desktop that is titled, â€œLife Goals.â€ In the document are my short-term and long-term personal, career, and health goals. I try not to write vague goals but focus on concrete things like: â€œSave XX for a down payment on a house.â€ I revisit this document a lot because it helps me stay focused.
- Do your research: Once youâ€™ve established your goal, do the research to discover what needs to be done to make this goal a reality. When I wanted to go back Physical Therapy graduate school, I interviewed and shadowed several PTs to figure out what exactly I needed to present on my application to get in. When seeking to fundraise for the Healthy Living Summit, I asked some friends in sales how to go about approaching companies.
- Develop a concrete plan: If youâ€™re struggling to achieve a goal, I would bet that the odds are that you donâ€™t have a concrete plan. Knowing what you â€œkind ofâ€ need to do is not the same as creating a literal timeline outlining each task and itâ€™s due date. It might seem over-the-top but TRUST ME â€“ outline your game plan. If you want to lose 20 pounds and get healthy, write down what you need to do each month to achieve that goal. Identify mini-milestones – â€œLose the first 5 poundsâ€ or â€œFinish the book proposalâ€ â€“ so you can track your progress.
- View roadblocks in a new manner: I used to crumble at the first sign of an obstacle. Getting my book rejected 13 times gave me a thicker skin. Now I realize that I must view roadblocks as 1) an opportunity to reevaluate my plan or 2) a blessing that allows me to pursue another tactic that I might not have considered. More than anything, I think roadblocks allow you to assess your plan and make it better. Your plan for success should be dynamic, not static.
- Listen to naysayers: When youâ€™re trying to do something new, unique, challenging, or risky, there will be naysayers. Close friends will doubt you; your parents might laugh at you. Naysayers have something valuable to teach you â€“ careful consider what they are saying and why. If they arenâ€™t just being personally bitter or jealous, they might be pointing out a weakness in your plan. Negative feedback is like a roadblock â€“ it might seem like a bad thing, but you can use the knowledge to your own benefit. Donâ€™t turn a deaf ear on naysayers!
- You canâ€™t do it all: And last, but not least, you canâ€™t do it all. Achieving a goal means something else has to give. Be aware of what youâ€™re willing to give up (your social life with acquaintances) and what you arenâ€™t (your marriage). Remember that some goals arenâ€™t worth achieving without love, friendship, and inner peace.
Whatâ€™s your dream? Have you achieved it?