Achieve the Impossible

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If asked to rank my favorite Greek yogurt, they would be:  Trader Joe’s, Oikos, Fage, and Chobani.  TJ’s wins on creaminess and value.  Just wish it was organic like Oikos!


With 1/2 cup raw oatmeal and a banana:



Achieve the “Impossible”


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 marathon… without going crazy?


I’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 – how each rejection stung!). 


And perhaps my weakness, which I’m sure has cost me as much as I’ve gained, is that I’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 “impossible…” 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, “Life Goals.”  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: “Save XX for a down payment on a house.”  I revisit this document a lot because it helps me stay focused.


  • Do your research:  Once you’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 you’re struggling to achieve a goal, I would bet that the odds are that you don’t have a concrete plan.  Knowing what you “kind of” need to do is not the same as creating a literal timeline outlining each task and it’s due date.  It might seem over-the-top but TRUST ME – 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 – “Lose the first 5 pounds” or “Finish the book proposal” – 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 you’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 – careful consider what they are saying and why.  If they aren’t just being personally bitter or jealous, they might be pointing out a weakness in your plan.  Negative feedback is like a roadblock – it might seem like a bad thing, but you can use the knowledge to your own benefit.  Don’t turn a deaf ear on naysayers!


  • You can’t do it all:  And last, but not least, you can’t do it all.  Achieving a goal means something else has to give.  Be aware of what you’re willing to give up (your social life with acquaintances) and what you aren’t (your marriage).  Remember that some goals aren’t worth achieving without love, friendship, and inner peace.


What’s your dream?  Have you achieved it?



  • Emily @ The Front Burner Blog August 27, 2010, 8:40 am

    Awww loved this. You are such a great inspiration to so many people. 🙂

  • Sue August 27, 2010, 8:42 am

    My dream is to be successful all on my own terms. I’m only in the beginning since I quit my ‘corporate’ job and pursing my goal of being a pro blogger/writer. This post definitely made me think about putting my goals in one place rather than on a bunch of pieces of paper. I’ve already encountered failure, but it’s a learning experience, so I look at it like that. Hopefully I’ll get there one day!

  • Katy(The Balanced Foodie) August 27, 2010, 8:42 am

    I needed to read this today! I need to write down my goals and focus on them more. I think that’s where I’m lacking. You know my number one goal right now! 🙂 This was great, thanks for the advice. I’m encouraged!

  • Callie August 27, 2010, 8:44 am

    Great advice as always, Caitlin!

  • Brittany @eatingbirdfood August 27, 2010, 8:49 am

    I’ve achieved plenty of goals in my life, but there are definitely still some lingering out there I have yet to achieve. Thanks for sharing your experience – these are really great tips to keep in mind!

  • Sean @ Learn Fitness August 27, 2010, 8:51 am

    I think the goal setting is so huge. Without it what are we really trying to achieve? It forces one to think through and really try to figure out if something is doable. It also is very empowering to see those goals and check them off, at least it is for me.

    Great post, especially for a Friday morning.

  • Brittany @eatingbirdfood August 27, 2010, 8:51 am

    PS I love that your TJ’s yogurt is just hanging out in a tree. 🙂

  • Julia @ Brit Bride August 27, 2010, 8:51 am

    Great advice. My goals at the moment are to build a great new blog after my wedding(which I am working on privately now, and write a fiction novel (which I am also working on). All juggled with a full time job, exercising, running a home and planning a wedding.
    Whats got to give? My midweek social life and drinking alcohol – any! – (as I cannot function with a bad head!).


  • Kaitlin W. August 27, 2010, 8:53 am

    Fantastic post, and very well timed. I always feel like the end of summer–when things usually calm down a bit–is a great time to re-evaluate goals and “get it together.”

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 27, 2010, 8:57 am

    I don’t know what my dream is. I love reading about others who have achieved their goals, or at least know what their goals are — I’m still in the “figuring out” stage.

    I love your advice, especially the “make a plan and expect roadblocks” — everything will not go your way and you need to be prepared for that!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! August 27, 2010, 9:03 am

    Great Tips, as always! =)

    My greatest achievement thus far in my life (besides my daughter) is losing 100+ pounds, which took me 5 plus years and tons of ups & downs along the way but I finally did it!

    My new “goals” are to improve my running by running farther and faster! Also, I am trying to achieve a promo at work that I am currently working hard (lots of extra work and time) to do…..which is tiring but very rewarding at the same time.

  • Jenny August 27, 2010, 9:04 am

    My current dream is to complete my first half marathon in September. Unfortunately, I was just diagnosed with pneumonia and haven’t been able to run all week. When the doctor said this could last 2-3 weeks if I don’t rest, I used it as an opportunity to reevaluate my goals and rest my body a bit. My shin has hurt, I’ve been hard on myself about my slow pace. But, I can’t change the pneumonia, maybe it is a blessing in disguise. I have to rest, ther is no way around this if I want to get better. In the past, something like this would have crushed me, but not today. I’ve accepted that this first half may have to include some walking and I’ll have to listen to my body more. There are more halves in the future.

  • Holly August 27, 2010, 9:05 am

    I LOVE the Trader Joe’s honey yogurt. Its much easier to eat on the go then the kind with the honey on the side. AND very cost effective! You should try the pomegrante. It is super yummy too!

  • Rachel August 27, 2010, 9:11 am

    Great post!!

    I love that you started out the post with a ranking of the greek yogurts. I MUST try Trader Joes yogurt, when I’m in an area with a TJ! Love honey in my yogurt!

  • Heather August 27, 2010, 9:12 am

    that is great advice. sometimes I have to step back and say “in the grand scheme of things, does this really matter?”

  • Trish @IamSucceeding August 27, 2010, 9:15 am

    GREAT post and where I am right now.

  • Emmanuelle August 27, 2010, 9:16 am

    Great post Caitlin!
    I’m still figuring out what my goals are. I have some goals I’ve started to work on: my yoga teacher training is starting next month, also I’ve started running with the C25K app and training for a 5K in December then who knows?
    More long-term goals would imply leaving the corporate world, work with charities or why not set up my own, which would definitely include yoga somehow, train to be a life coach (attending a workshop on that soon), travel more… It’s all over the place at the moment, and I’m trying to figure out how to tie everything together so it makes sense. Having a more precise plan should help me find out where to start, I hope I work it out soon because I’m going crazy at my full-time job! 😀

  • ashleigh August 27, 2010, 9:16 am

    This is another amazingly insprining posts! Love it! I have a life goals document on my computer too.. however I am not close to reaching any of them. I need to start to develop more concrete goals instead of just wishing!

  • Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) August 27, 2010, 9:17 am

    What a great post – I tend to have tendencies like that too at times and get overwhelmed, what great advice!

  • Liza @ Health Nutting August 27, 2010, 9:20 am

    This is a wonderful post– so accessible and honest, thanks for posting it!
    I’m halfway through my undergraduate career and I’m not quite sure what I want to do after, but I’ve been dreaming a little bit about some body working at or starting some kind of wellness center incorporating nutrition, yoga, maybe psychology… basically lots of things I love… who knows?! My dreams might totally change, which is a cool thing to. But that’s what I’m thinkin’ about now!

  • Cara August 27, 2010, 9:20 am

    I love your comment on listening to the naysayers. I am considering a career change and I think I need to focus on some of those, but not all.

    You are a great inspiration and I love your honesty and your advice. Keep at it!

  • Jess @ Jessica is Getting Fit August 27, 2010, 9:21 am

    I really like this post – thank you for posting this inspiring post on how to achieve my goals. I know I’ll be needing this over the next few years as I try to survive grad school and working full time! I’m trying to develop and grow my career while not ignoring my penchant for running and healthy living!

  • Shion August 27, 2010, 9:21 am

    lol love that your yogurt is in a tree! or plant…

    thanks for the great tips for staying focused on goals. i often find myself getting discouraged for whatever reason but having a concrete list to go back to will certainly help 🙂

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 27, 2010, 9:22 am

    This is really good advice Catilin!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman August 27, 2010, 9:22 am

    I think, really, the most important thing I got from this post is that doing great things takes work. There’s no fairy that will magically deliver a hugely successful blog, book deal, etc, etc.

    • caitlin August 27, 2010, 9:24 am

      If you find that fairy, point him my way!

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow August 27, 2010, 9:24 am

    Wonderful post! I love and embrace all of the ideas you put out there.

    One thing that I think has been absolutely critical in going after my dreams is a Vision Board. It doesn’t have to be large or it can be poster size if you like! But on that board I have cut outs and visual pieces of my dreams. Something that I wake up looking at and thinking about and then go to sleep looking at and thinking about.

    And lastly, I like to live my day as if all of my dreams are on their way and are more than possible! That belief in myself and in what I’m doing gives me that thick skin and the ability to push forward no matter how hard!

    My dreams…well, I’m living one now as I build my wellness + fitness coaching practice. Other dreams are to travel to Europe again, work full time with my husband, and travel more with my family every year!

  • Sarah August 27, 2010, 9:27 am

    I think it’s so interesting that you said the summer you were working, blogging and taking classes was the worst 2 1/2 months of your life, because from an outsiders perspective (ie blog reader), you couldn’t tell!

    I was thinking about this the other day. I went through an intense chaplaincy internship at a Level 1 trauma hospital this summer and it was the most exhausting and traumatic time of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot and I am so glad I did it. But when I look back on my blog posts I realize just how much I left out as I tried to be positive.

    Does this mean I’m not blogging honestly? I don’t want to spend my life complaining on my blog and I believe in the power of positive thinking. Sometimes I just want to make sure I’m being truthful.

    On another note, I think it’s important to look at why you have the goals that you have to give them more meaning. Saying “I want to buy a house” may have more meaning if you say “I want to buy a house so I can host my family for dinners and holidays.”

    Great post!

  • Christine August 27, 2010, 9:27 am

    Thanks. It’s good to hear these things – they often provide the jumpstart needed to achieve your goals.

  • crunchy granola gal August 27, 2010, 9:29 am

    Thank you so much for this post. You truly are an inspiration to me and many others – I only hope that once I’ve defined my goals I can be as successful as you! I like your point about listening to the naysayers, as sometimes a little tough love can teach you a lot. I also like the last point – something truly does have to be given up to really achieve your ultimate goal, which is sad but I believe entirely true.

    I am working towards a dream that I’ve yet to fully define. I’m almost there (definition point) and once I am I can work more diligently. For now, grad school and big dreams are keeping me busy!


  • Elizabeth @ Eat Clean Fun August 27, 2010, 9:29 am

    Great inspirational post. I needed that on this friday. I have a goal to open my own business and become my own boss. Last night I mentally targeted the goal for 5 years from now. I need to take it to the next level and put it down on paper.

  • Tina August 27, 2010, 9:33 am

    I LOVED reading this post. I have plenty of goals myself and can get sucked into working a LOT. It’s so important to remember to keep the balance and keep things organized/concret/planned so you don’t waste time. Also be open to learning. Great stuff.

  • Krista (kristastes) August 27, 2010, 9:33 am

    Great post, love your outlook! TJ’s 0% plain is my all-time fav and so cheap (relative to the others)! People look at me like I’m insane when I buy 8 containers at a time 🙂

    My dream is to become a veterinarian, I think…but I’ve been dabbling in everything under the sun for the past 3 years making sure that’s what will make me most happy. Persistence and patience is key to success but you learn a lot through failure and rejection. Taking these events in stride is what makes us better people, right!

  • Liz August 27, 2010, 9:36 am

    Great tips Caitlin! I’m still trying to figure out my dream job, but also I think it’s important to focus on enjoying the present.

  • Jess August 27, 2010, 9:38 am

    My TraderJoes has organic greek yogurt, but not always. So maybe yours just didn’t have it last time you looked, or maybe you can request it.

  • cristie carter August 27, 2010, 9:38 am

    my life’s dream was to have a large, happy, productive family.

    my marriage is 37 years old and so so good. i have eight children, fifteen grandchildren and they are the joy of my life.

    i believe in setting goals…but, wisdom to put your energy and heart into what matters most is key.

    life is sweet.

  • rebecca lustig August 27, 2010, 9:53 am

    my dream is to recover. and be an activist– promoting healthy messages and helping others worldwide.

    first, i must recover.

    happy friday lovely 🙂

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers August 27, 2010, 9:56 am

    These are such good tips–so important but sometimes so hard to remember to actually put into action 😉

  • Katie @ peacebeme August 27, 2010, 9:56 am

    Cailtin, this is my favorite post you have ever written! I have struggled so much to find my way, and I think so many people do especially in their 20’s. I am still in limbo but working so hard on my goals. I agree SO much that you need a concrete plan. I am applying to pharmacy school and having a “big picture”/timeline plan to study for the entrance exam and for all the other things I have to do to get in is helping so much.

    Although I am sorry to hear you were rejected 13 times, I was amazed and I must admit comforted to read that. Thank you for sharing it with us. I often look at everyone else and wonder how they got to where they are so easily, but it’s not easy!

    I think the key is to always love yourself enough to keep persevering in the fight to achieve your goals and dreams. I also love that you added how important it is to reflect on what you give up to get a certain thing – that is how you achieve that work-life balance that is what will ultimately make you happy.

  • Stacey@ August 27, 2010, 9:56 am

    Great advice. I also love Tj’s Greek yogurt. My favorite is the blueberry.

  • sarah k. @ the pajama chef August 27, 2010, 9:57 am

    still trying to figure out my dream. meanwhile, i’m in grad school in a dual masters program so in 2 yrs (hopefully) i’ll have 2 degrees. 1 that i care about a lot, 1 that i don’t… but the one that i’m not as passionate about is funding the other, so it’s worth it. funny how dreams change…

  • Amelia August 27, 2010, 10:00 am

    Terrific post. These tips are excellent for outlining and achieving goals.
    I am still deciding what my life goals will be, but I think I am beginning to see them in more concrete terms, which is the first step to achieving! 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) August 27, 2010, 10:02 am

    This was a great post! Thank you for sharing yourself! I hope you have a great day Caitlin!

  • Danielle August 27, 2010, 10:02 am

    TJ’s does have organic greek yogurt! The container is shaped differently…more like the Oikos and Chobani containers. They have plain, vanilla and honey.

  • Orla August 27, 2010, 10:02 am

    No where near it. My dreams change quite a bit!
    Unfortunately/fortunately I am stuck where I am at the moment (a mortgage will do that to you) but I hope to start to piece together bits of my future in the coming 12 months.
    However, saying that I do have the boy, house and dog of my dreams and I have my health so I will get there!

  • Emily August 27, 2010, 10:03 am

    If you can get it, The Greek Gods brand is fantastic! It’s actually better than TJ’s (in my opinion)

    • Reenie August 27, 2010, 12:20 pm

      I LOVE the Greek Gods yogurt. Especially the Honey flavored.

      We don’t have TJ’s here.

    • emily August 27, 2010, 12:47 pm

      Yep, I am obsessed with Greek Gods! It is sooooooooo thick!

      • Emily August 27, 2010, 1:24 pm

        It’s the Pomegranate I am OBSESSED with!!!!

  • Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up August 27, 2010, 10:03 am

    I love this. My dream is actually to get into physical therapy school as well. My top school is the University of Kentucky so I’m in the process of applying right now. It’s so scary! :/

  • Lauren @ Health on the Run August 27, 2010, 10:10 am

    This is such a great post!! I think in life, most of us are secretly looking for that magical “easy button” or something that drops from the sky telling us what exactly we need to do to achieve our dreams. Things that take years of planning and hard work are much harder to stick with (without getting discouraged), but in the end…they are definitely the most worth it! I think you’re tips about creating concrete goals, a concrete plan, getting over roadblocks, etc are so good. You don’t get anywhere if you don’t have a road map guiding the way and aren’t persistent. This is definitely something I’m still working on in my own life.

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats August 27, 2010, 10:11 am

    i need to figure out my life. writing down my goals now!!

  • Alicia at Poise in Parma August 27, 2010, 10:15 am

    My dream is to own and operate my own event planning business. SLOWLY getting there – it’s not the right time quite yet, but I have a loose plan in the works!

    I didn’t know about the book being rejected 12 times. Congrats to you for inspiring yourself to move forward. I really like the points you make in this post. I’ve written them down Operation Beautiful style and placed them in my planner for inspiration!

  • Krystal August 27, 2010, 10:17 am

    I have lots of travel dreams! Last summer I achieved one of them when I got to climb part of the Great Wall in China. It was amazing reaching the top and looking at the wall as it snaked its way across the landscape! I remember standing there thinking, “life time goal, Check!” It was an awesome feeling. This winter I am planning on seeing the Taj Mahal and someday, oh someday…I hope to stand before the egyptian pyramids!

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet August 27, 2010, 10:18 am

    this is great advice… i especially like the idea of having all of your goals written down in one place

  • Veggielady4life August 27, 2010, 10:19 am

    Great post. My dream… is to finish med school and a radiology residency… and work in women’s imaging… to help the fight against breast cancer. I’ve got a few months left of school… and in March I’ll find out where I match for residency. It’s a scary process but exciting, too. Congrats on your own personal progress. You’re an inspiration!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing August 27, 2010, 10:25 am

    My goal is to do something foodie/writing related. I’ve done things s/a take an evening culinary course, take a food writing course and start my blog. So I’m not there yet but hopefully on my way!

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day August 27, 2010, 10:30 am

    My dream is to find a job that I’m so happy with, I can’t wait to go into work each day. A job that I’m proud of. I still need to figure out what that’s going to be!

  • Scargosun August 27, 2010, 10:34 am

    My dream requires a few steps. 🙂 My dream is to live on Cape Cod. To get there, I will need money but I am not sure how to get it yet. I do want to write and I am still feeling out what I would like to write about. it isn’t a means to an end but a way of life and profession I would like to do for the rest of my life.

  • Jessica August 27, 2010, 10:43 am

    You are so inspiring to me. I pursued a career that wasn’t the best fit for me. I recently left a corporate job and now I’m trying to figure out what I really want to do. I would like to make a career change and hopefully work for myself one day.

  • Lana August 27, 2010, 10:43 am

    My dream is to open my own health food store….that would make me sooo happy. However, I’m currently graduating with my engineering degree and am trying to find a job that I will love using that in the mean time…I definitely understand the ‘nasayer’ bit, but I use it as drive to do what I love

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 27, 2010, 10:45 am

    This is great inspiration! I’m about to go back to school so this is getting me prepared.

  • Erin D. August 27, 2010, 10:46 am

    Hey Caitlin!
    This was as terrific post. I really look up to and respect you; your reflections on achieving a goal were quite insightful, and I hope to use some of them as I pursue my own life goals. Thank you! 🙂

    • Caitlin August 27, 2010, 3:27 pm

      Thanks so much Erin.

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) August 27, 2010, 10:47 am

    I would love more info on how you found a publisher!

    I have a book I’m working on (more of a resource book than pleasure reading) and I have no clue where to start!

  • Wei-Wei August 27, 2010, 10:50 am

    I’m still trying to figure out what my dream is and what I believe in. Right now, I’m just trying to survive high school and find out who I am after my disorder… it ain’t easy, but that’s my dream for now. To find myself again.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) August 27, 2010, 10:56 am

    my dream is to change the world through encouraging women…simple as that 🙂 i love that you added the part about the rejection of OB…i bet those 13 publishers are kicking themselves now! the thing is i think it’s important to see that someone has failed but gotten up and pushed themselves to achieve even more, just like you have!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape August 27, 2010, 10:57 am

    My dream is to have a book published. You beat me to it! haha I’m only 20, though, so I figure that I have some time still. I love to write and I know it is something I will always have with me, something I will always be working on. Hopefully one day I can share this love with others.

  • Christy August 27, 2010, 10:59 am

    The TJ’s by me sells Organic Nonfat Greek Yogurt and it’s delicious! It comes in plain, honey and vanilla. Maybe you could ask yours if they can order it?

  • myra August 27, 2010, 11:00 am

    An awesome post , exactly what i needed in the morning . Thank you.

  • Camille August 27, 2010, 11:00 am

    My dream job is to be happy and healthy in whatever job I choose 🙂

  • Maria August 27, 2010, 11:05 am

    Great post! I am currently pursuing my dream of finishing a Ph.D. and all of your advice is spot on especially the part about negative feedback.

  • Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) August 27, 2010, 11:07 am

    Good advice. I haven’t acheieved my dream but after reading so many inspirational blogs, I’m starting to think it may not be as impossible as I once thought.

    I used to think good things only happened to otehr people, and that is was all a case of good luck. Now I can see that if I want something, I am the only one who can make it a reality. Perseverance is everything.

  • Katie August 27, 2010, 11:09 am

    I like the “mini-goals” mentality. Right now, my ULTIMATE goal is to lose 20 pounds. But each month I have a “mini-goal” of 3 pounds. (Which I have hit the past 2 months, yay for minus 6 pounds) Which keeps me on track, AND reminds me that losing this weight at a slow and healthy pace, the more likely I am to always keep it off.

    • Tara August 27, 2010, 2:17 pm

      Good for you, Katie!

  • Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl August 27, 2010, 11:16 am

    My dream is to become a teacher! I finally quit my corporate job a year ago to go back to school full time. I have my license in hand, and now I’m working full-time while starting another program to help ENL kids! Love that I’m on the path and all that I’m learning along the way!

    Great post…something I definitely needed to read today!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 27, 2010, 11:20 am

    Such great tips! I am definitely a planner so I like to work through things in stages – just like you’ve outlined here. I have an idea of what my dream career would be, so right now I’m trying to work in mini-goals to gain the experience I need to get there. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion August 27, 2010, 11:24 am

    I love this post! It is super helpful, thanks, it is just what I needed right now 🙂

  • Shari August 27, 2010, 11:33 am

    This is officially my favorite post of yours — so inspiring! It always makes me smile when I see someone achieve a goal and turn a dream into reality. You’re truly deserving, and I wish you all the best with your second book and beyond.

    My dream is similar to yours, just with a slight twist: become a published novelist and turn my passion for writing into a career. It’s already been a journey that has taught me such invaluable lessons. Like you mentioned, dealing with rejection with something like this is hard. No matter how many times I’ve read that it’s common in the publishing industry, it still hurts. But like you said, it’s helped me grow a thicker skin and learn to channel disappointment into motivation. I keep that in mind every day as I query agents (and take the feedback from the ones who have requested material into consideration) and work on my new novel. After all, anything worth having is worth fighting for, right?

  • Lindsey August 27, 2010, 11:33 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I love it! This post came at such a perfect time and I couldn’t help but comment to tell you how much I appreciate it 🙂
    Right now I’ve just started college and have loads of academic, personal, and sports related goals, plus a lot of responsibilities piling up. This post was definitely helpful in making me think that I need to just step back and figure out specific goals for everything. So thank you 🙂

    • Caitlin August 27, 2010, 3:26 pm

      thank you for reading!

  • Mandy A August 27, 2010, 11:38 am

    This is amazing! Thank you so much for being such a great inspiration!

    Do you make a daily to do list? I know you have a big dream list… but how do you tackle things daily to reach those big goals? Thanks!

  • Lauren Elizabeth August 27, 2010, 11:40 am

    Did you know that most of the Trader Joe’s yogurt is supplied from Stonyfield Farm? I just read about it in a Fortune article!

    • Caitlin August 27, 2010, 3:26 pm


  • Christine August 27, 2010, 11:52 am

    Love this post!! I’m about to go get my life in order according to these tips PRONTO!

  • Megan (Braise The Roof) August 27, 2010, 11:56 am

    Thank you for this post, Caitlin. I think one of the most important points that you hit on is that using other people that have pertinent skills/knowledge can help you like nothing else. Even though we’ve all switched to such an online lifestyle, there’s still nothing compared to networking with a real live human being!

  • Cyndi Eggers August 27, 2010, 12:08 pm

    Thanks Caitlin. In training for this upcoming half-marathon I’ve noticed how easy it is to follow the weekly outline I taped to the wall right next to my computer. After running double digits for the first time and feeling these runs get easier and easier it dawned on me that it’s all in the plan. If I could do the same thing with my businesses, maybe I’ll finally reach the goals I have set out – instead of waiting for it to happen on it own! Have a great weekend. I have 13 mi’s scheduled for the morning – can’t wait!!

    • Caitlin August 27, 2010, 3:25 pm

      Trust the plan!

  • eatmovelove August 27, 2010, 12:24 pm

    LOL they don’t sell ANY of those yogurts here!

    Great, great post…so right. I have to bookmark this – I really don’t have concrete goals, or a all now. But I’m going to work on that (whatever “that” is) – while still just “BEING” and going with the flow. There can be happiness in whatever mixed up process it is.

    13 rejections?!! There is hope! 🙂

  • Cheryl H. August 27, 2010, 12:28 pm

    My biggest dream (one of several) was to finish college. I was married with two young children and a full-time job, but I didn’t want to give up my dream of being a college graduate. Sometimes my husband wasn’t the most encouraging (towards the end of my goal he became my #1 supporter), BUT I stayed strong and chose to push through and his negative voice made me work harder. I did have re-evaluate my time-line several times so I could accomplish my goal without neglecting my other responsibilities, but I did it (graduated May 2007) and now I feel that I can reach any goal I put my mind to. I break down any large task into small baby steps and the baby steps lead to achieving big goals and dreams.

    Thanks for the inspiring post. I love your blog.

    • Caitlin August 27, 2010, 3:24 pm

      You rock Cheryl.

  • Andrea August 27, 2010, 12:31 pm

    My favorite is that you can’t do it all. So true. I need to really remind myself of that everyday…maybe I need a sticky on my computer. Ha!

  • KMattrn August 27, 2010, 12:44 pm

    Love this post! Thanks for the advice!

  • Chelsea August 27, 2010, 12:44 pm

    I’m working on my dream. I’m currently in university, trying to figure out my dream, actually. Right now I’m taking my degree in Human Kinetics (human movement) with a minor in Nutrition. I always thought I wanted to be a Physiotherapist (called a physical therapist in the states), but overthe past few years nutrition has become such a passion of mine and I feel like I could talk about it for hours. I’m doing my minor in nutrition so that I can figure out if it’s something I can see myselfdoing as a career, or if it is just a passion outside of my “career”. That way I don’t completely switch my school route before I’m sure!

  • Claire @ Low Impact Fashionista August 27, 2010, 12:48 pm

    As always great advice! I love that you write goal lists, I always write down my really important goals and put them in a place I see every day. That way I am always reminded of what I am working for, and can re-evaluate along the way and make sure the goal is still what I want. One of my current goals? Flossing more! Not every goal needs to be major. But I still posted a reminder in my bathroom 🙂

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write August 27, 2010, 12:54 pm

    Really great post. I am in the book process, and I can definitely vouch that it isn’t easy. That there are moments I want to lose my mind. The best thing is just to keep on keeping on, and remember at the end of the day that as long as you have love and friends, you’re probably going to “survive.”

  • Amy August 27, 2010, 1:09 pm

    Hey Caitlin – Thanks so much for this. I really appreciate how you give great advice without acting like you are better than your readers! I am so, so happy for all of your successes!

    • Caitlin August 27, 2010, 3:22 pm

      <3 thanks amy

  • Julie @ Pickley Pear August 27, 2010, 1:10 pm

    What a great post! You truly have what it takes to achieve anything and I envy you in that sense. I have a lot of goals in life. I have achieved some of them, but of course not all.

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous August 27, 2010, 1:23 pm

    I feel embarrassed to admit this, but I’d really love for my blog to be my job one day. (Or maybe have it lead to my next job…maybe blogging for another publication?) I just love doing it THAT much and I believe in it. I put in a lot of work, but my boyfriend is constantly lecturing me on working hard vs. working SMART. I think I need to do more research like you suggested so I can work more efficiently instead of just clocking in the hours!

  • Monika @ Forever-improving Girl August 27, 2010, 1:26 pm

    Fantastic post! I’m going to save your tips and refer to them in the future, as I too have a tendency to overbook myself in an effort to achieve as much as I can.

    I definitely agree with the “word-list of goals” idea. I do the same thing (only I go a bit crazy with it – I have multiple goal lists for the different aspects of my life and for different durations, ranging from a 5 year list to my current 7-week plan).

  • Amber K August 27, 2010, 1:43 pm

    I relaly, really liked this blog! Your advice is very helpful. 🙂

  • lisasfoods August 27, 2010, 2:10 pm

    I love keeping a list of life goals, but you’re right in that they should be very specific. I have a tendency to write more vague ones.

    I’m pretty sure Trader Joe’s also carried organic Greek yogurt. I haven’t tried it before, cause it’s a bit expensive, but it looks good and worth a try.

  • Dee August 27, 2010, 2:19 pm

    Wow… I see how you got a book deal- those are pretty amazing thoughts about goals and perspective. Thanks for that!

  • Kelly August 27, 2010, 2:37 pm

    I have not achieved my dream yet, and honestly at this point I”m not exactly sure what it is anymore.

  • Cyndi @ Weightless Life August 27, 2010, 3:21 pm

    I have two big goals I want to accomplish. I want to get an MFA in Creative Writing, and I want to open a coffee shop/bookstore with my husband.
    I know I’m on the right path after reading this post. Thanks for the advice!

  • Sana August 27, 2010, 3:24 pm

    I often wonder if I am motivated enough to go for my goals. I guess only time will tell.

  • Cathy K August 27, 2010, 8:10 pm

    thank you so much for writing this post, caitlin.
    i love your bullet point organization of topics, and specific examples of how you set and achieve your goals. details, plans, timelines and daily review of what you want to achieve are all really awesome tips for any “dream” any of us wish to go after. thanks again.

  • Wendy August 27, 2010, 9:09 pm

    I am in the process – I am a week and a half into my first year teaching! It’s more exhausting and time consuming than I ever imagined, but I’m loving it!

    I finally bought a copy of the Operation Beautiful book! I plan to share it with the GOTR team I volunteer with – we start practice next week, and I’m so excited!

    • Caitlin August 27, 2010, 10:06 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Jolene ( August 28, 2010, 1:15 am

    I have achieved many of my dreams so far … but I am not done!

  • kate August 28, 2010, 9:29 am

    I saw your book featured in fitness magazine! I was reading on a plane, by myself, and yelled out omg that’s Caitlin’s book! I left a operational beautiful note on the pull out tray in honor! (but forgot my camera.. boo)
    Have a good weekend!

    • Caitlin August 28, 2010, 10:35 am

      Yay! Thanks for posting a note.

  • John August 28, 2010, 8:50 pm

    I’m a bit late to the party but really like your tips and ideas. I’ve bookmarked it for future reference.

  • sugarsmom2 August 29, 2010, 2:16 pm

    you are an inspiration to all of us . good work . good job .

  • mynx August 29, 2010, 6:26 pm

    great success strategies!

  • Allgracey August 29, 2010, 11:27 pm

    Chobani is my favorite!

  • Nikka B August 30, 2010, 6:32 pm

    Just an FYI:
    I saw on HuffPost today that TJ’s Greek Yogurt is actually produced by Stonyfield!

    Great post, thanks for sharing you tips!

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