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?