What if making ANY dream come true was as simple as completing 5 easy steps? Want to make enough money working from home as a writer? Want to travel the world? Marry John Stamos?

I’m willing to be any of those things are possible if you stick to my totally un/scientific fool-proof 5 step action plan.

How to make

1. Commit 100% to your dream, and announce it to others. Decide on a dream and commit to it. Don’t half-ass this. You know how many lives you have? ONE. You know how quickly it will go by? SUPER FAST. So, whatever the dream is that motivates you to drag yourself out of bed in the morning and endure the tedious 9-to-5 rat race commit to it 100%. Then, tell every single person you know about it. That way you’ll feel extra obligated to follow through on it so you don’t look like a quitter. When I decided to run my first marathon one of the hardest things (aside from 4:30 a.m. wake-ups) was posting on facebook that I had decided to run it.

2. Find someone who is living your dream and copy them. I want to make enough money off of writing online that I can support myself. In order to do this I follow other bloggers who make a living off of their online work and I copy them. I look at their layouts, what types of ads they have on their blog, what their post topics are on that get the most comments, and I incorporate that into my own work. If you dream of quitting your job to travel the world for a year then start reading travel bloggers who have done the same (I love Adventurous Kate.)

3. Make small, manageable goals. SMART goals are popular in the fitness realm but they can be applied to any goal you have. You can’t just say “I want to make a living off of my blog” as that is way to general. You need to be super specific, and make an action plan full of small steps that will get you there. So, if my end goal is to make $3000 a month off my blog, I could first aim to bring in $1000 a month average for 3 months, and brainstorm as many things I can do to get me there (freelance more, guest blog on other sites, etc.)  Once I reach that goal I’ll set a new one. See, easy peasy. (Why are peas so sleezy anyway?)

4. Find a way to stay motivated. This may be the hardest part for most people. It certainly is for me. I can get super enthusiastic about an idea. I’m going to become a famous writer! I’ll work 16 hour days from home to make that happen. I has all the possibilities! Once the initial adrenaline high leaves it can be a struggle to keep motivated through the monotony of every day life. When your feeling ‘meh’ about your dream create a vision board to keep near your work place. Read a book on the dream your working toward. Connect with others working toward the same goals (this one was HUGE for me at Fitbloggin last month.)

5. Think of all the excuses you will come up with to fail, and plan on how to beat them. As a teacher for almost a decade now I looooove excuses. No, really, I almost have to hide a smile when a student comes up to me with one because 99.9% of the time they are totally avoidable or manageable if the EFFORT to do so is there. I’m not saying it will always be easy, because it won’t, but most of the shit life throws at you can be handled if you are willing to work through it. Whatever your default excuses are (no time/money/energy) think of ways that you can manage them and make an action plan.

What gives me the right to give any of this advice? Well, when anyone asks me what I do I tell them I have the greatest job/s in the whole wide world. I get to talk to people about ridiculously interesting/awesome topics (my teaching gigs) and I get paid to live and write (my blog and freelance work.) I’ve got some huge goals I’m still working toward, but I’ve already had quite a few of my dreams come true. At 22 I was a college drop-out, morbidely obese, chain smoker, binge drinker, and super pathetic person. At 30, I’ve been teaching college courses for 7 years, I’m a 2x marathoner, I make enough money writing from home to pay my rent, and I have the worlds greatest cat and a wicked cute boyfriend.

I’m NOT special. I just work hard. I’m stubborn, and like L’oreal told me – I’m worth it.

What what you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? 

What dream have you had already come true?

Premier Protein is one of the first brands I reviewed when I started my blog two years ago, and I am thrilled to have had such a long-term relationship with them! I genuinely love their products, and they are some of the friendliest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Recently,they contacted me to see if I’d like to try out their improved chocolate and vanilla shakes.

#YesPlease

ProductImage_PP_Shake_11oz_18ct_PTCar_Choc ProductImage_PP_Shake_11oz_18ct_PTCar_VNI already loved their shakes, but now they are even MORE delicious. I’m also a fan of the nutritional info: 160 calories and 30 grams of protein. BAM. I took some with me to Fitbloggin last month.
2014-06-26 12.08.03They also came with us to hike around Blackwater last weekend!

2014-07-06 11.06.42-1I’m normally a die-hard chocolate fan but Travis and I both like the vanilla better. The chocolate is still great, but the vanilla is super rich and decadent tasting. I decided to use that to make us a mid-afternoon smoothie yesterday.
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1 banana, a handful of strawberries, a handful of frozen blueberries, and one vanilla premier protein shake = gone in under 2 minutes.
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I’m surprised it even lasted long enough for me to get an awkward photo drinking them. Premier Protein

Premier Protein Giveaway (U.S. Residents Only.) Closes July 13

How To Enter

Leave A Separate Comment for Each Entry (Total of 2 chances to win per person)

1. Follow Premier Protein on twitter (@PremierProtein)

2. Leave a comment here saying what fruit you’d like to add to your shake smoothie!

Contest closes at Midnight (Central Time) on Thursday, July 13th.

I will select a winner at random and post the results on my website on Sunday.

I sometimes hesitate gloating about how great my weekend was. I’m pretty damn happy in life right now and I feel like I’ll jinx it if I say to much about it. I’m really, really appreciative of everything I have going on now so I’m hoping that helps to keep the good times rolling.

On Friday Travis and I headed over to Fort Walton Beach to join the family for a BBQ. Mom and Dad have the cutest birds nest in their hose hanger. If you look you can see two baby bird faces flanked on each side with yellow stripes.
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Mom and I had the usual BBQ veggies (marinated in this amazing soy sauce + orange juice concoction) and the guys had steak shish kabobs.

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Mom finally gave up on her little raised bed garden after months of trying to get it going and now it’s starting to actually sprout things. Go figure. Not that these carrots would feed much aside from teeny tiny mice.

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After lunch we went to walk around downtown Fort Walton Beach for a bit. Despite it being in the low 90′s the breeze and low humidity made it feel gorgeous out. We saw a dolphin swimming right around the pier! My brother commented that I shouldn’t be as excited to see one as I was since I’ve lived in Florida my whole life. I defy you to find any woman, anywhere, who doesn’t freak when she see’s a dolphin.
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Dessert was frozen yogurt – per the norm when I’m around my family. I’m convinced I only get it as an excuse to eat the toppings. I actually gave up on the yogurt toward the end and let Travis eat the rest of it for me.

2014-07-04 15.01.37Saturday morning we woke up early and did 8 miles at the beach (10:30 pace!) Whenever I run with Travis he speeds me up and I slow him down. It’s a great relationship. He’s been running a bit longer than I have but hasn’t been as obsessed with it as I am. He just ran his first unofficial half marathon last weekend for fun (in under 2 hours, how sickening is that?) He’s training to run the Pensacola marathon with me in the Fall.

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After the run we spend a few hours cooking so we’d have some healthy food on hand to eat the rest of the weekend and for him to take home. Can you believe I actually found someone who doesn’t mind waking up at 5 a.m. on the weekends to run and likes to food prep with me? #Keeper

2014-07-05 17.40.12Sunday morning we were up early for a hike in Blackwater. We did about 7 miles around some of my favorite trails there – Bear Lake and the connector trail to Krul Lake.

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2014-07-06 10.29.20-1We had a little picnic lunch at the lake after our hike before heading home. Sunday afternoon was pretty lazy, and pretty perfect. Early dinner downtown at the Food Trucks, and now I’m writing this before we dig into some ice cream and I try to work up the nerve to watch a scary movie (which is likely not going to happen.)

I hope you all had a happy 4th of July. I hope I continue to have more weekends like this.