I’ve always been a firm believer that life is a journey. When Eric and I got married, my mom read the story, “The Station” at our wedding. It tells the story of life as a train, with stations along the journey where the train stops, but there is never an ultimate destination. It’s a powerful story and that synopsis simply does not do it justice, but hopefully it conveys the idea.
Life is a Journey, And Boy Do I Love the Ride
My life truly has been full of varying stations, none the same as any other. I guess this is what keeps life interesting, but there have been a few constants in my life that have allowed me to accomplish my goals at the stations along the way.
Organization, determination, and the love of family and friends are those constants. These vital components are the reason that I’ve been able to accomplish all that I have and I am forever thankful for their every contribution.
Exercise & the Bar Exam
One of the most challenging stations of my life has been law school and the bar exam, which I just completed on August 1st! (whoop whoop) When I started law school, I was not naive about the commitment. I knew law school would be hard. After all, I’d watched both my mom and my husband climb that hurdle. Eric and his dad, uncle, and grandpa are all attorneys. My mom, dad, and aunt are attorneys. Again, I knew what I was getting into, but it’s completely different when you’re the one facing the endless mounds of reading and the single exam that determines your entire grade. It’s a lot of pressure. In it myself, it was time consuming, exhausting, and emotional at times. But, the most important thing that I learned while going through law school was that you didn’t have to be the smartest person to make it through, you just had to be willing to put in the work and push yourself.
To make things a bit more manageable, I chose to do a 4-year evening law school so that I could work full time all the way through. Then, in my last year of law school, I launched my very own efficiency consulting business- which blew up! I thought I’d be successful, but I had no idea what was to come.
That said, while law school was challenging in its own right, the Bar Exam was a totally different beast! For those who aren’t familiar with legal education and becoming an attorney, the process involves completion of law school and then a huge exam approximately two months after graduation. Your law school education earns you a law degree, but you are not an attorney and can’t give legal advice until you take and pass the bar exam in your state. In California, the exam is three full days of testing.
During law school, while I’ve always been active, I faced some serious health challenges, got busy with other priorities, and simply didn’t make myself or my health a priority. I gained a little bit of weight, got super out of shape, and ate whatever was convenient. By no means was I ever “overweight,” but I was unhealthy. Super unhealthy.
With the bar exam looming, and knowing that I was going to spend two months on my rump studying, I knew I needed to make some changes to be able to sustain the required energy levels and drive. On top of the sedentary position I would assume for the next two months, post-graduation, I knew I wasn’t happy with my body, my energy, or my state of mind.
Change is Hard, but Change is Good
During the bar, I tackled studying 10-14 hours per day, while eating clean, hiring a remote personal trainer, and exercising daily. Yes, this meant that my days were really long at some points, but doing these things gave me more energy, better focus, and helped stave off the occasional melt-down days that are natural during the bar exam.
I finally decided I HAD to change, and it didn’t matter that I was going to make these changes during the hardest month of my life. I figured that life never seems to slow down, so there really was no reason to wait.
Eating clean was not always easy, and there were definitely a few cheat moments, but just like exercise, I’m not always perfect, and that’s ok. There were stressful days of studying where all I wanted was my favorite pizza, or chocolate cake. Sometimes I would push to have those things, and my husband would push back on me. I was so mad at him at times, like totally irrationally mad, but I would always be thankful after the fact. The whole point for me was to change my relationship with food by focusing on foods that made me feel good. I am very sensitive to the things I put in my body- I’m a no-meds, no caffeine, mostly-natural person. It’s a life I chose to lead to make me feel better and it has made me feel amazing, like never before!
I Pushed Myself, and I Made It
With challenges hitting me at every angle, I made it. I completed three full days of examination, while feeling good. The exam was hard, but I felt good. Two months of studying paid off, and I did everything I could and left it “all on the table” so to speak. In the end, I thought the exam wasn’t too bad- my husband says that I’m insane. I have no idea whether or not I passed though since results don’t come out until November 22nd. Regardless of the outcome, I dedicated myself, heart, mind, body, and soul. I studied as much as I could and completely transformed my body by eating right and exercising.
I am proud. More than proud, I’m grateful. I’ve completed the hardest month of my life and stuck to my goals. I would say that’s one hell of an accomplishment!
My Keys to Success
Organization. I’ve said it a million times here on the blog and I’ll say it again… organize whatever you are doing and you will always do it better. To succeed, I had to organize my schedule to allow for maximum studying, as well as healthy eating and exercise.
Cut Out Excess. This can be negative people, distractions, opportunities that simply come at the wrong time. For me, social media is a big distraction because of the blog and work. It was hard, but I cut out social media for 14 full days, and it was absolutely worth it!
Love. Make sure to keep love in mind when you’re facing challenges. Remember to love your spouse, your children, your family and friends. While this station is tough, those people are the ones who will greet you at the next station if you continue to love them.
Gratitude. Show thanks to those who are helping you through. It’s not always easy for them either. Watching a friend or family member struggle or push is hard. Thank God for the power he gives you to continue to push.
Perseverance. When times seem tough and you’re facing challenges-a-plenty, push through. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it’s hard to see, but you will never have more self-pride than when you push yourself to do things you never thought you could.
Pride. Take pride in the accomplishments along the journey. Sometimes it’s easy to dwell on the things you didn’t achieve or the things you have yet to achieve, but by celebrating the milestones along the way, you’ll feel even more empowered!
Now, all I have to do is wait for exam results! Wish me luck, because I really don’t want to have to retake it in February!
That’s my Goal Accomplished… WHAT’S YOURS?
This post is part of BlogHer’s Goal, Accomplished editorial series, made possible by P&G Always Infinity.