Repost: How to Become That Girl You Always Wanted to Be

*Originally posted on Levoleague.com

How to Become That Girl You Always Wanted to Be

I moved to New York City in March 2009. As the recession swept across the country, I stepped into what essentially was another world compared to the small suburb I grew up in.

Every day, as I applied for jobs and attempted to network and get interviews I ran across “that girl.” You know, well put together on that 9 a.m. downtown 5 train, green juice in hand, reading the economist on her iPad before heading in for a long day of work at a job she found fulfilling before meeting friends for a class at Soul Cycle or drinks on the roof of the Soho Grand. You know you’ve seen her. And I’ll be honest, I was envious.

In college, my best friend and I would watch The Real World (when it was good) and eat Chips Ahoy and frosting. Fitness and wellness were utterly foreign to me, but when I moved to New York and felt the pangs of envy for a life I didn’t have — it dawned on me. Her life was that way because she chose it. So now, four years later, as a proud 6 a.m.-four-days-a-week-Chelsea-Piers-gym-bunny, I have a few pieces of advice for all of us building the lives we’ve dreamt of for years:

Become Who You Want to Be

Transform Envy to Action

It’s true, jealousy is not a good thing. That said, the root of envy is often a desire for something you don’t have. By paying attention to these moments you can harness a unique opportunity to see a growth opportunity for yourself. If there’s someone you know whose career you’re jealous of, ask yourself what is it that they have that you’d like. Is it the salary, the title, what they get to do each day? Then, begin mapping out how you could make those things happen in your own life.

Modify, Modify, Modify

Yoga instructors often advise students to modify positions and focus on making the pose meaningful to you. “It’s your practice” is a phrase that is used in many classes. The same is true in life, if you’re goal is to be “perfect” you’ve missed the mark because our perfection is in our humanity. If your goal is a daily early morning work out and then you take a job that requires you to be at your desk at 8 a.m., modify the goal and focus on doing what you can, when you can, and how you can instead.

Celebrate

One of the things about adulthood that caught me off guard was the decrease in special events. Without a graduation looming, I realized that celebrations outside of birthdays and holidays required a bit more initiative and felt in some ways even more important. As you create the life you dream of, be sure to take the time to enjoy it. It can be easy to be so focused on looking ahead that you forget to look around and realize how far you’ve come.

What are your methods for self-actualization in your relationships, fitness, career, and lifestyle?