After the recession hit in 2009, I decided to move from my small hometown suburb to New York City. It was a culture shock stepping into essentially another world.

I ran into “that girl” quite frequently while job searching and networking. She’s dressed to impress and clutching a green juice on her morning commute downtown. 5 train, 9 am sharp. She reads the economist on her iPad before heading in for a long day of work at a job she found fulfilling–a job that lets her blow off some steam with friends later at Soul Cycle or drinks on the roof of the Soho Grand. There’s no doubt you’ve seen her before. And if I’m being honest, I was jealous.

In college, my best friend and I would watch The Real World (when it was good) while eating our dinner of Chips Ahoy cookies, and frosting. Fitness and wellness were never part of my life, but when I moved to New York and saw how others lived – I realized that I wanted that too. The way she lived her life was a result of the choices she made. After dedicating myself to working out at 6 a.m. four days per week for the past four years, I’ve gathered some advice that applies to anyone chasing their dreams:

Transform Envy into Action

Although it’s not a positive emotion, jealousy often springs from wanting something you don’t currently possess. By paying attention to these moments and being mindful, you can take advantage of a unique opportunity for growth. If you are envious of someone’s career, think about what it is that they have that you would like. Is it the salary, position, or daily tasks? After considering what it is that drew you to their success in the first place, start planning how you could make those same things happen for yourself.

Modify, Modify, Modify

If you’ve ever set foot in a yoga class, you’ve likely heard your instructor say something along the lines of “it’s your practice.” What this means is that each person should focus on making the pose work for them and modify it as needed. If you’re always seeking perfection, you’ll never reach your full potential because being imperfect is what makes us human. Shift your perspective and goals to better align with the circumstances you’re currently facing. If working out in the morning isn’t feasible because of your new 8 a.m. job, aim to work out when possible and focus on how you can maintain a healthy lifestyle overall.


While growing up, I always had special events to look forward to – graduations, birthdays, and holidays. However, once I reached adulthood and those milestones became fewer and farther between, I realized just how important it is to cherish the smaller moments. When you’re working hard to manifest your dreams, don’t forget to enjoy the life you have in front of you right now. It’s easy get so caught up looking ahead that we neglect how much progress we’ve already made.

How do you become the best version of yourself in your relationships, fitness, career, and lifestyle? Let us know in the comments below!

Ask Levo Mentor Arielle Patrick, Director of Publicity for The American Reader, how she makes adjustments to put her life on the path she dreams about!

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