In this generation, I think it's pretty safe to say that we've become a little too comfortable with staying in one place-be physical, mental, or emotional- for too long. And in a lot of ways, it makes sense. If things are going really well for us, or we're just not sure where to go next in our lives, what we know best is what we don't want to stray from. But, we all have dreams, goals, and ambitions-something we can't go a day without thinking about and know we can reach for.

However, let it be said that that time to step off the edge, take a leap of faith, and go for that personal goal is different for everyone. No one can simply just tell you to start, or get you to jump on the bandwagon. You have to find it in yourself- that will and motivation, and the reasons that make you want to achieve that dream. Once that is decided, the next step is to break it down into manageable, daily actions that will slowly, but surely, get you there.

You have to consistently want it, and always remember, even in times of doubt, frustration, and anger, why it matters to you in the first place and what difference in your life these actions will make-both in the short and long term. For example, I have and am actively working towards two of my personal goals in order to better improve myself and my life. They are: Get a 3.5 GPA by graduation in May 2020 and stop biting my nails in order to grow them out and have long, healthy, beautiful nails. Now, though GPA's are not always entirely in our control, my nail growth journey certainly has been and continues to be.

In order to reach my goal, I adopted two methods to integrate into my life on a daily basis. First, I bought materials to create a cuticle oil that I would apply 1-2x a day. Consisting of three parts of jojoba oil and two parts vitamin e oil, it helps to get my hands and nails well moisturized and promote nail growth from inside my nail. Second, I keep nail polish on all the time. Acting like an outer "shell" of protection, it helps to keep my nails from becoming flooded with water and prevents breakage.

Since the beginning of my efforts in late September, I have already been seeing great results! My nails are now longer, stronger, and I can now apply polish with ease. It is so nice to be able to look at my beautiful, holographic fingernails in the sunlight and know how much my efforts are continually paying off every day. It serves as a motivator to keep them looking nice and avoid "bite fever"!

In addition, it's important to note that sometimes, we don't even realize just how much we show off our hands and nails each day. People notice the polish color, length, and that can say a lot about your grooming habits and if you make your nails a priority or not. Before my efforts, people never really commented on my nails, mostly because they were bitten, very short, and raggity. However, I have now received a few kind compliments on my nails, and this is just one example that keeps me going on this journey.

Even after I reach a nail length I'm happy with, the work won't stop there. I still have every intention to keep practicing those nail grooming habits, and practice how to file my nails properly. When I use to bite my nails, I remember feeling so sad looking at them and wishing I could break the habit. Now, 21 years later, I can say that it is possible to rise above our habits and make those empowering changes that help us feel better about ourselves, too! And who doesn't want that?

That's my story, but the bottom line is this: Goals take time, and self-improvement through those goals serve as the motivation to keep going, all while never forgetting how much that one commitment means to you. It is a race you can only run for yourself, and comparison only slows you down. No matter what anyone else may be doing, you have to remind yourself why this goal matters to you, and that it is worth any sacrifices or temptations needing to be overcome. Your mind is your greatest asset, and although having all the belief in your heart that you will and CAN achieve that goal is wonderful, it can only get you part of the way there. You have to slow down, think, and be smart in the ways you live your daily life and the choices you make that can either aid or hurt your efforts on the road to success. But even if you slip up, don't beat yourself up. Dust off your shoulders, and actively make a change to prevent it from happening again. Be resilient, confident and never stop until you cross that finish line! You can do this! I believe in you.