Learning to Thrive

Holly Earleson


When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A firefighter? President? A beauty pageant queen? A power ranger? A princess-warrior-interior decorator-chef? When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher and a missionary.

Last August, I found myself thinking there was nothing truly wrong with my life, but I sort of felt like I needed direction as recently I struggled with doubt. That month I saw a documentary called Made for More, where the author of our upcoming book for Hot Mess Sisters book club, Rachel Hollis, was was showing audiences what it was like to attend one of her personal growth conferences called Rise. It was a very moving documentary — encouraging me to think about the past and opening myself up to dream bigger about the future.After that night, I found out more about Hollis, who is an author, motivational speaker, and CCO of her own company. Something caught my attention called Five to Thrive. According to Hollis, if you want to be successful and live your best life, working on these five things each day will help you accomplish that:

  1. Take an hour of time for yourself

  2. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water

  3. Be active for 30 minutes

  4. Give up a food for 30 days that isn’t good for you

  5. Keep a gratitude journal

I began incorporating these into my life in September. I love rules and guidelines, so this was definitely in my wheelhouse. As I did these and reflected upon where I was in my life, I started to feel like my life had purpose again. These steps may seem simple, but they were profound for me. After watching more of Hollis’ videos, I started setting goals for myself and dreaming big for the future. Since having Kara, I’ve thought a lot about what I want to demonstrate to her. I want to be the mom that shows her daughter how to chase dreams, tackle them, and make them realities.

Two of the above tools have been impactful for me. In my extra hour, I have read for fun, for book club, articles, and the Bible; made a plan for how to train for a 10k; and taken time to dream. The gratitude element was very helpful for me, too, as I became more appreciative of a variety of things, like the patterns rain makes on trees or that my daughter was using sign language.

Near the end of September, I learned about a challenge Hollis and her husband were promoting called last90days. The premise was to finish the end of the year as strong as you hope to start the new year. The challenge was to do the Five to Thrive for the last three months of the year. After hearing about it, I decided to continue. As I’ve listened to them and implemented these elements into my daily routines, my self-awareness has grown – learning where I thrive, which is with structure, and that I’d like to improve on being more flexible.

Where does God come into all of this? I kind of thought He didn’t want me doing much self-care. As I reflected more about what was life-giving to me, I realized that God doesn’t want me to hold back from these desires or dreams. In fact, He placed particular passions inside of me. This reminds me of John 10:10, where Jesus talks about how He came to give us life to the full.

In December, I took some time to reflect on the year and to dream and plan for 2019. I found I didn’t need to make drastic changes because I had already started some newer rhythms back in September. We really don’t need a new year to start something different or change how something is done.

I remember being a girl and being told I could be whoever I wanted to be when I grew up. Maybe I didn’t end up who I thought I would be, but I’m learning to still dream of who I want to become.

What do you still want to be?


Holly Earleson is married to Jeff and they have a daughter, Kara. Holly enjoys running, Mexican food, hiking, traveling to national parks, and can often be found decluttering some part of their house or making their family’s latest photo book.

Lindsey Mooberry