A Go-Getter’s Tips to Get – and Stay – Motivated
January 2021 Issue
by Edwina Hoyle
Photography by Thomas R. Love, T.R. Media World
Caroline Oyler is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia and a recent transplant to the Lowcountry. She is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, and moved to Hilton Head last March, just in time for the pandemic, but that hasn’t slowed Caroline down at all.
She has a successful Instagram page called Simply Radishing, where she shares her own experience and research on vegan lifestyles, nutrition, mindfulness and mental health. Caroline also solicits and reviews products from vendors in order to keep her followers updated and informed. She recently added a blog where she shares recipes and advice. Her goal is not to sell ads, or make money, it’s to help others. In addition, Caroline intends to complete a yoga training program so she can teach yoga on a part-time basis. What’s amazing is how she juggles all of this while working full time as a law clerk at Horton & Goodman Law Firm in Bluffton.
“I have to hold myself accountable,” Caroline said. “I take on a lot, and I enjoy doing multiple projects.” But what is her secret to maintaining her motivation to keep on track and juggle so much?
“My drive comes from taking a lot of pride in what I do. Accomplishment motivates me. I’m a big list maker, and I love to cross things off when I’ve accomplished them. I push myself, but more importantly, I set tangible goals for myself. I’m also an impatient person who likes to accomplish things quickly. So I set manageable goals that are achievable in reasonable time.”
In high school Caroline had a Spanish teacher who had a mantra he shared with the class every single day and had posted on a bulletin board: “Poco a poco te vas lejos.” This translates to “little by little you’ll go far.” Caroline said this message had a great impact on her. “It really taught me that setting small goals for yourself leads to achieving your large goals.”
“I’m driven, very controlling, and I must have a plan and a schedule—and be in charge of my life,” she stated. “My parents encouraged me to work hard, and I’m a lot like my Dad. He’s a lawyer, very independent, competent and kind. I set goals, but make them attainable. If point A and point B are far apart, you’ll feel like your goal is impossible, so set small steps. And you have to ask yourself, ‘Why is this my goal?’ When you evaluate why it’s your goal in the first place, it primes your motivation.”
Caroline just earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish, and the next step on her list to success is to take the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) in February, and within the next year and a half, to be in law school at one of three universities: Wake Forest, UNC Chapel Hill, or Vanderbilt. Her goal is to become an immigration lawyer, but that wasn’t her original goal.
“My best friend [Kristina] is my role model. She’s extremely dedicated to making the world a better place. I wanted to go to school, become a lawyer and make a lot of money. But she had different values, and I learned a lot from [her],” Caroline explained. Kristina encouraged her to volunteer a few hours a week, and Caroline’s expanded view of the world resulted in the reevaluation of her goals. “I volunteered while at UVA at the ICE detention center, helping with immigration issues. I learned that I was contributing to something bigger, and I love the idea of helping others, and now I want to give back and make a difference.”
So how does such a motivated woman handle setbacks and failure? “When I encounter failure, I have a hard time with that, but I will try again. I have to look at the situation and reevaluate it and see what I can do differently. My best advice, though, is to also take your time, and call your Mom to complain and whine!”
Winning: Caroline played sports in high school, always wanting to do her best in both cross country running and tennis.
Pecking Order: Caroline is the oldest and has a 20-year-old brother, Davis, and a 17-year-old sister, Kirsten.
HHI 4ever: Caroline’s family started visiting Hilton Head when she was a small child. Two years ago her parents bought a house here, and they now split their time between Louisville and Hilton Head.
Also on the Agenda: Working out, playing tennis, reading and yoga.