The Task Tamer

Preparing for the Worst

Teri 01/27/2015 Comments

Do you know anyone who likes to think of the worst thing that could happen so that when it doesn't actually happen, she thinks everything is great? I do and I sometimes find it exhausting to always be imagining the worst and hoping for the best. As I stated last week, I am generally a very positive and optimistic person. I expect the best from situations and people. This can lead to disappointment and frustration, at times, but not enough to make me change my attitude. So an article in USA Today that reviewed a book called Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, by Gabriele Oettingen, got me contemplating a new way of setting goals. 


Full disclosure, I have not read this book. The information I have read about it, though, is very interesting. It talks about people who are always dreaming big and making grand plans to change their life aren't always the ones who make it happen. People who look at challenges and see the obstacles in the way of achieving success are more likely to succeed. For example, let’s say you have a goal of losing weight. Instead of just setting out with high expectations and dreaming about the new wardrobe you will be able to buy, you need to think about the hard work in front of you. Forewarned is forearmed, so to speak. You will go through hunger pains, you will have cravings and your body will be sore from working out, but being aware of that in the beginning better prepares you for when it happens and you won’t be as likely to give up on the goal of losing weight. 


The author has a method to help people achieve success. She calls it WOOP, and it stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle and Plan. Make a wish about something specific you want to do, think about the best outcome, think about the obstacles that you will be confronted with and then make a plan to overcome them. This will work with big dreams (I wish I could serve healthier food to my family) to small (I wish I made my bed each day). Instead of just dreaming about how great it would be to prepare nutritious food or how nice it would be to have a neat bedroom, you would picture those outcomes and then think about what stands in the way of getting there. Spending precious time to plan meals is not fun, nor is getting up 2 minutes earlier to have time to make the bed. But if you mentally prepare yourself for these and plan on how to deal with them, they won’t seem so bad when they happen. You can set a specific time aside to finding recipes and making a grocery list. You can go to bed two minutes earlier. I like this approach because it isn't totally negative. You don't think the worst, such as I don't have time to make dinner or the bed is just going to get slept in again tonight. Instead, you acknowledge your dream and then think about realistic ways of achieving success. 


What wishes do you have? What is standing in your way of making them happen? Start WOOPing it up and then let me know of your successes!


This week’s recipe was a success for me! I grew up with a mom who loves potatoes. We had a potato field behind our house and the farmer gave us permission to collect potatoes that were missed after he harvested them. My sister and I would go out, grab as many as we could carry and mom would serve them that night. We used to pester her as she cut them up until she gave us raw slices to eat. To this day I love them prepared in many different ways. Mashed, baked, twice baked, scalloped, fried, roasted, etc. However, I have never been a fan of potato salad. When I came across a recipe for cauliflower salad prepared in a potato salad style, I decided to give it a try. Success! 


Cauliflower Salad


Ingredients: *see note below

1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces

4-5 hard boiled eggs, yolks separated from the whites

1/4-1/3 cup favorite mayonnaise or sandwich spread (I use Vegenaise)

2-3 tablespoons favorite mustard (I use dijon)

2-3 tablespoons favorite pickles, chopped OR pickle relish (I use Trader Joe’s Organic Sweet Bread and Butter pickles)

1-2 teaspoons onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Steam the cauliflower until pieces are soft, but not mushy, about 5-10 minutes. Alternatively,  toss the pieces with some olive oil and roast in a 425 degree oven until soft and nicely browned, stirring once, about 15 minutes.  Place in large bowl to cool.
  2. Place the egg yolks in a  medium bowl and mash with a fork. Mix in mayo, mustard, pickles, onion powder and salt and pepper. 
  3. Chop egg whites and add to bowl with cauliflower. Stir in mayo mixture and place in fridge to chill for 2 hours to overnight.
  4. Enjoy!


* The measurements I used are approximate because all heads of cauliflower are not equal in size. Start with the smaller measurements first and add more as needed or desired.


roast caul

Roasted Cauliflower cooling


caul. salad

Cauliflower salad served with homemade veggie burger

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