Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP

Goals & Grit™ Expert
9x Best Selling Author
Media Personality
Keynote Speaker & Educator

Caroline is one of the world’s leading experts on the science behind successful goal setting and the use of ‘good grit’ to achieve hard things. For more than 30 years she’s been a pioneer in the self-help and Positive Psychology worlds. Her best selling books, executive coaching, educational courses, motivational speaking and personal stories bring audiences research-based, actionable strategies to help them cultivate more grit and dig deeper to clarify and achieve their toughest and most important goals.


Transformational Speaker

Caroline’s speaking style blends personal experience, real life examples and cutting-edge research from Positive Psychology. Caroline leaves her audiences with tangible takeaways and relatable strategies they can use to create their own happiness and success. Caroline’s TEDx talk, “The Moments That Make Champions,” explores the three things that we can choose to do differently to improve our chances of developing authentic grit and flourishing emotionally. Caroline has worked with clients across all industries and around the world including: Morgan Stanley, lululemon, Blizzard Entertainment, ScanSource, McKinsey & Company, The Wharton School/UPENN, RE/MAX, Booz Allen Hamilton, the New Zealand Bar Association, Dubai Ellevate, Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis Inc., American Bankers Association, Young Presidents’ Organization, Harvard Law School, and Swisse Wellness.



Caroline earned one of the first 32 Masters of Applied Positive Psychology degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (MAPP), graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School’s Executive Education program. She was an adjunct lecturer in Positive Psychology and Coaching at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and at the University of Texas-Dallas School of Management for almost a decade. She facilitates webinars and training for many organizations about well being, productivity, corporate goal setting strategies, grit, and success. Caroline was one of the first happiness experts to be tapped to advise Happify Health, the premier digital platform offering evidence-based resilience solutions for employers and health plans. She also authored their goal setting and grit tracks.

my name is caroline

Pioneering Leader

Although she didn’t have a word for it at the time, Caroline used “grit” to help overcome her personal battle with bulimia in her early twenties. Caroline’s story became the award-winning bestseller, My Name is Caroline (Doubleday 1988, 1990, 2012), and was the first autobiography to give others hope that recovery was possible.  The sequel, Positively Caroline (Cogent 2013), completes the only two-book series that charts a person’s development of bulimia to more than thirty years of unbroken recovery, a remarkable feat that has given people all over the world the courage to seek help. Her candor has impacted different generations, including “iCarly” star, Jennette McCurdy, who said Caroline’s books were instrumental in her own recovery.

Caroline remains passionate about helping others overcome eating disorders and addiction in her free time, and has personally responded to over 100,000 letters and emails from all over the world. Her pioneering frankness and commitment to helping others since the early 1980s has been honored for decades, including being featured on “To Tell the Truth” in 1990 and winning the Mentoring Award in 2013 from George Washington University’s Hot Mommas Project. She remains a popular and iconic figure in the addiction world, and has spoken at the Betty Ford Center, hospitals and inpatient treatment centers, addiction conferences, college coaching symposia, the NYC Child Mind Center, Project Heal, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), and elsewhere.

Caroline is known most recently as the originator of “ampliship” which she defines as “celebrating the successes, ideas and good news about other women in front of witnesses.” Her ebook, #IHaveYourBack Success Groups, is the first evidence-based guide to why women should deliberately form mastermind groups and their unique benefits that can’t be gotten elsewhere.  

9x Best Selling Global Author

Caroline is the author of nine books, including the best selling My Name is Caroline (Doubleday 1988), which was an Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild, and Positively Caroline (Cogent 2013), its sequel. Creating Your Best Life (Sterling 2009 and 2021), is the first mass market self-help book on the science of happiness and how it intersects with the science of accomplishing goals. The “father of Positive Psychology,” Dr. Martin Seligman, lauded Caroline’s scholarship in his book Flourish, noting that she had “added a major missing piece to the world of coaching” because of her ground-breaking and evidence-based connection between Positive Psychology and goal success. Live Happy Magazine named Creating Your Best Life one of the top 10 goal setting books ever published and Lifehack also called Creating Your Best Life the #1 goal setting book for 2021, ahead of many well-known and popular authorities, demonstrating why Sterling Publishing chose to reissue the book 12 years after its initial launch.

Caroline’s seventh book, Getting Grit (Sounds True 2017), discusses why the character strength of grit is so important to a flourishing life, who has it, and how to cultivate, amplify, hire for it, and teach it. Editorialge called it “One of the Top 25 Books to Help You Find Your Purpose” in 2023, and Live Happy Magazine noted in 2017 that it was one of the “Ten Books That Will Change Your Life” that year.  #IHaveYourBack is an ebook on how women can form and benefit from mastermind groups. Caroline has also contributed chapters to several other books, including Full Lives and Thriving Women Thriving Worldand has contributed chapters to textbooks on Positive Psychology and executive coaching.

Set for release by Wiley in December 2024, Big Goals: The Science of Setting Them, Achieving Them, and Creating Your Best Life is a deep dive into effective goal-setting using the best of current and proven science from many fields. Drawing on over twenty years of research in positive psychology, the book introduces the BRIDGE methodology—Brainstorming, Relationships, Investments, Decisions, Good Grit, and Excellence. This innovative framework helps bridge the gap between ambitious Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and actionable steps for achieving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and walks readers through a step-by-step method that fills in the gaps around how to successfully accomplish their most meaningful goals. Caroline also explores the validated effectiveness of Locke and Latham’s Goal Setting Theory (GST), equipping readers of all ages with the tools and insights to enhance their careers, enrich personal lives, and redefine success.

Gary Latham, co-founder of Goal Setting Theory, has said,”Caroline Miller has done a superb job of translating Goal Setting Theory, which I developed with Edwin Locke, as well as the empirical research on which it is based, into everyday, meaningful, memorable language so that all of you can put our findings into practice immediately to bring about changes you desire on and off your jobs,” and Brian Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Heroic says, “This is the best goal setting book ever written. Period.”

Caroline’s books have been translated into German, Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Italian, among many other languages, and have been reprinted numerous times.


Media Personality

Caroline’s work has been featured in hundreds of magazines, newspapers and other media around the world including BBC World News, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC, NPR, CNN, and more. She was the first Positive Psychology expert to bring coaching and happiness to satellite radio via XM with her “Positive Tip of the Day” and was the Washington D.C. area happiness expert on television for years.

Leadership Coach

For over two decades, Caroline has coached hundreds of individuals from CEOs to professional athletes on how to identify their character strengths, get more grit and achieve their hardest and most meaningful goals. She is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation, and her books are frequently used in coach training programs around the world because of their focus on how to apply evidence-based research to the process of developing resilience, becoming gritty and accomplishing goals. She is a sought-after guest lecturer in many academic and corporate settings because of the unique perspective she brings to her topics and the depth of her scholarly research and writings.

Caroline was one of the first experts asked to join the Advisory Board of Happify Health, the premier digital platform offering evidence-based resilience solutions for employers and health plans. She created the premium goal setting and grit tracks. and is a frequent contributor to the website’s articles and international webinars. Her “Finding Mastery and Flourishing” course for the online Mental Health Academy has educated hundreds of participants, as have courses she has created and taught for Ruzuku and other providers.

Personal Life

Caroline is a top-ranked Masters Swimmer in multiple events, has a black belt in Hapkido and is working towards another in the self-defense system of Tzee Wai Kuen. Caroline splits her time with her husband, Haywood, and giant black Schnoodle, Alpha, between Bethesda, Maryland and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where she has a beach house on the same street as the famous Funland amusement park, and that also serves as a site for her exceedingly popular executive retreats.

Connect with Caroline