All Articles Tagged "goals"
Despite all of the personal information I share about my life in articles, in my personal interactions with people, I’m not much of a sharer — particularly when it comes to my dreams. Though I’d like to say I’m at a point in my life where the opinions of others don’t matter, at times they still do, especially when it comes to things I value greatly and milestones I hope to achieve.
It was sometime during my college years when I got the message some things, or better yet dreams, are best left unsaid. Routinely, people would ask what I wanted to do after I graduated and the first time I was asked that question, I boldly answered I planned to move to New York and write for a magazine. I was met with one of those “that’s a pretty lofty goal I’m sure you’ll never achieve” looks that I never wanted to see again. Consequently, whenever someone asked me that same question after that first encounter I found myself adding qualifiers like “I want to write for a magazine and move to New York at some point, but I’m sure it won’t happen right away” Or, I’d totally lie and say, “I don’t know.” For some reason, not having an answer seemed better than having an ambitious one in my 20-something-year-old mind.
In a twist of irony — or destiny — I was actually offered a job in New York City one month after graduation. But no sooner had I shared my excitement, had a barrage of pessimistic comments poured in, mostly questioning whether this is what I really wanted and if I could actually survive in a city most naysayers had never stepped foot in. My spirit was pretty much crushed as I learned even achieving your dreams isn’t a surefire defense against people criticizing them. And since that time, give or take a few instances, I’ve pretty much kept my plans for the future to myself. Knowing my own pessimistic mind, I couldn’t take the risk of someone putting even more doubt in my head or dissuading me from pursuing my goals.
But then something happened when I was in Costa Rica earlier this year, throwing out proclamations about how I had to get my life together. As HolistiCitiLyfe founder Leslie Carrington assured me, “Your life is together,” I told her how I’d been thinking about delving deeper into the beauty industry, specifically skin care for Black women, and even makeup since people were always asking me about mine. I also shared how I’d met a dermatologist who complained to me about a young Black female client questioning his experience with African American skin which offended him (his exact words: “It was like, go f-ck yourself”) and how that telling conversation was confirmation for me that there’s a need for what I was feeling compelled to explore.
“You should totally do it!” Leslie said in response to my storytelling which resulted in me offering up one of those awkward, “are you playing with my emotions” laughs as she rattled off all the reasons why I should pursue my newfound interest. I’d grown so accustomed to people giving me reasons not to do something I didn’t quite no how to respond when they gave me reasons why I should. It was the first of many affirmations to come once I took that initial step to be open.
The second came just the morning after as we were about to head to the airport in San Jose. Leslie came over to me with a black case in her hand and said as she was packing her things she came across the case and asked herself why she’d brought it in the first place and how after our conversation she realized she brought it so she could give it to me. It was a set of 25-plus makeup brushes she’d bought in Italy and never used and now they were mine. I would tell that story to the wonder and amazement of my co-workers who assured me this was an undeniable sign from the universe a few days later.
Suddenly, sharing didn’t seem so bad. In fact, I proudly told other friends/co-workers how I’d begun taking free makeup classes at Sephora to brush up on my skills and see if artistry was something I could really do and enjoy. I told them about the beauty school open houses I’d attended and my plans to study part-time. And I began talking to other estheticians and women in the business about my specific interest who all enthusiastically told me I should go to school — in fact they hoped I did — because, as I suspected, there is a lack of knowledge on the skin care needs of women of color and they need more of us to fill in the gap.
And then a beauty editor friend of mine who was clearing out her apartment brought me a bag of goodies that would make any beauty blogger double over in amazement — we’re talking Makeup Forever gift sets, Tarte foundations, Sephora lip glosses, highlighters, illuminators, Ole Henrickson skin care sets. Hundreds of dollars worth of products were put in my lap simply because I’d had the courage to say “This is what I want to do.” And then a couple of weeks later she asked me to do her makeup for a photoshoot and just like that I had my first portfolio pictures.
Having the courage to even admit a desire can be just as hard as actually pursuing it, but once you do it’s amazing the way the universe will respond to your proclamation. Just this past weekend I met a friend of my sister’s who asked me immediately, “Are you a makeup artist?” I smiled and proudly told him, “I’m working on it.”
Getting motivated is easy. When you’re feeling encouraged, nothing can stop you. You invest in a gym membership, sign up for a class, commit to overtime for a new project. You do whatever it takes to get ahead.
Unfortunately, motivation doesn’t always stay around as easily as it comes around. Keeping the motivation you have from the start of a project or goal to the end takes a bit of work. So as you mentally try to prepare for your morning workout and your evening meeting, it pays to pencil in these tips for staying driven around the clock. When you are determined to stay motivated, your goals become easier to reach.
Women who get things done know that the best way to accomplish your goals is to work hard and stay focused. But sometimes there is there such a thing as working too hard when you’re determined to get to the top.
Staying focused is always an important part of success. But when you don’t cut yourself a little slack from time to time, you could slow down your progress or lose your direction on the way to what you really want.
Whether it’s taking well-deserved breaks or asking for help from the right people, doing yourself these favors is the best way to work smarter and not harder to avoid burnout.
Raise your hand if you have goals you’re trying to achieve. Now raise the other hand if you’d get there faster if the struggle wasn’t oh so real.
“Just do it” worked as a Nike slogan, but just putting in the work to accomplish your goals can be harder than it sounds. The trouble? Sometimes willpower can be kind of fickle. It’s right there when you need to wake up early for a morning meeting on no sleep, but nowhere to be found when you walk past the vending machine an hour before lunch and end up buying junk food you have no business munching on.
But there are ways to turn up your willpower whenever you need it to work for you. All you need is a little bit of practice.
Asking for what you want always sounds like it should be simple. Sometimes it is. But when it comes to tough topics, whether it’s asking for a raise, or for what you really want in bed, sometimes it’s hard to know where to even start. Or, better yet, how to ask the right way so you come out of a potentially awkward situation with what you want.
While getting what you desire isn’t always a piece of cake, there are ways of going about asking for it that could increase the possibility. And, as with everything, practice makes perfect. So don’t be afraid to get your foot in the door. Start speaking up for what you need now and soon you’ll be getting more of what you want later.
At the beginning of the year, we all set out to achieve a laundry list of goals. Something about a new year forces us to reflect on our lives and want to make small changes for a better lifestyle, be it applying for grad school or throwing our hat in the ring for a promotion. But whether you jot them down mentally during a New Year’s Eve champagne toast or craft an entire vision board for your annual objectives, some intentions simply get lost in the shuffle of everyday life. Before you know it, those resolutions to do and live better become an afterthought. But don’t waste time beating yourself up about only reading two out of the 10 books you promised you’d have finished by the summer solstice. Instead, pretend you’re LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, down 3-1 in the series, and reboot your goals to make a stellar comeback in the second half of 2016.
Start by assessing all the targets you’ve already bulls-eyed. Pat yourself on the back for finally saving money like you said you would before scolding yourself for not developing better eating habits. In regards to what you’ve bested so far, take it to the next level. Started that new job you wanted? Make plans to stand out among your co-workers while working on a new project or set early sights on a new opportunity being offered.
After that, zero in on the things you didn’t get to accomplish. The leftover items on your year-long to-do list are where the real work begins. To get those forgotten items back on track, first change the deadlines and conditions. If you didn’t make that solo spring trip to Spain happen like you’d hoped you would, try rescheduling and flipping it into a fall vacation with your girls. Also, list every action that leads to each achievement. For instance, if you still need to find a new apartment, write down each place you need to call and visit, then make note of how much each place costs, including the costs for transporting your stuff. By including step-by-step actions into your plans, you won’t feel so overwhelmed because you will have a strategy. You will also be surprised by how quickly you knock out a goal when you’re thinking of it on a smaller scale.
With that being said, your marks may require a little downsizing. Often, the hype of a new year results in bloated, unattainable (at least within a year’s time) intentions. Things like buying a new home or reaping a considerable profit from your new business should probably be in your five-year plan, not a six-month window. That’s not to say your dreams are too big. They just may need a bit more time to materialize. It’s better to be realistic about certain aspirations instead of betting against your own success.
Lastly, find an accountability partner who understands your plan and purpose, and will be your cheerleader to the finish line. Some of your ambitions are just right, but you’ve been too busy, or maybe even too lazy to see them through. For the second half of 2016, have a friend or family member keep you on track, so by next New Year’s Eve, you can toast to getting everything you wanted out of the last 365.
Unless you missed a hard deadline for something you have no control over, recalibrating your goals to ensure success for the rest of the year is possible. You just need a nice dose of motivation and a few hours (or days) to map out a new plan for what’s left of the year. It’s nowhere near too late to make things happen. The question is, what will you do to see the changes you’ve been pining for before 2017 creeps up on us?
When it’s a huge project, a hard one, or something you just don’t want to do, putting it off until later can feel like the best option. But you have goals to achieve and deadlines to meet. So what do you do when you just can’t seem to get in gear?
There are a lot of reasons to procrastinate. Luckily, there are also a lot of strategies to get you over the hump. To give yourself the motivation you need, try one or two of these techniques at a time. Then give them time to work. Old habits die hard, but focusing on these strategies will help you to be able tackle projects.
Do you have any techniques in your tool box that you use to combat procrastination? Whether it’s working out or taking a minute to bust a move to your favorite song, leave it in the comment section to help us all get back to work.
As you all know, I’m a big fan of Kelly Rowland’s show “Chasing Destiny.” I’ve written about it a couple of times and this weekend, my sister and I introduced my cousin to the show. And we ended up watching all of the episodes all over again.
In doing so, I noticed something particularly interesting in last week’s airing.
As much love and sisterhood as we see on the show, it is still a competition. And on this particular night, Kelly was looking to send one of the young ladies home.
Interestingly enough, before she eliminated people, she told both the producers, her partner in this journey, choreographer Frank Gatson, and vocal coach Stevie Mackey that she’d had a dream about one of the young ladies. In the dream, the girl was telling her that she was going to be in the group. Coincidentally, the very same girl she dreamt about was the one Kelly and her team decided to eliminate, Skye.
From the moment that Skye sensed that she wasn’t going to be competing any further, her body language changed. She sunk and tears began to fall. But that reaction is standard. Most of the young ladies cried when they were sent home. But it was what Skye did afterward that changed her fate.
She said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “It’s just so weird. I had dreams of being in this group, being on stage with this group.”
But she didn’t stop there. She thanked Kelly and Frank for the time and care they had invested into her up until that point. She did it in a way that somehow managed to come across as sincere and genuine, rather than desperate and ass-kissy. And she said that she hoped America was able to see the type of people they were. And then as she was walking out of the door, she told them that she hoped that they found what they were looking for and that the group they were creating proved successful.
When she left, Kelly, Frank and Stevie were stunned into silence. Later, I believe Frank said sh*t. After Kelly had eliminated another girl, she mentioned that she just couldn’t get Skye off of her mind. Between her dream and Skye’s dream and the words she said as she left, she realized it wasn’t time to say goodbye to her yet. As Kelly said this, her partners chimed in. Stevie mentioned that based on what Skye said as she was walking out of the room, she would be the perfect group member. He said she would put the group first and be on stage, rain or shine because even as she was being eliminated, she was still concerned for the well-being of the group.
And Kelly decided after the talk with Stevie and Frank that she was going to invite her to stay. She called her back into the very room where she’d dismissed her and asked her to please stay and continue on in the competition.
After sitting through church service about ending negative talk, speaking positively over your life so you can pursue your dreams, my antenna perked up.
I was very tired and had laid down in a ball in between my sister and cousin on the couch. But I lifted my head to tell the both of them, “You see how you can manifest your dreams by what you think and say about yourself? She said, ‘I saw it.’”
My cousin agreed, “Even in other people!”
It was so true. Skye envisioned this life for herself. And not only did she envision it, she spoke about that vision at the right time and her circumstances shifted. She had already been eliminated, was on her way home; but because of her dream and her tongue, she got to stay and work toward her goal.
I love to marinate on the benefits of positive thinking. And at my church they speak quite a bit about declaring your dreams, your desires, your children and even yourself into the atmosphere, so that the universe will have to adjust to accommodate you and your talents. I’ve always believed that. I’ve experienced that several times over in my own life. And it was certainly a trip to watch play out on reality television.
I share this story because there are some people who think it’s spooky, or hokey, or just too weird to embrace the connection between the spiritual, psychological and physical worlds. We are more powerful than we think. What we say about ourselves and our lives matters, deeply. The universe is listening.
Bow Wow and I don’t agree on a whole lot. But the rapper, host and sometime-actor made a good point in his attempt to shut down rumors that he is romantically involved with singer Keyshia Cole.
I have to admit there’s some truth to that. We can argue that Bow Wow wasn’t exactly on his A game when he was with Erica Mena. We all remember how he chose to promote himself through his relationship and then, when the relationship went sour, chose to publicly tear her down. We can certainly argue that he wasn’t concerned about protecting his brand or appearing to be a good human being when he was publicly talking about his fiancee’s miscarriage.
But aside from public, C-list celebrity relationships, the idea of a romantic partner taking you off your grind, happens in the real world everyday. There are people, men and women, whose relationships become so important they forget to devote themselves to their personal goals, friends, families and of course career.
Most of the time it’s not even a conscious decision. While I’ve always regarded myself as someone who’s goal driven, my last relationship proved that my resolve could be tested. At the time I was supposed to be working on writing my book, my grandmother’s memoir. This was in addition to my day job. After my 9-5, the hours I should have spent writing, I would spend on the phone talking to him, sometimes about the very dreams neither one of us were actively working towards.
And the crazy thing is, I never really felt anxious, guilty or unproductive. I didn’t realize that I was choosing to invest in the relationship at the expense of myself. It wasn’t until it was over that I noticed 180 degree turn in productivity. So much so that I astounded myself and confirmed that the relationship really had run its course.
Still, being with someone now is even more ambitious than me, who always makes time to practice and perfect his craft, it motivates and inspires me to be and do better.
Really, when it comes down to it, you can’t blame the relationship for a personal choice to put one aspect of your life over the other. When you’re mature enough to fight for what you really want, you’ll be able to put things in the proper order at the proper time.
Getting ready for a new year is all about organization and priorities! Preparation is everything and you still have a few days left in 2015 to prepare for 2016! We’ve compiled a list of 15 things to do before the ball drops. Like de-cluttering your home or strategically writing down your goals for the new year ahead.
Click continue and check out the 15 tips that will help you prepare:
All images: Shuttershock
1. Get organized and clean out your closets, throw away or give away anything that you no longer want.
2. If you haven’t been doing so already during 2015, spend the rest of the year writing down your goals.
3. If time will allow, use the last weekend in the month to get away. Whether it’s to a family member’s house a town away, or a close friend up the block, take a mini trip and reflect
4. Leave no book unread! Remember the list of books you promised you’d finish in a year? If you haven’t tackled the entire list, at least finish the one you started.
6. Don’t be afraid to get a head start on your 2016 goals.
7. Get in the gym now, do not wait until next year to decide whether you’re going to take your exercise regimen seriously. Start now.
8. Get to your last minute appointments.