All Articles Tagged "goals"

You’ve Heard It Before, But Have You Done It? Why You Really Need To Write Down Your Goals

July 29th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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This has to be something all of us has heard time and time again, but didn’t always follow. Whether life crowds your daily schedule or you just don’t feel like doing any extra work outside the office, there are so many reasons why we say we can’t do something. When it comes to goals, this is an area you definitely should not neglect.

Among my never-ending list of to-dos, I always try (keyword) my best to make room for my goals. Is anyone else horrible at making an “I promise” list at the beginning of the year? Luckily it’s never too late to start. This year I was determined to put my dreams to paper and write out a list of short- and long-term goals. And while there’s still work to be done, I’m beyond thankful to say many have been crossed off the list.

Obviously you can’t just add something to a vision board or a journal and expect it to come to fruition without a little work on your end. Contrary to what some hold true, sitting around and doing nothing will not elevate you to the level you desire to achieve. You actually need to work in order to see something come to pass. Even then, there’s never a real guarantee it will pan out the way you hoped.

One of the biggest goals I had was to try and double the amount I make in a year (giving birth in 2014 and 2015 will do that to ya). As a person who pursues a life of self-employment, I know far too well how many ups and downs can come at any given moment. Thankfully I’ve been able to keep things steady for some years, but I can recall many sleepless nights when I stared at my journal and wondered how I was possibly going to achieve this goal. At the time, it seemed impossible — especially since my husband and I were planning for our second child at the time.

How was I going to work harder than I already was? Was my dream too crazy or unrealistic?

I thought about every excuse in the book and started to become discouraged. One thing I will say about writing down your dreams is that it holds you accountable. There’s nothing quite like a piece of paper staring you in the face with an unchecked completion box to make you want to do something. As silly as it might sound, this helped to motivate me to find new ways to expand and earn income.

With time and a bit of research came light bulbs that started to go off in my head. I began breaking down each goal into ideas and obtainable parts that led me back to areas I had previously glossed over. Doors I once thought were closed or couldn’t work began to make sense. At one point, it became a game where I tried my best to piece this puzzle called life together (though I still don’t have all the parts I need yet). With dedication and a relentless spirit, I found myself aligned with an opportunity that would allow me to double my salary. What’s funny is it came a few weeks before I gave birth to my son that still works today. While things aren’t perfect (whose life really is?), everything fits, which is a blessing I’ll definitely take.

No matter how much ambition I had, writing them down on paper definitely helped me stay focused. It’s one thing to imagine an idea and catalog it in the back of your head, but a completely different story to have it front and center in your day-to-day hustle. It can be your friend and also your hardest critic as it challenges you to work hard. There will be times when you can complete a desired goal without too much trouble, and other times when you need to break that sucker into more digestible tasks. No matter how long it takes, the fact that you’re moving forward puts you one step closer to the things you want.

Have you written down your goals?

Real Talk: Are These Excuses Keeping You From Accomplishing Your Dreams?

July 10th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Are these excuses keeping you from accomplishing your goals? Here’s how to kick them to the curb and become your authentic self.

The Cost Of Success: What Will You Pay To Achieve Your Dreams?

July 6th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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All of us have a goal or two we would love to achieve. Regardless how big or small it might be, it’s important to keep shooting for the stars until you reach your full potential.

The question is, are you will to do what it takes to get there?

One thing I’ve learned about life is that talk is very cheap. Folks have no issue chatting your ear off about their intentions and plans, but more than likely have no immediate plans to pursue their endeavors. Hearing the same story over and over again really makes me work to step up my own game so I don’t become yet another person I know full of hot air.

When you set out to achieve your dreams, it in no way is an easy journey. If that were the case, more people would be millionaires and doing remarkable things. At the end of the day, you have to be ready to pay the price that comes with the perks of achievement. Here are a few common costs associated with the hustle.

A relentless attitude. This might sound like a no-brainer but is a necessary evil to achieving your goals. One of the biggest reasons why people are where they are is because they lack a determination to pursue their dreams, no matter what. If it’s easy for you to throw in the towel, you probably won’t make it very far.

Ability to leave your comfort zone. Here’s another one that’s easier said than done for some people. At some point, you need to stop doing the same old thing in other to see results. You can choose to be “comfortably miserable,” or head into uncharted territory to see better results.

Read: Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy: How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Limited funds. No one says you need to go poor or rack up crazy debt before you make it big. This however does not mean you won’t experience setbacks that come with your hustle. Sometimes you have to start over at a new job or take a lateral position in efforts to gain the right amount of experience. If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s a good chance you’ll need to funnel money back into your business to make it profitable. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by the fancy vacations others may take. Your time is going to come, but first, you need to take care of your business.

Read: Who Said There’s One Road to Success? 10 Reasons to Make a Lateral Career Move

Sleepless nights. Getting a good night’s rest is something all of us need, but will leave on the back burner to get to where we need to be. That can be very counterproductive. Whether you have a creative mind that won’t shut off or stay up trying to finish a little extra work, sleepless nights are unfortunately a common reality for dream seekers. See the irony?

Lack of work/life balance. You really need to be careful with this one as it’s never a good idea to isolate yourself from loved ones. In a quest to be successful, it can be very easy to focus all of your efforts on the pursuit of happiness and not those who inspire you. While it’s great to have a healthy work/life balance, there might be days (or weeks) when you need to put less time into your personal life and more time into your business venture.

Read: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint: 10 Ways to Slow Down Your Hectic Life

There’s always going to be a cost associated with “making it,” you just need to decide how much is too much to pay.

Motivational Speaker Lisa Nichols Tells Parents To Serve From Your Overflow

March 11th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Motivational Speaker Lisa Nichols Tells Parents To Serve From Your Overflow

I must have been living under a rock because when I traveled to Orlando, Florida for the annual Disney Dreamers Academy, I had never heard of Lisa Nichols. But by the end of the trip, I was glad to have had the opportunity to speak to her for a bit.

As you may know, the Disney Dreamers Academy is a program hosted by the corporation, along with Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. During the course of four days selected students, with big dreams, have the opportunity to explore their passions, receive advice from those who have had success in related fields and enjoy the Disney parks along the way.

The kids end up getting quite a bit from the experience. But so do the parents.

Motivational speaker, Lisa Nichols spoke to the parents about the importance of not giving up on their own dreams because they find themselves raising a child. She told them that they don’t have to make a choice between their dreams and preparing their child to achieve their own.

In our exclusive interview, Ms. Nichols spoke to us about why it was important for her to speak to the parents this year and she also encouraged us about achieving the dreams (even the relationship ones) we have for ourselves.

See what she had to say in the video below.

What Potty Training My Daughter Taught Me About Success

February 27th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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What Potty Training My Daughter Taught Me About Success

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There’s an adage that says:  “Once a man, twice a child.”  I took that as an illustration that your second “childhood” happens when you’re old in age.  However, I must be going through my Benjamin Button Effect a little prematurely, because there are certain things that my daughter is currently going through that I feel like I can relate to.

My daughter and I are finally rounding the final base of potty training.  Through this, I realized that there was a correlation between the struggle of getting one to use “the pot” to getting a person to a goal that they have in life, and I’m gonna share it with you.

First:  Stop Comparing Your Journey With Others

I am an avid reader of all things “parenting,” so when I read a blog post about a mother who potty trained her 15 month old, I decided that I would do the same thing.  However, it didn’t happen, and I increasingly felt like a failure each time I put my daughter on her potty, nothing happened, and then the moment I pulled her pants up she began to pee.

The truth of the matter is, success (any type of success that you’re going for) is not going to happen at the same time that someone else’s.  It might happen before others, or after others.  The most important thing for you to do is to focus on your own path, instead of feeling discouraged by how everyone else is doing.

 

Second:  You’re Gonna Have a Lot of False Starts

I remember when my daughter was one, she went a week using the potty consistently, and then… she just stopped.

Success is like that.  There are times you are going to be in your zone, and you’re winning;  or you feel like you’re about to win, and then… something impedes your momentum.  Maybe you get passed over for that raise that you were working so hard for, or you didn’t get the job that you seemed destined to get.

Along with success, failure is going to be inevitable at some point.

 

Third:  It’s Gonna Be Extremely Messy Sometimes.

In order to get to what you want to be, or where you want to be, you’re going to have to clean up some mess in your life.  It’s going to be hard. It might seem like a foul odor to your soul, and might make you want to vomit.  However, shifting through the B.S. is something that happens.

The most important thing to do is to try to clean up your situation as best as you can, until you get to the point that you no longer need someone else to do it for you.  Gain your independence!  Wipe your own nether regions!

 

Fourth:  Find Happiness In the Little Successes

One thing that warmed my heart was the excitement every single time my daughter successfully used the pot.  She would begin to beam, clap and congratulate herself for doing a great job.

This led to her being more consistent with it.

This is the same thing for you.  If you don’t acknowledge those tiny successes that come your way when you’re pursing a goal or a dream, then you’ll lose your motivation to continue.  No matter how small the success is, it still means that you’re on the path you should be on.

 

Finally:  It’ll Come, As Long As You Don’t Give Up

If I could tell you how many times I checked my budget to think:  Forget it!  I’ll just keep on buying diapers!  What?  I can’t afford it?  CRAP!

Success, along with potty training, all comes with consistency.  It’s going to be hard, you’re going to want to quit, and you’re going to doubt yourself.  However, if this is something that you think you’re meant to do, and you’re improving each time you attempt to go forward, then it’ll eventually come.

Don’t let your hard work go down the toilet!

Kendra Koger can think of about 50 potty jokes right now; share yours @kkoger.

 

How To Set New Year’s Resolutions That You’ll Keep

December 22nd, 2014 - By Taylor Gordon
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It happens at the end of every year.

You set ambitious resolutions with good intentions that end up all but forgot by February. You’re not alone. According to a study only eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions for one reason or another. Make a change this year and become one of the eight percent by using these tips.

How Is Your Fear Holding You Back?

June 6th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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I feel as though the saddest tragedy in life is when everyone can see our greatness but us.  As I thought about it more, I don’t think that the problem is that we can’t see our own potential, it’s that we stop ourselves from achieving it.  But why do we do this?  What is it in us that will allow us to sabotage ourselves?  Why would we take the easiest road when we know that that’s not the way that we truly desire to go?

You see your goal, it’s there, but for some reason you’re stopping yourself from reaching it.  What’s going on?

For most, it’s an issue of fear.

If there’s one thing that humans can bond on, it’s the feeling of fear.  Why?  Because there’s something very palpable about the feeling.  In everyone’s lives, at one point or another, we’ve encountered those strong feelings of dread/trepidation.  It’s very intense and creates a sense of panic that will either immobilize us, or cause us to fight against it.  However, when can fear be beneficial?  When do you know to trust your gut, and when do you know to ignore that fear?

Now, I’m not a psychologist, but if we break down fear, it seems as though it can be summed up into three categories.  The first category is  self-preservation.

Our self-preservation fear is innate, it’s what has allowed us to survive.  It’s the awareness in ourselves that causes us to look when something moves out of the corner of our eyes, tells us not to trust the creepy guy who you don’t know who wants to drive you to the store, or tells you “it’s not worth it” when you want to get into an argument/fight with the rude person.  This fear is part of your survival instinct, to help you to live as long as you can on this Earth.

The second category is irrational.

Irrational fear is like your self-preservation fear, just magnified and with no concrete evidence.  It’s like you’re afraid to go out of your house because you know what can happen, so you use that as a reason not to leave.  Irrational fear causes you to put your life on hold, because you’re too afraid of what can happen, so you don’t live at all.

The third category is complacency.

Now this fear, to me, is extremely detrimental.  You want a job, a new job, a better job, but the idea of “what ifs” overwhelms you so much that instead of going through with finding a job that’s ideal for you, you go the route of something more easy.  This fear stops you from being great, allows you to stay in the rut that you’re in, and encourages mediocrity and below.

So what was the point of identifying these fears?  The thing is that sometimes we can mistake one for the other.  People will let their irrational fears and their need for consistency stop them from achieving things that they really want.  They’ll rationalize why they shouldn’t, and try to put that fear in the self-preservation category, when the truth is, you’re only stopping yourself.

For those who believe in Charles Darwin’s theory of “Survival of the Fittest” know that it dictates that “only the strongest survive.”  The truth of the matter is, living the best life that you can means to be strong, courageous, and to discard complacency.  Trying to make irrational fears rational isn’t helping you.  It’s hindering you.

When you’re having a moment where you have an opportunity of progress, and you feel that twinge of fear, try to categorize it.  Figure out where it places.  Is this fear because I could potentially put myself in danger?  Am I fearful because I’m creating an invisible level of chaos, or am I fearful because I’m not comfortable of what lies beyond my life right now?  Once you can figure those things out, then you might be able to start living the best life that you can.

Remember, most successful people have had that exact same fear you’ve had.  However, they worked through it, made themselves vulnerable, and stepped out into a direction that was unfamiliar.  They got to where they are by working through their fear, now it’s just up for you to do the same.

Your Story Is Your Child’s Story: Why Kids Aren’t An Excuse To Stop Dreaming

March 8th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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dreaming feat

It’s amazing the way God orchestrates things. I say God, some of y’all might call it “the universe” or attribute it to the laws of attraction. Whatever you call it, sometimes, through a series of seemingly unrelated events, the things we need to see, hear or experience, land right at our feet.

Last year, we told you about the incredible opportunity the people at Walt Disney World, Steve Harvey, and Essence Magazine provide for high school students called the Disney Dreamers Academy. A weekend long event, the Disney Dreamers Academy hosts high school students who attend workshops in their field of interest, engage with celebrity and motivational speakers and network. The weekend is meant to inspire them to nourish their talents and ferociously pursue the dreams they have for themselves.

It’s all about the kids. But there’s another piece of the puzzle. Each child comes to Disney with a chaperone, typically one of their parents. And yesterday, while the children were off enjoying free time in one of the theme parks, Dr. Steve Perry, founder and principal of Capital Prep, spoke specifically to the parents about their dreams.

He told the parents that in many of the essays they had to submit in order to be accepted into the program, their children wrote about them. Whether they detailed their struggles or described them as an inspiration, or both, he said, “the children wear your issues.”

Perry acknowledged that most good parents have doubts about the way they’re raising their children. He admitted that even as a principal of a school, dealing with other people’s children for a living, raising his own sons can still present a challenge. But he told the parents that despite their faults, they were doing something right and it was evidenced by the fact that their children had been chosen to participate in this program. He asked, “Those circumstances that you passed on to the next generation, did you imagine that they would be this?” In other words, the darkest moments in the parents’ lives ultimately afforded their children an opportunity of a lifetime. He told the parents, “You’re here because you taught your child to turn tragedy into triumph.”

I hope my paraphrasing of his words do the moment justice. It was powerful and I don’t even have kids yet. After he said it, I scanned the room to see if the other parents were as moved as I was and that’s when I noticed a woman silently crying, wiping away the heavy tears that were streaming down her face. Once Dr. Perry had finished speaking, I went up to her and introduced myself. She told me her name: Jamilah.  I asked her why she was so moved by Perry’s words.

She said, “My daughter, so far, is having a very powerful experience here. She was interviewed by Mr. Harvey on his radio show this morning, they’re following her with cameras, a lot’s happening for her. A big part of her essay that she submitted was discussing one of the most challenging experiences that she felt she’s gone through in her life, which was a really difficult thing in my life and some things that I had to overcome…”

I interrupted her to ask if she’d mind sharing some of those challenges.

What she said floored me.

What Happened To Those Resolutions? How To Get Back On Track

January 31st, 2014 - By Dee Rene
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Here we are at the end of January and maybe your resolutions started off with such fever and steam. Then, life happened. Kids, husbands, jobs, or school starts getting in the way and your will power starts feeling like someone is slowly letting the air out of your will-power balloon.

Some of us are left wondering, “What happened to those resolutions?” Now your goals may seem like just a magazine cut out on a sticky board or a fleeting goal that your friends have decided to stop asking about.

Whenever we don’t meet a goal or aren’t doing as well as we hope there is some shame that comes. You likely made the resolution because it’s something you really need to change. Yet, here you are, hiding and ashamed because already it’s starting to fall off.

Before you can get back on track, you’ll have to let go of that fear and shame. It is never too late to start again. You can’t go back and change the last week or two but you can start today (or Monday) with as much force and will as you started on January 1, 2014.

Once you’ve decided there’s not to be ashamed of your humanness, take a step back and ask yourself the tough questions. Why did you stop? What is preventing you from achieving the goal? Is this a circumstance or a mindset about your circumstance? For example, if your goal was to lose weight, did you give up thinking it would ever happen (mindset)? Or have you just not made room for it to happen like clearing your schedule for daily exercise (circumstance)? Identify the root cause of why you fell off in the first place before you push forward.

You are worth giving it one more try. Maybe the business isn’t coming together as quickly as you like but that doesn’t mean it never will. Maybe the weight is stubborn and it’s hard to get motivated, but that doesn’t mean you will never get there. You must believe in yourself. It has to matter more than anything and you have to work like it’s the only thing that matters. Change your mind and change your circumstances.

Now is the tough part. There are likely some circumstances that you didn’t anticipate or focus on that prevented you from. Here is what we call “doing the work.” Wishing and waiting isn’t going to make your resolutions come to life. There is a time to plant (work) and then a time of harvest (success). Don’t leave out the work part! Start breaking down your excuses, addressing your circumstances and push forward towards your success.

Ultimately, you can change at any time.  You have the power to live your best life and your success is worth every single sweat drop, tear, and late night. If it matters to you, show it to yourself. Impress yourself and blow your own mind.

You don’t have to wait until a certain calendar date to kick off a new life campaign. There’s a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald that illustrates this concept perfectly for those of us who may have fallen off the wagon,

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over again.

How will you continue to improve? Comment below.

Dee Rene I the creator of Laugh.Cry.Cuss. http://laughcrycuss.com . @laughcrycuss @deerene_

The Price Of Patience: Slow Down, Create A Plan, & Meet Your Goals

January 26th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From ESSENCE

For many of us, the missing ingredient to achieving our goals and making our dreams come true isn’t that we lack the ability, capacity or the opportunity. Many times, the problem is a lack of patience.

Here are ways we can actively work to build patience into our lives:

1. Count the Costs: Impatience has a price—and most times, it’s not worth what we pay. Until we examine the impact of our past actions, we won’t change.

2. Practice Daily Quiet Time: Practicing daily quiet time will produce results, clarity and focus. When we slow ourselves down, we actually speed up the process of holistic success. Sometimes we go hard, because we don’t want to hear what our hearts and lives are telling us. We have to pump the brakes if we want to slow overwhelm and get to real living!

3. Get Manual: Patience has to be built into our personal culture—especially since we lean so heavily on technology for convenience and speed. Try doing small things like actually learning a phone number and dialing it rather than relying on speed dial. Pull out a cookbook and make a meal that takes time. These are small, but important things that help us slow down and actually be present with our actions. Take time to think and enjoy!

Coach Felicia continues to break our lives down to help us build them back up and you can read more over on ESSENCE.com.