All Articles Tagged "goals"

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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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

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. . @laughcrycuss @deerene_

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

January 26th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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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

Issa Rae Is Writing A Book And Working On A New HBO Pilot!

November 6th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Issa Rae

Source: Facebook

Since the debut of her popular web series Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae has been quite busy. Not only is she a host on new daytime TV talk show Exhale, but she’s also working on a new pilot for HBO.

“I’m writing an HBO pilot. We just turned that in, so we’re waiting on notes. And I’m always working on web series,” she tells The Huffington Post.

In addition to all of that she’s writing a book. Though she has yet to reveal specifically what the book is about, the actress/director did open up about how challenging writing a book has been.

“I’m writing a book right now — that is the bane of my existence because it is so freaking hard,” said Issa.

Though many see the widespread popularity of Awkward Black Girl and believe her success came overnight, Issa says it’s been a long time coming.

“It was a matter of good timing, but I was working towards it for awhile. In my current position, the third web series I did, ["Awkward Black Girl,"] happened to get a lot of attention but the first and the second were very slow.”

She also discusses whether or not she feels responsible for helping other women in the workplace.

“Responsibility is a strong word. I just think there should be a natural desire. I don’t feel a responsibility to, I just want to. I think that it makes [helping other women] almost undesirable if you have a sense of pressure associated with it. I just find it troubling when people try to put other women down. I don’t think that’s helpful in any way.”

As for the “glass ceiling,” Issa says she doesn’t allow it to impact her.

“I choose to ignore it. I feel like by ignoring it, it doesn’t really affect me. I’ve found that the people who acknowledge the glass ceiling feel affected by it and won’t surpass it. I feel like more women are going the route where they’re just like, “F it, I’m gonna make it happen for myself, whether you think it’s gonna happen or not.” That’s my mentality.”

Our girl is doing her thing!

Jazmine Denise is a celebrity news and entertainment blogger. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.

Terrence J Says He Nearly Went Bankrupt While Working At BET

October 2nd, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Think Like A Man Too actor Terrence J recently stopped by Power 105.1′s The Breakfast Club to promote the release of his new book, The Wealth of My Mother’s Wisdom and his latest film, Baggage Claim. The 31-year-old New York native also opened up about overcoming major financial struggles and his split from former Victoria’s Secret Angel Selita EBanks. Peep some interesting highlight from his interview below.

On almost going bankrupt:

“There was a time when I was at 106 where I almost went bankrupt trying to keep up with other people. You know, you got all of these rappers coming on the show, you gotta keep up with them. You get your first AMEX, you blow through that money. There was a point where I lost everything. Then I get got diagnosed with vitiligo. I was scared about my health and everything. My skin started breaking out and I was just depressed.”

On his work ethic compared to former BET and 106 hosts:

“Giving 99% is the same as giving 0%. If you gon’ give 99%, you may as well stay home. I’m always like 110% in everything I do. You see the things that people do. I’ve seen the paths and I always wanted to excel. I knew I always wanted to do film. I never wanted to feel like I couldn’t pay my rent. When I first started at BET, I did not know how I was going to pay my college tuition. I was sleeping on the couch. I never wanted to feel broke. That’s why I hustle all of these jobs. It’s out of like, desperation. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night like, ‘Oh! Someone else is working and I’m not! Let me get back to the grind.’

On his split from Selita Ebanks:

“I think Selita is amazing. Sometimes things just don’t work. She’s a very busy woman. I work as well. I just think she’s amazing and I wish her the best.”

On being a bad host during his early years at BET:

“I didn’t think I was gon’ make it. I didn’t think was gon’ last. I’m just glad they stuck with me. I know for the first 2, 3 years I was terrible. So I’m just happy the network stayed with me. Things at E! are going really well.”

It’s inspiring to see that Terrence was able to roll with the punches and continued to chase his dreams, even while when he was faced with adversity.

Watch his full interview on the next page.

MN Business Tip Of The Day: Be Realistic. Perfection Doesn’t Exist.

October 1st, 2013 - By Michelle Alerte
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While the desire to excel is often considered a good thing, when it spills over into perfectionism it’s just a messy waste of time. Moreover, a perfectionist always pressures others to reach for this level, which is likely to get you jumped in the break room.

Your best bet is to remember that nobody is perfect; we all have strengths and weaknesses. No matter what your overachieving parents have spoon fed you, there are always things you can do better and improve upon. Focus on what is really needed and don’t worry about what you can’t do. When working on a project be sure to define a goal that you want (and realistically can) achieve. This way you’ll know when you are finished and stop nitpicking at fringe details.

Perfectionism can be self-destructive when the perfectionist is too concerned with how others perceive them. And when it comes to work, it can impede you getting the job done. A job well done and completed on deadline is actually pretty darn good.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Goals That All Women Should Set For Themselves

August 16th, 2013 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
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Woman thinking with eyes on the prize


Keep your eyes on the prize, ladies. The sexual revolution, Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, Oprah, the shifting economy… there are countless components that have gone into the progress and success of women in the world, in the home, and in the workplace. Women have advanced in media, in politics, in sciences and in big business, and they’ve done this by utilizing skill sets, and by identifying and actualizing goals that they’ve set for themselves. While every woman can’t be Condoleezza Rice or Martha Stewart, every woman can set certain goals in place for herself so that life may be as fulfilling as possible.

A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss: How To Choose A Goal That Works Best For You

July 5th, 2013 - By Erika Nicole Kendall
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Source: Shutterstock

When I first started out with my weight loss journey, all I really wanted was to be small enough to fit into a dress at Bebe.

No, really.

I’d gone into a store with one of my dear friends who was dress hunting, and I realized that I was far too large to fit into anything they sold there. I picked up a flowy top with dolman sleeves, thinking that it – with its mass sheaths of fabric and large neckhole – would fit me, only to find that it wouldn’t even come past my shoulders. Even then, I didn’t necessarily “vow to lose weight,” but I did say that I’d “be back when I could fit into something in there.”

As I’d first started out, I didn’t really set a goal. I just knew that, since I’d hit my stride, I wanted to work as hard as possible and do as much as I could to get somewhere other than 330lbs. And I’d done exactly that. I put my nose down, and I did the work, with people asking me what my “goal” was the entire time.

It made me feel like something was wrong with me – my goal? Do I have to have a goal? Can’t I just do the work? I mean, the exercise was cathartic for me – working out to relieve stress and anxiety as opposed to, say, eating to relieve anxiety – and I didn’t want to give it a relative end date.

So, though I didn’t set a goal, I did decide on a number that I’d thought would look good on me. I didn’t attach myself to the idea of that being the “stopping” point for me, but I did say to myself that I’d be this drop dead gorgeous bombshell that stopped traffic once I got there.

That number came and boy, was I underwhelmed.

I didn’t look anything like how I thought I’d look once I’d reached that size. I didn’t have the definition, the sleek curves, none of it. I’d done the work, but it wasn’t targeted correctly to build the body I wanted, and quite honestly, I don’t know that I believe the body I wanted was available at that size for someone seeking to lose weight.

That’s the struggle with setting “goal weights,” though –- it perpetuates an attachment to the scale that isn’t even necessary. The reality of weight loss is that, no matter what your reasons for losing, you still want your efforts to result in you being happy with what you see when you look in the mirror, and that feeling isn’t always something that you can guarantee will come with any given number.

The funny thing about being in that Bebe store and feeling like my goal should’ve been to just look good in the dress, was that it was a meaningful yardstick to measure my progress – one of many. Measuring my health, how I feel about myself when I look in the mirror, my physical capabilities and quality of life? All of these were valuable measuring tools to gauge my progress, far more so than a number on a scale. It not only saved me the disappointment of clinging to a number that didn’t satisfy me when I looked in the mirror, but it made me comfortable with lifting weights – something that can, in some cases, cause you to gain weight instead of lose – in order to build the body I wanted.

Goal setting can be tricky, but don’t let it get to you. Focus on the entire package, instead of fixating on a number. It helped me achieve far more than I ever even originally imagined, and it can do the same for you!

Erika Nicole Kendall is the writer behind the award winning blog, A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss, where she blogs her journey of losing over 150lbs. A personal trainer certified in women’s fitness, fitness nutrition and weight loss coaching, she can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


I Believe I Can Fly: 10 Reasons You Should Follow Your Dreams

March 26th, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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Ever gaze off into the distance and envision yourself as a bustling business owner, entrepreneur of your own bakery or interior design company? The thing that often stops you from pursuing your dream, whether it’s to publish a book, open a gymnastics center, or  launch your own pet grooming service is fear. Fear of failure and not knowing how to dust yourself off and reinvent yourself to make a strong comeback. Banish those negative doubts and thoughts of disbelief that permeate the corners of your mind. Now is the time to go after your true calling. Still having second thoughts?  Seek inspiration below. And then I ask you: What are you waiting for, folks?

"Happy Black Woman"


Self Satisfaction

I can’t get no . . . satisfaction won’t be your theme song because you will. You will be satisfied with the fact that you were willing to take the plunge into uncertainty. You will have to give it your all. Nobody said it would be easy, but there is something about pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps that feels oh so good.

Cussin’ Christian, Steve Harvey Inspires High School Students With The Realness

March 8th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Photo: Todd Anderson

Photo: Todd Anderson


We all have that uncle who gives the best advice. It just may come in a package that’s a bit too abrasive, too uncouth or too raw for your more prudish family members. And though his delivery may be a little bit rough around the edges, you know at the end of the day, your uncle, no matter how reckless his mouth, cares about you.

Steve Harvey, radio, talk, and game show host and comedian is something like that uncle.

For the past six years, Havey has partnered with Walt Disney World Resort to host Disney’s Dreamers Academy. The program is designed to provide high school students with opportunities to cultivate their dreams through career workshops, inspirational speeches from celebrities and networking events.

This year, 5,000 high school students, from across the country, applied to participate in the weekend-long program. A board, including members Yolanda Adams and Mikki Taylor, helped to select only 100 students.

Yesterday, Taylor, Adams, Harvey, former Dreamers Academy students and other Disney executives spoke to this year’s dreamers about what they can expect from the coming weekend and dropped some gems of wisdom as well.

Both Adams and Harvey echoed each other in their sentiments; yet, while Adams’ delivery was polite, polished and poignant. Harvey’s was rugged.

Adams talked about how the students have so much more to learn as they “grow with grace and wisdom.” Harvey said bluntly and succinctly, these are “your stupid years.”

To be sure that neither the students or parents in attendance took offense, Harvey says that he tells his own children, who range from 30 to 15, the same thing. He said that, though they think they know everything now, when they get older, they’ll look back on their lives and realize what he meant. He said that reflection may come in a spiritual form like, “Jesus, I was stupid.” Or it may come in a “thug moment” like “I’ll be damned…that was stupid.”

Now, you may have noticed that Harvey used Jesus in one sentence and cussed in the next. Well, he addressed that too by saying he’s not these kids’ parent or pastor so we can’t judge him. In fact, Harvey said he’s a new Christian who hasn’t quite abandoned profanity yet. He went on to say that today’s children have heard far worse from their peers, the media and music they consume. He said at least he cusses with a purpose.

While Harvey might be a bit unorthodox in his approach, it is very clear that he has the teens’ best interest at heart and was truly there to impart some wisdom. He told them to make the most of the weekend because each speaker knows something the students don’t.

What the students and the speakers all have in common though is that they have a dream. Harvey made sure to mention the importance of the dream, “Your dream is the major component in your life outside of your relationship with God.” He supported that claim by referencing Proverbs 29 saying, “A man without a dream or vision shall perish.”

He also told students that they needed to be persistent in holding onto their dreams. Harvey said he knew from 9 years old that he wanted to be on television. But it didn’t happen for him until he was 38. He said just because a dream takes a while to come true, he asked, “When is it too late to be successful?”

Harvey had the room wrapped around his finger. And he left the podium to a standing ovation from the 100 high school dreamers, one of them even shouting out, “I love you Steve!” High schoolers can appreciate messages that come from a real place. And if they were paying attention the parents, media and other adults in the room could have learned a little something from Harvey too.

What do you think about Harvey’s approach and his words of wisdom?

Keep checking back on Madame Noire for updates about Disney’s Dreamers Academy, including student and celebrity interviews.

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