All Articles Tagged "goals"
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.
I’m tired of relationship advice. I’m particularly tired of men telling women what they’re doing wrong…because we’re the only ones doing things incorrectly. I’m tired of women in relationships giving advice they’ve never used a day in their lives. And I’m particularly saddened seeing so many women devoting every inch of their conscious mind to the thoughts of being with someone else.
My sister and her friends are far from the women I’ve just described but they are single. And one evening they found this article on O Magazine. It was about questions you should ask yourself if you’re still single and want to find someone.
I’ve always considered the writing in the magazine to be quite good, so I was interested to see if the questions posed would be different than the trite ones I’d heard trotted out over and over again.
While the rationale behind the questions was very well written, I’d heard the questions themselves time and time again. The author asked things like are you stepping out of your comfort zone? Do you go out unaccompanied? When you go out is your body language open and inviting?
Just reading it makes you tired.
What I’ve always observed is that when you ask women how they met their significant others, most of the time they weren’t following any of the aforementioned or other cliche rules we hear day in and day out. It just happened when it happened, most times when they were least expecting it.
If you ask me, when it comes to finding a partner or getting into a relationship, there’s really only one question you need to ask yourself: Am I really ready to be in a relationship?
I don’t mean do you really want to be in a relationship, I mean have you proven that you are mentally, psychologically, emotionally mature enough to be in a fulfilling relationship?
Judging by the way you treat people are you ready? Are you friendships, past a present, a reflection that you’re ready? Do close friends and trusted confidants keep telling you you need to work on something about yourself?
When I was a little girl, more than anything I wanted a boyfriend. At five-years-old I told my godbrother that he was going to be said boyfriend. I just thought it was important. Interestingly enough that boyfriend I had at 5 would be the last one I ever had until I was 27, which is this year.
By the time I was in college, in my early twenties, I really started wondering what the hell was going on? Where was my boo? I don’t even think I was asking God specifically, it was just a thought, a question that had come to my mind so many times, that I guess God just thought now was a good time to answer it.
And He did so, very plainly.
“You’re not ready. You would be consumed by a boyfriend right now.”
When you put it like that God maybe I should chill.
I wish I could say that’s what I did, 100 percent of the time. But that would be a lie. I tried, repeatedly to force one situation in particular that was never quite right. And although this person wasn’t officially my boyfriend, though he did ask on occasion, I still found myself consumed by our relationship. There were things I didn’t do for myself when I was communicating and investing in him. There were relationships I neglected when I was worried about him. There were more viable options I missed out on while I was making myself available for him.
And while I will never say that it was all for nothing, in the end, it didn’t work out because I wasn’t ready. But I knew that. God had already told me that.
No amount of making myself available, after work mixers, or going out alone could have changed that. Only time and maturity.
Now, when I think of all the things I was willing, but ultimately didn’t have to sacrifice, it gives me chills. And I thank God for stepping in at the perfect moments to protect me from myself, even if I didn’t’ see it as such at the time.
When you ask yourself are you ready for a relationship, a part of that question is: Are there things in your life I know I need to do but have yet to accomplish?
When I saw that Adrienne Bailon and Lenny Santiago were no longer engaged, I was hurt. But then I watched the video where she explained the reason she called it off. She said she went on an “Eat Pray Love” journey and discovered the truth about herself and the fate of that relationship. Watching “The Real” pretty frequently, I couldn’t help but wonder if on that journey she discovered that there were some things she still needed to achieve before she was ready to be Lenny, or anyone else’s, wife.
On one particular episode, Tamar asked Adrienne why she doesn’t sing anymore. And she immediately burst into tears. Later on, in that same season, she was singing on the show. And her voice is quite nice. I don’t know the girl but I’ve heard her say things about not feeling like she had accomplished enough in her career.
That’s not insecurity, that’s her spirit telling her that there is more she’s supposed to do. And a part of me wondered if she wanted to do and achieve these things before she settled down into a marriage, where her attention would be diverted, once again, away from the road she knew she was supposed to be traveling.
I’m in a relationship now and I’m so thankful that it didn’t come along any sooner than it did. Now, at 27 and not 5 I’m more sure of who I am as a person and a woman. I’m not afraid to ask for what I want and my own behavior has proven that I’m not willing sacrifice things that are important to me in order to appease a man. Nothing could have prepared me for this place but life and learning.
I can never pretend to be a person who has all the answers, but I will admit that my experiences with sometimes failing to stay focused is something that others can relate to. Whether it’s procrastination, not feeling strong enough, or confident enough in my own abilities, there were times that I struggled with being proactive in my career.
However, a vital change has happened, and instead of sitting back and waiting for things to happen, I’ve been more focused and steady on creating the narrative that I want my life to go down. I realized that my perspective on success and life has matured, and through those, I’ve been able to stay proactive.
As you go through your life/career/struggles, I hope that these things can help you to maintain your stride and continue to pursue whatever goal you’re attempting.
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?
Are these excuses keeping you from accomplishing your goals? Here’s how to kick them to the curb and become your authentic self.