All Articles Tagged "goals"
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.
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.
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.
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_
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.