Tag: goals

The Other Side: 5 Ways to Achieve Your Goals

Hitting a Wall

Have you ever hit a wall and thought there was no way to get around it? I know I have so many times. These walls can be in our relationships, on the job, in our own personal development, or as we work towards accomplishing different goals.

And I will admit that these walls can be downright frustrating! It’s like you’re driving (or sailing or walking) along and things are going well. You are happy, carefree, and optimistic about all that the future will bring. You can see your goal peeking just over the horizon. You’re so close. Suddenly, BAM! There’s a wall directly in front of you blocking what was supposed to be smooth sailing. As far as you look to the right and to the left and up and down all you see is a wall with no end.

So what are you going to do? Retreat? Scream for help? Cry your eyes out? The answer to this is never simple.

My Wall: My Story

What I hate most about these walls is that most of the time, at least for me, they cause fear and doubt to creep in. I begin to rationalize that the goal wasn’t that important in the first place. Or that I was crazy for even thinking that I could do it. Or that it wasn’t really worth my time.

All of this fear and doubt get in the way of my being able to see that sign that says “Heavy Door. Push Here. Keep Pushing Until It Opens.” I’m so engulfed in my own sorrow and self-defeat that I fail to see that there is a way through this obstacle. I just have to be willing to look for it, to work for it, and to never give up on it.

I’m gonna be transparent here about this. Will you allow be to be open and honest? I’ve started and stopped many things because they’ve gotten too hard or too inconvenient. I’ve allowed the wall to tell me to turn around, to give up, that I’m being unrealistic, that this dream isn’t for me. I’ve allowed others to talk me out of a vision that I’ve had for myself. (more…)

Boss Lady Moves Interview #1: Sabrina Hayes – Pursuing Her Calling

Boss Lady Move – making a major change in your life in order to pursue your dreams, your passions, your goals and become your own boss

We all use social media for many different reasons whether it’s to keep up with good friends, reunite with old friends, to be nosy and spy on other people’s lives, or to just be “social.” However, social media has changed so much over the last few years and so have the reasons that people use it. It has gone from just a way to socialize to a way to interact with like-minded people, a way to learn something new, a way to connect with people around the world, and a way to grow your business.

This is how I met Boss Lady Sabrina Hayes. After becoming a consultant with Thirty-One Gifts, I quickly realized just how much I did NOT know about direct sales. And although my director, Nikki Lee, was extremely helpful, I knew that I could not solely rely on her to learn everything about how to run my business. As a matter of fact, it is because of Nikki Lee that I found out about these Facebook groups where I could interact with other Thirty-One sisters, learn and exchange ideas with them, and where we could congratulate and encourage one another. Then I stumbled upon a Sabrina Hayes’ video where she was sharing her ideas, and everything changed.

Sabrina was a Thirty-One leader and guru. Everyone wanted to be a part of the Facebook group that she helped to run, The Big Pink Playground. I, too, tried to suck in as much knowledge as possible and used a few of her ideas to help grow my business. But I could tell, as others could as well, that there was something different about Sabrina, something that made people want to just sit down and listen. That’s why when she announced to us through heartfelt tears that she was leaving Thirty-One, we were all in shock and very upset. Why would she leave something that she obviously was so skilled at doing? Why would she leave when she was at the top of her game and killing it? What would we do without her?

Well, the Sabrina-withdrawal was short-lived. Sabrina also announced that she was leaving Thirty-One because her heart was in ministry, and she could not ignore her calling from God. While we were devastated that she was leaving the company, most of us were happy that we would not completely lose the wisdom and insight that comes from listening to her. In addition, most of us were just downright in awe of her and her decision to make such a big move and to pursue her dream. Who leaves a career when they are at the top, seem to love it so much, and are loved and admired because of it?

Sabrina Hayes did. And she started this beautiful ministry called Sanctuary Girl and eventually became the owner/CEO of The Affirmation Shop. Here is some information from her website about Sanctuary Girl.

The mission of Sanctuary Girl is to minister to women through the weekend retreat experience in a way that brings them into the safety and security of truly resting in who they are in the eyes of God:

Strong | Loved | Powerful | Redeemed | Enough

Discovering God’s Word, His affirmations of us as women, the innate gifts that He has endowed upon us each individually, and enabling the fellowship of women from all over the country together to lift each other up and fill those empty places through the retreat experience, is the mission of Sanctuary Girl.

I’ve attended two of her retreats, and let me just say that they are life-changing! (Read here about one of my revelations that I got while there.) Once you go, you’ll never be the same. Her retreats have a way of connecting a group of women who are essentially strangers and giving them the opportunity to talk, pray, cry, reflect, and laugh. No one leaves a retreat the same way that they came. No one. This is why I had to interview her for this series because not only did she make a Boss Lady Move by abruptly leaving Thirty-One and starting Sanctuary Girl, she also created a positive brand which includes inspirational clothing, jewelry, home decor, and other accessories including one of my favorites, the Sanctuary Girl Faith Planner. I admire her for all that she has been able to accomplish over the past year as well as her willingness to step out on faith. She has been a huge factor in my quest to make my own Boss Lady Moves.

Enjoying the Santa Monica Pier on my second retreat

 

  • Who has been the biggest source(s) of inspiration for you? Jesus. I pattern everything I do and say after Him. He is the only one I desire to emulate. Hands down.
  •  What would you say is a Boss Lady Move? Just taking a leap. It’s about more than just getting stuff done. It’s being bold enough to even take that first scary step. That’s a boss.
  • What motivated you to make your Boss Lady Move? There was more to my life, my gifts, my purpose than what I was doing before, and in order to do that, in order to pursue that, I just had to jump. I am so happy that I did.
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. That kicked me in the butt.
  • What three tips would you give to a woman wanting to make a Boss Lady Move? 
    • Gather your tribe. Surround yourself with women who are positive, believe in you, and won’t let you fail.
    • Put God first. Otherwise, you are relying on your own strength and by doing this, you will fail. You can’t do it without Him.
    • Have an open mind. Success doesn’t always look like you think it will. Be willing to learn and try new things.
  • Describe your typical “work” day. I always starts with quiet time. If my thoughts with God aren’t right first, then my day doesn’t go right. After that, I try to spend only one hour on each task in order to avoid the day becoming mundane. For example, I may spend one hour organizing my shop, one hour reading something informative, one hour doing outreach, and another hour on social media planning. It keeps my mind active instead of being focused on the same task for a long period of time which may cause me to grow bored.
  • What are your future business plans? I’m working on creating a Sanctuary Girl business planner tailored to CEO’s who have a strong faith focus for their business. I’m working on launching the 2019 Sanctuary Girl retreat schedule. I also have planned some exciting new twists for the Sanctuary Girl Faith Planner. Stay tuned.
  • What are your best resources when you look for information to help you with supporting your business? I like to tap into professional human resources, people who specialize in and are knowledgeable about things/topics that I don’t know about. I look to them to fill in the gap of things I need. Human resources are so necessary.
  • What do you do to “get away” from it all? Immerse myself in British dramas.  If I can’t go to the beach, I find some mid-century British shows or movies on Netflix to watch like a great Jane Austin movie. Once I find a good series or movie, I am done. I can spend all day watching.
  • What was one of your biggest mistakes and how did you overcome it? Taking on everything for myself; I am self-sufficient and have to have control. I’ve learned that you have to have a well-structured team and must be willing to delegate and let go. Otherwise, you will run yourself ragged. For example, I’ve come to the realization that I have to give up some control on the Sanctuary Girl Retreat details, planning everything and doing everything. I’ve got to let go and let others do. After getting advice from one of the women in my tribe, I am currently working on building a retreat team. Where do I need the most help? Which women can I place in charge of administrative details such as registration? Who would be good for  planning the kitchen and meal details? And if I find really trustworthy women, having them lead a session while I take a break. Taking this advice will make your life so much easier. You can’t do it all.
  • What is a piece of one-word advice you want to leave for the ladies, one word that needs no explanation but can serve to motivate or encourage other women, one word they can look at and act upon ? FEARLESS

My Theme Song for the Year (and why you should have one, too)

If you’re like me (and most people), there are certain songs that will get you out on the dance floor and make you jump around until you’re exhausted. Or you have songs that completely put you at ease, soothing your mind, bringing you some peace. Or you have songs that evoke certain memories, taking you back to a certain time in your life, good or bad, the memories forever ingrained in your mind. Some people have that one special song that just speaks to them whenever and wherever they hear it.

Either way, we can all agree that music is important to us in some way, shape, or form. We may use it to lift our spirits, take our mind off things, or just to get our energy up, making us dance until we can’t dance any more.

I love music because it can do all of these things. It can connect people who have nothing else in common, not even the same language. It can change the entire mood of your day; it can keep you company when no one else is around. It can make a mundane task seem interesting and the time fly by.

That’s why this year I have adopted a “Theme Song of the Year.” It’s my own personal motivational song to keep me going and relates directly to my goals and the way I am approaching this year in my life. If you didn’t know, I just turned 40 a few days ago, and I have big goals for my life. What better way to stay motivated than to have a song playing in the background (or in my mind) as I tackle each one of my goals?

My song for this year is Andra Day’s “Cheers to the Fall.” I already loved this song, but I loved it even more after I used it for a lesson in my class. Each Monday in my class is Mindset Monday where the students have to focus on ways to have a Growth Mindset. I thought this song was a perfect fit since my students often want to fit in with others and do what’s “popular.” They also have a tendency to give up on tasks that seem too hard and are afraid of failing or looking dumb for trying.

As we analyzed this song, I grew to love it more and more. It spoke to me on a deeper level because I could relate to it so well. The past couple of years I have been stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I had already started my own photography business, Natural Soul Photography, a few years back, but I recently decided to really jump back in and work hard on making it successful.

In addition, I became a consultant with Thirty-One. I loved the products, so why not try to sell them? I also, after losing 13 pounds, decided to sell Herbalife products. Now, am I a top seller with either one of these businesses? Nope, but I am proud of the fact that I have tried, have worked hard on ways to learn more about direct sales, and have constantly looked at how to improve my marketing strategies and customer relationships. I NEVER would have thought that I would be the type to sell anything to anyone. I would have thought someone was crazy for even suggesting it.

 

 

Another major change was leaving one school that I had taught at for eleven years to go teach at a brand new school. I needed the change in pace, a shake up and a wake up. I had gotten comfortable (although I was miserable at times) because I had been there so long. Actually, complacent was a better word for it. I wasn’t stretching or challenging myself any more. I’m so happy that I made the move.

But the thing that I am most proud of myself for is this right here: my blog! It’s always been my dream to write and to get my messages out to the world, and my blog is the perfect outlet. I have grown so much over this past year since I started this blog. For too long, I only talked about doing this, putting off for tomorrow what I could have done today. Making excuses, waiting for the right time, not wanting to step out of my zone, be different, try something new.  Now, I am living my dream, and I see myself getting better and better every day. Each day brings a new challenge that I eagerly accept. Even after a long day at work, I still can find the energy to work on my blog whether it’s typing a post or learning something about the blogging industry.

While many people have cheered me on and told me how proud they are of all that I’ve been doing, many people think that I am downright crazy.They wonder why I do what I’m doing. Why are you trying to do so much? How many jobs are you going to try to have? What do you know about blogging? Do you have time to do all of that? Who do you think you are?

 

That’s where my theme song comes into play. Have you heard it before? I mean, have you really truly listened to the lyrics and understood what she is saying? Whenever I am having a frustrating day or when someone has made me upset, I know that I can turn on this song. When I am in the midst of some hard work, something challenging, something new, I know that if I turn to this song for encouragment, I will be pumped up and ready to work, ready to take on the world.

Once you check it out, you may just want to adopt it as your theme song, too.

Here are some of my favorite lines from the song.

They say the higher that you climb
The further when you take the dive
But it’s comatose
And I can’t live that closed
‘Cause I don’t know how to never try at all
So cheers to the fall, hey

When you’ve been wrapped in your cocoon for so long and finally break free (as I did), you can’t help but want to live life to the fullest (see my poem about it here). Anything less than that is a waste. Who wants to spend their entire life looking back, thinking about all of the things that they should’ve done, should’ve try? So what if I fall down? At least I can say, “Hey, I did that before!” I can still cheer myself on because of the fact that I at least gave it my best. I will have no regrets because I would have stepped out and given myself a chance even if I fail.

And who says you can’t win them all
If you try

Again, if I fail then at least I gave it a chance. But what, oh just what, if I do succeed? What if I do win? Living in fear (something I’m determined not to do any more) will only keep me stagnant missing out on all of the potential that I have within me to achieve greatness. Imagine how great my life would be if I could add up all of the wins knowing that I had put in the hard work and that I had made it happen! But I could never get to that place if I didn’t at least give it a try. And I have to believe in myself in spite of what others may have to say which takes us to the bridge of the song.

Thanks for all your sound advice
That I didn’t ask for
I’ll take all of it in stride

The bridge is equally awesome. When I sing along with the song, this part really hits close to home. Instead of listening to the naysayers and doubters who tell me that it will never work, I can push on and try. There are so many people who want to tell you how you should live your life because they have lived their life inside of a box, afraid to do anything that may make them uncomfortable. Therefore, they feel the need to advise you on why this won’t work for you or exactly how you should be playing it safe. But tell me: is that really living? Nope, so thanks, but no thanks for all of your wonderful advice, but I think I’ll stick with my plan. You know the one I’m talking about, right? The one where I take a big leap of faith and see where it will take me? Yes, that one.

I’ve said all this to say that I think that everyone should have a theme song for the year or the month or the decade or for their life, whatever works best for them. Have that song that you can blast really loud whenever you need some inspiration to get through the day. Find that song that speaks to you and that you’ll never get tired of listening to over and over again. Find that song that speaks the words that may be hard for you to say. Find that song that forces you to sing along at the top of your lungs because it expresses the very words of your soul.

Then hit play and repeat as many times as it takes to get you in the right mindset for the task ahead of you.

And rock on!

What would be your “Theme Song of the Year” and why? Comment below!

Week 1: My Journey to 40

Week one of My Journey to 40 has certainly been a special one for me. It was my first week back in the classroom after our two week Christmas Break. It was not a good week. It was extremely busy and frustrating with many ups and downs, and it almost seemed as if it would overshadow my week 1 goals, but nope, nope, nope. I wouldn’t let any of it get in my way. (See my post about that here.) Here’s a recap of what I managed to accomplish this week.

  1. Fitness Goal – I increased my water intake (although I didn’t reach my goal every day). Next week I will work on meeting that goal each day. Although it might not seem like much to others, I am aiming for the recommended 8 glasses of water a day (64 ounces). Once I hit that goal consistently, I will increase my goal. I also exercised 3 days this week and joined a FitBit challenge with some friends. I’m determined to increase my steps (daily goal of 10,000) so I can move up a few spots in the challenge. On top of all of that,  I’m proud of myself for prepping my lunch for the week which I had gotten pretty lazy about doing.
    Hit those 10,000 steps
    Crushed my Herbalife shake
    My lunch for the week

     

  2. New Adventure or Trying Something New – While this may not be an exciting adventure to some, this was important for me because it is something that I have been meaning to do for quite some time, and it proved to be quite fruitful. I am a graduate of the awesome, phenomenal, one and only, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, the best HBCU around (I may be a little bias). For the longest, I have been meaning to go to our local chapter meeting for our FAMU Alumni Association. I finally said enough is enough; it was time for me to support my alma mater, not just brag about it. I’m so glad that I did. When you ask for opportunities to get more involved, God will certainly answer. At the meeting, one committee was looking for someone who could take pictures for their annual calendar fundraiser (hey, that’s me), and they needed someone to help with editing the profiles of people featured in the calendar (hey, that’s me again). So I stepped out of my comfort zone and signed up. I even made sure to speak to the woman in charge of the committee and give her my name and number (something that is out of character for me to do). The other great thing that came from attending this meeting flows into #3 on this list: my Random Act of Kindness.

    Rocking my FAMU gear
  3. RAK – I’ve been looking for more ways to serve the community. I’ve also been looking for ways to serve with my children, to teach them about selflessly serving others, giving back to their community, giving without expecting to receive. At the meeting, there was a guest speaker from a local organization, and why was she attending the meeting? Not only was she a FAMU alumni, she was there representing the organization that was looking for more volunteers to help in their shelter. Our chapter gives regularly to the organization, but the organization also really needed people to come in and volunteer as well. And yes, children are welcomed. With  Dr. Martin Luther King Day in just a couple of days, the organization was having a special day of service on Monday, the FAMU Alumni Association was looking for more people to volunteer to help, so I signed my boys and me up to volunteer. We’ll be there bright and early Monday morning ready to serve. (Next week’s post will give details about how this went).   4. Last but not least, I finally settled on a preliminary draft of my logo for my photography business, Natural Soul Photography. The best part of it is the fact that it was drawn by my 14-year-old son! What do you think? I can’t wait to get it on products (business cards, shirts, hats)  and move forward with increasing my business. This has been a long journey with getting my business off the ground, but I see a promising future.
    My son created my logo for my photography company!

    Stick around! The next eight weeks will bring bigger and better things! I’m making great plans for some fun adventures, random acts of kindness, and business moves!

 

 

How Creating a Vision Book Can Help You Set and Meet Your Goals

Most people are familiar with a vision board. Basically, you make goals for your life (usually for that upcoming year) and create a collage that represents those goals. It’s a way to bring to life your hopes and dreams and to have them somewhere you can see them every day, a visual reminder of all that you hope to manifest in your life.

I’ve done vision boards in the past, but last year I tried something different. I wanted something that I could carry around with me so that I could see it even when I wasn’t home. In order to do this, my friend, cousin, and I decided to create vision books. Okay, we didn’t really decide but rather stumbled upon the idea. We had no idea what we were doing; we were just playing it by ear. Since we  made them out of spiral-bound notebooks that we already had, clippings from old magazines, and old scrapbooking materials, this proved to be an affordable and convenient project.

Our vision books turned out to be much like vision boards. Obviously, they were inspired by the concept. However, the books gave us a lot more flexibility. I’m a visual person, but I am very much a writer (hence, the blog). I love being able to write down my ideas, work through plans on paper, and write reflections about what I’ve done or I’m currently doing, what I’ve learned, and what I still want to accomplish. Our vision books gave me the freedom to do all of this.

Here is my vision book from last year. Like I said, it’s a simple notebook that I already had in stock (taken from my boys’ school supply stash), but you can easily purchase one for about $1 from any store. We had NO idea what we were doing when we created these; we just knew that we were ready to take charge of our futures and knew that we needed to put in writing our goals and dreams in order for them to manifest. As you can see, I named this my Dream Book back then. The cover and first few pages were just ones that spoke to my overall vision for the year.

Inside, I created separate layouts for each one of my goals. Here are a couple of them. I liked that I could further explain and break down my goals on each page.

(more…)

5 Steps to Creating a Vision for the New Year

3…2…1…Happy New Year! For some people this may be a fearful, uncertain time, but for most people this time of year symbolizes hope and a fresh start. People look forward to what the new year will bring and start making plans for all that they will accomplish which is usually done by making resolutions. We all know how this goes. January 1 rolls around and everyone is getting fit, saving money, eating less, kicking bad habits, starting good ones, blah, blah, blah. By February 1 most of these resolutions have been forgotten and old habits have kicked back in. Now I’m not being judgmental or facetioius because I, too, have been guilty of making lofty goals year after year, only to declare that the next year will be different, that I will reach all of my goals, and nothing’s going to get in my way. I am eager, enthusiastic, fearless, and hopeful. I can do anything!

We all know how this ends.

I’m not saying that it’s a bad idea to make goals or resolutions for the new year; actually, I think it’s a brilliant idea. But just like the luster of any new thing can wear off after a while, so does the appeal of your goals once you have to put the work in to maintaining them. Just think of the excitement you felt when you got your first job and all you had to do was use your paycheck on whatever you wanted to buy at the mall or some junk food you could grab on the way home from school. Do you still feel the same way about your job now? Probably not.

What I’ve discovered this past year is that in order to stick with your resolutions you need to have a bit of a mind shift with how you approach the entire task. This year (2017) has been the best for me with sticking to and achieving the goals that I set out for myself, and I plan to duplicate this for the new year. I thought I’d share with you what worked for me in hopes that it can inspire you to make and achieve your own goals. Here are the steps that I took. (more…)

We Are Called to Love

It’s November already.

Wow.

Where has the time gone?

I remember the beginning of this year and the promises that I made to myself to make this year my best year yet. I was determined to be #unbothered by life and people, to focus on setting goals and achieving them, and to change things in my life that were no longer working for my good. I am happy to say that while I may have lost my cool a few times (or many), I didn’t reach all of my goals that I set, and I haven’t made every change that I wanted to make, my life has improved drastically by what I have accomplished thus far.

Spend more time in the presence of God. Check!

Lose weight. Check!

Transfer to a new school. Check!

Reduce my debt. Check!

These were just some of my goals that I made and achieved, and my life has definitely been much more fulfilling. I must say that I am quite proud of myself. When I do my check-ins with my accountability partner, I get a certain sense of satisfaction when I realize all that I’ve done to improve my life and my state of mind.

However, lately something has been missing. There’s been this empty space that’s been longing to be fulfilled. While I’m not a selfish or self-centered person (although we all are in some way), I didn’t feel like I was doing all I needed to do in the area of service. My heart has always gone out for other people (I mean, I am a teacher), but I have not been consistent with going that extra mile to help others.

Lately, I’ve felt the need more to do more to help others especially when I consider how I can have a bigger impact on the lives of my children. How do I really get them to love and to appreciate and to be grateful for their lives and all of the blessings they have?

How do I get them to understand that they should give more than they take in this world?

What is the legacy that I want to leave behind that my children can take up and continue even when I am gone?

That’s when I decided enough was enough. The end of this year would be the beginning of my journey in purposeful serving. In other words, I would be purposely seeking opportunities to be a blessing to others. Some things that I have done thus far:

  1. Gotten more involved in my Raktivist (Random Acts of Kindness Activist) community on Facebook, getting inspired by all of the wonderful, beautiful things other people are doing to serve others selflessly. These people have hearts so big that I don’t know how their chests can contain them.
  2. I’ve joined a campaign this month called Neighborly November. Instead of just doing 30 days of Gratefulness in which most people document 30 things for which they are grateful, we are challenged to put action with our gratitude. Every day I must find a way not to just speak of my gratitude but to actually live it out. (Created by Carrie Wisehart)
  3. I took my younger son (6 years old) to my school’s sorting of the items from our Harvest Drive. We had an enjoyable time while running food from the center of the gym floor to the designated areas around the room. More than 100 families were able to receive food just in time for the beginning of the holidays because of this Harvest Drive. I felt so fulfilled just watching all of the volunteers running back and forth cheerfully sorting food even after a long day of school and work.
  4. I started working on a community service project with my team at work so we can get our students involved in serving others while learning the concept of giving without expecting to receive something in return (more to come on this in future posts).

While it’s easy to live in our bubbles and focus on just our own problems and needs, God has called us to love and serve one another, to use our gifts and talents to be a blessing to others and that’s just what I want to do. I want to do it and teach my children and my students the same thing. I pray that my children and my students will learn to love helping others, not because they will be rewarded, but because it feels good to do so, that they become intrinsically motivated to do what’s right.

I write this post not because I want any accolades or praise but to hold myself accountable. If I tell everyone what I am going to do, I know that people will be checking to see if I’m doing what I said I will do even on those days when I don’t feel like it and just want to focus on self.

Maybe I can motivate others to do the same.

Maybe I can start a small movement.

Maybe I can open more hearts to the love that God has called us all to show.

Stay tuned for more…