Tag: new year

Like Fine Wine

So it’s that time again. That time for everyone to start making New Year’s Resolutions.

You know those promises that most of us make to ourselves only to be broken within the next couple of months (or weeks or even days). Too many times they are unrealistic expectations that we put on ourselves often driven by the belief that there is something wrong with us. Then we’re disappointed or even angry with ourselves when we don’t stick to our plans.

Many times we’re not motivated by a true desire to improve our lives; we’re driven by a fear that we’re not good enough, will never be good enough unless we make this or that change to ourselves.

Now, I’m in no way saying that we shouldn’t set goals. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that every year my friends and I get together to create our Vision Books (our version of Vision Boards). We create goals that we want to accomplish throughout the year, and the new year is just a great place for us to start. We check in with each other throughout the year to make sure we stay on track.

I’m not saying that I have perfected this process at all. What I have been learning through this process, however, is not to focus on what I think may be “wrong” with my life, but instead to focus on what I want in or desire for my life. I try to visualize the life that I want for myself and what ENHANCEMENTS I can make to my current one to get me to the one I’m visualizing. Instead of focusing on habits I need to stop, I focus on those I need to start. Instead of just focusing on what I need to get rid of, I focus on what I can add to my life.

I focus on how I can grow.

After all, I’m not some project where I am going to be taking and throwing away pieces that no longer “fit”, discarding them as if they are useless, replacing them with random, generic, “one size fits all” parts in order to be more pleasing or appealing to others.

Everything that I have gone through, and I do mean everything, have made me into the Michelle that I am today: my victories, my mistakes, my rights, and my wrongs. All of it is me.

I’m not something to be fixed. Jesus accepts and loves me as I am. He did not come into my life commanding that I forget who I am and expecting an immediate change. He does command that I grow in Him and become more like Him. But even then He extends grace and mercy because He knows that I am not perfect and that this is a process. I must trust the process and in that process I will grow into the woman that I was created to be.

So with that being said, be kind to yourself this New Year’s Eve as you’re counting down and the ball is about to drop. Don’t focus on what you perceive to be your flaws, what you need to do to fix you.

Focus on how you can continue to enhance the beautiful person that you already are. Have a change in mindset, in how you see yourself, what goals you would like to reach, and how you can realistically get there.

Give yourself grace and mercy through the process and know that whatever you can’t accomplish this year, you can try for again next year.

Give yourself time to grow and become more refined.


Be like that fine wine that just gets better over time.

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.

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