Archive | December 2011

What’s Your Vision?

The New Year is on its way in three days. So you have three days to come up with some magnificent resolutions. Brand new year, brand new start, brand new promises to yourself that you cannot or will not keep. I will exercise everyday. I will lose 45 pounds in thirty days. I will meet someone and marry by the end of the year. Why do we feel compelled to lie to ourselves year after year? Our New Year’s resolutions have one foot in and one foot out of the toilet by the time the Super Bowl rolls around. But I have another plan that will work as long as your heart is in it, not your ‘I will just exercise tomorrow morning to make up for eating half a pizza’ conflicted mind.

Goal setting is something that is not new to mankind. In fact, it is a very essential piece to living peacefully and sanely. There are two tricks to goal setting – set small and attainable or measurable goals, and don’t make more than three to five at a time. In regards to New Year’s resolutions, let’s just stick to two or three.  Sure you may slip up here and there, but don’t get discouraged and stop. Pick it up the next day with more ambition and a positive attitude.

Something that I tried, which is not new, is the Vision Board. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Vision Board, this is a board made up of your wishes, hopes, and dreams in which are depicted through pictures and/or words.  A couple of years ago, through prompting of a couple of friends, I completed a small unorganized board. Did I accomplish anything on the board? Nope. But January 2011, I started fresh. I tossed my old board (after I took it out of my closet) and got serious. A friend of mine and I had a Girls’ Night; took out scissors, glue, and construction paper, picked out several pictures and words/phrases, and built our boards. This time, I hung it up so that I could see it everyday and believed that I would get everything that I deserved this year; everything that was pasted on my board.

January 1st, 2012, my friend and I are getting together to do the same thing, but this time, we will hold each other accountable, including making a couple of small, attainable goals aside from the Board. What is the purpose of all of this? Holding yourself accountable and believing in yourself. Encouraging yourself to get what you really want. When you have another person there to observe what you want out of life and are aware of your dreams, they too can push you into the direction of success, which of course is the overall goal of the Vision Board.

So what did you learn today… you do have some control over your destiny. Through creating two or three goals, short term or long term, you pave your way to becoming who and what you want to be. Stay positive, keep on track, and encourage yourself to be great.

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The Grinch

                {I apologize in advance. But I have to get this off my chest.}

Christmas is a season full of love, fun, giving, happiness, family, etc. It’s that special time of year that most people look forward to sharing and spending time with family and friends. On the other hand, you have people who prey on the holiday-lovers, who take this time in particular to take advantage of others, and their thieving ways escalate.

Crime statistics report that robbery and theft increase during the holiday season. It’s the pressure to give, give, give. Of course, it has nothing to do with giving love and hugs! What is it with people thinking that it’s okay to take something that doesn’t belong to them, and especially around the holidays.

So you steal to make your holiday better, and by doing that, ruin someone else’s? Like that makes sense. People kill me thinking that they are entitled to things, whether they be objects, titles, or I’ll even go so far as to say, people. Nothing should ever be handed to you and nobody owes you a thing. And quite frankly, if you can’t afford something, maybe it’s not meant for you to have it, or it might even be a case of bad timing.

So what did you learn today… there’s a special place in Hades for people who steal for selfish gain.

Keepin’ It 100

One of the most heard catch phrases within the last few years is “Keepin’ it real” or “Keepin’ it 100”. I’ve heard it so much that it almost makes me sick. But people’s definition of this overplayed expression apparently is widely different. When I hear it, I think of a person being totally raw and uncut. A person who is truthful. A person who is not afraid to speak their mind and can back up what they say. A ‘what you see is what you get’ type of deal.

A couple of months back, I had a conversation about this particular topic with a couple of girlfriends of mine and for some reason it recently popped in my head again. I’m sad to admit that I watched a little bit of Basketball Wives, the newest bunch… okay, a couple of episodes, and I was totally disgusted with myself because of it. One episode in particular talked about the “wives” (wives is in quotation marks since most of them heffas aren’t married) “Keepin’ it real” and they discussed this as they were acting extra ghetto. What I mean by this is, they were perpping like they were born and raised in Beverly Hills or Hollywood somewhere with their wigs, weaves, and fake nails, but then were all of a sudden “Keeping it real” when they were calling each other out their name, fighting at a restaurant, and talking about who was more hood. Maybe my interpretation was completely off base, but I never knew that this catchall phrase meant that we should act an ass.

I have a problem with people throwing this slogan around because it sounds more like an excuse to act like you don’t have the sense that you were born with. If you truly are a person that has no class, own up to it and be that person one hundred percent of the time, but don’t expect or push everyone else to stoop down to your level.  If you truly are a nerd, don’t get in front of your friends pretending that you’re Mr. Tough-guy. If you truly are a man of God, be that person during the week too, not only on Sundays. I was terribly embarrassed for these “ladies”. As a Black woman, I felt that that show, and many others like it, is a step back for African Americans, and portrays to others that our “real” involves fighting and buffoonery. If that’s what it actually means, then I don’t want any part of that. But if I do believe in the right definition, then I’m on the right track to becoming a better person; the type of person I was meant to be.

So what did you learn today… real is about being authentic and true to your nature. Fighting and acting ignorant doesn’t make you “real”, but it does make you childish.

Many Blessings

When you think of family, most people would think of their nuclear family (mom, dad, brother, sister) or even their extended family (grandmother/father, aunts, uncles, cousins). Some would even take it a step further and mention their co-workers, neighbors, or close friends. However you choose to define it, be grateful that you have someone to include. Me, myself, I am blessed to have such wonderful and loving family and friends who are there for me and love me unconditionally. But my question is this, unless it is a holiday or a special event (ex. birthday party, family reunion, etc), why do many people wait until then to rejoice, visit, or celebrate life and togetherness?

In a previous article I talked about ‘Just because’ gifts or gestures (I won’t tell you which article because I want you to read them all), but gatherings should be included. I watched the movie Soul Food again about a week or two ago and grew a little envious. Of course I’m not talking about all the drama with the bickering, going to jail, Big Mama dying, and so on. I’m talking about the way the family met up every Sunday, cooked dinner together, and sat down together to eat and communicate. They didn’t wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas to see each other, they took the time every week to show their family that they cared.

Now granted there are some family members that you wish weren’t family, but overall it’s a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by those who genuinely care about your well-being. For those of you who are blessed with many friends (acquaintances don’t count), loving parents, caring siblings, and valuable relatives, I challenge you to gather all of the people that you love and are cherished with to get together on a day besides a holiday. What’s the occasion—to celebrate life, peace, and many blessings.

So what did you learn today…appreciate the people in your life that you are blessed to know and love. Show them how you feel any and every day of the week, not just holidays.