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Actin Brand New

bubbly   It’s the beginning of a brand new year. If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking, “2013- that’s going to be MY year.” New beginnings, fresh start, clean slate. When you think of January 1st, we automatically start thinking of a list of resolutions that we know full well that aren’t gonna make it past January. So what can we do instead? Instead develop short term and long term goals and maybe even a timeline to help you help yourself. {If you literally moaned and groaned about me asking you to do “too much work,” read this article to its entirety first and then decide your fate:)}

 

What is the point of all this?

The point is to shoot for something. To give yourself direction and purpose. Nobody wants to feel defeated or to walk around and not have a purpose. There’s no better feeling than feeling like you’ve achieved something. A lot of times when we make New Year’s resolutions, we do it verbally. But with goals, these need to be written down and followed step by step. Last year, I wrote a blog about vision boards. These are very much acceptable too. Anything to get your mind and body moving towards success.

 Aren’t goals just like resolutions?

Yes and no. Goals can be things that you want to change or improve, but they are also there to hold you accountable. Accountability is so important. That’s your motivation. You put it in writing, so now you have to back it up. Resolutions, on the other hand, can be broken and forgotten within two weeks.

What am I supposed to do with these goals?

Write them out. Be specific as possible but don’t have too many. Too many goals are just like too many rules in the classroom- overwhelming. Create two or three goals and write out measurable steps to get there. Imagine what it would look like if you accomplished your goals and work backwards, if that helps. After you have written out your goals, you need to display them somewhere; somewhere where you can see them all the time. I recently read somewhere that if other people see what you’re working towards, they might hold you accountable too and maybe even check in every now and then to see if you are still on track.

What do you mean by timeline?

Draw up a timeline of when you want your goals met. For short term goals, maybe goal one can be achieved in three months. After that is out of the way, maybe you can write in goal two for the following month, and so on. For long term goals, you could perhaps make a One Year, Five Year, Ten Year spreadsheet instead. Either way, your timeline needs to be visible so that you can see if you’re on track.

Ladies and gentlemen, just look at this as a blueprint of your future and take it from there. You can’t complain about not getting what you want if you sit back and wait for it to come your way. Sometimes you just gotta go out there and get it yourself. Good luck!

My Associate

  I sometimes think back to my younger days when Everybody was my friend. You would buy the whole class a little Valentine’s Day card, bring in cupcakes for your friends, throw slumber parties, etc. Those were the days. But it wasn’t until you hit high school (some people took a longer amount of time to figure it out) until you realized who your friends really were. Those same people you were calling best friends in middle school, are ya’ll still cool now? The ones you swore you would forever K.I.T. (Keep In Touch) with, do you? Now I do understand that some people grow out of friendships, but I’m talking about the true friendships that do last.

There is a HUGE difference between Friend and Associate. For those who are confused, let me break it down.

FRIENDS: You can call on until you get on their nerves. You can cry on their shoulder. You can call them at two or even seven in the morning. You will give them your very last. You know what can make them laugh, cry, smile, and frown. You take care of them when or if you need to. You genuinely care and love them.

ASSOCIATES: Only see them when you just happen to run into them. You may call them, but it’s only on holidays. You can’t count on them. You don’t even know their sibling’s name. You don’t know where they live or where they’re from. You don’t care about them.

Once you have finished reading this list, take some time to think about the people in your life. Which category do most of the people around you fit in? What are you to other people? I heard a long time ago that people have about three TRUE friends in their life. Figure out those three and let them know how much you care about them and what they mean to you.

Diamonds and Pearls

  Can a person really have it all? When I say “all”, I mean love, job, money, family, friends, and happiness. Absolutely not. One of those categories will be lacking at some point or another. Whether you have the perfect job and single, friends and family with no money, you get the picture.

Now before you go on saying that I am a pessimistic, I would like you to fully read this article and realize that I am instead a realist. Just telling it like it is.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to point out something to you first and foremost. Just because a person is rich, does not make them happy.  Think about it, a lot of these mega million lottery winners get stressed out dealing with all that money and can’t handle it. Some of these mega million stars have all kinds of depression too. Having money does not make a person immune to problems and it certainly doesn’t hold you tight at night.

Also, just because a person has friends and family does not mean that they could never feel lonely or unhappy. There’s a big difference between being alone and feeling alone. You could have twenty close friends that live within a ten mile radius, but if you feel lonely, that wouldn’t make a bit of difference. You can have all the loving people surrounding you in the world and still not be happy.

Or, what if you have the perfect job? You absolutely love your job and love what you’re doing. Wouldn’t everything else fall into place? Not necessarily. Even the perfect job has its perks and downfalls, but even so, that does not guarantee that you would be happy with every other aspect of your life (for example, your home life dulls in comparison to your work life).

I guess the bottom line is to find a happy medium. Do whatever makes you happy first, and then everything else might fall into place. That’s my challenge to you and to myself. Good luck!

Things That Make You Say Hmm…

   Below are some quotes that I believe are worth sharing. Feel free to add some that you believe in or live by. Enjoy:)

Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is taint your mind and steal your joy.

Unknown

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
Chinese Proverb

When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Helen Keller

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.
Henry David Thoreau

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t count the days, make the days count.

Muhammad Ali

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.

George Washington Carver

Everything in your world is created by what you think.

Oprah Winfrey

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.

Lena Horne

The Rubric

  How do you know what a “perfect” marriage looks like if you don’t have a role model in your life? Should you model after what you see on television or the big screen? Cliff and Claire Huxtable perhaps? Or does a couple like this even exist? Well, yes and no. Of course the Huxtables are fictional characters, but it’s what some families strive to be- successful, loving, and positive. But is their marriage realistic?

Fortunately, the African-American community has a couple who shares the same qualities as the Huxtables and more: Michelle and Barack Obama. Of course as an outsider, they have what you could call a “perfect” marriage. A strong foundation, mutual respect, love, and they sincerely like each other. Another couple that would have fit the mold was Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.

The rubric is therefore created by the people whom you are closest to that you can observe what it really takes to be successful in a relationship. So, we have famous couples who lead successful marriages, but what about ‘for real for real’ couples that we know personally; our parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. Are the people who do know someone close who can model prosperous relationships better off than the people who don’t? And for those who don’t, are you left to follow after fictional characters or unattainable people which may or may not lead the life the media portrays?

What’s your opinion?

Spring Cleaning

  Summer begins around this time next week, but are you truly ready for it? Spring cleaning goes beyond your typical cleaning routine (ex. cleaning out your closet, donating your unused items, cleaning your house, etc.), it also includes cleansing yourself in general.

When I speak of “cleansing yourself”, I mean cleansing your life, body, and soul. Are you holding on to something or someone that you know you shouldn’t? An ex, a jerk you’re dating, baggage, regret, shame? It’s time to move on and cleanse. When you hold onto all of these negative thoughts, emotions, and situations, that effects your health, social life, and your overall happiness. Below are a few ways to cleanse yourself. Even if you are currently drama free, you can still enhance your well-being by engaging in a couple of these here and there.

1. Exercise- self-explanatory.

2. Meditation- for the people who actually know how to be quiet and be by themselves for a minute.

3. Pray- you can overcome any and everything with God on your side. The words ‘stressed’ and ‘blessed’ don’t go together, so which one are you?

4. Massage- full body, back, or even just feet, it doesn’t matter. All are extremely relaxing and once you learn how to really relax, you can zone out your troubles.

5. Communication- find someone to talk to or talk it out with the person who actually caused your stress. But here’s the thing…don’t dwell on it! If you are going through a break up, for example, your ex should not be the sole topic of conversation for two months straight. Get A Life!

6. Facial, pedicure, or a makeover- also self-explanatory.

7. Get rid of the stress makers and steer clear of them for good (ex. If you dump someone, don’t keep going back and keeping in contact with them. How do you expect to move on?).

8. Bubble bath- you can even jazz it up with some scented candles and soft music. Just soaking is so relaxing, and much like a massage, your mind can wander to another place more soothing.

9. Wine- not a bottle, but a glass to unwind.

10. A comedy movie- laughing is healthy for you and can turn your whole day around. Next time you’re in a bad mood, pop in Harlem Nights and then see how you feel afterwards. I guarantee that you won’t be thinking about ol’ what’s-his-face.

11. Changing your hair style or even just adding some color could brighten up your day.

12. Retail therapy- shopping for a new wardrobe can just as easily lift your spirits.

What are some ways you like to cleanse?

Bittersweet

       What is the underlying purpose of being bitter? What exactly does it do? Absolutely nothing to or for the person you are actually mad at. And absolutely nothing good for you. Sure, you may know what happens when people feel stressed out. Well, bitterness is like a first cousin to stress. I’m going to give you a few “reminders” of how being upset for a prolonged time affects you physically and socially, and then a few tips on how to ease your pain.

 

Physical

1) Develop an ulcer                                    2) Frequent headaches (or other aches and pains)

3) Effects your heart                                  4)  Inability to focus

5) Elevated blood pressure                         6) Fatigue

7) Uncontrollable and displaced feelings (irritable, disappointed, depressed, moody, etc.)

 

Social

* Loneliness: There is a big difference between being alone and feeling alone. Nobody wants to be around a sour puss- someone who’s always negative, has nothing good to say about themselves or others, can’t move on, and has a constant attitude. {And I’m sure that all of you had at least one person who automatically popped into your minds once reading this description.}

* Suffer from a loss: You simply can’t expect friendships and/or relationships to stay in tact when you are so negative all the time.

 

Ways to Cope & Overcome

+ The power of prayer                                  + Forgive (yourself and others)

+ Forget- don’t just say you will and throw mental darts at people, actually do it.

+ Live for the future and in the future, not the past or else you’ll be stuck in it.

+ Talk it out with the person when you’re not as upset. Don’t let things build up until it becomes a list of issues because eventually you’ll explode- most likely over something trivial.

 

So what did you learn today… bitterness= your life not being lived in the healthy, happy way that it should.