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New Beginnings

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????  As we have finally reached the new year, you already know what comes with the territory. New Year’s resolutions, including work out goals and a hope to be a better person. What usually follows is the breaking of those resolutions before the close of January. What I propose is something simple- creating a Don’t Bring list. Here are some things you should not bring into the new year if you want a clean slate and a fresh start.

1. Debt- I’m not talking 10Gs in student loans. I’m talking about paying off credit card bills, medical bills, or anything under a grand. Handle that. Whether you set up a payment plan or something. Don’t carry old bills or overdue bills into the new year.

2. Men’s Skinny Jeans- Granted, these shouldn’t have even been made in the first place, but they definitely should not be brought back this year for an encore.

3. Negativity from 2014- Why are you still carrying this baggage? Let it go. If you haven’t dealt with it before, why continue to hang on to it now?

4. Frenemies- Why continue to play nice or pretend to like someone you clearly do not? That just creates negativity, unnecessary drama, and clutter. Stop it and move on.

5. The phrase “turnt up” or any variation- This phase sickens me and needs to be put down for good. Please don’t let it seep into 2015!

6. Using children as pawns- Whether it’s to get back at or with someone, or to punish the child. Let us not forget that children are gifts and were not asked to be created. This past year, so many children made the news because their parent(s) left them unattended in the car, burned them, mutilated them, and so on for whatever so-called reason. These “parents” should’ve considered preventing pregnancy if they were going to ultimately hurt their child(ren). Let’s let 2015 be the year of loving our children or simply not having them if you think you’ll abuse them.

I wish you nothing but the best and truly believe that this is YOUR year. Take care of yourself and your family. Much love and many blessings for 2015!

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All Things Must Come to an End

NY  We have only a few days left of 2013. Some people have been planning for the 31st since January or may have started last week. This day is a big deal. Who you spend it with is just as important as what you do. When I was younger, staying in a night, especially the weekend, was not an option. As I have aged, the tables have definitely turned, since sitting on the couch with a small amount of people around me is my preference- even on weekends. So why should New Year’s be any different? Here are some cheaper and safer ways to spend New Year’s Eve (and remember what you did the next morning).

1. Couch love- There is nothing wrong with curling up on the couch, having a movie marathon and watching the ball drop at midnight. You are in the house; safe from drunk drivers and you are within your own four walls. You can’t beat that! If you can’t sit still on the couch, play a game with your family or make something together. The great thing about this suggestion is that you can feel free to be in your pajamas and curlers… all day long!

2. Reflection- Take the time to reflect on your year. What worked, what didn’t, what you would like to change (add or delete). With a new year comes a brand new start. This is the time to focus on making improvements and setting goals, but also, try not to overwhelm yourself so that you’re not setting yourself up for failure. Take one or two goals, set a timeline, and see it through completely. You will feel a lot more successful if you completed a goal versus having six incomplete goals on your plate.

I recently read an article in the Huffington Post about creating New Year’s themes, instead of resolutions. For instance, if you want to eat better and cook more, your goal would be ‘Nourish.’ If you want to try new places, travel, and do something spontaneous, your goal would be ‘Adventure.’ You get the picture. It’s worth a try.

3. House party- Similar to number one, post up at your own house, a friend’s house, or a family member’s house. You are with people you love and somewhere safe (hopefully). If you are not at your own home, please wait to leave after 12:30 or so. Give the crazies enough time for them to drive all over the road and for you and your loved ones to get home safely.

How are you spending your New Year’s Eve?

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!

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.