Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stop Playing Not to Lose Play to Win.

There is nothing I hate like playing checkers or monopoly with my husband and losing. The problem is, once I start playing a game with him, I automatically know that I am going to lose, and I begin playing defense and lose optimism. What I really should do instead is bring my A game, spend time learning from him, and look for oportunities to win.

We have brought the first half of the year to a close, and it is at this point in time that we should be reevaluating the goals that we had set in January. Remember all those new year resolutions that were set, and how pumped up we were about reaching those targets? February stepped in and what was four days at the gym weekly turned into a one day drive by every other week. My aim here is to encourage you to not look back with disappointment, even though you have lost momentum. It is important to begin playing the game looking towards winning versus trying to prevent losing.

Last February as I sat with anticipation, watching the super bowl I could not believe that the New England Patriots (who by the way is not my favorite team by FAR) were able to make a come back at the last minute and actually won the game. But the lesson I have now learned from that is, even when it seems like a sure lose, reevaluate and bring your A game. I have to tip my hat to Tom Brady for what is truly a winners mentality.

So as we start off the second half of the NEW YEAR, don't abandon the goals you have set in the begining. Start looking for those oportunities where you found strength to persevere, pick up that baton and begin running again. For those who are Christians, can you imagine the raw deal the disciples felt they were served after the crucifixion? It never stopped them from moving forward. For those of us who are into sports, think about teams who have a history of winning, even when they are down, they find a window of oportunity, bring their A game and move towards winning. A few tips that may help in maintaining momentum are: 1. Determine what got you excited about your goal on January 1st, recreate that emotion and allow it to propel you 2. Treat the first of every month as if it's January first. Even if momentum is lost, the consistency of restarting will eventually help build endurance and sustenance. 3. Get into environments and around people who share the goals that you have, people who will help motivate you to stay focused.

Regardless of the issue, if you have lost momentum, your drive, your passion, your desire to keep going, don't be discouraged, reevaluate and bring your A game.

This is your day, this is your week, this is your month, this is still YOUR YEAR.  OWN IT. No looking back...Bring your A game.

Please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you guys.

One Love

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Why Micro Goals are Your Best Friend

There is nothing in life that hits you in the head and makes you begin taking inventory of your life like being pregnant and having a mortgage. It's during those moments when I sit silently by myself and evaluate my life, my thirty something ish years of existence, that I begin asking myself; why the heck am I here? What is my purpose on earth? Have I really accomplished the goals that I know God has placed upon my heart? Am I really in the field that I want to be? Do I come home daily feeling fulfilled knowing that I am living in my purpose? I hope this article will help those who like myself want to begin actively working on their dreams.

I have written extensively about having a particular goal and running towards your goals, staying focused and working hard. But I've never really dived into setting goals and how to actually accomplish them. I have found that goal setting plays a major role in guiding our lives in the right direction. But in order to work on a major goal, it's best to break it down into micro goals.

What are Micro Goals?
Micro goals are those smaller goals that set your larger goal in motion. At times having a big goal in mind can be overwhelming. So it's best to break your goals down into smaller building block goals that will eventually allow you to get to the finishing line. Any and everything that you want to accomplish have to start with setting achievable goals. Here are some simple steps in setting our goals.

1. Get a pen and paper: This is the first and simplest step. If you don't write your goals down, they will stay jumbled in your head, and I promise you, it makes it that much harder to achieve.

2. Write down all the things you want to accomplish, regardless of the length of time it may take. So for example, if your goal is to save $1000 in the next month, write it down. If your goal is to start a charity in two years write it down.

3. Place a time line next to your goals. So the goal that will be accomplished in a month, write 1 month next to that goal. Those to be accomplished in a year write 1 year and so on.

4. Place your goals in categories based on time line.

5. Make a note of what it will take to accomplish this goal. Under each goal write subcategories of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly action steps. If you have a goal to save a certain amount of money, two daily action steps may include packing lunch daily instead of buying lunch at work or making a daily note of all your purchases and so on. It is extremely important to take inventory of how we spend our day. It will allow us to pinpoint those areas of weakness where time is wasted.

6. Have a daily activity time table which will incorporate your daily action steps and all the activities that you do during the day. This has been helping me with managing my time while raising my daughter.

7. Be committed to your micro goals. If you happen to loose momentum, focus on the end goal and the reason you wanted to accomplish this goal in the first place. Begin with the end in mind and know your why.

I hope that these tips were helpful. Remember this, a year from now, you WILL wish you had started today. Do not procrastinate. Begin working on your tomorrow right now. It is more important to sacrifice the comforts of today for the comforts of tomorrow. Failure to do so will bring regret later on in life. Let me implore you, to turn your TV off, put down the cell and begin implementing goal setting in your life today. It really will change your life.

One Love

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Some Key Success Strategies

Many times we think of the differences between someone else's success and ours. Most times we harbor excuses within our own selves. We tend to rationalize that the reason a person is successful and we aren't, are the oportunities that the other person had, versus our own lack of oportunities. But when we truly look at the history of those who have overcome the odds and have become successful we realize that they had every reason and excuse in the world to fail. So what tends to separate those who have beaten the odds and those who haven't?

1. Consistency: Consistency is key. Consistency is staying focused, being persistent and constantly working on what you are trying to accomplish. Starting and stopping creates a mindset that your goal is not important. This also diminishes the drive to get the job done. But how can one be expected to stay consistent when things don't seem to be working out, or at least moving in a positive direction? In order to do so, you have to know and focus on your why. Understanding the driving force behind why you started gives you a clear reason for staying in the game. You can only make a building one block or brick at a time. But what eventually creates a building, is placing one block or brick on top of another until the structure is complete. Take baby steps, but be consistent.

Take Home: What ever you decide to do, don't punk out, just be consistent. Even if you have to slow your pace or ease into a particular activity, just stay consistent.

2. Be a Person of Your Word: Integrity is everything. How many times have you been let down by someone that you trusted or who had promised to do something and decided not to keep their word. It leaves a bad taste in our mouths. It's better to say no, than to say yes when deep down you know you have no desire to fulfill that commitment or is not able to deliver.  My 3 year old promised her dad one of two candies that she had. She kept a flavor for herself that she assumed she would like, but ended up hating. A few hours later she began tampering with the candy she promised her dad and I stood my ground with her. She has to understand that if you made that promise, follow through.

Take home: Don't make promises that you cannot keep, and keep the promises you make.

3. Belief: You have to believe in yourself and your ability to acheve your goal. The story is often told about breaking the record of completing the mile run in less than 4 minutes. This was achieved on May 6th 1954. Despite the fact that this had never been done prior, within 46 days this record was broken by another athlete. Reason being, a mental shift occurred in the mindset of the athletes once someone else was able to accomplish that goal. Self doubt immobilizes us and keeps us in a place of inaction.

Take home: If you can believe it,  you can achieve it.

Quality is better than Quantity: My mom always said, whatever your hands finds to do, do it well. Mediocre is a word I've used a lot and its because as I've said before, it's also a personal struggle. But it's better to do less and its well done than to do more and its questionable.

Take home: Put your absolute best foot forward.

Staying consistent, being a person of your word putting forward quality and really believing in yourself are four important and very key factors that set those who have gone on to do great things and those who haven't. I challenge you to read up on many of those major companies like Airbnb and others who have gone on to be household names or the biography of successful athletes. They struggled tremendously in the begining, but overcame the odds by instituting these principles.

I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment and please share my blog on your social media page.

One Love


Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Perfect Marriage????

Have you ever felt like you are just stuck in a really bad relationship, but can't muster up the courage to leave?

After writing the blog "Running Towards Your Dreams With Audacity" I got a text from a friend of mine who had a concern. Most of the articles that I write are intended to motivate myself and others to put our best foot forward and work hard towards accomplishing our goals. But he asked me, what if the goal you are currently working on isn't really your own? What if the dream you thought you had, was really mirroring your parents dreams or desires for you? What if your simply reflecting what society expects of you? Is what you are pursuing and your passion a perfect couple? Are they perfectly married to each other? Should you continue to pursue that goal or jump ship and move on to pursuing your passion?

So to answer that question, I decided to share a bit of my own story. I remember wanting to move to the US to pursue my Bachelors in Biology. I remember my dad being quite adamant that I should instead go on to teachers college and do a diploma in education. To my dad, that meant stability. Moving to another country with almost no money and really no where to live at the time, to him was a sure sign of failure. But to me, going off to teachers college in Jamaica, meant letting go of my dreams. Ultimately, I have to live my life for me. He eventually accepted that his desires could not out weigh my own passion and he gave me his blessing. So for me, I believed I made the right choice in standing my ground and going after my goal.

I have seen or heard of many people who after pursuing a particular career make a complete change and go after something that they always felt passionate about.

My Suggestion to young people:

If you believe you are being pushed into a career path that really wasn't your passion but your parents, have a heart to heart conversation with them. Allow them to see that you do have your own goals and dreams and you should be given the oportunity to pursue that. However, understand that parents want what's best for their kids, so approach it with an open mind, try to see the value they are pouring into you. You also have to show them that you are responsible and business like. Your parents know you best, so if they cannot trust you in making your own decisions, it is possible that you have a history of not making the right choices in your life. This has now prompted them to feel the need to take over the decision making in your life.

My Suggestion To Parents:

Be a guide, not a bully and most importantly, listen. Children rebel when they believed they are not being heard or if they are being disrespected. Give them the guidance and support they need, but do not allow your own prejudice to blind your ability to see the value in what they are pursuing. Sometimes you are right,  a positive approach on your part may steer them back onto the right side.

My Suggestion to Those Locked Into the Wrong Field or Career:

Well, personally I believe that my passion does npt allign with my 9 to 5. My suggestion is to first change your approach towards your own career. You may have kids or certain financial obligations, so jumping ship may not be the right decision at the moment. However, find the best way to passionately pursue your goal. Approach it like it's a business. It may be that you have to wake up earlier, take a specific class, whatever it is, make a conscious choice to work on this goal with dedication and determination. Also very important, never allow it to undermine your current job. I've heard a saying once that said "how you show up somewhere is how you show up everywhere". In other words, if your approach to your current job is mediocre, then most likely you will be mediocre across the board.

Finding Your Calling:

What is it that you do effortlessly without thinking? It may be as simple as loving to talk. Spend time praying and soul searching about this. I do believe that each individual is born with unique talents and gifts that are manifested in various ways. When you find what you true calling is, nurture it, cultivate it, and allow it to bloom. Use it to make your mark and leave your legacy in the world.

If you find yourself in the wrong career, be very clear with yourself regarding what area you desire to persue, and go after it. Don't allow other peoples' thoughts to hinder you. Having a family to feed may make the transition extremely hard. However, you will be successful if you truly believe this is your calling, if you work hard towards accomplishing it, and if you constantly find ways and means to grow in this field. Allow yourself to be happily married to your career.

Please leave me a comment also share on your facebook and other social media. I can't wait to hear from you guys.

One Love

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Is Your Best Good Enough?

Last night I had a conversation with a friend of mine who truly inspires me with her drive and work ethics. I thoroughly enjoy meeting and speaking with people who are consistently driven. It sparks in me a desire to push myself even further. I am getting to the place in my life where I self reflect constantly in order to see where I am falling short in giving 100 percent. The truth of the matter is, not giving our full 100 percent only makes us less marketable and we become unreliable. If I am going to be transparent and honest with you, I have fallen in both categories many times. One of the reasons I started writing The Habit Project, is my desire to instill in myself positive habits geared towards making me grow. But becoming this person who cultivates the right attitude and behavior towards even my day job, much less my blog, is a constant work in progress.

The Mental Shift:

In order to create that drive and energy needed to have that mental shift, I have began reading more, watching more motivational videos, praying more about this negative habit of mine. And truly becoming aware of my decisions. This had sparked more awareness and a desire to grow.

Consistency and Accountability

Creating a culture of greatness, starts with the mental shift, but it stays with consistency. Consistency is best achieved with accountability. It's not very easy to hold ourselves accountable, it's better to become part of a group of people who will hold us accountable. Because not everyone will support our dream or the change in us, it is important to get at least one person you know who will hold you to your word and call you out when you begin to go astray.

Skill vs Talent

Something I got from Will Smith and can be heard in this video, "talent we have naturally, skill is something we develop by constantly beating and working at our craft". Stay focused and work at it day in day out.

In an effort to have you watch the attached video, I've cut my post short. Please enjoy.

Stay striving, stay focused and stay motivated.

One Love