2017 was my year of rejuvenation. It was the year that I fell in love again with my passions and the creative half of myself. I was able to revive the spirits that once made me pursue anything, speak to anybody, and earn every job and recognition that I have ever received. Going into the new year I did not make any resolutions, instead, I decided to focus on eight other “R” words that are powerful in action and impact. Words that will keep me motivated as I take on the new year.
I had to look up the definition of resolve to see what the major difference was between that and the word resolution. Resolve, according to Dictionary.com, is verb meaning, “to deal with, to come to a determination; make up one’s mind.” It is the effort made once a resolution (noun) has been set. I have some things to resolve in 2018. The biggest one being relationships. There were some relationships that ended forever, and others that were just put on pause, a really long pause. As easy as it would be to not addresses those relationships, its best to resolve whatever angst there is and not let it interfere with possible relationships that may blossom in the new year.
Just like the library book you that you keep holding onto or your Netflix subscription, there are some things that you can’t help but renew in 2018. What are some things that you want to do again, but make 10x better? For me, it’s spiritual renewal. Last year, I grew closer to God by renewing a better relationship with him. A relationship that could only be strengthened by hearing and doing what he wanted me to do. Like anything that you start over, it takes time and effort, so this is a renewal that is a constant work in progress.
A renewal is not just limited to something spiritual but can be physical as well. Whether you have lost weight, or in the process of moving into a new career, there is no better time than now( because everything is on sale) to renew your wardrobe. Start building a capsule wardrobe that is reflective of your current accomplishments and future goals. It’s as simple as narrowing down your closet to staple pieces like dark wash jeans and a leather jacket. Donate or sell the things that don’t fit and that you never plan on wearing again. Once you have the quality, foundational pieces in your collection, continue to slowly add additional items that represent you and that will outlast the test and trials of fashion trends. Renew yourself from the inside out be unstoppable in the new year.
Last October I traveled to the Southwest region by myself. I grew impatient with waiting for friends to explore this unique part of the country and decided to go by myself. I was willing to risk traveling to a place that I only knew through words and images. The trip was one of the best I ever experienced. I was able to have some beautiful “awe” moments without any inhibitions or interference. I am hooked on solo traveling and want to take a trip by myself every year! Traveling alone challenges you to be comfortable being uncomfortable. It will challenge you to take risks in other ways, and reap rewards that are far greater than you could ever imagine.
There were some pretty interesting moments politically last year, but none was more powerful than the phrase ‘Reclaiming my time,’ spoken by Rep. Maxine Water’s back in July of 2017. It was a phrase that sparked a movement for all groups of people, whose time is wasted during trivial work meetings, bad dates, and distractions that cause you to abandon what you originally set out to accomplish. You may not be able to go back in time to reclaim what was lost but can certainly plan your time better so that no one or nothing has the opportunity to waste it.
To reclaim your time, plan for it. Find better ways to automate, link, and even multitask every hour and every minute. Doing this will allow you to have time to tend to things that you push aside because you don’t have time for it, like a relationship or even working out. Eliminate things that are flat-out distracting( my vice is television) or interfere with you doing what you need to do to be successful. Once you do those things, you will be amazed at how much time you can get back.
When you represent something, it’s usually more than just yourself. You can represent your passions, your city, your favorite fashion label. It’s the act of showing up. In our ever-changing society, where moral, values, and relationships matter, who or what are you trying to represent? And what representation do you want to see? Personally, I determine to represent the creative community in Chicago by using my platform to highlight the cultural aspects of the city that have yet to be seen. I also want to see more representation and connect with people who act, think, and look like me in my industry.
If you are like me and want to represent a little more in 2018, the best way to do this is to get involved in the community. Join websites like Meetup or volunteer to connect with people who share your same interests and hobbies. If you want to help reshape your industry, start by expanding your professional network, by attending events from industry affiliate groups both in and outside of your company. In any of these social settings, challenge yourself to genuinely connect with someone, you never know, you might find that person who is your next business partner or friend for life.
I was recently watching a comedy special featuring Tiffany Haddish. In her routine, she talks about her body being an ‘expensive house.’ In hilarious detail, she goes into depth as to why her house is so important. Her analogy is dead on. One of the best things you can do for your house is “paying the bills on time.” Like any home, if the bills are not paid on time, then things will start to shut off. Don’t let your body go into default. Be sure to get the rest you and the relaxation you deserve. Treat yourself to a spa day or quarterly hiatus. Whatever it is, make sure you get the rest mentally, physically, and emotionally so your house remains in pristine and habitable condition.
Last year, I learned how important it is to write down my goals. I had never considered goal-setting before. Sure, I always accomplished tasks and assignments but never wrote down the steps or the methods to how I did it. In most cases, I just did it! As I grow professionally, I have learned how important it is to keep note of the objectives that I have, the process I use to get them, and the final result that I wish to achieve. This comes from planning goals that are realistic and measurable. My short-term goal, for example, is to write 12 to 14 blog posts per month for the next 12 months. Simple, measurable, and something that I know will yield some great results. Whatever outcome you wish to have, make it applicable and beneficial to you.
Taking the time to reflect was one of the most valuable tools I gained last year. When you are able to write down all the things you have done, like your results, it really shows just how much you are able to accomplish even if it feels like it was nota lott. I have a journal that I tend to only write in when I am sad. This year, I want to make it a habit to write in it when I am at my highest, and lowest. Keeping a journal or v-log of your thoughts can be helpful in recording your personal growth and very therapeutic. When you look back on it a month or even five years later, you will be glad to see how far you have come, the people who helped you get there, and forever thankful that you are no longer in the same place.
I am thrilled for this new year! I am excited to put each and everyone one of these words into practice. From risks to results, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2018.
What about you? What other “R” words are you are looking forward to interacting with this year? Share in the comments below!