New Year’s Resolutions? Aka the thing I’m not doing (Part 1)

Woah, January is over already and I am shook! Seriously, I am trying to figure out where all the time went. It feels like yesterday was Christmas (which may explain why I still find myself humming Christmas music – sorry not sorry). Tomorrow (and maybe today for you) will see the start the month of love – hold me back before I attack someone in love why don’t you – and before you know it it’ll my birthday again (flips hair). You know you look forward to that holiday-not-a-holiday day, don’t deny it. Anyways, before I go on a tangent on that (or write a whole paragraph on the year going by quickly) let me tell y’all how I am not making New Year’s Resolutions this year.

I am not doing it. That’s it. Done. FULL STOP!!! End of post. Lol… That could very well be all I need to say about that but of course, I won’t stop there. I realized this post was going to be long so this’ll be part 1. I know, I know, I don’t have a good track record at the part 1 part 2 thing but I promise I’ll do better this time. Hahaha…

I am not making New Year’s resolutions because:

1- I have ALWAYS failed at them

Here’s the truth, I’ve tried to set new years resolutions countless times (except last year. Last year I was like, whatever and just went with the flow… I failed at NOTHING but succeeded at nothing either so was it really a win?). Anyways, I have tried setting NYRs every year using different strategies (because I am a millennial I have to shorten New Year’s Resolutions to something more palatable. You are welcome). I have tried:

(a) The “use a marker on the glass surfaces” method which, I won’t lie, was great. I saw what I was working towards ALL THE TIME!!! It also gave me some “Being Mary Jane” moments – without the fancy wine – so I felt like it was going somewhere. The truth is, this method worked for longer (read as I tried somewhat successfully for 3 months ) to motivate me to work towards my goals. It just got weird when people came into my room. I kept imagining what they thought when they saw “close your mouth when you sleep” written on my bedroom window or “resist, resist, resist” on the wardrobe mirror… I am just kidding, this had never really been a thing I’ve been trying to stop. Hey there future husband, I sleep with my mouth open so you better be prepared to deal with it.

(b) I tried the “write it in your planner” thing and Lord knows I LIVE by my planner... That helped, it really did. Not as much as using a marker but better than (c). It also gave me a reason to buy decorative stickies and glitter markers so everything looked pretty. You are more likely to work at goals when they look pretty right? Or so I thought. I got good at it for a month. I’d write out my goals onto the next week, repetition for memory right? Unfortunately, I missed one week of doing that and that was the end of it. It had me hating my planner, too, because it was a reminder of my failure at keeping my NYRs.

(c) The “mental NYRs”. Y’all, I don’t know why this was the method I tried the most because who gets things done if they are in their head. Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about, you know EXACTLY what I mean because I can bet you have done it too. Maybe not necessarily with NYR but you may have done it with homework, a work project, that person you’ve been meaning to text for 3 months now (which reminds me, I have to send a couple of texts after I post this). If you are going to front and pretend you don’t know what I am talking about, let me break it down for you. Mental NYRs were when I thought things and was like, ok this is my New Year’s resolution. I didn’t write it down, I didn’t create a plan for it, I didn’t even think about it for longer than 5 minutes every now and again. Yep, that’s what those are. For the longest time, I thought surely my resolve was good enough to get me to keep my NYRs. I was wrong. The worst part of it was, I didn’t even REALLY know what I had failed to achieve because there was no tracking mechanism.

I can, honestly, go on and on about the ways I have tried to keep NYRs over the years but I’ll stop there. Hopefully, if you are on the NYR route, you know what not to do now – lessons from my mistakes, you are welcome.

2- I didn’t Resolve SMART

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of SMART goal setting? No, No? Ok, I’ll give you the break down here in a second. I always thought this was for “the heck of it.” Like, we said it when we were talking to people about planning their future just so we can go by the book and sound smart. See what I did there? Well, I didn’t resolve SMART, ever.

I had all these things I was hoping to achieve, right? Sometimes written down, sometimes “written down in my head” but not really.Now, back to SMART right, this was an acronym that my father started using with us around the last few years of primary school. Can I pause right here and say, if I took ALL of my father’s advice, I would be so far in life. Thanks, dad, I see what you meant now. Ok, ok, back to SMART. So the S means SPECIFIC, what is it that you are trying to achieve? Straight up, be specific. M is measurable, can you measure this thing? A attainable, can you get to it? R is realistic. Now, this is where I give my face a high five. Y’all, if I had used this I wouldn’t have made that “I will be married by my next birthday” statement a couple of years ago when I was 1- Not sure if I REAAAAAAALy wanted to get married and was 2- as single as a nun (even Nuns are married to Jesus so I guess I was on the other side of that single **insert shrugging woman emoji here**). T is for timeline, you need that if you are going to achieve something right.

So there, I failed at my NYRs because they were simply unrealistic and I bet you the “smarter” part of my brain was looking at the other side of my brain and thinking “girl you are so dumb.” On the upside, my failure at SMART resolutions is a lesson worth learning right?

3- I did not track my habits

Picture this: you decide that you are going to run 3 miles a day. You are like, yep, I will run 3 miles a day but you are going to build up slowly.  So you start running on day 1 of this “new journey.” The only problem is, you have no way of knowing how many miles you are running. You just run and stop when you are tired. Weeks later, you are like, I don’t know how many miles I run daily. Isn’t that dumb? Don’t answer that, I might be touched by your response. Welcome to the story of my life.

I was reading an article on medium a few weeks back that put this into perspective. It argued that in order to know how far ahead (or off course) you are, you need to have a tracking mechanism. You need to know how you are plotting your life. You NEED a GUIDANCE SYSTEM!!! Say that with me, guidance system, guidance system aaaaand one more time guidance system!!! The thing is, when we don’t correct the tiny things that take us off course, we are more likely to continue going off course and, thereby, getting further away for the route we want for ourselves.

So that was major problem number 3. I didn’t know how far I was working from and therefore couldn’t strategically route myself as necessary. I look at this now and I am like, why would you live like that Nosi? The truth is, I didn’t even realize it was an issue until I looked back. I have tried to fix it though, I am a work in progress but I am doing better. Now, I track EVERYTHING. I get on a scale every morning, I try to read for an hour every day so I have a tracker of how many minutes I read, I track my water intake, my social media hours, the amount of time I spend on self-improvement every day. Y’all, I even track how often I go to the bathroom!!!! Just kidding, just kidding, but maybe I should (makes mental note.hahahah).

Rita Mae Brown writes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” Y’all, I already have a certain level of craziness going on in this head of mine, I don’t want insanity taking over and so this year I decided to do something different. We shall see where that leads me.

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” – Proverbs 4:7 [NLT]

 

**Watch this space for Part 2**

1 Lesson a month – excerpts from my “A lesson a day” Collection

*AKA OBLIGATORY NEW YEAR POST

Sooooooooooooooooooooo…..Drumroll……. We are OFFICIALLY, OFFICIALLY WITHIN TWENTY-ONE-EIGHT (That’s 2018 for anyone who didn’t get that!). Why do we get so excited about a new year? Well, I don’t know *insert shrugging emoji here* but we do so hey… I am excited to be seeing another year and I am excited to grow further – and deeper – this year…

Well, while we are at the growth thing, I figured why not partake in this “new year, new slayage” excitement and share some of my personal “quotes to live by”… Well, not really, you can live by whatever you want to live by… But, here’ are 12 quotes for every month of twenty-eighteen (I don’t know why I just typed the year out like that but oh well).

(*) Indicate Nosi thoughts because you know I had to add some Nosi thoughts to everything, right? ahaha

January

“Whenever we frame our problems as things being done TO us we fall prey to the trap our ego has set for us” – Ayodeji Awosika

*Don’t let your ego define your purpose. You’re not the victim fam!!!

February

“Love gets messy and in order for a relationship to work, the people involved need to learn how to handle their own unique brand of messy” – Stella J. McKenna

*Aka stay out of people’s relationships this year… Just kidding… More like, relationships don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re in it, be in it to win it and work your butt off for it!

March

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking” – Eckhart Tolle

*Your thoughts matter, the things you think about the most will be amplified

April

“Start your day with your number 1 priority” – Benjamin P. Hardy

*This is motivation y’all. One way to be excited about waking up in the AM is knowing that the first thing you’re going to do is the thing that is central to everything else.

May

“Find your boundary – then push it” – (Y’all I can’t remember who wrote this one)

*Ask yourself, how far do I think I can go? Then work at getting far beyond your predictions. Overdeliver, for yourself

June

“The normal Christian life is one of energy, enthusiasm, faithful effort and patient hard work” – N.T Wright

*Translate this across the board with ALL you do

July

“As long as you are living you’ve got to keep moving, keep trying, keep rising up” – Chef Leah Chase

*There is no room to be stagnant, you are above that.

August

“You will not always be successful at getting it right but keep trying” – John W Gray III

*Failing a couple of times is not a reason to quit

September

“Be willing to wait” – John W Gray III

*Speaks for itself, the best fruit comes when you wait. Think fine wine/triple distilled whiskey… You get my point.

October

“Everything you do with no real purpose is a waste of your precious time” – Thomas Oppong

*Ask yourself what the purpose/ your purpose is before you do anything. Then, ask yourself if the “thing” you are about to do aligns with your purpose

November

“Stand by your dreams. Embrace them. Believe them, and don’t let anyone mock you for them” – John Westenberg

*Dream loud, dream wild, then go ahead and live your dreams

December

“Don’t put your life off. It takes a while to figure things out. But that doesn’t mean you should quit” – Darius Foroux

*Simply put, today might be rough but it’ll get better IF you work at it.

Bonus quote

“No matter what you want to achieve in life, your actions must back up your words. If not, you will never achieve anything [worthwhile]” – Darius Foroux

*If you want to achieve something, put in the work

One more thing…. As we get into the new year, let us never forget that EVERY SINGLE DAY is a good day for us to press the restart button. It’s fun to set “New Years Resolutions”, aka the thing that I am not doing this year, but I hope that we never let a mere clock dictate how we live our lives!!!

P.S. I know someone out there was waiting for “that thing part 2” to come through, my bad fam…. My bad

I am DOING.A.THING!!!!

Sooooooo, I am doing a thing!!! I hear you right now, looking at your neighbor and being like: “what thing is she doing.” Yeah, I see you. Don’t act like you didn’t just ask that…. And I know your curious mind has you over there murmuring, “what thing are you doing Nosi?” So I will tell you. Wait for it….. It’s almost here….. Here it is….. (Ok, y’all don’t even understand the smile that was just brought by the last few lines!) I digress, my apologies…..

I AM GOING ON A NEGATIVITY FAST!!!

Maybe going is not the right word since I have already started this fast. Let’s just put it this way; I am fasting negativity this month. I know, you’re probably thinking what the???? Or not. Maybe you’re just thinking, “you actually have to fast that?” because you have negativity in check. Well, if you are thinking the latter then can I schedule a coffee date with you so we can discuss how you managed to be this person!!!

Why a negativity fast?

It’s December (duh) and the year is almost over (also, duh)…. Cue Christmas plans, lamentations on how terrible (or great) the year has bee, reflections on the top stories of the year. I mean, you know how we all get when the year comes to an end. I believe, strongly, in the power of introspection and am constantly looking within to see where I am and where I need to grow.

Truth be told, this year hasn’t been terrible. If I start to think about it, there have been several depressing moments and events but the good outweighs the bad. In the midst of that, however, I realized that I had developed some sort of negative vibe and was on some “Nosi – you are not this person. Get it together!” So, as I approach a new year, I decided I need to cleanse myself the best way I know why. *insert meditating person emoji here (do they have those?)*

Tell me more!!!

I knew it! I knew you’d want to hear more about this fast!!! I did some research online (by research I mean I really just typed “negativity fast” and ran a google search. hahaha) and felt like the following plan was the best route to go. Feel free to join in on this fast, it’ll be exciting to share the stories after. *wink, wink*

The Plan

Abstaining from…

1- Talking about situations and people with a negative viewpoint

2- Pessimistic expressions about people and circumstances

3- Critical talk about myself and others

4- Complaining of ANY KIND

5- Negatively gossiping about others (gossip nje – ain’t nobody got time for  that)

6- Using sarcasm to hide my negative and bitter views*

*Between you and I, this will probably be the hardest for me.

 

Intentionally Focus on…

1- Meditating (For me this’ll be focusing on my relationship, and intimacy, with God)

2- Meditating on, and speaking out, thanksgiving and praise

3- Declaring who God is and who He says that I am

4- Speaking life, love and hope to myself and others

5- Speaking solutions and calling forth answers to problems

6- Focusing on what God is doing in my Life

Practical Applications…

1- Start and end every day with thanksgiving and personal declarations

2- Abstain from watching, listening to, or reading media that fosters negativity

3- Limit my use of social media

4- Each time I am tempted to be critical of someone, I will speak kindness over them

5- Be intentional not to let negativity dictate the atmosphere around me

6- Practice forgiving people quickly

7- Spend time laughing each day

8- Bless every place I go with hope

9- Do not criticize others for being negative.

Some more resources…

If you do decide to join me, here are some additional resources. Also, halla at me so we can keep each other accountable.

Mark Dejesus at markdejesus.com

ignitinghope.com

FailureSHIP 101 – The art of failing well (or not failing at all)

So I was up here like, how do you even title a blog post about failing. I mean, come on now, who in the world would want to enhance their failure…ummmm, nobody that’s who. Unless, of course you are that random dead person who is given this option: to die or to FAIL to die!!! Of course then you want to fail well!!! See what I did there!!!!

I was thinking of title options and I had so many ideas I thought, how about you all pick one yourself too so, here goes.

  1. Failing like a pro (but that’s not what we want)
  2. Who wants to be a failurenaire (ummm, no one?)
  3. The life of a failure (but that’s speaking negativity into my life so thanks but no thanks)
  4. How to fail with your head held high (this sounds like a self-help book though so hmmm)
  5. Failing is normal (or is it?)
  6. Failing is fun (said no one ever)

So if you like any of these title go ahead, pretend that’s what this blog post is called… you are welcome!!

There are over 7 billion people in the world… and counting!!! Woah, that is A LOT!!!! You know what everyone has in common (besides the fact that they are all human and they have blood flowing through their veins, meh there’s a lot actually) but the big one is everyone is a winner! Yeah, I said it. The reproductive system is a battle of the fittest. The quickest sperm makes it to the egg, the fittest zygote becomes a baby, my biology is not on point but you see where I am going with that. We are all winners by the time we are born. We have already won at life by the time we start to experience life. How cool is that? But sometimes we forget this fact.

I am a failure, I tell myself. I am not good enough I whisper in my head. You have failed; I say when things don’t go my way. It’s not worth it, you will fail, I tell myself when I try to make life altering decisions. What, you are going to do what? I ask as I contemplate the thought of failing at something once again. The life of a failure, I think. That’s me, that’s my identity; I am a failure at life!!

Hold up now, how many times can you get some form of “fail” into a paragraph. Apparently a lot, and that’s how much you can get that in your mind, in your heart, in things you do, in your life! We are so consumed with the idea of labeling ourselves and our action based off of how things did not go our way. Trust me when I say that there have been so many such moments in my life. Rephrase that, there ARE many moments like that in my life. I am quick to sulk, to hide in shame at the failing that is just so unavoidable.

I have failed so much in so many ways. In life altering choices, you know what I’m talking about don’t you. You are so sure that you have made a great decision, you have thoroughly thought about it and played out different ways it could turn out and you are confident that it will work for you. And then, bham, life happens and you are wondering how in the world that actually looked like a good idea in the first place. How could you be that naïve!! Then there’s the academics, man oh man. I remember clearly that time in the IB when I got a 2 for mathematics and I had to pray and ask God for the best way to break the news to my dad. Now, if you have never heard of the IB, the grade ranges from 1 to 7 (with 1 being the lowest grade you can get and 7 being the highest). So yes, getting a 2 was a definitely fail.

I have failed in my relationship with daddy Jesus. Yep, I said it. I have gone through moments when I knew exactly what I was being called to do, whether it be talking to that person in the bus, to pray for someone or even to just give a word of encouragement. You would think after so many years of leading I’d have that figured out but no ma’am. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will be on that “yo, listen to me right now” tip and I’ll be like “who are you again HS?”

I have failed in relationships, be it friendship, intimate relationships and even family relationships (especially family relations). These failures have looked different but one thing they have in common is the fact that they get me to a place where I am crucifying myself and counting all the ways I could have done better. Yeah, life huh!! Human beings are SO HARD to deal with right? There have been moments where I have failed to choose grace over anger or peace over commotion, or patience, or love, or serving… See where I am going with that. Human-to-human interactions are such an easy fail yah?

Through all of the apparent failures in my life I have grown, I have learnt and I have (hopefully) become a better person. I have gotten to a place where failure is not an option because, why not? I have realized that moments of failure are APPARENT FAILURES and there is no way one can fail at life. Don’t get me wrong, of course we will come out sort sometimes but is it really failing? I recently discovered a quotation that speaks on this. It goes “I didn’t fail, I paid for the lesson”. How cool would it be to take this perspective in regards to failure?

According to the “Nosi urban dictionary” (yep, that’s a thing…or is it?) failureship can be defined as “the ability to use an unsuccessful result to boost your initial condition and yield a better end result.” It can also be defined as “living life without letting shortcoming define your path” or “taking every insufficiency and using it to your benefit or learning from mediocre and below mediocre conditions”. Isn’t that cool? What if failure wasn’t what we thought it was? What if we changed the meaning of not meeting your goals? What if every unmet goal was received with a “how do I improve this to give myself (or others) a higher fulfilment”? Wouldn’t that be cool?

What am I getting at? I really don’t know. All I know is I refuse to be defined by a lack of result, I refuse to acknowledge apparent failure as a hindrance. There is so much more that is there for me, for you, for everyone but we are way too quick in assuming that we are less of a person because we “failed” at something. What is that? Those things, those unsuccessful moments should never define ANYONE. My Daddy tells me I am more than a conqueror, he tells me I have been bestowed with all wisdom and understanding…. He created me and thought “it is good”. How then can something as good as I am go through moments of self-doubt that are inspired by failing?

I don’t know about you but as I start a new academic year I am confident that failure does not exist. Lessons paid for do instead and, man, I do not want to pay often but sometimes paying is necessary to move on and acquire a certain set of skills (Taken… haha). I am taking back the word “failure” and redefining the art of failing to propel me forward because, hey, the only way to go is up and forward right? Instead of failure I am putting in hope and success and running with that, in the next academic year and even moving forward in my life.

We are called upon to be successful; everything that we embark on is bound to work well for us (even if it takes a long time sometimes). Hope means that we have a desire for something good to happen and, in turn, we have a certainty that these good things will happen.

So, whether it be academically, in relationships, friendships, leadership, spiritually and any other area really, I challenge you this year to put successful and hope at the forefront of anything you undertake and to start mastering the art of failureship. I challenge you to never let failure rule, because really… what’s failing anyways?

Purging aka Hello 2015!!!

Wow!!!This year is coming to an end already and it feel like it’s been the quickest year yet!!! So here’s to the last blog of 2014 and an anticipation of a new year, better than the last!!!

As An office assistant (student) one of the most important jobs I get to have at the end of the year is purge staff…Take out the old,bring out the new, decide on color coding for the coming year…That fun stuff (insert sarcastic font there).Starting that this year,I got to thinking about the importance of purging in my own life and how that works….No,I don’t mean throwing out tonnes of files or color code my life-which maybe I should start doing, that would make life so much easier. And no,I don’t own a personal office but you know what, the brain works the same way.Experiences,emotions felt, thoughts and memories are almost like folders filed away in our brains.

I got to thinking about how I constantly play out events, over and over again in my head which sometimes stops me from walking out bravely into a new season and new experiences.So in the spirit of purging, here’s how I’m planning to purge my mental filing system as the new year draws near:

1. I’m purging memories.

There have been so many memories created this year. With loved ones lost in our family, there are memories of pain, of sadness and of realizing that being far away you won’t get to say goodbye to people you loved so dearly #InternationalStudentProblems!!!! At the same time,there’s good memories too. Moments of achievement, the feeling of being loved truly by those around me. The times when I felt so covered I knew I lacked nothing.
So those memories, the important ones are color coded and put in storage.The bad ones,well…those are going in the trash!!!

2. I’m purging thoughts

Do I even need to elaborate here?This year I have learnt so much about how powerful my thoughts are.The Lord has shown me that, where I allow him to guard and guide them, there is so much more that I can jump into. I have understood that negative thoughts can hold me back, and have held me back in so many ways. I relearnt that the enemy is very good at construing my thoughts and using them against me!!!
So to those thoughts that have held me back this year, I’ve got one thing to say….BYE FELICIA!!!

3. I’m purging negative feelings

I will be the first to admit that the way I feel is strongly affected by those around me and usually moments of hurt and disappointed linger longer than they should. There have been a couple of times this year that I have held negative feelings regarding situations that I felt dragged into or conflict that could have easily been avoided… There are times when I had negative feelings towards those I felt close to because of things said or done.
Those are being purged, I’m letting go. Purging in this area marks forgiving and (hopefully) forgetting any situations that brought anger,resentment and any other negative feelings!!!

4. I am setting new color codes

As people, we are always enchanted by the idea of a new year and an opportunity to set new goals and “New Years Resolutions”. So I’m bringing in new hanging folders and color coding for this new year. Creating space for new hopes, dreams, planes and the process of working towards new goals.More than anything though, I am allowing the Lord to be the purger!! Letting him ultimately decide what needs to go and what needs to stay, allowing him to dictate what new labels I need to print out and what folders I need to start working on for the coming year!!!

T-11 HOURS TO 2015

GOD ’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with GOD (I say it over and over).
Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭22-24‬ [MSG]