New Years Resolutions aka the thing I am not doing this year (Part 3)

I promise this is the LAST PART of the NYR post. Also, I know I said 3 weeks but hey, I just wanted to make sure everyone had their 100 dreams/goals you know *insert shrugging woman emoji here*. I was about to give a summary of the first 2 posts but then I was like, nah fam…It’s all good… So, if you have forgotten, check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

100 Aspirations, now what?

At the start of my “new year” – aka the week after my birthday – I got aaaaall the way into productivity strategies and anti-procrastination habits (If you follow me on Goodreads you’ll know!!! Sorry not sorry). So I was like, ok Nosi, how do you implement these things, how are you going to get stuff done? How do you DO.THE.THING.NOSI? Hooooow? I will be the first to admit that some of my aspirations were more “blue sky-ish”.

I started off with things that I was certain I could achieve. I had “get a Bachelor’s degree” in there which, now that I think about it, was lowkey counter intuitive since I have that already. But, the more I wrote goals down, the more I realized that I had to dream more! I had to believe for the things that I hope to accomplish and write it on paper even if I thought it was impossible… I told self and was on some, “self, IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING!” BHAM!!! (I can’t remember where that’s from but I told ‘self’ that). Now, when I did that, the ideas started coming, the things that I hope to achieve in my lifetime kept growing and I even got to a place where I felt like 100 is not enough!!

Y’all, there is something powerful about dreaming!! It gives you a purpose greater than yourself and encourages you to get up and go each morning. It gives a focal point, you know, like the lighthouse when you sail through dark waters. I don’t know about you but I got SO MUCH ENERGY from coming up with my 100. Harness that power into action and you are golden!! There is so much to be said about writing goals down too, it makes them more vivid and, I mean, you have to work at it if it’s on paper no?

Introducing End Of Year Objectives (aka EOYO’s)

So, Instead of NYRs I am doing EOYOs this year!!!! *Mic Drop*… I see you reading that in disappointment, STOP!!! Stop right there!! Humor me for a few more minutes, please?

What are they? Good question, I am so glad you asked… I decided to call my strategy “End Of Year Objectives” because #wordsfam!! Basically, it is a list of this that I hope to be consistently working towards by the end of the year; a plan, really, of how I will have gotten to a specific place with my 100 goals by the end of the year.

Why? Remember when I said, “every day is a good day to start again”… Welp, I feel like I stay winning with this statement and that’s why I believe that EOYOs are the future for me. I have learned that, with NYRs, I find myself wanting to see the results overnight!! I want to change in a heartbeat; I want to transform from not going to the gym ever to going every day and losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks (not safe fam, not safe).

EOYOs stay winning because they open the window to small steps, small improvements, that are constantly being altered; Steps that become habits and practices you adopt over time… It breaks down long-term goals and plans into short-term palatable bites… It has me on that, “how can I start working, today, on the things that I want to accomplish in 5 years, 10 years?

For me, this has been transformation (which maybe it might not be for you because you’ve “got your life”… Teach me, oh wise one!! I NEED HELP). It has allowed me to alter my perspective and never lose sight of the ultimate goal. I had to sit down and type EVERYTHING OUT using the SMART strategy. From here, I got really specific with my aspirations and gave myself a timeline. I literally have a milestone – for each – that I hope to accomplish every month.

Hold on, let me backtrack for a minute. I got ahead of myself. So, From my 100 Aspirations, I picked 5 that I “definitely want to accomplish” by the end of the year and 5 that “I would like to work towards”. Then, I drew out SMART approaches for each of these 10 (by drew out I really mean wrote out.haha). Finally, I scheduled 1 day every 3 months to evaluate these goals, see where I’m at, and see if they are on track or if I need to alter my timeline. Then I started tracking – for the active ones – how much I commit to each goal daily/weekly/monthly.

So, you are probably asking yourself, why tracking though? Like, isn’t that a lot of “busy” work? Well, let me tell you *insert hair flip here*… Tracking allows me to course-correct constantly… Yes, it might seem like a lot of busy work to track stuff or have a quarterly evaluation but, it allows me to see how far I’ve gone-how much I need to course correct, and if that EOYO is still relevant to my current sailing direction (aka don’t change your goal but change the course of action??? Right? Right!!)

My first quarterly evaluation has me at 2/5 of my Objectives on track. I’ve got some work to do! Hahaha… I also had to tweak some things but that is the fun of going on an adventure right? I am excited to see what this year will look like and where my adventure will take me. I am excited for YOU too!!! I hope that, if nothing else, this 3-part post allowed you to think about where you want to go – this year and in your future – and how you will make moves to get to that place. I hope that it has motivated you dream, again, and to work at realizing your dreams frequently. We are on this adventure together and it will be what WE make of it.

So here’s to EOYOs: May every morning be an opportunity to become, to improve and to work on being a better US than WE were a year and, even, a day ago…

 

New Year’s Resolutions aka the thing I am not doing this year (Part 2)

Look at me doing the thing and ACTUALLY posting part 2! I am so proud of me *insert slow clapping emoji here – or would it be a gif?*. If you haven’t, check out part 1 of this post here (disclaimer, it is kinda long). So, just to recap, I decided I wasn’t making NYR’s this year because:

1- I have ALWAYS failed at them

2- I didn’t Resolve SMART

3- I did not track my habits

Now, I learnt last year that deciding to just stop NYR’s and not find an alternative wasn’t going to get me anywhere so I wanted to do something different this year. Ok listen though, this is not some new “oh my gosh Nosi created this thing, she is amazing” mess – although I do think I am pretty amazing *flips hair*. No, this is a combination of a variety of ideas from other people. Part of it is influenced by the idea of NYRs, to be honest. So, if you think this is just NYR’s renamed, there’s freedom but I promise you it is not. Or at least I believe it is not.

First of All, every day is a good day to start afresh

Yes, I said “first of all” (because I’m a cool kid and “cool kids” use first of all. Hhahaha). I know we romanticize the New Year as a clean start or whatever and that is great. It gives us something to look forward too, yes, and it gives us the hype to work towards something different. I had to get myself to mentally get over it though. I realized that, for me anyway, there was a self-created pressure to do something right from January 1st and then, if I stumbled along the way, hold off on correcting for the mishaps until the next January 1st. Drilling in the fact that every day is a good day to restart allows me to pick back up at any day. So if I do well January to March and then mess up in April and May, I can wake up one morning and decide to move right along, correct my timeline and keep going.

It started with 100 Aspirations

So, you need a framework right? You need a starting point. I think one problem that I had with my NYR’s was the fact that I thought I had to think up things that I wanted to get better at on December 31st (or January 1st). In doing that, I had a very shallow “why” and, consequently, didn’t have motivation to work at my resolutions diligently. I needed to find a deeper why, and finding a deeper why meant that I had to understand my aspirations, what I wanted to achieve and who I wanted to become. So, after conversations with my sister and with myself (yes, I have conversations with myself. A lot of them. If you don’t have deep conversations with yourself you are missing out. Try it and you will see what I mean). Woah, what I was trying to say is, after these conversations I started jotting down my aspirations.

The goal: jot down your 100 aspirations. See, when I started doing this I thought it would be suuuuuuuper easy; like, I am a dreamer so 100 aspirations shouldn’t be a big deal. It was a lie!!! It took me 2 weeks to have 100 aspirations written down, TWO.FREAKING.WEEKS. I was halfway through November and was like, hold on mami, why are you not done with this yet. Yea, I said November, I start my yearly planning right after my birthday because why not. Anyway, I would encourage EVERYONE to have their 100 aspirations written down because it is seriously eye opening. I discovered more about myself during those 2 weeks, I discovered my why and relearnt what it meant to dream. I pray that none of us ever stop dreaming.

SO, IF YOU DON’T HAVE THEM, PLEASE STOP RIGHT HERE AND GO DREAM. FIND YOUR WHY, GET THOSE ASPIRATIONS ON PAPER AND BURY THEM – IF YOU MUST – SO THAT THEY CAN GROW!!!!!!

100 Aspirations, now what?

I was about to go to the next thing and then was like, waaaaaaaaaaaaait a minute. Yea, I just said “wait a minute to myself.” So, I am going to end this blog post here. I had every intention of finishing this right here, right now, but I realized that it might be a long one again (So look out for part 3! Hahahah). At this point, it’ll be December before I get this whole NYR thing out of the way.

Buuuuut, on a serious note, I am stopping here because I really, really, reaaaaaaaaaally think everyone has to have 100 Aspirations/life goals/dreams/objectives (whatever you want to call it) on paper. So, since it took me 2-ish (read as 3-ish) weeks to get mine together, I’ll give you three weeks to get yours together so we’ll move forward together. Kapish?

“Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision and engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets so that the one who reads it will run. For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, Because it will certainly come; it will not delay.” – Habakkuk 2: 2-3

 

Pressure… Thanks Jonathan McReynolds

Y’all!!! Sometimes pressure comes from the most random places – or maybe not THAT random because you see it coming – but still…

Ok, Ok. Let me not get carried away. So I’ve been listening to “Pressure” by Jonathan McReynolds a lot. When I say a lot, I mean A LOT (Thank you, Thandwa, for introducing me to him) … As in 3 times in a row, 5 times in a row, so many times in a row I am not even sure how many times I’ve listened to it in a row kind of a lot!!! As I was listening to it today, though, some words stood out more vividly this time around… The words say (some of them anyways):

  • “Pressure to be someone else that the WORLD has made”

  • “Pressure to be someone else that the CHURCH has made”

  • “Pressure to be someone that YOU did NOT create”

I had to pause for a second there, right now even, and read those three lines a couple of times!!! Woah!!!! I am so grateful that, in different seasons, words can say the same thing but mean so much more.

Say NO to social constructs

“Pressure to be someone else that the world has made”

So, to start off, no one is normal!! I am being for real. If someone doesn’t have some random (read weird) thing that is just a “them” thing, then I would be very afraid. You probably should be too. We are all perfect versions of ourselves, peculiar and made to thrive in that place.

How many times have you tried to “fine tune yourself” or turn you volume down because you are just “extra”? Had to laugh a little more lady-like because that is what society expects of you? Fold your legs? Dress some type of way because that is what the “cool kids” wear? How many times have you had to re-image yourself to fit into a system in which you were never meant to fit?

How’s about we #Makeweirdnormal? I know I have been in situations where I – without anyone saying anything really – have found myself trying to be “proper” to blend in. After all, don’t they say “when in Rome do as the Romans do”?

I think it is time to define ourselves though, yah? You and me, yah? Define you, your life, who you are!!! Don’t conform, TRANSFORM – cliche I know ( I am proud of that sentence though). Think, who may be inspired by you stepping out and being unapologetic for who you are? [I mean, you’ll probably never know who all you inspire but you – WE – might as well try and see what comes out of it].

Church, why you do me like that?

“Pressure to be someone else that the church has made”

Yeah, yeah, yeah. This does not just pertain to the church alone, though. It can be whatever place of gathering or worship that you ascribe to. Think about the circle of your Masters or PHD colleagues, in the workplace or anywhere where  people gather in an attempt to “not conform to the standards of the world” mentally or spiritually. There are always expectations, a standard, that you are expected to live up to.

Coming back to the church aspect of things though… Regardless of what denomination (or lack thereof), “church culture” is a thing. I think, sometimes, we get so focused on this said culture that it almost seems as if the focus is more on whether or not individuals “fit into” this culture rather than whether or not they are growing in their relationship with the creator.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot to be said about church culture. My pastor sometimes says that the denomination he is in is just the lens through which he sees the creator most vividly in. That it is this lens that is clearer than any other lens, for him. However, without even trying to, church culture gets us to a place – sometimes – where we find ourselves trying twice as hard to adapt and become part of the culture compared to the main reason we are there – God. (Ok, I hope that is why you are there, if there are other reasons well, you do you! hahaha).

We create an image of ourselves with the question, “how do the church see me now?” in mind. We reinvent ourselves to fit in rather than allow the maker to polish us in the way he best sees fit. Think about it, my church-going people, how many times have you seen (or listened) to someone who goes to your church and thought “this one needs a little bit more Jesus” or “this one just started coming here they’ll change soon”. Who are you though?

Redefining your purpose

“Pressure to be someone you did not create”

If all was stripped, who are you? No, I am not talking about “hello I am a female engineer” or “hello I am a doctor”. Nah, none of that. We have been defined by factions within the social structure: gender, skin color, jobs, careers, where we’re from, what degrees we have. The list is endless. We have taken these identities on and wear them proudly, hiding behind a facade of titles and accomplishments.

I am going back to the drawing board!! I am there right now, learning to define myself as HE sees me. Defining who I am – without all the other things. I am creating a personal mission statement. It is an idea inspired by some who have created mission statements for their families. I have been asking me questions; who am I? What do I believe? How do I see the world? How do I want the world to see me? How about you join me and create your own!!!

#projektdefineyourmission