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It’s that simple: 2017 is what you make it

Ebony Fowler

By Ebony Fowler

The New Year can bring anxiety, an eagerness to jump-start a new passion, the guts to leave a toxic relationship or determination to lose weight.
For others, it leaves them wondering, “what’s next?” Should we host and attend vision board parties? Many people don’t truly discipline themselves to stick to their goals, so is this meticulous preparation necessary? Will my dreams really manifest? There are so many questions, but who has the answers?
Here are my top five tips for becoming fulfilled in the New Year:

JUST DO IT. Writing or stating goals mean nothing until you do the work. Envision Nike’s mantra. To make the vision plain, we have to ask ourselves what it is we’re trying to accomplish, and then immerse ourselves in just that. Volunteer or apply for an internship. Yes, that means more than likely you won’t get paid, but it’s a start. Ask someone in your field of interest if you can shadow them to learn the day-to-day operations. Be professional and that could possibly open the door to a long-time working relationship.

I struggle with this, but consistency is key. Balancing a career and a dream can be tricky, but it’s imperative to set aside time for our passion in order to prosper. Whether it’s 30 minutes to an hour a day, let’s do the work. Research your passion, study and birth the vision. It’s already yours. Claim it!

STAY IN YOUR LANE. In 2017, we have to stop comparing our decisions and dreams to the accomplishments of others. Ask yourself why you’re doing this. So many choose careers and side hustles based on salaries or what’s perceived as popular. Just because you enjoy doing something, or maybe you’re good at it, doesn’t mean you’re supposed to take that craft on as a career or side hustle. For example, I’ve grown a new fondness for make-up. No. I don’t want to be a make-up artist or take on clients for extra coins.

Just because someone can twerk, doesn’t mean this person is supposed to head to the strip-club and grab some extra dollars this Saturday. Have you seen these strippers lately? It’s pretty much like the Olympics in there. You cannot half-step anymore. Stick to having fun with your friends on girls night.
I’m learning the value of staying in my lane and sticking to my plan. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and lose focus on your dreams and the qualities that make you unique. I’ve been there. Capitalize on your talents, but let’s ask ourselves “why?”

SELF CARE IS NECESSARY. Ladies and gents we have to start taking better care of ourselves—mentally, emotionally and physically. I’m not referring only to manicures and pedicures. Get routine check-ups. Ladies, make sure you’re having a well women’s exam annually.

I know health care can be expensive if it’s not provided through your job, but research local clinics and programs that provide services for free or at a discount.
Don’t forget your mental health. We carry a lot of baggage and attempt to fill those voids with temporary solutions. It simply doesn’t work that way. I’m open to Christian therapists, because getting help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Don’t we all wish we had an Iyanla? It’s great to have family and friends to lean on, but I do believe an unbiased opinion can shed new light on a situation. Additionally, don’t sleep on the power of prayer.
Step-by-step, let’s work toward freedom and inner peace.
Taking a trip is one way. Whether it’s a staycation, solo vacay or group vacation, stepping out of your comfort zone by experiencing other cultures and traditions will enlighten you. It provides a broader perspective of the world. There is a world outside of the box we often place ourselves. I feel alive after a vacay. There was something about traveling to Belize that made me say to myself, “There is so much more to this thing called life and more for me to see!”

BE THE GOOD YOU WANT TO SEE. The presidential inauguration is quickly approaching and I, for one, dread the day. But I’ve been thinking about what I can do differently over the next four years. For starters, I must read more and be aware. That means digesting information from credible journalists and news outlets.
Before we criticize or demand change at the national level, let’s make sure we’re doing more than paying our taxes to assist local and surrounding communities. “Each one, teach one” and “It takes a village” may be cliché, but the adages are true.
I want to be my brother’s and sister’s keeper outside of just my family. I’m an advocate for grassroots and faith-based organizations. Their power is truly unmatched when it comes to offering aid to the poor and underprivileged. So many nonprofits need volunteers to keep their programs afloat. Let’s lend our time and resources to these organizations. Heck, start your own.

IT’S OK TO BE PICKY. Get real about the power of relationships. Whether it’s colleagues, friends, or romantic partners, these relationships shape who we are. There are times I’ve been oblivious to unhealthy relationships and other times I’ve been very aware. Sometimes you have to distance and/or disconnect. Everyone isn’t meant to be your friend and everyone you date isn’t meant to be your mate. If there is no sincerity and authenticity in your relationships, then how strong is the foundation?

Let’s be wiser with our time and conversations as we approach 2017.
Furthermore, let’s look within and ask ourselves what we really want out of this thing called life and work toward that. Let’s plant and harvest in this new season. No, it won’t all come overnight and there will be mishaps, but just keep going. Hoping for you a prosperous 2017!

Ebony Fowler is a travelista, blogger, event planner and founder of Lush Group. See more about her at Inside My Lush.

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