Maybe it’s just me, but the end of 2011 was a real doozy.
It seemed like almost everyone I knew experienced tragedy of some kind. Whether they were laid off, a loved one died, or they battled a health crisis, I just kept hearing of bad things happening to good people.
Do you think this year will be better? Here’s a better question – what do you plan to do to make it better?
I have big plans for 2012 and I hope you do too! Create a list of your expectations – we receive what we expect, not just what we hope or wish for! Post it near your desk so you look at it every day. Then go out and do the work to cause your expectations to come into your life.
Here are 12 expectations I have for 2012:
- I expect greater abundance. This year, I expect the ability to quit my day job and run my coaching business full time. I’ve created a marketing plan and I will follow the plan to attract more clients.
- I expect greater joy.
- I expect love. I expect to attract and date wonderful men, and I expect that I’ll start a committed, romantic relationship this year. I also expect that I’ll strengthen my bonds with family and friends and to support those who are moving forward in their lives.
- I expect fun. I expect to enjoy myself! All work and no play makes Anilia a very dull girl. I expect to do more of the things I love and enjoy.
- I expect happiness. I expect to have time to do the small things that bring me happiness for no reason. I expect to find more of these things that I hadn’t realized before.
- I expect good health. I expect to release unhealthy eating habits and excess weight. I expect to gain mental clarity, better health, restful sleep and to enjoy eating healthy, unprocessed foods. I also expect to become more physically fit and to exercise daily.
- I expect new experiences. In order to learn new things and reach greater success, I have to push myself out of my comfort zone. I expect to meet new people and do different things, which will cause me to view life and the people in my world just a bit differently. I expect to have new experiences as a result.
- I expect expanded vision. I expect to read more, expand my mindset and believe in new possibilities. I also expect to improve my mindset in the areas that need improvement.
- I expect new relationships. From the new experiences I’ll have in 2012, I expect to gain lifelong colleagues and friends who are also high achievers and forward moving. I also expect to meet mentors who will help me reach the next level of my business success and in life.
- I expect new perspectives. From the expansion of my mindset and social circle, I expect to learn how to look at things more efficiently. I also expect to improve my ability to think outside of the box.
- I expect greater wealth. I expect to learn more about investing and other ways to grow financially. I expect to improve my mindset about money and attract even more into my life. I expect the new experiences and relationships I’ve formed to positively influence my wealth.
- I expect renewal. I expect to receive enough rest and to adequately care for myself. I expect minimal illness or injury. I expect to feel refreshed and energized.
What expectations do you hold for 2012? And how can I help you realize those expectations in your life?
On most days, I’m full of energy. I’m excited, I’m motivated, I’m in a great mood, I’m optimistic and hopeful. In my mind’s eye, my dreams loom largely on the horizon.
Today I feel tired. I’m a bit down and my goals seem far away. I can’t laugh and joke as easily as I usually do. I feel disconnected from my dreams. And for today, that’s ok.
We can’t be on it every day. We’re not robots or Energizer Bunnies that can keep going and going. Sometimes we have setbacks that knock us off stride. Or sometimes our bodies, minds and spirits are not in alignment and the friction is exhibited through our emotions.
How To Recharge Your BatteriesWhen I feel like this, the first thing I usually do is acknowledge my emotions and how my body feels. Its ok for me to be tired, for me to have a day or two where I’m a little blue, or not as happy or optimistic. What’s not ok, though, is for me to have a prolonged period of time in this state. That means that there’s something serious going on that I need to further examine.
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This review is even more important, because half of the year has passed. I had several intentions at the beginning of the year – namely to lose weight and incorporate healthy eating habits into my life, take my business and blog to the next level (two specific goals are to become my own boss and write an ebook for Motivated Sista), start a committed relationship, and improve my cooking skills.
How Far I’ve ComeTaking stock of exactly where you are, how far you’ve come and how far you still need to go is integral to your progress. How can you progress if you don’t know which direction you need to go in or what adjustments you need to make? I think this is one of the biggest reasons for failure, besides lack of self-confidence. We either don’t take action or continue to take the wrong action, and then wonder why we’re not where we really want to be.
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So who’s with me?
We all come to different realizations at different times. What usually happens is: you have an intellectually stimulating conversation, you stumble upon an illuminating blog post, or a friend lends you a must-read book. Suddenly your concept of the world, of yourself, of how life works shifts into something new. Lately I’ve been frustrated to look around and see that alot of people are still unaware and unconscious of the way life works and how people and things around them work.
When I got on the train on Friday, I sat behind these two girls. By girls, they could be anywhere from 15 to 22. They were admiring each other’s nails and hair, and another girl asked one of them who her stylist was and for the stylist’s phone number. When they got up to leave though, one thing I noticed was all 3 girls were significantly overweight.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not pointing fingers. I can stand to lose a few pounds myself. And who knows if these girls aren’t gym buddies or encourage each other to make healthy food choices. I pondered, not for the first time, how black women spend so much time and effort being concerned with periphery matters – our hair, nails, clothes and accessories, tv shows, celebrity trivia – but we neglect the two things in our lives that have the most value and we have the most control over — our minds and bodies.
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But that reluctance also means that I’m not falling in love with new things either. Playing it safe is definitely something I don’t advocate, and I’ve been telling you guys to choose your dreams over security. I don’t think good health should be a dream – it should be a natural state of existence for all of us. Yet we’re one of the fattest nations in the world, and since we’re a ‘developed’ country we should know better.
One Foot In Front Of The OtherI am in no way saying that I’ve fully transformed my habits of eating after just one week. What I am saying is that, after putting forth effort, I am pleasantly surprised that making healthy choices not only feels good, but tastes much better than I expected.
The catalyst for this blog post was today’s mini-epiphany. I’ve been following a meal plan I got from Oxygen Magazine, and honestly I wasn’t thrilled by some of the suggestions. I’m a mac & cheese, cheeseburgers and fast food kinda gal, so you can understand why couscous, frozen berry smoothies, pita bread and mixed greens didn’t appeal to me. This extra weight doesn’t appeal to me either, so I was willing to give their way a shot.
I told myself that I’d just try each new suggestion and if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t eat it again. Let me tell you how surprised I was that I’d like peanut butter, banana and honey on whole grain bread; melted cheese and tomato in a pita; key lime and strawberry cheesecake yogurt; and friggin’ couscous… yes I’m still surprised but I had a very yummy day today. When I had couscous with my dinner I just knew I had to blog about it. Yes its that serious (lol).
But that’s how change happens. You accept one change, then another, and once it sinks in that change is not always bad, then making big changes isn’t so daunting. It also helps to be open to new suggestions and to stick to your resolve when you know that old ways of doing things are no longer working for you.
Another important aspect of saying yes to change is recognizing that change takes time. You’re making a conscious effort to allow changes into your life, but your mind is not with the program. Your mind likes routine, craves familiarity even at the detriment of your body, career and even self-esteem. So also allow for the time it takes your changes to become habitual to your mind. Your mind will probably fight you at every turn, reminding you how comfortable your old routines are. Just stick with it and before you know it, your changes will be an integral part of your life.
Speaking for myself, my mind flashed on alot of my old habits – taking the elevator when the stairs are available, skipping workouts, and flashbacks of the cookies n’ cream ice cream in the freezer keep popping up. During those times, I just think about how good a new discovery tastes, or that my mind is out to get me and the ice cream (or whatever inappropriate suggestion) will not be as good to me as my memory is leading me to believe.
Have you implemented some new changes lately? What were some of the ways you said yes and accepted them into your life? What changes are you anticipating in the future?
My personal progressI had several intentions at the beginning of the year – namely to lose weight and incorporate healthy eating habits into my life, take my business and blog to the next level – become my own boss, write an ebook for Motivated Sista, start a committed relationship, and improve my cooking skills. I was supposed to focus on weight loss first, but that was the goal that fell by the wayside. I feel that I’m in a good place with growing my blog audience and learning effective ways to generate enough income from other online ventures to become my own boss. I made several Sunday dinners to improve my cooking skills. And I’ve been slowly and surely working on my ebook.
But I didn’t make much headway with regard to changing my eating habits, working out more or dating. It was easy to make excuses for not going to the gym, blaming my lack of progress on having issues with my car, or not knowing what to eat to be healthy, on and on. The excuses don’t really matter, its how I react to the realization that I’ve been making them that’s important.
One huge setback I had was during the snow storm we had back in February. I indulged myself in vacation-mode thinking during that time, to my detriment. The difference between a vacation and those days we had off is that when you’re planning a vacation, you plan for your absence and know the precise duration that you’ll be away from your tasks. What I did, however, was immerse myself with unproductive habits for an indefinite period of time. As a result, I derailed my fitness and healthy eating habits, my sleep pattern and even my writing flow for Motivated Sista. Even though it was only a week and a half, that mindset definitely wreaked havoc on my goals. Now it’s time to get back on track.
Faith, Focus, Persistence and Determination.
Since I felt uninspired to change my eating habits, I relied on meal plans from Oxygen Magazine. There is a 3-month series that promises to change your body and the way you eat. This is the end of my first week on the plan, and so far I’ve been doing great. This shows me the importance of not only relying on the expertise of others, being open to ideas that don’t sound appealing, but also to make things easier for myself – in essence, ‘work smarter not harder’.
Multi-tasking doesn’t work for me. I need to fully focus on one goal at a time. Because what ends up happening is distraction – the goals that are not currently in front of me get forgotten as I’m fully absorbed in the tasks that are before me. And I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with that, I just need to work with my unique personality and habits to get to where I’m trying to go.
As far as dating, that’s a goal that has a few layers for me. I’m not timid about going out by myself, but I feel anxiety when among a group of people. It doesn’t matter if I know the people around me or not, group settings rattle my nerves. But I have to get over it if I’m going to succeed in meeting new people. The advice I constantly hear is “do what you love and you’ll meet people that way”, so I’m planning to attend new events to not only participate in activities that I’ve been dying to participate in, but also to meet new people outside of the circles I’m already in.
So how is 2010 shaping up for you? Take an opportunity to review your progress on your goals, improve the areas that need improvement, and pat yourself on the back for the progress you’ve made so far. How will you revise your approach to reach your goals, based on your self-reflection?
A Motivated CEO writes: I’ve been trying to take better care of my body; working out, drinking more water, more sleep, eating better and more often. However, I’ve fallen way short of my goal. I just need to get a good start and develop a lasting routine, but it’s so hard. I have a hard time believing I can actually make that change for the better. I feel hopeless about my physical health and body image.
What would you say to motivate someone like me?
My answer: Stop Being So Hard On Yourself!!
I know you’re being hard on yourself, because I am the Queen of Being Hard On Oneself. And in this perfectionist country that I rule over, my subjects and I don’t recognize the progress that we’ve already made, are impatient for results and don’t enjoy ourselves along the way. You’re doing well and you’re getting better and better.
Pat Yourself On The BackThe best thing you did for yourself was decide that you wanted to make changes to the way you care for your body. That’s huge! And not only did you make that decision, you’ve stuck to it by implementing changes to your habits. So the first thing I say is recognize how far you’ve come in your mind. Because mindset is the key to reaching any goal.
One thing that you said that stuck out to me: I have a hard time believing I can actually make that change for the better. Do you see that you’ve already made that change, by deciding to change? And then you followed up that decision with action to make those changes permanent? Now why is it that you don’t believe you can change your habits permanently? Is it that you’ve tried in the past and weren’t successful? So then I ask, what do those previous efforts have to do with this effort (Could it be more of you beating yourself up, for the last time and this time?)?
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So during this time, I indulge my guilty pleasures. I don’t mean to imply that I feel guilty for doing this, or that I’m embarrased to like these things. Honestly there isn’t a real reason for labeling them that, but I just do. Sometimes I’m into different things, and currently my guilty pleasures are:
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