I love the winter holiday season. Spending time with friends and family warms my heart, so that makes up for my disdain for the cold weather. After all, I am a sunshine, warm weather loving southern girl at heart. Like most, during this time of the year I tend to over indulge this time of the year. It’s cold outside so most of my time is spent indoors, snuggled up with my hubby enjoying warm cocoa and leftover holidays treats.
Oh, let’s not forget the parties! The cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, oh my! Deserts are everywhere, a taste of this, a pinch of that and there goes my weight loss and fitness plan out with the wind. Like the fallen leaves of autumn off into the wind it goes forgotten until I tug on my jeans and notice the slight bulge around my waist. Then with the hopefulness that also comes with winter I look forward to getting back on track with the newness of spring not too far around the corner. Ah yes, these are the holidays.
A Look Back at 2018
As I wind down 2018, I am looking back at how far I have come over this past year. Around this time in the previous year I was searching for a new purpose in my life. I was on my way to a fresh new start at a new job in a field where I had limited experience but a mere belief in myself that I could try and be successful outside of my comfort zone, in order to grow. I had no idea that I would also become a lifestyle blogger and podcaster with the sole purpose of sharing my journey with so many others who also needed something to hope for and aspire to. What a difference a year makes.
The launch of “Yes, I’m That Girl” podcast and blog in 2018 began as a way to promote my memoir “Who’s That Girl?” It has grown beyond my wildest dreams, allowing me to continue to tell my story and inspire others to live an amazing life of purpose every single day. Opening myself up in this new way gave me the opportunity to get to know old friends more closely, like Sara who overcame domestic violence and followed her heart to the theater stage. My taste buds were thrilled at restaurants around Atlanta, that for years I had longed to try; my favorite, Tuk Tuk (Took Took) Thai Food Lounge! Delish!
In my never ending quest to eat well and be healthier, a personal 21-day vegan challenge introduced me to friends like Atlanta based Chef Levy, whose impossible burger is truly impossibly amazing! Not to mention the countless other vegans who inspired a few survival meals and tips to help me successfully meet the challenge. I learned so much about veganism, most importantly that’s it isn’t just a way of eating, it’s a lifestyle.
Beauty, fitness, wellness, nutrition and relationships were my focus in 2018. Readers and listeners joined me for my annual mammogram, which turned out well despite a small scare, praise God!
I was blessed to partner with brands like Walgreens and Amazon to promote some of my most recommended products and services, all while setting up makeshift office space at many of my favorite coffee houses around the city. A special appreciation goes to Starbucks for helping me get through countless hours of writing my blog and editing the podcast.
I also enjoyed several special events, concerts, and seasonal festivals throughout they year. It was a pleasure to engage in learning about non-profits that help the less fortunate among us to thrive. At the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s “Harvest on the Hooch” I met Chris Nelson, Executive Director who explained how a tiny garden in the middle of the city helps North Georgia’s charities in meeting their goal to feed needy families.
2018 closes with Atlanta actor Ron English who is stars in “Gavin Hook,” a soon to be released 2019 Amazon Prime Movie. He also appears in the original stage play “Court is in Session,” a Beauty for Ashes Production at Zoo Atlanta’s Coca Cola World Studio. The play returns February 15, 2019 with the message of the importance of family, love and life.
For years Ron struggled with obesity. To look at him you would never know how he works daily to overcome his battle with emotional eating. This aspiring star is determined to maintain the dramatic weight loss that is gaining him tons of fans on social media. His enthusiasm for living a healthy lifestyle has inspired me to stay on track with my own fitness goals. Ron says that “pain is growth.” In this week’s podcast, he shares how he managed to lose, and is keeping the weight off, by consistently working out with a great trainer and maintaining a well-balanced diet.
“Goals create the future today. How will you get there? Do you have a plan?”
7 Ways to Dream Big, Set Goals, and Take Action!
As you begin 2019, challenge yourself to think differently. Wayne Dyer suggests that we “have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.” When we close our mind off to the genius within, we leave no room to open ourselves up to life’s possibilities.
Here are 7 tips to help you dream big, set your goals, and take action!
1. Don’t just set the goal. Find ways to achieve it. Develop a plan and make it fun. Write it down. The Word tells us to write the vision and make it plain. When we write things down, we send our inner thoughts a message of accountability. Take time to focus on this. Block out at least an hour to sit quietly and write. Start a journal so you can keep up with your goals and track your progress.
2. Believe that your goals are possible. As your set your goals believe that you can achieve them. Don’t be afraid to dream big and visualize yourself achieving what you set out to do or become. Recall your childhood when you freely dreamed and imagined your wildest dreams coming true. Close your eyes and hear your voice singing that song you’ve been wanting to write, dance with yourself on an imaginary stage where your moving to the beat of your own drum. It’s easy, just do it.
3. Get inspired. Pump yourself up with your favorite music. Turn your jam up real loud and shout out your aspirations into the atmosphere giving life to them. This will increase your energy and power up endorphins that make you feel motivated toward accomplishment and getting things done.
4. Kill the noise, whether it that doubting voice inside your own mind or random hater around you. Shut out the chatter that seeks to discourage and deter you from your path. You have got to be so motivated, so driven to achieve what your heart desires that nothing anyone says can deter you. You achieve this by determining you why. You may not know how but you’ve got to know why you want to have that bigger house, the new job, the healthier body, whatever it is that you believe will improve your life.
5. Be specific, but not so rigid that the goal becomes overwhelming or unrealistic. For example one of my goals is to lose weight, around 10 – 20 pounds by March or April. So the goal is to lose the weight and I’ve given myself a benchmark and window to make. In business we say overpromise to make the mark. If I loose 12 pounds by the end of March, I’ve met the goal and still have an open window until April to exceed the goal.
6. Be consistent, at the end of the day it’s all about setting your mind to do something. If make up your mind to do something, you’re going to do it. No matter the size of the goal, be consistent in taking small routine steps daily to get there. How do you eat an elephant? Take one small bite at a time.
7. Set a deadline. Parkinson’s Law says that tasks expand to the time you allow for them. If you give yourself three months to save $500 you’ll be determined to watch your spending and budget according to get that money.
I believe that 2019 is going to be a phenomenal year! Dream big, set goals, and take action!
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