The Upcoming Year is for You so What’s Your Vision?

The activity that excites me most in this last week of the year, is creating my 2016 vision board.

I drank the kool-aid on vision boards at the end of 2014. I took the project seriously and clipped pictures and words that inspire me. I chose things that were in my mind but could actually come to life with a little effort.

I picked easy, medium and stretch goals to accomplish for the year. I have never been faithful to New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe I just always felt the pressure to pick something but somewhere 3-6 months in I would often give up on it.

Vision boards hold a little more weight to me than New Year’s Resolutions. New Year Resolutions for many are outrageous new commitments that sound good but take more sacrifice than people are willing to make. Resolutions are often short lived unfortunately but a vision is not constrained by time.

It is bigger than one year. It may include some of the same items your New Year’s Resolutions have but the mindset must be purposeful to keep your vision from fading like a trend or fad.

It builds on the concepts of past vision boards to achieve your best version of life. It can also completely switch directions throughout the year as you actively live your life. It is yours to control, create, change, update, add to, subtract from or scrap completely when needed. If you do it with the right attitude, working on your vision board will be fun, exciting and get you amped up for what is to come.

It can be about your health, finances, family, career, relationships or all those things and then some.

I want to list for you some the items from my 2015 vision board first then later will share some things that have made the cut for my 2016 vision board.

2015 Vision Board
Be Prepared • Give • Live Gloriously • Make Today Fun • Noteworthy Style • Communicate Desires Clearly • Empower the Soul • Walk Your Talk • Smart is Beautiful • Roads Less Taken • Stop Stress Before It Stops Me • Dream, Plan, Go • Relax and Reconnect • Do Something For Yourself • My Career • Dream Trip • Love My Body • Live With An Open Heart • 2015 is Mine • More Together Time • Go on, Indulge • Relax and Retreat •

image

2015 has been the most fulfilling year of my life for so many reasons and I feel I owe a lot of it to creating a vision board. It sounds cheesy but I really mean it. I don’t think I would have started blogging, created Life Untangled, taken a dream holiday to Hawaii with my (no longer long-distance) boyfriend because he moved to my city this year — yay! and my family for Thanksgiving or lastly, raised enough funds to take an unexpected trip to London, England on scholarship for a Leadership Conference without a vision board this year.

I met this year with intention and I intend to continue on in my new favorite tradition.

My hope is you can use ideas from me to help you start figuring out what direction you desire for your life to head. If you don’t know where you’re going, how would you ever know if you have arrived?

A vision board can help you with that and it can roll over for however long you choose. Vision boards also make it easier to verbalize to others what you want.

2016 Vision Board
This Year is for You • Remodel Your Commute • Live Life Luxuriously • Write the Next Great Chapter in Your Life Story • Natural Girl Magic • Be Adventurous • Be Miles Away From Your Daily Routine • See the World from a Different Perspective • Namaste • Dive In Headfirst • More Than Happy • Gracious • Get Completely Lost in the Moment • Be Somebody to Lean On •

I believe that if you share your vision for your life with others, it is more likely to happen. It becomes more comfortable to talk about.

You may find yourself doing what I did this year…subconsciously look for more opportunities to fulfill parts of your vision. Others can hold you accountable and help you look for ways to achieve your vision.

With the introduction of a new year that symbolizes a fresh start for so many of us, now is the perfect time for you to start your vision board process.

I hope you’ll join me. I would love for you to share your vision boards with me. If you have any questions about what to do or how to get started, please send me a note. I am happy to help untangle things for you.

See you in 2016!!

image

The Fourth Quarter: Final Countdowns on 2015

I happen to be a young lady with a fierce passion for pro football. So for sake of Sunday Night Football and my fantasy football team winning this week against a challenging opponent, embrace the analogy.

With the last 11 days left in 2015, I’d like to think of this like the 2 minute warning in football. We have had four quarters in 2015 to push our hardest.

Like me, you probably scored some touchdowns by accomplishing goals. You may have lost some yards by making mistakes or not giving your all when could have given a little more. Maybe you suffered a few too many unwelcome interceptions or turnovers when you were expecting life to be more smooth. Most importantly we all learned lessons to carry on into the next year.

Whether you feel like you’re winning or losing at this stage in the year, just remember, there will be opportunities in the new year to change the outcome if you find yourself dissatisfied. In the same breath, there will be more opportunities in the new year to be bigger and bolder than you were this year.

You will undoubtedly cycle back to some of the same opponents you battled this year and most likely will face a few new ones. Rely on those around you for support and at times you may have to dig deep and carry yourself.

When 2016 starts, it’s like kick-off all over again. You get four new quarters to make work for you. You will have an opportunity to show your strength, smarts, flexibility, independence and stamina.

The important thing in these final 2 minutes is finish strong. We have all seen those athletes who ease up off the gas right at the end because they just know they’re going to win. Then someone sneaks up in the final seconds to take the glory. Don’t Relax!

2016 is yours to command because it hasn’t happened yet. Right now you control the narrative to how this year ends and the next one begins.

May you set and break great records in your upcoming 2016 season.

See you next week to talk vision boards.

image
Tailgating before Chicago Bears game

The Company We Keep

We are only as good as the company we keep.

Hopefully you choose your friends as much as they choose you so you know you are filling your space and time with people who deserve your attention but won’t drain you for it.

May you know people who live independent of you so they can fulfill their lives by accomplishing their goals and dreams yet they also have your backing and support.

We cannot escape becoming like the people we spend the majority of our time with — for better or worse. That’s why this idea of the grand importance on the company you keep matters.

Earlier this year in June, I attended a leadership conference in London on scholarship. I met the most brilliant women. Today was one of their birthdays and what caught my attention most was what someone else wrote about her. I spent just a few days with these ladies and yet we have joined up our lives together, celebrating our impact on one another.

image
London
image
London
image
London

The post read, “This year I met some of the most amazing young people who inspired me and spurred me to action because they are already on the dance floor of life, doing some crazy samba with opportunities and resources to change the world. They believe they can and they are.”

Brilliant words from my dear friend and I wholeheartedly agree.

Over the weekend I had the great privilege of attending my friend and co-worker’s book launch.

image
Book Launch
image
Book Launch

She is now a published author, having just written her first book, A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict.

This is the same friend who has been featured in Ebony and (my favorite) Essence magazines. She has her own life coaching business, blog site and successfully blogs weekly for Black and Married with Kids, a very popular site with articles on relationships and parenting.

She is accomplishing so many goals I have and I am completely blessed to be close enough to watch and learn.

The other company I keep includes song writing award-winning producers, engineers, project managers, therapists, entrepreneurs, actors, artists, writers, designers, faithful husbands and wives, strong mothers and fathers, people going back to school for bachelors and masters and doctorate degrees. Those going back to achieve that GED they may need to propel their education and career forward.

I want the achievers, innovators, collaborators, those who are honorable and have intergrity.

I can look up to these people in my life. I  can be motivated and challenged by them. I can ask them questions to help me navigate my own path and best support them on theirs. I can soak up the good vibes, watch, listen, learn, do.

I don’t limit myself to only engaging people with uber established careers either. BUT I want people who exist in the mindset of moving forward. Medocrity and stagnation is a curse when you have control to make better things happen.

image
Chicago Business Leader Meeting

They say if you are the smartest person in your group then you need a new group. I agree and am grateful for people in my life I can teach something to and learn something from.

What kind of company do you keep?

image
Friend visiting Chicago
image
Chicago Fundraiser

Birthday Reflections: Another Year Older, Wiser, Bolder

Today is my birthday! It has been a great weekend filled with doing all the things I wanted to do. It was the perfect mix of fun and rest.

Every year people give well wishes on the next year to come as you reflect on the year you had.

Today when I looked at all the messages, calls, pictures I received, I felt great. This was a satisfying, dynamic year for me. I accomplished many personal and professional goals. I traveled more than I expected. I feel good about the 365 days since my last birthday.

I cracked my world wide open when I chose to become bold. I am proud I did so without losing myself. I believe the better you know yourself and take care of yourself, more doors of opportunity open. This year was a major year of growth. I made my mistakes. I learned my lessons. I embraced the good with the bad.

My next birthday will be another age milestone. Ending the decade long relationship with my 20s will be something to celebrate even though it will be sad in some ways.

Cheers to 365 more days until the next reflection. May your 365 be filled with just the right amount of lessons and mistakes to make you older, wiser and bolder.

image