After months of intense therapy sessions, exploring veganism and growing back my edges, I realized that 2016 was a tough year for many of us. I am inspired by the goals I’ve set for 2017, but I have also had to take the time to look in the mirror and ask myself if “I’m gon be Khalessi or that other chick,” similar to Issa questioning herself on Insecure. I thought to myself “why do I continue to set some of the same goals over and over again?” One thing I have become very clear about is the impact your mindset has on the outcomes in your life. If you do not have the ability to control your thoughts, drown out negative thinking and critically reflect on how your actions result in your reality,you will continue experience the same bad situationships, problems at work and dreams deferred.
Before we can go out and conquer 2017 the way Issa Rae kicked TV's ass in 2016, or how Beyoncé had us spending our rent money to get "Formation" or how Ava Duvernay blessed us with 13th and Queen Sugar we must let go of the mindsets, people and things holding us back. Take Queen Badu’s advice and let go of the baggage. Here are seven things to leave in 2016:
“The man who says he can, and the man who says he cannot. Are both correct” – Confuscious.
Shall we have a moment of reflection? Ask yourself, "When in your life has self-doubt helped you when pursuing your dreams?" The truth is that we are who we tell ourselves we are. Action step: Don’t spend your time in 2017 thinking about who you are not. Think about who you’re striving to be and take actions that align with that self-image. If you’re feeling insecure about a skill or talent, work on it and your confidence will grow. The only way to conquer self-doubt is to build your self-esteem and take action.
Friends are the family we choose. Life is too short to surround yourself with frenemies. We become the people we spend the most time with. We all need the people in our circle to uplift us, love us and accept us. Don’t waste time with people who do not genuinely care for you or worse jealous “friends.” Look at the energy you feel when you connect with your friends. If you often leave feeling drained, you may want to reevaluate that connection. Your friends should provide a safe space for you to be yourself. When you have to often question a friend's actions towards you, it is probably a reflection that their actions are not supportive. Action step: Play Drake’s "Fake Love," move on and focus on the relationships that bring you joy.
“Excuses are tools of the incompetent, and those who use them seldom succeed.”
Leave your excuses in 2016. Excuses help to justify behaviors that do not align with our core values. We know who and what is important to us. We know why we choose to pursue a path or why we stay stagnant. Instead of making excuses be direct and instead of saying “I didn’t go to the gym because I hate going at night," be honest with yourself and say, "Today I do not feel like prioritizing my commitment to my fitness, and that’s ok, because I am choosing to rest and watch Scandal instead.” The less you use excuses, the more you can own and change your behavior and decisions. Action Step: Stop making excuses and own your decisions.
Vision boards and goals with no action steps
As the queen of vision boards and goal setting, I am attempting to check myself. Vision boards and goals with no actions are dreams. Setting your vision for the year is the first step. After that, it is time to transform dreams into a reality and that requires work. Once you have visualized what success looks like for you this year, the next step is to figure out what actions you need to take. I struggled in this area a lot in 2016. Action Step: One trick is to backward plan. For example, ask yourself what is your end goal for January, then write down one step you can take each day to help you meet your goal. Remember vision without action will leave you dreaming.
Comparing your journey
Have you ever thought about how glorious it is that everyone has their own fingerprint? How often do you sit down with your friends and compare your fingerprints and discuss who’s fingerprint is better? Probably never. It is so unique to you that it doesn’t matter how unique someone else’s is. Well, your journey in this world is your fingerprint. It is yours and it is not up for comparison. As long as your life and actions align with your values and principles, you lit! Instagram consists of prescribed images from the best of everyone’s lives. Sometimes people are vulnerable but most of the times it is #ItsLit, #SquadGoals, #BlackLove, #AbbyWithTheBadgrades, or #ThanksgivingClapback. Often we don’t see people discuss struggling with their finances, yet over half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. We do not see the anxiety disorders people carry with them to parties nor do we see the arguments your #RelationshipGoals couple has. Not being able to see behind the rose colored glasses is fine as long as you do not compare yourself to someone’s highlight reel. Action step: Put some “respeck” on your journey and spend more time living it than comparing your apples to someone else’s oranges.
Your partner should uplift you, love you and value you. We all deserve partners who care about our needs and treat us with respect. Being single is a gift in comparison to wasting time you’ll never get back with someone who doesn’t treat you right. Staying in a situationship is more of a reflection of how you view yourself than it is of your partner. Action step: Know that regardless of your past or present you deserve love. Love yourself deeply and eventually you will attract someone who will adore you. Remember you deserve the best, you are enough and your happiness is important.
Not knowing your local officials
As we all continue to grieve President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama leaving the White House we must continue to #StayWoke and #LookAlive. With this new man entering the White House we must be more vigilant than ever about our local politics. Pay attention to your local congressmen and congresswomen. Ensure that they are supporting policies that support and uplift our community. The white supremacists are out of the closet, and they are already supporting policies that repeal the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yes, we all agree that racist can catch these hands, but our hands and minds will be put to better use to shape policy. Action step: Figure out who your representatives are, set up Google alerts to see what they’re supporting and let them know if their actions do not support their community’s best interest. Our voices must be heard.
We are all excited to leave 2016 in the past and start fresh next year. Remember you do not have to bring the same problems with you into 2017. Regardless I hope you know “We Gon’ Be Alright.”