Five Tips to Becoming a Doer in 2019

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I used to be a New Year’s resolutions type girl, but this past holiday season, I decided on a new approach: do it anyway.  Now, if you follow me on social media you know that I’ve been on to something for a while now.  #DoItAnyway was a present theme for 2018, so I decided to apply this powerful mantra to all of 2019.  I used to make resolutions because that’s the messaging that society puts out-we see lots of advertising for fitness programs and dieting trends, vitamins, financial wellness programs, new wardrobe choices, gym memberships, car sales, even pitches for home decor.  Now don’t get me wrong, all that we see is to benefit the consumer, but if you’re like me-nothing seemed to stick.  I always found myself right back to old habits-just with a lot of new stuff I didn’t need.  So as 2018 was coming to a close, I was intentionally absent from social media.  I took the time to really and truly reflect on what it is that I want for my life and here is what I’ve concluded:  I have to be a doer.  It seems so simple, but when I started to evaluate my habits in relation to my goals, I noticed that delay was often not because of some external circumstance, it was a lack of action on my part.  I noticed that I would have moments where I was extremely motivated and I would make a slew of posts about whatever had sparked an interest in me only to make declarations and such that I would ultimately let go stale or that I would fail to make good on.  I realized that I was more into setting goals than actually doing the work to achieve them! Gasp!  I was addicted to visualizing and scrolling for inspirational content because it subconsciously gave me an excuse and a way to escape from the hard work that comes with achieving goals.  I was choosing to pacify my fear over actually doing what it takes to make my dreams a reality.  Oh my gosh!  To accept that I was cheating myself out of the life I wanted normally would have devastated me, but I’ve made the decision to not dwell on my challenges, but to actually do something about them.  So far, 2019 has gotten off to a wonderful start!  Here are a few steps that you can take to become a doer this year.

  1.  Cultivate discipline.  In Marc and Angel Chernoff’s Getting Back to Happy, they assert, “too often we obsess over a big goal, something we desperately want in our life, but are completely unfocused when it comes to the ritual-the recurring steps-that ultimately makes the goal attainable.”  They go on to discuss the direct relation that achievement has with discipline and how discipline is cultivated from daily rituals.  The lack of discipline is directly correlated with the stalemate we often experience in our lives.  Get you some DISCIPLINE sis!  Start with something simple, like making your bed as soon as you get up or washing your coffee cup immediately after finishing, as suggested by Marc and Angel.
  2. Implement a schedule.  March 25, 2019, my blog will be a year old and including this post, I have exactly six articles posted. Six! So, I have implemented a writing schedule.  Sundays are currently my best days for productivity, so that’s when I have scheduled myself to write and post.  No excuses. I have a goal to grow into a true platform for all things self-love and it’s just not going to get there with six posts.
  3. Be Accountable.  I completed my first speaking engagement of 2019 this past Saturday and I met some incredible people-their feedback about my short talk was all the proof I needed that I am heading in the right direction and because of this-I know the work that I have set out to do is necessary.  I can no longer operate the way I did in 2018.  I owe it to them and my masterwork to get my shit together.  With that, I have enlisted an accountability partner.  She is a no-nonsense, do-what-you-said, kick you in the ass-type.  She is also a doer and her work speaks for her.
  4. Create a workable plan.  Since I’ve started this whole life-changing journey of self-love, I have been inspired to take myself to higher heights, to change how I define myself and to destroy my own limiting beliefs.  I thrive off of small successes, so I have learned to take my big goals and break them down into smaller goals that I can work on and achieve quickly.  The momentum gained from these small successes builds my momentum for work towards the bigger ones.  My plan includes a timeline and a checkpoint-these serve to keep me on track and to assess my progress.
  5. Trust yourself.  Trust in my ability has been one of the biggest hurdles for me.  I either invite a past failure or fear into the present or I over think the future with a hailstorm of what-ifs.  In order to stop this cycle, I apply this principle to making decisions:  I trust myself to be able to handle it-whether the result is positive or negative-I can handle it.

This year, let’s move past seeing it and get into doing it.  We can do this!


Time to Give Up

By Traci Chanel

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I had an epiphany (gosh I love this word) around day 36 of #QwnSzn and it was this:  sometimes you gotta know when to give up.  I know. It sounds weird coming from me as I believe in the power of just do it and doing it anyway, but I’m not exactly talking about giving up as in quitting.  Let me explain.

I recently read an article about Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. It was about the three questions he asks himself daily that he says helps him to find success and achieve goals.  My kind of shit.  On my own personal evolution journey, I often ask myself “big questions.”  I discovered the power of asking oneself important questions sometime ago, but I was really intrigued by the simplicity of Ma’s questions.  They are, What do I have?, What do I want?, and What will I give up?  Simple right?  I read through Ma’s application of each question-all great, but it was my own Auntie Oprah aha that made them profound.  Here’s my epiphany:

Question 1 What do I have?  I knew right away that this question had internal and external applications.  Internally, this question is about gratitude.  It’s about acknowledging what I’ve already accomplished and being grateful for everything that I’ve come through and thankful for what I have because truthfully, I live in the present, in the now and that’s the only thing that is real.  The past is over and done with and the future is only a well thought out maybe that I have no guarantee of living.  The only guarantee that anyone has is that one day we will all take one last breath.  I digress.  Externally, the question becomes actionable when I take stalk of what resources I have available to me in order to work a plan.

Question 2 What do I want?  This question is like an invitation to dream with focus; to become absolute with a vision and set a goal.  I believe that this question can only be asked after expressing gratitude.  It’s important to know that who I am at the moment is my highest form of self, who I dream to be is my next level self.  Make no mistake, I know that I am worthy right now.  So, this question gives the opportunity for me to make the vision plain and clear, to know and express exactly what I want and make a plan.

Question 3 What will I give up?  This is the question that made me bow my head shamefully. It was the one that choked me up.  I couldn’t answer it because it was showing me up.  I felt like I was being accosted.  No seriously.  This question made me shift in my seat, I was so uncomfortable with my answer.  My answer to this question shined a light on a horrible habit that I have, procrastination.  Procrastination is like a drug.  It temporarily soothes pain and momentarily takes one away from suffering.  So to ask me what I am willing to give up? Shit, it was like asking me to choose how I  would like to suffer and who wants to do that?

I learned from Mark Manson, writer of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, that knowing what pain we want in our life and what we are willing to struggle for steers our choices.  See, our choices either drive us closer to our goal or take us off course.  Then it hits me.  I choose procrastination because it delays my perceived suffering.  My dreams then, starve to death and the cycle repeats.  It happens every time I get excited or a dream comes to me.  I envision myself living the dream and even make a plan.  Soon as I have to commit (which means I have to give up something) or it gets hard and I lose motivation-I procrastinate.  Every. Single. Time.

I decided to ask myself the three questions.  What do I have?  This was easy to answer.  #QwnSzn is all about gratitude, so I breezed through this question.  What do I want?  I had several answers for this one: financial freedom, accountability, a farm, Essence Fest and the list goes on.  I admit that when it came to the third question, my hand shook to write its answer.  What will I give up?  The first thing I wrote was give up immediate gratification-this is hard for me. I took a breath. Then my heart poured out.  Give up impatience.  Give up old limiting mindsets.  Give up idle time or the seduction of idle time.  Give up comparing my timeline to others.  Give up the thought of instant success.  Give up the illusion of daydreaming as being the same as action.  Give up sleep (sometimes).  Give up failing to plan. Give up bullshit standards.  Give up what other’s want for me.  Give up what I think I can’t do.  Give up hesitating.  Give up being content and comfortable.  Give up procrastination.  Give up starving my ideas.   Jack Ma and Mark Manson are not at all that deep with their questions.  They simply understand that there is no gain without pain. Period.  It is now day 44.  I am in the process of answering these questions to plan for the last couple of months of 2018 and the end of #QwnSzn.  I know what I have.  I know what I want and I damn sure know what I am giving up.

I challenge you to ask yourself these same questions


How to Own Rejection

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No one in the history of ever has moved through this life without a slap from rejection. From Beyonce’ to Einstein, to you and me, rejection is part of the journey. What sets successful people like Queen Bey apart is how they handle rejection. Understanding that rejection is an opportunity and not a scarlet letter is the key to owning it. When you own rejection, you view it objectively; that is, you understand that it has nothing to do with you as a person. So, here’s the 411 on how to own rejection.


1. It’s not you, it’s me. Rejection from a job, parent, or crush has nothing to do with you. It is solely the decision of the rejector. Every person, company, entity has the right to decide what is best for them. Choices are made based on what is needed now and in the future. Never take it personally. You are not everyone’s cup of tea. Believe it or not, in all of Beyonce’s fabulousness, there are people who don’t care for her work. She isn’t any less fabulous or talented and she still has a whole hive of supporters who love what she does. So Beyonce, so you!

2. Grieve it. Move on. I recently applied for an opportunity to learn how to create and sustain a successful podcast offered by Spotify. It included an intense boot camp with experts, in New York, in June. I felt that I met all the criteria. As I checked my email for a response-nothing. Let me just say that there is no form of rejection as painful as the no response. Rejection letters and even the rejections that are screamed at you in a fit of frustration, at least offer some form of explanation, but that no response shit will have your mind and emotions strapped in the world’s most loopiest roller coaster traveling through a series of tornadoes. As such was the case with me. We are human and we want to know why the hell would you not want someone like me? It’s OK. Grieve it and then gather yourself up. Dust yourself off and then look at what you’ve offered. Use that no as an opportunity to remind yourself of the work and time you’ve invested, decide if it needs tweaking and then move on to the next suitor.

3. So what, do it anyway. Just because you received 1 no or 100, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it anyway. I recently read an article on about The LipBar lipstick company that was rudely rejected on an episode of Shark Tank, but found a home in Target stores. That one no doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to pursue your dream. It only means that it was no for them. Keep perfecting your craft, make changes that are necessary for you.

4. New Directions. In the words of the beloved Dr. Maya Angelou, “each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and , carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction.” Sometimes rejection is necessary to push you into a new direction. It can serve as the launching pad for you to learn something new about yourself. It can serve as the push you need to pioneer into something new all together. Let it serve you.


*Excerpt is from Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou.