Happy New Year Family! I pray this new year has been treating you well. I know that it has been a while since my last blog post, however, I am committed to being more consistent with my writing this year so I want y'all to hold me to it.
2023 was a challenging year for many of us, including myself. It brought grief, business challenges, and moments of doubt. But, I truly believe that 2024 is a year for us to set better intentions, manage our time more efficiently, and take better care of our health while even exploring new ventures.
Reflecting on 2023: Embracing Growth Amid Adversity
Life has a way of throwing unexpected curveballs, and 2023 was no exception. Since the start of 2021, I have had many loved ones pass on with each one getting harder and harder to deal with. In October 2023 (same day as Magic City Classic) I lost my beloved uncle. My Uncle Freddie Jr. fought long and hard against cancer for five years. He was always a fighter, tough as nails. Even during his battle, there were moments when he wanted to give up, but he continued to press on. All of my life, my Uncle Freddie Jr. has always been one of my biggest supporters. From funding my modeling classes in high school to making sure my sisters and I were able to get our softball jerseys down to even making sure my car had gas in it whenever I came to visit during college. As painful as his passing has been, I find joy in knowing that I was blessed to have one of the best uncles on the planet.
Me and My Uncle Freddie Jr. ❤️
Running my business brought its own set of challenges in 2023. Thoughts that made me question whether I should continue were consistent throughout the year. I worked with some amazing clients and had the chance to work on some incredible projects. But the burnout and being unmotivated was real. I remember one night vividly when I told my sister that I had enough and perhaps I needed to find a full-time job. The very next day, I was awarded the 2023 PR Executive of the Year award presented by the Public Relations Society of America - Memphis Chapter. I was completely stunned hearing my name called out. Losing my uncle a month prior and now this had my emotions all over the place. Receiving this award served as a reminder that I belong in this space and that all of my hard work was starting to be seen. But this also made me think that now was the time to sit down and have a serious conversation with myself about what is it that I want to achieve when it comes to my business moving forward. My business has grown tremendously over the years, and it can be easy to say "yes" to anything that brings in revenue. This year I want to be more intentional about the things that I agree to do. If anything costs me my sanity or joy, I owe it to myself to take a step back and readjust.
Myself pictured with the PR Executive of the Year Award presented by PRSA Memphis Chapter 👏🏼
Setting Better Intentions: Charting Our Course for 2024
One thing I've come to realize lately is the power of intention. Setting clear and meaningful intentions can provide direction and purpose in our lives. I had the chance to write down some of my goals and dreams, both big and small with my boyfriend earlier this month. This was a weird yet interesting process because by setting clear goals you have to get real clear on exactly what you want. If you don't have an idea of what you want it can make this process feel daunting. My issue wasn't that I didn't know what I wanted. My problem was that I had allowed fear to make me think that I wouldn't achieve the goals or that I wasn't worthy of the successes to come.
Tips for Setting Intentions:
Be specific: Clearly define your goals and what success looks like for you. A question that I had to ask myself is what do I want out of life. Now how I can make that happen?
Break it down: Divide your intentions into actionable steps to make them more achievable. Are these goals achievable in a month or perhaps you want to make them quarterly. For example, a goal of mines is to become an Accredited Public Relations associate through PRSA. This would take some time to study and prepare for so I set a goal to take the certification exam by July 2024 (Q3).
Stay adaptable: Life can be unpredictable, so be open to adjusting your intentions as needed. In other words "life be life-ing!" Instead of feeling discouraged or feeling like a failure if you're not able to achieve a goal right now, give yourself some grace.
Efficient Time Management: Making Every Moment Count
Time is a precious resource, and managing it efficiently can make a world of difference. Whether you're a business owner like me or simply aiming for personal growth, mastering time management is essential. Developing a solid daily routine has been a goal of mine this year. I'm not a get up each day at 5:00 am type of person, but giving myself enough time each morning to wake up and take care of myself before working as proven to be beneficial. My productivity has been improving as well and not feeling so rushed each day has been freeing. Prioritizing my tasks and utilizing tools & resources to keep me organized is a must now.
Tips for Time Management:
Prioritize wisely: Identify the most important tasks and tackle them first. A tip that I have found helpful is selecting my top three most important tasks of the day and getting those taken care of.
Utilize tools: Calendars, to-do lists, and productivity apps can help keep you organized. I use Google calendars faithfully to not only schedule meetings or events but also blocking out time for tasks. Another time management method that my colleagues have found use is the Pomodoro Method. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method based on 25-minute stretches of focused work broken by five-minute breaks.
Self-care time: Make sure to allocate time for self-care, exercise, and mental well-being. I've been in the gym pretty consistenly since early December working to build up my strength and stamina. I try to read and journal a bit before bed each night. Stretching and drinking water each morning is also a must for me. Spending time with family and friends is also a way for me to feel good. I recently joined a church here in Memphis and being able to spend time developing spiritually has been amazing.
Striving to get arms like Michelle Obama and Angela Bassett this year 😅
Prioritizing Health and Wellness: Nurturing the Body and Mind
Taking better care of bodies should always be a top priority. From your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health, we owe it to ourselves to become healthier in these areas each day.
Tips for Health and Wellness:
Move your body: Incorporate regular exercise into your routine to boost your mood and energy. My dedicated gym days are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. If I'm not in the gym, you can find me doing some stretching or quick pilates workouts on the FitOn App.
Eat well: A balanced diet nourishes not just the body but also the mind. To be honest, I'm still working on this. My issue is that I just eat out a lot. If I can commit to cooking more fun healthy meals, I know my body will thank me and so will my pocket book. I'm also challenging myself to eat a green vegetable each day because my vegetable intake over the years has been horrendous.
Mindfulness practices: I have the start and end my day in prayer. I set a goal to be more intentional about my prayer life in 2024. Engaging in meditation, deep breathing, or yoga are great ways to also reduce stress and gain mental clarity.
Exploring New Ventures: Embracing Growth and Opportunities
Let 2024 be a year for exploration and growth. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and pursue new opportunities. My own journey has shown me that growth often occurs outside of familiarity.
Tips for Exploring New Ventures:
Follow your passions: Identify what truly ignites your soul and explore opportunities aligned with your interests.
Seek guidance: Reach out to mentors, peers, or coaches who can provide valuable advice and encouragement.
Embrace failure as a teacher: Remember that not every venture will succeed, but every experience will teach you something valuable.
Let me know if you find any of these tips helpful as you journey through this new year. We are all in this together and I pray that this year exceeds all of your wildest dreams.