6 Lessons From 2017

“12 new chapters. 365 new chances.”

As we approach the new year, this is the time we all begin to reflect on the past year. We begin second-guessing the decisions we made this year. We begin comparing our journeys to someone else. We begin comparing our 2017 goals to our success. The reflection seems to never go away. But reflection is a lifelong journey, and it happens 365 days a year. The new year is a great opportunity to start over. It is a great opportunity to refocus and reset what you want your life to look like.

This year has been a long stressful year for me. I know some of us could say the same but there are lessons within the pain, the struggle, and even the successful days. So here are the things I learned through 2017.

Explore. 

Some may think I am speaking of traveling. Traveling is a great way to explore the world and immerse yourself in someones else culture. However, I am more excited to explore different opportunities that could further enhance my life. Two years ago, I took a web design and photoshop class to be sure I can maintain my brand without the help of a designer. I never utilized the knowledge until I released my blog in May. I have spent the year exploring photography, design, blogging, and coding. These skills have open the door to more opportunities beyond my reach. I am grateful that I said yes and started learning more. Don’t be afraid to explore new careers or learn new skills. It might be the best decision you ever made.

Set Boundaries

There are people who know what they are doing to you is draining and damaging yet they would still do it. Set boundaries and don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes, you have to look out for yourself more than you look out for others.

Own Your Goals

I am the only one responsible for making my dreams come true and living the life I want. I am the only person that knows all the dreams my heart holds hostage. Own them and pursue them. Don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big. In the words of Myleik, “some people judge your dreams based on their work ethic.”

Cultivate a Tribe

No one ever goes far alone and when you understand that, you’ll understand how important family, friends, and even a like-minded tribe is important. Each individual has a purpose in your life. Don’t feel bad about letting people go either. Everyone isn’t meant to travel with you.

Continue to Learn

In the words of Ms. Clay, “Don’t argue with people who do not read.” Read blogs, articles, and books. Go beyond Google and social media. Go beyond your experiences and life. Broaden your perspective. My favorite books this year is All About Love by Bell Hooks, Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi and The Alchemist. Everybody should buy The Alchemist! It is truly a life-changing book.

My 2018 goal is to read at least two books a month. I’m sure this list will grow but here’s my list for 2018: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, The End of Average, The Grant Writing Book, Unqualified, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection, She’s Your Daughter Too, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School, Year of Yes, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, The Woman I Wanted To Be, Make It Happen: The Hip Hop Generation Guide to Success, and Secret of Six-Figure Women. These books carters to all areas of my life: teaching, becoming a better woman, owning a business and owning my finances, spiritually and soulful devote, preparing for love and becoming love, and unlocking my potential.

Always Take Care of Yourself 

We tend to forget about ourselves. We tend to put ourselves last until we don’t have anything to give others. Take care of yourself, whatever that looks like for you. It could be traveling, spa days, meditation, yoga, reading, alone time, etc. Whatever you need, do it and don’t feel bad about it. We have to learn to take care of ourselves in order to even be of any service to others.

I want to hear from you! What did you learn in 2017 and what will you be taking with you?

Remember, love is within you. Just be it.

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