Triggers | Why You Aren't Accomplishing Your Goals & Ways to Get Better

Triggers by Goldsmith

We are almost into the third month of the New Year. Have you fallen off track already? If so, did you already give up on yourself? Do you believe you gave yourself a fair chance? 

I randomly picked up a book at my sister -in-law house called Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith, literally on the first of January.  Which is ironic because the book is about factors that debilitate us from making positives behaviors we seek to change in ourselves. The perfect book to read at the beginning of the New Year right? 

I wanted to touch on some of the take-aways in hopes that you can apply them to the goals you have set for yourself this year. 

Your Environment Will Not Cater to You!

Unfortunately, we do not have control over our environment as much as we may like to. Not to say that the Universe is actually out to get us, but rather the environment doesn't know your goals. The environment doesn't pick you out of the bunch and decides to cater to your needs, and your needs only.  Instead you have control over how to respond to your environment. 

We are Superior Planner and Inferior Doers

We tend to plan for the future with so much detail and precision yet not follow throught, even when the instructional manual is handed to us.  For example, losing weight and getting fit. We alrealdy know what to do, eat healthier and exercise. Simple! But yet we fall short and skip out on going to the gym, and choose to buy not-so healthy lunches even when we packed our lunch for the day.

Identify Your Triggers

Self-discipline refer to achieving desirable behaviors and self-control refers to avoiding undesirable behaviors.  We are good at making the nessecarry steps to achieve a goal, but it is hard not to submit to temptations. Learning your triggers will help you build your self-control.

You Need Rules

Quoted from the book, "We do not get better without structure." A major key to building structure is repetition.  Structure is helpfull because it limits your options so that you are not thrown off track. This is how we can take control of the otherwise uncontrollable environment. 

Overall, the book is great and it goes into details of strategies and reflections activities that you can use to fianlly make the postive changes to become the person you want to be. 

Let me know in the comments if you read this book and your thoughts about it. 

A Well Read Black Girl & Then Some

Me, Photo courtsey of Well Read Black Girl.

Me, Photo courtsey of Well Read Black Girl.

You have to make the decision to tell this story. Because if you don't write, the story dies with you." - @natashiadeon

You don't have to write everyday  to be a writer [writing a story/project] but you have to write everyday. Saturday, September 9, I attended the inaugural Well Read Black Girl Conference & Festival in Brooklyn, New York.  Walking into the BIRC there was an initial rush of intimidation yet as I saunter farther into the venue an overwhelming calmness and joy overcame me.  Everywhere I looked I saw resemblances of myself; beautiful intelligent black women, who are enamored by reading the stories of others and writing their own.  “I don’t know that we ever had all of us in the same room. I hope everyone is taking pictures. Take your pictures! Tag me! Tag yourselves! Tag your friends who can’t be here, because they are here.”  Tayari Jones, pleaded with excitement. Reiterating the importance of representation and community among black women. 

Photo courtesy of Well Read Black Girl.

Photo courtesy of Well Read Black Girl.

Photo courtesy of Well Read Black Girl.

Photo courtesy of Well Read Black Girl.

"Don't reject yourself in advance" - @LashondaKatrice 

I stumble upon Well Read Black Girl Instagram page a few months ago, and when I saw the Kickstarter for the inaugural festival/ conference, I promised myself I would support and be present. The event consisted of a series of sessions each a panel focusing on different topics. 

The knowledge I gained from the panelist met way beyond my expectations. Given I did not really know what to expect but I was throughly impressed and elated to be there. I attended the self care session titled "Writing Rituals As Self-Care: How to Maximize Your Creative Practice."
Moderated by Jenna Wortham and Panelists included Lesley Arimah, Morgan Jerkins, Basey Ikpi, Jenn Baker, and Ashley C. Ford. Self-care and self love has become a theme  for me this year so I was tuned in during this session. The session began with a questioning the panelist their thoughts on self-care. "It’s an act of survival to keep going, When people say self-care, I say, this is self-preservation.” said Jenn Baker. Then, Basey Ikpi expressed her motto "self-care above all else.”  this stuck with me, because their perspective truly exemplify the essence of self-care. 

The panelist even touched on increased outreach for black voices during this current social and political climate. Morgan Jerkins shared her experience wanting to share the stories of black joy. Yet, conflicted when she began writing for money, and the expectation of her work is to perform the role of an angry black.  As I learned throughout the event now is the time for black women writers and authors to push their work out and take advantaged of this window of opportunity. If they want our voices, they will get and we will on the other side to ensure it's heard properly. 

"There is no better time than now for black women writers." -@tayari  

Photo courtesy of Well Read Black Girl.

Photo courtesy of Well Read Black Girl.

The closing session "Reclaiming the Past, Empowering the Present: Writing as Political Resistance." Moderated Jamia Wilson and Panelists Jaqueline Woodson, Tiphanie Yanique, Bernice McFadden, Natashia Deón and LaShonda Barnett truly gave me life.  Especially Ms. LaShonda Barnett, with a voice as smooth valet I clung to every word she uttered, and Tiphanie Yanique, full of fire and spice representing for the Virgin Islands. I learned now is the time to think creatively, give yourself permission to go beyond your comfort zone and to not limit yourself by your own perspective.  I left WRBGFest with long reading list and more confidence in calling myself a writer. 

Glory Edim, Photo courtsey of Well Read Black Girl

Glory Edim, Photo courtsey of Well Read Black Girl

A huge kudos and congratulation belongs to Glory Edim creator of WRBG.  I met her briefly thanks to my best-friend Robyn, who literally knows everyone. I expressed to her  that I flew from Florida just for this festival and she embraced me with a great big hug, and I couldn't help but feel even more welcomed and thanked her for creating this space. I already can't wait next year. 

"The whole point of being is writer is you get to play God" - @LashondaKatrice

The Defining Decade | Why Your 20's Matter

Defining Decade

As millennials, we are told our  20’s are the best years of your life.  It is your time to explore and experiment 'Live Fast, Die Young' is what our culture encourages. Yet what they don’t say is, the 20’s are your years of planning unless you are Meg Jay Ph.D. As a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Jay took the time to research the “twenty-something years”.

In her book The Defining Decade Why your twenties matter and how to make the most of them now. Dr. Jay dives right into the many trials that twenty-something face by providing relatable stories from her clients and gives insightful solutions to solve the woes of being twenty-something years old.

The Defining Decade captured my attention within the first couple of pages, where she indulges in the difference between having an identity crisis and identity capital. I want to focus on identity capital.

"Identity capital is our collection of personal assets. It is the repertoire of individual resources that we assemble over time. These are the investments we make in ourselves, the things we do well enough, or long enough, that they become a part of who we are. Some identity capital goes on a resume, such as degrees, jobs, test scores, and clubs. Other identity capital is more personal, such as how we speak, where we are from, how we solve problems, how we look. Identity capital is how we build ourselves – bit by bit, over time. Most important, identity capital is what we bring to the adult marketplace. It is the currency we use to metaphorically purchase jobs and relationships and other things we want."

Learning what your identity capital consist of will assist in building a foundation for success and obtaining the lifestyle you desire. Yet, beware once you figure out your identity capital the real work has just begun. Opening up to opportunities, not being afraid of your potential to succeed, building your confidence from the outside- in, and ending toxic relationships all play a role.

Dr. Jay does not only encourage twenty-somethings to begin planning for their future professionally. She also talks about planning for your relationships, consequences of cohabiting. Astonishing infertility statistics for both women and men who choose to delay starting a family.

Dr. Jay touches so many points, and she nails them all. Your twenties are the best time of your life, it is a time of self-discovery, exploring, and experimenting. Yet, if you do not use this time to plan for your thirties and forties you will live to regret it, and starting over is something that should and could have been completed at your prime.

Reading List | 12 Books for Every Aspect of Life

Reading

Self-care is extremely important and it can be done in many different ways. Finding time for yourself can be very hard because it is easy to put other things first. But it must be done!   Reading a good book can really change your life and open your mind to a completely different world.  Leaving you motivated and charged to finally take action. I have listed a few books, that I have read and are on my reading list.

Self-Improvement:

  • Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

  • Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rea

  • The Sisters are Alright by Tamara Winfrey-Harris

Career Development:

  • #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

  • Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sherly Sandberg

  • The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, Rhonda Joy McLean & Angela Burt-Murray

Relationships/Love:

  • I Had a Nice Time and Other Lies by The Betches

  • Love in my Language by Alex Elle

  • All About Love by Bell Hooks

Personal Finances:

  • Women & Money by Suze Orman

  • Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms by Amanda Steinberg

  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Cookbooks:

  • My Life on a Plate: Recipes around the World by Kelis

  • Cravings: For all the Foods You want to Eat by Christe Teigen

  • Whole New You: How Real Food Transforms Your Life, for a Healthier, More Gorgeous You by Tia Mowry

If you read any of the books listed or have a recommendation write a comment in the section below I would love to read them.