For the past few weeks, I have reflected heavily on the various areas of my life to determine what adjustments can be made so that I can continue trending towards my best self.
When I was writing out my goals for the new year, I realized that I have a solid group of friends who add value to my life in areas where I need to make changes and see improvements. God Knew what he was doing by putting my favorite girls in my life! I cannot stress how critical it is to have a supportive and thriving circle of friends, and I am beyond lucky to be surrounded by such fierce and well-rounded young women. They each inspire me, which is why I asked them to share some tips in areas where I feel their success is unmatched:
- Health & Fitness
- Growth & Learning
I’m sure I’m not the only one with goals to make this new year a great one, so it’s only right that I share their responses and add my two cents in an area where I feel my success is unmatched (networking!). I plan to implement the strategies that my girls suggested as well as become more consistent with practicing what they (and myself) preach.
1. Sequoyah P. dishes on Finance
As a woman, never be afraid to make sure that you are getting paid what you are worth. I also recommend that you invest in some type of retirement savings plan like a 401(k), and always take 100% advantage of your company’s match. Trust me! Your future self will thank you later. You should also spend less than you earn — that either means no credit cards or always paying off the full balance each month. Keep in mind that it is never too late to rectify your debt-to-income ratio. The key is to be intentional in making the changes to do so. It’s important to create a personal savings account where you have three to six months of savings necessary to cover expenses in the event of a job loss or hard times. Once you have three to six months of savings, learn to invest and diversify additional savings. Any money saved after three to six months (and you SHOULD ALWAYS BE SAVING) should be growing in some shape, form or fashion. Lastly, take advantage of financial resources that are available to help you meet and exceed your finance goals.
2. Oddesty L. dishes on Faith
When it comes to Spiritual growth and prosperity, here are the best tips that only life could have taught me:
- Let it hurt and then let it go. God wired us to be emotional beings, but not to live emotionally. Read and reflect on Isaiah 43:18, “But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.”
- Fight for your peace. The fight of your life is your fight to remain at peace. Read and reflect on Philippians 4: 7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Cling to your faith. Salvation only comes through Jesus Christ. If you want to be saved from anything… cling to the Savior. Read and reflect on Timothy 1:19, “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.”
4. Kendra V. dishes on Travel
Traveling is one of the most enlightening experiences that anyone can encounter. It’s an opportunity to learn about other people and cultures, but also an opportunity to learn more about yourself. I know that there are many popular vacation spots for Millennials, but I think that it’s important to expand your horizons and visit unconventional destinations to truly have the most amazing experience. One place that I recommend adding to your travel list is Vietnam. Popular destinations include the capital city of Hanoi and or the largest city in the country, Ho Chi Minh City. I visited Ho Chi Minh City last spring and fell in love with the culture and the cuisine. Ho Chi Minh City also provides easy access to Cambodia, so you would be able to add another destination within the same trip.
5. Carlita L. dishes on Beauty
I love a full face just as much as the next person (maybe a little more). By full I mean contouring, highlighting, baking, lashes, wings, pretty much everything. However, there is one essential thing that can either make or break any make-up look: eyebrows. If your eyebrows are too wide, too narrow, the wrong color, or just not right, they will completely throw off your make-up look. The way that I learned, and the way that I would suggest you learn too, is by watching videos on old faithful: YouTube. I watched tons of tutorials and practiced at home in the mirror until I knew exactly how to make my eyebrows (and the rest of my face too) slay for the gods. I would also suggest sending pictures of your work to friends (but only those whose make-up work you admire and who will be completely honest) and getting their opinion because the way that you see yourself can be a little different from what the world sees.
6. Bria P. dishes on Growth and Learning
One of the best things anyone can do to keep their mind stimulated is to read. This may sound archaic, but in a world where you are inundated with social media images and advertisements, reading a book is still one of the best ways to learn new words or concepts, or to escape from the trivial and redundant parts of the day. It could be a children’s chapter book, a self-help book, how-to book, one of Oprah’s best sellers (soon to be one of Tabresha’s novels — wait for it!), or the tried and true Bible. If you have time to take 342 pictures, question which filter to use, and then post on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, you have time to read.
7. Brittany M. dishes on Love
Make a choice to welcome this year with open arms and an open heart. Do not allow what happened in 2016 to impact the love that may be coming to you in 2017. Love fully, love deeply, be honest, and be open. Don’t rush it, don’t force it, and if needed, be at peace with letting it go. Love yourself and allow the rest to fall into place.
8. My dish on Networking
I’m a social person, and I learned to be at a very young age. Meeting people and making connections have never been struggles for me because I’m naturally curious, and I enjoy learning about people. If one of your goals is to become more social, whether it be for pleasure or professional purposes, I urge you to commit yourself to initiating more conversations this year. Networking requires effort. It’s easy to sit back and wait for someone to talk to you first, but you can miss out on so many meaningful connections by not initiating the first ‘hello.’ Networking also requires vulnerability. I can honestly say some of my best connections are the result of sincere and transparent conversations. If you’re networking for pleasure, visit venues like restaurants, sporting events or other attractions that you like — and do not be afraid to go alone. I’m willing to bet if you meet someone there, you already have at least one thing in common. If you want to network professionally, I suggest that you research, join, and become active in a professional organization that tailors to your professional interests. Remember that everyone you meet is not going to be a perfect (or valuable) connect, so don’t get discouraged if you do not immediately form the connection you seek.