Over the last few weeks I have been invited to at least 20 vision board parties. Each one promising to help you get clear about achieving your goals. I can’t lie, I’m a bit of a vision board Grinch. Maybe it’s because I’ve been invited to so many gatherings or because my goals and dreams are so personal to me I don’t feel comfortable putting them on display. Whatever it is, it’s got me cringing at the thought of attending yet another vision board party. That’s until my sister calls and says I want to host a “Power Board” party (insert eye roll), yet another vision board party! “No Nik, this isn’t what you think!” my sister knows me well, “Just come and see!”
So on a Saturday night I gathered for an intimate evening of plotting and planning. To my surprise this board party had a twist. Before we entered into a room filled with magazines, glue, glitter, and all the fixings for the ultimate vision board, we were invited to an amazing bible study in preparation for the next step. In steps one of my favorite bible study host, Minister Kodi Pride. Her message was titled “Vision vs. Sight”. We learned that people can lose sight of their vision, but the vision (the plan) is always there, just because you get stuck does not mean you lose your vision you just may have lost sight of that vision, but guess what you can get sight back. The vision may need to be modified, but the core foundation of what it is you want to achieve is always there waiting for you to build upon it. Once we gain sight of our vision then it is up to us to put power behind that vision so that it can come to fruition. Power behind a vision is required in order for that vision to manifest and become all you desire for it to be. As Kodi wrapped up she explained to us that we as women are queens on the chess board we are the piece that controls the game, we have the power. We must think of our vision the same way, we are in control and that vision is awaiting us to assert our power so that we may win.
My sister explained that she knew all of the women in the room had a vision, there was no question about that, but that sometimes we all lose sight. In order to regain our sight we need to put some power behind our thoughts and execution. This is where the “Power Board” comes into play. As we sit at the table with all the craft buckets we are instructed to select words, pictures, quotes that will empower us to want to achieve our vision. The purpose of this board is to keep you encouraged when it appears that you have lost sight of your vision. As I thought about my goals I began to notice words and pictures in the magazines that ignited a fire within me. I felt powerful! I know my vision (purpose), manifesting this can sometimes be exhausting, especially when I get stuck but looking to my “Power Board” for encouragement will help me keep my eyes on the prize.
Do you get discourage when faced with not reaching your goals or feeling stuck? How do you get yourself out of a rut? You can do this and so can I so let’s put some power behind these visions!
We have officially started 2020. I’ve heard so many claims that this year is it, we are all winning! I am so here for it all. One thing I’ve discovered though is that in all the affirmations, encouraging words, inspiring speeches is that if you don’t have a plan of action in place to win, you are destined to lose. Whether your goal is to become a better more engaged parent, start a business, level up in your career, or lose weight you must take the time to plot out how you will achieve that goal. Enter into one of my favorite places, the halls of planners. For me my planner is personal, it holds the key to how I plan on achieving my goals, what I’ve accomplished, and what I am looking to accomplish in the near or far off future. Below I will review a few of the planners I use in hopes of helping you find one that will work for you and get you started on living out your dreams and purpose.
Last year I invested in the Sol Planner. An amazing planner that asks you questions and challenges your thinking daily to help you achieve your goals. The Pros: very detailed to help you complete your mission, a lot of space for writing your thoughts and appointments with details, thought provoking questions that will keep you accountable to yourself for making things happen. The Cons: you have to put the planner together, there is a binding ring and monthly and weekly inserts that you will need to put together before you can use the planner, the planner is bulky, you won’t be able to slide this into your favorite handbag, which if you are on the go and you like to have your information at your fingertips to write down notes makes this very difficult. The estimated cost of this planner is $50, which may seem a bit pricey but worth it if you can deal with the cons.
I was gifted the 2020 Christian Planner. Before I was able to delve into the planner I knew I loved the size and cover of it. It’s appearance is like a book and it has a strap that allows you to keep all the pages together. If you are a speaker or minister this may be the perfect planner for you. The Pros: space within the planner for you to create a mini vision board (that means you can take your vision board with you), there are reflection questions that will get you thinking more along the lines of self-care and having a deeper connection to God, ample space for sermon/bible study notes I personally use it for notes I take before I host a LIVE. The Cons: If you are a creative there is not enough space to create, the lines for writing in appointments or reminders are very small and restrictive. The estimated cost of this planner is $35.
Let’s get crazy! That is the theme of our next planner the Goal Crazy Planner. After I concluded that I would only be able to utilize the Christian Planner for certain things I was in a frenzy trying to quickly find something that would help me begin to schedule my year. Enter the Goal Crazy Planner. This planner will get you thinking intensely about what your life looks like, how you want to improve the look of your life, and what steps are you willing to take to achieve your dream life. I like this calendar because it hits a lot of areas for me. I was able to review areas of my life where I am winning and areas that need improvements. The Pros: LOVE the detailed questioning of envisioning your current life and the life you want, the setting goals questions really get you to focus in on what you want to achieve, I also like that there is a corresponding website with videos to help you use the planner to the best of your abilities. The Cons: it’s a 90 day planner, which means in 90 days I will have to order another, if you are looking for something with dates and times already written in then this will not be one of your favorites. The estimate cost for one planner is $25 with the option to buy 4 at $90.
Whatever planner you choose make sure it’s one that works for you. While I love decorating my planner with stickers, fancy pens, highlighters, if at the end of the day it’s not serving its purpose, which is to keep me on task, then what’s it’s point?!
This is our year to achieve our goals and dreams. With proper planning and the tools you need, I am sure you are going to be very successful. Are you currently using a planner? What are it’s pros and cons?
Let’s face it the holidays can be overwhelming! There’s a bunch of stuff to be done and everybody is depending on you to do it right?! I use to despise entering into the holiday season. During a time where you should be enjoying family you are bogged down by the business of the season, not able to fully enjoy and embrace this time. Well no more! I’m going to give you the top 5 things I’ve done to make the holiday season cheery and bright again. So let’s do this…
1. Make the decision today to not lose your cool. Now you may be thinking that’s easier said than done and you’d be right. I consciously make the effort to make sure if I feel myself getting overwhelmed I take a moment. I find a place that allows me to just breathe and be. When I go to this place I don’t take any to-do list with me or my phone, I inform my family that I am going to need a few moments (giving no reason) and I just step away. As moms we get so wrapped up in the details making sure things are good for everyone around us, all while not taking a moment to just take in the fact that this is a season to be with the ones we love. #MommyNeedsAMoment is real and we must take advantage of this practice so that we can be more present in our lives.
2. Plan & Prepare! Often times our failure to plan and prepare prevent us from enjoying our holiday time. Mama you can’t do everything and that’s okay! Break out your calendar, update events that you must make an appearance at in red, events that you would like to go to but may not have the time in yellow, and events you want to say no to in green. Now let’s organize that calendar. Place the red ones on your calendar in pen, if dates cross see if you can call on your village to help you meet the obligation. If not you will have to choose and deal with the outcome of that decision. Trust that people know your heart and if you could be there you would. Now place the yellow ones on your calendar in pencil. If you come across some free time and can attend then do so if not then that’s okay too. The green invites don’t make it to the calendar, they are a flat out NO! RSVP in a timely matter for the events you choose to attend and don’t allow anyone to guilt you into doing something you don’t want to do. This is your opportunity to set boundaries and give yourself permission to be free! Make a list, check it twice! I have become the queen of lists. This may be new to you but list can save your life. In the evening before I decompress and prepare for bed I list what I would like to accomplish the next day. I get detailed with the list so I can be prepared. Even in the event that something disrupts my plan I can always get back on track or adjust my list. For example:
How or What
All the rooms upstairs
Wash/Dry/Fold 2 loads
Mom/Dad/Anissa (Budget $150)
Prep for Ugly Sweater Christmas Party
Purchase sweater/RSVP to party
Schedule beauty appointments
Whatever you place on your list, don’t be discouraged if you don’t accomplish them all that day, just try again the next day. For time sensitive items prioritize them first.
3. Budget! We make a big fuss out of this time of year. There’s decorating, gifts, places to go, and things to do. Yet we are still working with the same funds we do throughout the year. Reality check…DON’T GO BROKE during this season! It’s one season! If you plan on attending activities then budget for those activities and stick to that budget, if you are buying gifts make a list of the individuals you need to buy gifts for and budget for each person. You control how you will spend your money. This is supposed to be the season of love and goodwill toward everybody, remember a gift is just that a gift, it truly should be the thought that counts!
4. Rest! Most of the time when I’m frustrated and easily angered during this season is because I have not gotten enough rest to deal with myself let alone anyone else. There’s always something to do or some place to be. Thus the reason for #2! Daily fit in some time to take a nap, sit, or meditate. We all need time to clear our minds of the wrestling of things going on around us. When we don’t get rest we can’t focus which makes it harder for us to engage with ourselves and others.
5. Do unto others! One of my favorite things to do to keep me grounded in this season is doing something unexpected for someone else. Tis the season right?! There are plenty of things you can do that lift your spirits and help someone else. Suggestions:
Adopt a family in need for the holidays and fulfill a wish for them (remember to budget for this)
Volunteer at a retirement facility. There are a lot of elders in our communities who are alone and would enjoy your company.
Visit with a friend! We often talk about getting together but life happens and we can’t. Make it a priority to just go, sit, and be with a friend.
Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
Send out encouraging notes to help people jump start going into their new year. (budget for this)
Volunteer on the teen floor of a hospital! I always want to hang out with the babies they are adorable, let’s not forget the other children in the hospital who could use that same love.
Take a little kid to the dollar store for Christmas shopping. Help them create their gift list and give them their budget. This has been one of my greatest joys to see what they think people need or would like.
Make homemade gifts for teachers. This is also one of my favorite things to do with my family. This requires some budgeting as well, but let’s face it our teachers deserve it. I’ve pinned a few of my favorites here.
Invite another family over for cookie baking, hot chocolate, holiday music, and time together. You can split the cost for this and enjoy time with each other.
Call up people you may have lost touch with. Note: Not all will be receptive, but hey you’re making an effort! We are entering into a season of loneliness for some it’s nice to know that we are thought of.
If you know of someone and this is their first holiday alone or their 10000th holiday without a loved one, be mindful to love on them extra hard this season. Living without someone doesn’t necessarily get easier and a little love can go a long way!
How do you keep from being overwhelmed during the holiday season? Drop your tips in the comments.
Stay ready you don’t have to get ready! I hear that a lot and as a mom I tend to overthink, over prepare, under prepare, whatever it is sometimes I just need a moment to breathe! Now before you go and say why become a mother anyway, DO NOT GO THERE…Before I was a mom and still to this day I am human. In thinking that there are other moms out there like me, that need a moment, this weekend I decided to host my first “Mommy Needs A Moment” event. I invited mothers from all walks of life to join me for an evening of enjoying themselves, no strings attached, just come as you are and take a moment. There was food, music, drinks, and laughs a whole lot of laughs!
The thought behind hosting this was that we as moms often forget to take moments to ourselves, we don’t feel deserving of moments, or we feel ashamed for taking a moment. I shared with the moms my journey in learning to take time for myself, holding myself accountable for doing so, and teaching my children to take their own moments. We then went around the table and the moms shared why they did or did not take time for themselves and what they did or didn’t do during this time.
I believe my purpose in life is to help moms, encourage them, empower them to be the best version of themselves. There’s a lot of pressure in this world to be perfect in everything we do. We fall short every day and who are others to judge or shame us for doing so. Just One Hot Mom has always been a safe space for me to write about my motherhood journey, to admit my flaws, share some laughs and lessons. Sometimes all it takes it a moment to get ourselves together, to become grounded, to recognize we need help. Sometimes even more we need someone to tell us that it’s okay to do so. “Mommy Needs A Moment” is a movement for moms by this mom. This is the start of a realization that we can be our best selves if we just step back and take some time.
If you would like to bring “Mommy Needs A Moment” to your city I am ready to hit the road. This experience does not just happen then leave you once the night is over, there is a 15 day journal that you can utilize after the event to help you start taking your moments or enjoying your moments. To connect send an email to email@example.com with the subject “Mommy Needs A Moment” or call 216.220.7223.
I look forward to many more moments with each of you.
I get a text message from one of my favorite fashionista blogger, Marcia Craggett, The Undercover Fashionista, go follow her now. “Let’s shoot!” I think I came up with an excuse every time she made this request and then one day the request came through and it sounded like a demand. I love taking pictures but as of late I was just blah about it. I needed new content for my site, but what would the purpose be behind it. Marcia could careless, I needed pics and she wanted to shoot so here we go. Early on a Saturday morning in some cold almost wet weather, I’m outside, exposed! The hour long shoot produced this month’s reflection “Know Nik November!” In the next phase of this journey, I’m being called to be more transparent, to be open and honest about how I am called to help other moms, maternal figures navigate this life without completely losing it.
Life is always happening! The kids are growing and transitioning themselves. My 9-5 has undergone multiple restructuring, I’m currently looking for a home, I’m building a business in which I help other women elevate their lives, I’m speaking at conferences, I’m writing a book, podcasting, and blogging. As I grow and let’s face it dominate these areas of my life, I’ve suffered some losses. When they say it’s lonely on the rise to the top they are not lying! Relationships have become complicated and some have died. In a time where I definitely need a team around me to support, to listen, to keep me grounded, I often find myself standing alone! This is not what I envisioned when I saw success in my future. I spend a lot of time alone!
As I sit here and even write this I can honestly say in the beginning I was devastated! How can I accomplish this life without my people?! Then I am reminded of seasons and reasons! There are seasons for people, situations, and things in your life, there are reasons people come and go, why situations change you, and why things come in and others move out. Taking all of this in and really dealing with myself and my reasons for even wanting to elevate my legacy, I now know that every lesson I learned in those seasons and reasons has enabled me to handle transitioning.
I am blessed to walk in these shoes! While transitioning, building, and welcoming new people into the village I’m thankful for it all. There are moments (Facebook) memories Where I see where I was and I think back to those amazing times with amazing people, then I look forward and I see many more extraordinary awesome times to come. This month “Know Nik November” I’m letting you in. I want you to know me, to see me, the growth I’m going through and the growth I’ve achieved. I’m excited to be on this journey. Stay tuned!