Yes, it’s a new year, and you’re gonna crush all your goals. But before making a list of superficial goals, you might find more success with your aspirations if you do a little reflection first.
Work your way out from within, for a deeper self-understanding, a better cultural awareness, and the you you really want to shine. Or, in the indelible words of the fabulous Lauryn Hill:
How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?
Focus on Cultural and Self-Awareness
Why is this important in 2019? We live in very challenging times, politically. Cultural Awareness involves the ability to stand back from ourselves and become aware of our cultural values, beliefs and perceptions. Feeling tied to your culture and your roots helps people feel less isolated, and more in tune with (and a part of) their community. Learn to embrace yourself just as you are as you strive to be better.
The core mission that we always come back to at D'IYANU is championing diversity, celebrating our African roots, and giving back by supporting African artisans, ethically-sourced products, and black businesses.
Yes you’ve instagrammed that thinnified photo of you crammed into your bright new athleisure and announced to your 500 followers that you’re all about it, getting to the gym every day. But set realistic goals. And don’t beat yourself up if you’re not perfect. Being human means you have flaws—you have a few lumps and maybe a love handle.
We don’t all roll out of the bed looking like Rhianna every day, and let’s face it, girlfriend probably has a personal trainer who kicks her ass two hours a day in her state-of-the-art home gym.
Set yourself up for success by breaking it down. Take a look at those larger goals of “working out more” and decide what that looks like for you. For example, you might want to try walking around your block, or you increasing your endurance by going for slightly longer runs. Smaller goals are specific, and therefore obtainable.
Your Body is a Temple. Don’t Get any Pringle Crumbs in that Temple.
If you eat meat 6 nights a week and one of your resolutions is to go vegan, I’m just sayin… It’s a great goal, and it is absolutely worthy, but it sounds like your real goal is to eat healthier.
If so, outline a plan that’s here on planet earth—something you can live with. Maybe you’re going to do egg whites during the week and full-blown omelets on the weekend, or swap out breakfast once or twice a week with a healthy shake.
If you’re always on the go and feel you don’t have time to eat right, try a meal subscription service. Check out HelloFresh - not only will it get you eating kale and loving it, but it will turn you into a healthy cook as well. Before you know it you’ll be making a mean risotto and you best news of all—you didn’t have to wait on a ten-deep line at Whole Foods. And it’s nice to know you can pause or cancel service any time.
We know you probably rolled your eyes at the last party you were at when a friend tried to show you the awesome meditation app on his phone. But you know, these apps are here to stay for a reason. Whether you prefer deep breathing or guided imagery to help relax your mind, meditation can have significant benefits on your mental and physical health. Oprah and Deepak have been bringing the zen for millions of people with their excellent 21-day meditations.
There’s something about committing your intentions to paper. It automatically becomes real when it’s a written down—it’s a thing. Again, it doesn’t have to be monumental, but if your goal is to write, outline a plan and journal what you worked on. Write down the phone number of the studio you’re planning to call, or the class you’re thinking of taking, or the lists of cool cultural events you want to check out. There are steps, there is progress, there is follow through.
Remember, at this time of year when you’re bombarded with non-stop ads aimed at telling you that you need to fix yourself, don’t diminish or judge yourself too harshly. Remember to always show yourself love, in whatever you do. Allow for a few slip-ups—you’re only human.
It’s a great time of the year to take stock of the things you do and change the things within your control that you dislike. None of that involves signing up for an expensive gym, buying something on sale, or starving yourself so you can fit into a size two pair of jeggings. Just do that thing, that thing, that thing you do. Keep on surviving and striving, and good things will be coming your way in 2019.
Check out some cultural experiences for 2019 that you do not want to miss!