Welcome to #2015 – What are you adding, keeping and getting rid of?

As you welcome the change of a calendar year, you may also be reflecting on the changes that you want to make in your life.  Some question why you should wait until the calendar changes to make these changes. Honestly, I have no answer because I believe in constant self evaluation but it seems like January 1st is the perfect day for the big evaluation.

New Year 2015 formed from sparking digits over black background

Most of you who follow this blog have read about the Add, Keep, Get Rid Of list in the past.  Rather than making a bunch of promises or resolutions, take some time to consider:

What do I want to add to my life? Be intentional about some of the things that are missing.  You may not be able to make the change today but create a plan for the year that will allow you to integrate those changes into your routine so that it becomes a lifestyle change and not for the moment.  For me, I want to add sightseeing… Ok, I know that may sound a little crazy but I visit so many cities for a variety of reasons but I usually focus on the business of my trip and neglect carving out a few hours for myself to experience the city, even some familiar cities.  So I plan to become intentional about sightseeing when I travel.

What do I want to keep in my life? Not everything has to go.  Take some time to think about what is important to you, what do you want to preserve in your life.  I’m a firm believer in living your priorities.  This one requires that you think about your top three priorities and evaluate your resources – time and money.  Are you making the time commitment and using your financial resources to keep those priorities at the top of your list? It goes without saying that my ministry, being a mom, studying and building my business are at the top of my list.  Today, as I work on my budget for the upcoming year and evaluate my back to school schedule, I will be seeing ways to ensure those things are kept at the forefront so I don’t get caught up with busy work that isn’t important to me.

Finally, what do I want to get rid of?  Admit it.  We all have some habits that we need to get rid of.  Some of us have some people in our lives that we need to get rid of.  Think about those things and/or people that kept you from achieving your goals in the past, that prevented you from being the person you want to be.  As I get this seminary thing under control, I need to get rid of procrastination.  I want to be more proactive about reading, completing my assignments and writing my papers.  I got the job done last semester but I definitely see some areas for improvement.

Being the person you want to be, most importantly – the person God created you to be, is hard because it requires that you live at a higher standard than just existing and going through the motions.  However you choose to chart your course forward, be intentional about the type of life that you want to live.

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Motivational Monday – 1 Timothy 6:17-19 … Where do you draw the line?

There are so many temptations in the world…

For many of us, those temptation lie in our efforts to attain financial wealth.  We  strive to make a name for ourselves and a few bucks to go along with it but where do you draw the line?  I have seen some people who are willing to do and say anything to get what they want.  At what point does our desire for stuff begin to overshadow our true purpose.  How do we balance making money and having material possessions with our Christian lifestyle?

During today’s episode of The LaKesha Womack Show I will share a passage of scripture from 1 Timothy 4:16-19 that I often read when seeking balance between my secular desires (shoes, shoes and more shoes) versus the Christian lifestyle that I strive for.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe that God wants us to have things but should those things be our focus?  On the other hand, should we forsake trying to accumulate wealth for our Christian lifestyle?

Listen in live for my point of view on this Motivational Monday segment, April 16 at 12p CST (The LaKesha Womack Show) or call 646.929.2031… Also share your thoughts by tweeting me – @LaKeshaWomack or leaving a comment below.

Women, we were set up…

I told one of my girl friends the other day that I thought women were set up.  I am sure you are probably just as curious as she was to find out what I am talking about.  As I explained my theory, it really made sense to her. 

Living happily ever after

As little girls, we watched these fairy tales that told us Prince Charming was on his way, on his white horse to rescue us from the drudgery of real life, to whisk us off to a palace and to live happily ever after.  Some of you may not have fallen for that but there are others still waiting for the dream to be realized.  Even if it wasn’t manifested as a result of a fairy tale, some of you did envision having a perfect body; a wonderful husband; cute and obedient children; an immaculate house; a luxury car; a successful career; involvement in a few social organizations and I am sure the list continues with responsibilities to your friends, family members and possibly co-workers.

Are you starting to see the set up?  How is it possible for any of us to attain all of that?  If you have checked off even half of those items on your list, you should consider yourself blessed because most of us are struggling to nail down two or three.  Part of my young and fabulous lifestyle is realizing that some of those things on that list are expectations that society has for me but they are not that important to me.

As I approached my 30’s, I didn’t see any knights in shining armour rushing my way so I decided to make some tough decisions about how I would take charge of my life and move forward.  That is not to say, that I don’t still have the fantasy in my head but my reality is that I would rather be great at a few things, like being a mother and having a successful career, than stressing myself out trying to be everything to everyone and chasing the cheese. 

This really should be a success secret but I am going to go ahead and spill it.  Having it all doesn’t mean having everything on that list.  It means figuring out what is important to you, what are your priorities, and going for it. If you will notice, the happiest people that you know don’t have all of those things but they have a few and choose to focus on what is good in their life instead of searching for what may be missing.

Guess what?  Guys, you were set up too! Come back next Thursday to find out how…

Work/Life balance is not a myth

Some people ask me how I manage being a single mom, having a successful career and being involved with so many organizations in my community. To me it is simple. I make time for what’s important to me. I have noticed that a lot of people are unhappy because their lives are out of balance.  In order to achieve your goals, you must first achieve balance.

My priorities are simple God first then family and friends and my career and community are interchangeable at third. What does this mean? It means when I am making decisions about how to spend my time I keep in mind what’s important to me. Some people just take on tasks because it seems like something they may be interested in pursuing but I have to ask – at what cost?

When some people think about cost, they simply think about the financial impact that a decision will have on their life; but cost is also the emotional impact that the decision will have. There are some things that I would love to get involved with and I have time for but at what cost to me being with my son, shopping with my mom or volunteering in my community. Although one person may think their project is more important than a Friday afternoon shopping with my mom, but for my personal happiness spending that time with her is invaluable.

God has Blessed me with the gift of not having a problem saying, “No.” No does not mean that I don’t care or that you are not important but it does mean that it is not something I believe I will be successful at accomplishing. Just like everyone else, I want to be successful. However, overextending yourself rarely leads to success. It often leads to you disappointing someone that is relying on you or sacrificing something that is really more important to your personal happiness.
So, here are my five keys to achieving balance in your work and personal life:

  1. Don’t overpromise when you know that you will under deliver.
  2. Prioritize. Make a list of your top five priorities and then look at how you are spending your time. Is your lifestyle in line with your priorities?
  3. Schedule it. I don’t commit to anything without consulting my calendar. Some people prefer electronic systems like a PDA or their Outlook calendar while others prefer using a paper planner. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you use something.
  4. Delegate. Let the professionals do what they do and you do what you do. For example, if you want a nice yard but don’t have time to plant flowers; either hire a landscaper or make a deal with a friend that enjoys gardening. Same with house cleaning, book keeping, etc.
  5. Work smarter and not harder. Just because you are working on a project doesn’t mean you can’t enlist some help. Team work goes a long way and you never know when someone may have a suggestion for an easier way to complete the task.

Maintaining balance is easy when you set priorities and make decisions based on what is important. It is okay to be selfish – sometimes.  How do you achieve balance between your professional and personal life?