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Dreams & Goals

36 for 36

Photographer: Stanley Parrish (www.pixeloutflowstudios.com)

There’s something special about having a birthday in the second month of the year. If you’ve had less than a happy new year, if you’ve broken resolutions or failed to accomplish your January goals, your birthday becomes your second chance. Your birthday becomes your do-over.

Today, February 9, is my birthday. Today begins my second chance at 12 months of excellence.

Today I turn 36 and as I wrote in my Write Like a Girl column for B-Metro, at first I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this new age. You see, 36 is not a milestone birthday, but it sure feels like one as it officially declares me closer to 40 than 30. Does this make me old? I wondered. Does this mean I’m “over the hill”? Was 35 “the hill”?

But, I’ve decided that only I can define the prime of my life, so, I will take 36 and have the time of my life.

Here are 36 things — both personal and professional — I want to do while I’m 36:

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The Freedom of Focus

This girl is focused in February! // Photo by Kristen Stringer

February 1st is here. We’re an entire month into 2017 and, unfortunately, I spent most of January feeling completely overwhelmed. And it was all my own fault!

My 2017 goals, the same goals that in December filled me with anticipation and excitement, in January started to fill me with apprehension and trepidation instead. I made a list of all the tasks I needed to complete to accomplish my January goals but the list was about as long as I am tall! And I knew exactly why. I wasn’t following my own advice, the very advice that I gave the ladies who took my e-course, The #GoalDigger Project.  I wasn’t staying focused.

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The Virtues Project

I call it The Virtues Project.

Every year in the Early American Literature class that I teach, I assign my students a project for which they emulate Benjamin Franklin’s renowned self-improvement project. In his Autobiography, which we study in my class, Franklin details his attempt to “arrive at moral perfection.” Franklin made a list of 13 virtues and a book of charts to track his efforts to maintain these virtues perfectly.

Franklin’s project went on for many months, but I challenge my students to pick 7 “virtues” that they will track for 7 days. They usually pick bad habits they want to break like biting their nails or cursing or good habits they want to adopt like exercising and eating vegetables. It’s so fun to read about their results!

But I recently realized that I could use a revised version of Franklin’s project to keep myself on track for 2017.

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Hello 2017

This will be the year I believe in magic.

This will be the year I dream my wildest dreams and wholeheartedly believe that each one of them will come true.

Believing in magic doesn’t mean I will work less. This will be the year I hustle harder than I ever have before. But this year I will accept that sometimes hustle isn’t enough. Sometimes you need magic.

And magic is that place where gumption meets grace.

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December is the New January

december

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I know what you’re thinking: “OK. Javacia really needs to stop waking up at 4 a.m. That girl is so sleepy she doesn’t know what month it is!”

Don’t worry. I’m fully aware that today is December 1, not January 1, but for me December is the new January. Gone are the days of waiting until January 1 to start working on my goals for the New Year. I’m going to start slaying my 2017 goals TODAY.

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