Every January 1st most of us make resolutions of the things that we want to accomplish throughout the year. Some of us start great and are full of intention, but somewhere along the journey either get side tracked or just give up. I am not one of those people. I don't set resolutions primarily because I have nothing to resolve. What I do however, is set goals.
Every January I create a vision board of the things that I want to accomplish by year's end. On the board I include pictures of my goals, affirmations, quotes, and anything that I believe will help keep me focused because let's keep it real, even I can slack off sometimes. When I do feel myself become stagnant or lacking motivation I look at my vision board to encourage and motivate me.
2014 was a phenomenal year for me personally, creatively, and professionally. As I sit back and think about all the things I accomplished this year it is almost unbelievable. This year I founded two organizations, The Power of the FIERCE Woman and the Where I'm From Foundation of the Arts (WIFFA). Both are organizations whose mission I am very passionate about.Through The FIERCE Woman, I held a number of workshops and networking events throughout the year that brought women from all walks of life together to network, inspire, and learn from each other.
Through WIFFA, I partnered with Christ the King Elementary School in the Bronx, NY and single handedly (with the contributions of 84 generous supporters) raised money to help fund a new computer lab for the school. Additionally, I along with Veronica Molina worked with the fourth grade class and helped them to publish their first collection of poetry.
Additionally, my second book Letters to My Daughter was a finalist for the International Latino Book Award for Best Poetry Book - English. I traveled to Las Vegas in June to attend the award ceremony after being accepted into and attending the very competitive and prestigious Voices of Our Nation Arts writing residency at UC Berkeley in Berkeley, California.
In October I was invited to be the key note speaker at Union Bank of Switzerland's (UBS) Hispanic Heritage celebration where I talked about what it means to me to be Latina. That experience was priceless and is definitely in my top 10.
Lastly, this year was also a great publication year for me with five of my essays finding a home in the on-line magazine For Harriet and one essay published in The Elephant Journal, which has over one miliion on-line readers. I was able to accomplish all of these things while working a full-time job in the largest public health care system in the country, being a mother to a two year old and being a wife.
How did I manage to accomplish what I set out to do in the beginning of the year? I set goals and stayed focused. When you set goals instead of resolutions you give yourself a better a chance of completing and attaining the goal. Goals unlike resolutions can be broken down into smaller goals. You can set deadlines and identify potential roadblocks. Resolutions are just arbitrary statements that people make with no clear idea or game plan as to how to make it happen.
So this upcoming year instead of making a resolution set a goal. Break that goal up into smaller goals or steps. These are the actions that you need to take that will ultimately get you to that end goal. Once you've identified the steps set a deadline for each step and identify any potential roadblocks that may arise and plan for them. When you make a plan, you are arming yourself with the tools necessary to follow-through on your vision. They say a goal without a plan is a wish. Stop wishing and start planning and execute with the follow-thru. When you follow-thru all your visions become realities. Wishing you all a safe, happy, and productive New Year.
Goodbye 2014. Hello 2015. Give me what you got. I'm ready.
"The genius thing we did was we didn't give up."- Jay-Z