In this episode, we’re going to discuss, “How will you make this an extraordinary year to remember?”
Welcome to Season 5 of Hustle in Faith! Happy New Year! I wish you nothing, but a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!
I don’t know about you, but 2022 is hitting a bit different for me. Mainly, because I will be turning 40 this year. Yep, the big 40. It feels so weird saying that number. It’s weird. I seem to be increasing in age, but thank God for my health because I definitely don’t feel physically older.
My goal has always been to live an extraordinary life. It wasn’t until I started this podcast, that I truly started putting together the pieces of my unconventional approach to life and creating the blueprint to make that happen for me. In case you’re wondering what I mean by unconventional check out Ep. 159 Embrace the Unconventional.
I’ve learned over the years, that the only way you’re going to discover the plans that God has in store for you (Jer 29:11) is to make sure your mind, body, and soul are aligned with Him.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11
Every year I set goals for myself, but this year I set some pretty audacious ones. I’m a huge believer that a goal without a plan is just a wish. This is one of the main reasons why I decided to create the Brand New You Challenge. If you haven’t already done so, go to hustleinfaith.com/challenge and download the FREE Brand New You challenge guide.
Like I said, the goals I want to achieve are really big so I knew I needed to do something bold. In order to make changes to your life, you have to change your behavior. The majority of the research that I’ve come across notates that it takes approximately 60 days of repeated action to change your behavior.
Hence, one of the reasons why I made this challenge be 60 days. I want to make lifestyle changes, not just achieve a goal. I plan on continuing this challenge for the entire year. This challenge is my way of documenting the progress I am making towards my goals. If you see the Brand New You Challenge guide, you’ll see that it’s fairly extensive in detail with questions and activities to help you identify areas where you need to improve as well as opportunities to celebrate your wins.
I’m a firm believer that with God all things are possible. Now, there are various degrees in the goals that you may want to achieve. The goal-setting formula I have in the guide will help keep you on track regardless of how big or small your goals may be.
Like I said, the goals that I consider to be audacious, I don’t share those with anyone but my mom and my closest friends. You have to be extremely careful with who you share your dreams with. I don’t want anyone’s negativity rubbing off on me thereby creating doubt in my ability to pull off my dream. God doesn’t like it when we’re double-minded (James 1:8). If you don’t have confidence in yourself, willingness to work towards your dream, and God’s ability to help you, then don’t expect your dream to come true.
Trust me, I’ve learned that lesson the hard way, so if you don’t want to learn from the school of hard knocks then learn from my mistakes and join me in this challenge.
I want to take a moment to share a couple of my goals (again not the audacious ones–I’ll share those with you once I achieve them), theme word, and song for the year as well as some resources that I’m using to help me stay on track throughout this challenge.
So here we go! My theme word for this year is CULTIVATE. A lot of the goals I want to achieve will require me to get outside of my comfort zone and learn new skills or take the skills I already possess to the next level.
Growing this podcast is one of my goals for this year. I know that sounds like an odd goal since I’m on my 5th season, so let me explain. I started this podcast back in 2018 as a hobby a passion project if you will. I was depressed, angry, and frustrated. There are so many people who are hurting in this world. I love to journal so I thought I’d share my thoughts in order to help others who may be going through the same thing. I figured I didn’t want my pain to be in vain, so sharing my experiences was my small way of helping to alleviate that pain.
Deep down, we all want to make an impact on this world. The reason why this podcast is called Hustle in Faith is because I want to discover and fulfill the plans God has in store for my life. We’re constantly striving to identify and achieve our purpose in life but without faith, we’re doomed to fail. We have to put forth the effort and have faith that God will add the increase needed to turn our dreams a reality.
Of course, I’m always going to discuss self-improvement, but I want to do a lot more episodes regarding health and wellness, business, and share even more of my experiences all from a Christian perspective. I plan on inviting more guests to the show as well. I’m fiercely protective of my tribe, so trust that I’m only bringing on folks whose values align with this show.
Another goal I want to achieve is to book more voiceover work. I just bought a new home, had to resolve some unexpected issues with my crazy neighbors – that’s almost done being resolved, so now I can finally start back to doing more auditions. I’m making progress on this goal already because I landed a really small role in a movie. That’s being filmed next month.
So I’m really excited about that one.
The last goal I want to share is that my goal is to learn Python. For those of you not familiar with Python it’s a programming language that is used with data analysis as well as creating web applications. It’s a great skill to help me be more efficient in my job and places me in a position to create more innovative analyses and apps. I’m a DIY kind of gal. I like building things whether it be with my hands or using my tech skills. I’m a techy at heart so I truly do enjoy building things, so I’m really looking forward to getting certified in Python.
I’ve got a one really audacious goal, but I’m keeping that one a secret. Again, those types of goals I like to work on in silence and then share them once I achieved them.
This may sound weird but one of the ways that I like to remind myself of my theme word for the year and my goal is choosing a song that I really enjoy that reminds me of the goals that I set for that particular year so Aloe Blacc is one of my absolute favorite singers.
I came across this song that I had never heard of before and it’s called My way. Check out how beautiful and soulful this song is. I can listen to this song a million times and never get tired of it because those lyrics accurately represent the stage that I’m at in my life. So if I had to pick one song that I can listen to over and over again in order to reinforce the goals I want to achieve, that would be my song.
What will be your song?
So some of the resources that I want to share with you that will help in your quest to achieve your goals are three books. I touched upon these three books in Episode 157 A Few of My Favorite Things, but I want to go to a little bit more detail because I finished two of the three books.
Even if you decide not to check out these books, II highly recommend that during this challenge you try to choose at least three pieces of content whether it be a book, podcast, Bible plan, whatever that is going to align with the goals you’re seeking to achieve. If you’re looking to really satisfy your desire to be more in touch with your spiritual side, then consume content that aligns with that goal.
As a Christian, this was definitely a goal for me so I came across a book called My Spiritual Discovery by Virginia Lefler. This book was written from a Christian perspective, but even if you’re not Christian, there is much to be gained from this book. This book is set up like a workbook and it’s incredibly deep and powerful. Learning the Seven Principles for Spiritual Growth has been life-changing for me and I’m not done with the book yet.
Being in a position to understand what emotion I’m feeling and the situations that trigger that response place me in a position of control. You can prevent yourself from allowing negative emotions to take control. This book has helped me to identify emotions that I’ve felt but never could quite place my finger on what was causing me to feel that way. I cannot say enough about this book.
The next book I want to discuss is Redeeming Your Time by Jordan Raynor. If you’re looking to increase your productivity then this is the book for you. Again, it’s coming from a Christian perspective but it’s not preachy. He stresses the importance of taking control of our time. He gives you practical ways in how you can make the most of your time. Chapter two is pure GOLD! Creating a commitment tracker system so you can close open loops is going to place you in a position to be truly present and in the moment. I’m still working on fine-tuning mine, but the exercise in doing so has brought me great peace and joy.
I think a lot of what Jordan says resonates with me because we’re very similar. Here is how I approach my day. The commitment time tracker system already aligns with my approach to productivity. Now Jordan’s approach may be overkill for some folks, but I guarantee if you want to really start crushing your goals, you’re going to either consciously or subconsciously incorporate these concepts and practices into your life.
The concept of avoiding wasting time in affinity pools which are basically apps like Facebook, Instagram, etc. that enables you to stay on there for hours and consume content that is taking you away from working on your goals. Honestly, one of the reasons why I’ve never really promoted this podcast is because I don’t want to spend that much time on social media. I want to focus on creating content that helps people and not consume content that is going to hinder or prevent me from focusing on my goal.
I was doing a time-saving hack that I didn’t even realize was a hack. I’m subscribed to certain Round up newsletters that round up all the top news stories for me. This way, I don’t have to spend time getting trapped into wading through negativity. I read what I need to stay informed and I get on with my day. I’ll share the services I use on my website.
He’s got two podcasts that are phenomenal as well called Redeeming Your Day. That’s a 7 episode series podcast that packs a lot of info in bite-sized pieces. Call to Mastery is similar to the Making It Work podcast which highlights how incredibly talented people incorporate their faith.
Last but not least, if you’re looking for a way to take charge of your career then check out Agent You, by Nicole Lynn. I can not say enough about this book. Nicole is fierce. She’s an African-American woman who is a lawyer and sports agent. Talk about boss right?! She’s killing it in two different male-dominated industries. So much of this book resonated with me because she accurately captures the difficulties of succeeding in the corporate world. I love how she doesn’t do it in a woe is me type of way.
She encourages people, especially Black women, to embrace their differences by not covering them. Not even going to lie, that was hard for me to do early on in my career. However, over the years I came to embrace my unconventional style. Check out episode 159 How to Embrace the Unconventional. Nicole provides practical steps that people can follow in order to effectively create their brand. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversational tone in which this book was written. It felt like I was speaking with a friend.
The only part of the book that I didn’t agree with is her advising folks to focus on getting a seat at the table as soon as possible. I don’t agree with this at all. I go into more detail as to why in Episode 154 Why do you want a seat at the table? Honestly, I was surprised by her advice in telling others to do this. In my opinion, her entire career was literally established by building her own table, not taking a seat at one built by someone else. She had people coming to her not vice versa.
To me, everything she accomplished was done in an unconventional manner. She created her own opportunities, which is essentially creating your own table.
I’m not big on and mentors and sponsors either. No one and I mean no one is going to be as invested in your career as you. I’m a huge advocate of investing in yourself. Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that many times company mentorship programs end up being one or a combination of the following:
- You are paired up with someone who drinks the company Kool-aid. They do not see any areas of improvement so you better get on board.
- You’re paired up with someone less experienced or someone who is jealous of you.
- You’re paired up with someone who excels at office politics. They add no real value other than to tell you who to suck up to within the company.
- Whether they realize it or not straight up privilege. Our paths to success will be diffefent. Someone who looks like me is going to need to work twice as hard to obtain success. If that person was in my shoes, they wouldn’t last two minutes…
These programs give people the illusion that if they play their cards right, they can climb that corporate ladder in no time. That’s simply not true. One quick look at the leadership page will tell you all you need to know as to whether that is a possibility. Nine times out of 10 the answer is no. There’s a reason why 66% of Black respondents want a flexible schedule and have a more favorable view of their employers when they work remotely. Working remote has somewhat evened the playing field. Managers can clearly see whether someone knows their job. Working remote removes the unspoken rule of incorporating how well someone is at office politics off the table, which quite frankly never should have been there in the first place,
Again, telling people, especially of color, to find someone who will be your biggest advocate is not advice I would follow. Trying to find someone within a company to be your advocate is like looking for a needle in a haystack. You’re most likely not going to find it.
I believe your energy and effort would be better spent looking for ways to achieve your goal without requesting assistance from others within the company. Spending all this time with someone who isn’t invested in you is a complete waste of energy. Spending time on your endeavors and connecting with folks within those particular endeavors is a much better use of your time. Again, I loved the book and highly recommend it!
Please be sure to check out the Hustle in Faith website for additional resources. I would love to know what are your goals for 2022? I’d love to hear them!
I look forward to making this an extraordinary year to remember. I hope that you will join me on this journey and I can’t wait to celebrate our wins!
Let’s go! 💪🏾
Check out these round up news services:
The following are newsletters that are geared towards African Americans: