26. Halfway There

 
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Hi friends, happy Friday!

It’s the end of June which means we’re halfway through 2019! Doesn’t it feel like the year just started?

I started 2019 by doing the things that I’ve been wanting to do, but was afraid to try - starting my Etsy shop, completing 1K1Day, and starting my consulting firm. I also made a commitment to myself to stick to a regular content schedule and I’m proud to say that I’ve followed through with that. It has not always been easy, but as I continue to push myself to write, I find more ideas coming to me, and it easier to write posts. I’ve been toying with the idea of increasing my post schedule to three days a week but I think that might be too much pressure, so i’ll stick with my Tuesday & Friday schedule for now, with an occasional extra post thrown in when I feel compelled to say something.

I tackled a lot of big stuff in the first part of the year, so for the second half I plan to stay focused on my commitments and and continue to grow my businesses. It’s summer but I need to start creating inventory for my shop, and also work on marketing plans for JTM Consulting. Beyond that, I’m going to enjoy this beautiful summer with my little family and enjoy some time at the pool.

Things I Read This Week:

Elaine Welteroth shares the highs and lows of her time as a Black editor in chief in ZORA Magazine

Did you know that hundreds of police officers in the US belong to racist Facebook groups?

If you're drowning in emails, Man Repeller has an email organization hack for you

Design Mom dug into the link between Alzheimers and menopause

A couple live streamed their "surprise" proposal...but turns out there was more to it

I learned how one of my favorite memes ("Homer Simpson Backs Into The Bushes") came to be

The Cut did a deep dive profile on the rise and fall of Babe.net

Glamour says we need to make double proposals a thing

Before Stonewall, there was the Compton's Cafeteria Riot

Reddit users shared a list of underrated women from history and I learned about some amazing women

This week's #lifetips: how to wash dry clean only clothes at home, and yummy 30 minute dinner ideas

Do you have what it takes to be Beyonce's assistant? Spoiler alert: I totally got fired :-(

For your next trip, why not try a surprise vacation?

Congrats Connecticut, you got a new paid leave law!

The Atlantic declares "The Boomers Ruined Everything"

Other Stuff:

Next week I’m taking a much needed staycation! Originally I was going to just take Friday off, since it’s going to be a quiet week I decided to take the whole week for myself. I’m going to tackle a couple of projects around the house, sleep and start knitting stock for JTM Knits.

Also my birthday is next Saturday! I’m turning 37 so I’m going to just have a chill, relaxed birthday lunch with my family, and then hang out with some friends in the evening.

I really want to get back into reading. I stopped reading because it became my knitting time, and I can’t read and knit at the same time. I was considering trying out Audible, and yesterday I learned they are doing a great promotion, and that was all the enticement I needed to sign up. The promo is 3 months for $5/mo (normally it’s $15/mo) so you’re getting 2 months free!

Enjoy your weekend!

Do This One Thing If You're Starting A New Routine

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Establishing a routine is one of the hardest things to do - trust me, I’m an expert at this. I’ve started so many routines over the years, and I’ve found that some have stuck while others have failed no matter how hard I’ve tried. I started thinking about some of the routines that I have, especially the ones that involve specific products, and I realized that they all had one thing in common, that helped me stick to my routine.

The biggest thing you can do to help your routine is to start a journal and document the process.

I know you’re skeptical but it works. Trust me! Think of it as applying a bit of the scientific method to your life. You’re collecting data and then using it to figure out what works and doesn’t work.

The first time I kept a routine journal…

I transitioned to natural hair in 2008/2009 and I was addicted to hair forums like LHCF, and one of the tips that I read there was to document the products that I was using through my transition and after I big chopped (aka cut all my relaxed hair off). Documenting what your’re using and what works or doesn’t work is key to avoiding the dreaded product junkie status, and helped you narrow down your regimen. Figuring out your regimen is (to me) the Holy Grail of a hair or beauty routine - you’ve figured out what products work for you and you use them consistently.

Through my transition and the first ~18 months of my natural hair journey, I’d faithful note each product and technique that I used, in order, and at the end noted how my hair looked at felt. I’d review my previous entries before the next wash day. Regularly reviewing my journal helped me eliminate the products that didn’t work, and the techniques that didn’t yield good results. Over time, I narrowed my routine down to the products and techniques that yielded great results and took the least amount of time.

Other areas you can use this

Trying to get your skin together? Get a little journal from Target and start documenting your products,and also how your skin looks! Take pics and save them somewhere so you can go back and look at them.

Working on your diet and/or fitness? A journal is perfect for this. You can document your meals and also workouts, plus take your measurements at the start and at regular intervals. Looking back over time to see your progress will help keep you motivated and stay consistent.

Trying to master a new hobby? Documenting techniques you’ve learned, resources to refer to, and other notes will help a lot!

Try it out and see if it works for you…

Some people just aren’t documentation people and that’s ok! Maybe this method won’t work for you. I found it really helpful, but that’s because I’m a data-driver person and the act of writing it down helps me process and retain information. Maybe you need an app instead of a physical journal to note everything. Maybe you’re visual and you need a chart or whiteboard. Find what works for you and adapt it to help you get to your goal.

My newest challenge is to establish a regular yoga routine, so I’ve turned to this method to me stay on track with my yoga practices and figure out how I can incorporate them consistently into my life. I’ll share in the future on how that looks for me.

Have you ever used this method? How did it work for you? Sound off in the comments!

Progress On My Stuff To Do In 2017 List

I wrote this list back in February I think? It's July so that's a good time to check in on the progress I've made against this list, right?

This is version 2 but expect to see numerous updates of this list throughout 2017...and if you don't see updates you have my permission to ask me why the fuck I haven't updated my list. Accountability and whatnot...

  1. Finish Phi's baby blanket (this is kinda cheating cause it's like 90% done but I'mma put it on the list anyway) - DONE! AND SHE LOVES IT! 
  2. Post on BGU at least once a week - I'm trying 
  3. Find freelance writing opportunities - DID IT! 
  4. Pitch freelance writing opportunities - DID THIS TOO!
  5. Try knitting socks using the two circular knitting needles method - STILL SCARED
  6. Go see my family so they can meet Phi - DID IT AND THEY LOVE HER TO PIECES
  7. Finally try knitting a hat on double point needles - BOUT TO DO IT
  8. Get pretty and take photos of already knitted items 
  9. List already knitted items on Etsy
  10. Update my LinkedIn page with my APW internship. - DID IT!
  11. Apply for opportunities in Atlanta - STILL DOING IT, NO LUCK YET 
  12. Search for homes for sale in Atlanta - HAD TO STOP CAUSE I FOUND TOO MANY I LIKED
  13. Convince Meg that I should be Chief Data Officer for APW - I'll start off as "Data Guru" tho...ok maybe not "guru" cause all the startups use that term and it's corny...but basically I wanna be the queen of all things data & sales & marketing for APW, I just need a better title than "queen of all things data & sales & marketing". - TRUST ME, I'M TRYING
  14. Take a girl's trip - no baby, no husband.
  15. Help my cousin soror plan her wedding
  16. Get ordained to do weddings in Georgia
  17. Convince someone to let me officiate their wedding in Georgia
  18. Go to Elise's yoga class twice a week - STILL TRYING
  19. Take the baby to Bring Your Own Baby yoga class at Blooma - WASN'T REALLY INTO IT
  20. Pay off my last credit card that carries a balance (I'm actually really proud that I'm down to 1 credit card that's carrying a balance, trust me this is an accomplishment) - MAKING PROGRESS!
  21. Find a reliable babysitter so I can go out with my husband to stuff - THE HOMIES HAVE FILLED IN HERE & WE'RE GRATEFUL
  22. Book a cheap flight deal so we can take a trip as a family, preferably an international trip so Phi can get a passport stamp. - STILL LOOKING!
  23. Go back to the Primal lifestyle, at least 80% (I'll be shooting for 100% but I know that's unrealistic for me) - I'M LIKE 50% SO FAR.

On 33

I turn 33 today. I used to turn up for my birthday - taking a trip somewhere with my friends, partying and celebrating the joyous occasion that was my birth. As a single person, your birthday is generally the only time you get to be celebrated, other than graduations or a housewarming.

I brought in 32 with a bang, first at my BFF's wedding and then on the beach in Puerto Rico with my love. 33 will be much quieter, and I'm looking forward to it. 32 was a big year for me, and I realized a dream and desire that I never thought would come to pass. I'm still amazed that I found my love and now I'm his wife!

I always get sentimental and thoughtful around my birthday...this year is no different. This is also a time where I find myself replaying the previous year and reflecting on the goals I did not achieve. I made progress in some areas, and regressed in others. I want 33 to be more progression than regression.

My wishes for 33:

  • To be the best wife I can be to my husband; to love him unconditionally and support him as his helpmate.
  • To get all these ideas in my mind out into the Universe, through writing.
  • To follow my career dreams...start a business, or a side hustle, and take chances while I'm still in a corporate role.
  • To focus on my yoga practice, making it a priority each day.
  • To grow in my personal relationships with each of my family members and friends.
  • To feel confident and sexy all the time, not just some time, or when I've lost weight, or when I'm wearing the right outfit.
  • To stay disciplined
  • To add some stamps to my passport!
  • To see some beautiful things in beautiful places.
  • To be brave...or at least fake it until I feel brave.
  • To write more for the blog - I feel like I say this every year but I really want to make it happen this time!
  • To break my sweet tooth.
  • To stay happy and grateful.

That's not too much to ask for in one year, right?

Cheers to 33...I hope that on the eve of 34, I look back fondly on the journey that was 33.