The end of the year is a great time to reflect. It’s also a good time to figure out what goals you want to tackle in 2014. But before you begin to look forward, you’ve got look back and shake off some of the things that could be holding you back. Setting goals without addressing habits and behavior that need to change is pointless. Below is a list of obstacles that prevent so many of us from being truly happy. I had to shed a bunch of these myself before realizing my dreams. You never have to be your own roadblock to happiness and fulfillment again.
1. Thinking It’s Too Late to…
Please, fam, it’s never too late for anything. Life is an ongoing adventure, and it’s up to you to make the most of every moment and opportunity. You have a passion for jazz dance? Want to explore photography? Always dreamed of starting a business? Go for it, and don’t worry about whether your dreams correspond with someone else’s timetable.
2. Going for a Job, Not a Career
Do you really love punching in at a dead-end-but-easy job every morning, or do you dream of something different for your life? Think about getting a position in a field that excites you, one in which you have potential for growth. Even though you’re doing “just fine” now, in 10 years you may be very bored, even if you’ve got a manager title.
3. Listening to Haters
There’s a reason why those negative people in your life are called “haters”: because they’re trying to sap your confidence and undermine your achievements. If you ever hear something like, “You’re never going to finish that novel (or get that degree or accomplish whatever),” recognize that the comment is coming from a hater. Don’t ever buy into others’ misguided low expectations. You can do whatever you want!
4. Living Larger Than Life
You’ve got the latest bag, the hottest shoes and enough bling to make Diddy do a double take. But what’s in your savings account? If your rent is late and your credit cards are maxed out because you just couldn’t resist buying those snakeskin boots, you are not living within your means, nor are you building any real wealth. Ask yourself: Would you rather own your home or carry your lipstick in a designer makeup bag?
5. Confusing Big Sexy With Big Health Risk
Ladies, swing your hips and enjoy all the attention you get from appreciative brothers. Just make sure you have healthy curves, not serious weight issues. Approximately 80 percent of adult Black women in the United States are overweight or obese, which puts us at a much higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many more life-threatening problems. No one’s saying you have to be a size 4 or that you can never have a plate of fries … just balance it with a salad and a long walk. Having a healthy mind and body puts you in a position to take advantage of all life’s opportunities.
6. Having Tunnel Vision
There’s nothing wrong with your local barbecue spot or the bar around the corner, but the world is a big place. Why not try something new this weekend? Head to a museum you’ve never visited. Try a cuisine you’ve never tasted before. Expanding your horizons will create new opportunities for growth in various areas of your life that will pay off in big ways.
7. Forgetting Our History
You may think you got that job or bought that car all by yourself. And you should be proud of your achievements.
At the same time, none of us can afford to forget the sacrifices of our parents and grandparents so that we could have opportunity and mobility. Reach back and help another sister or brother down the same positive path.
Email me or hit me on Twitter to let me know how you plan to move forward in 2014. Don’t let anyone or anything hold you back!