First Quarter Dreams, Second Quarter Schemes

Photo by  Shaughn Cooper . Shirt by  Lenox Ave .

Photo by Shaughn Cooper. Shirt by Lenox Ave.

Another year, another first quarter flying by in the blink of an eye.

The older I get, the faster time flies by - especially the months right after New Years' day. Maybe it’s the excitement that comes with the “fresh start” of a new calendar year. Maybe it’s my impatience to get back to work after all of the holiday down time. Maybe everything is somehow Drake’s fault. Maybe it’s Maybelline.

Regardless of the reason why the past few months have flown by faster than the speed of light, we're here now. In less than two weeks, the second quarter of 2018 will begin. It's time to adjust accordingly. In order to make the right adjustments, we have to give ourself time to reflect. Easier said than done, but essential.

Making time for intentional reflection doesn't come easily to me. I’m a workaholic. Knocking things off my to-do list keeps my anxiety at bay and gives me a sense of accomplishment. These instincts keep me on task fairly consistently, but they do not give me a lot of room to reflect on what I’ve learned or accomplished. I seek to use the end of every quarter as a prompt to reflect, plan strategically, and check myself as I see fit. Life is too busy, hectic, and unpredictable for me to leave my progression up to chance. I need to consistently make space in my journey for realignment to avoid getting lost along the way.

As I reflect on my January, February, and March, I’m realizing that my 2018 has already had a lot of plot twists. I let go of my longest standing creative venture, lost my most consistent source of income as an entrepreneur, and prepared to enter into a new chapter of life. I’m happy to say that my losses made way for new opportunities and blessings that I couldn’t have possibly accommodated had I held on to remnants of my previous chapter. Taking time to process these changes has put me in position to make the most of these new opportunities. 

"I need to consistently make space in my journey for realignment to avoid getting lost along the way."

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I have some specific ways that I need to improve, as well. I need to do a better job of managing my time and prioritizing during extremely busy periods. I need to ask myself the hard questions that will eventually lead to clarity, and I need to ask those questions before I find myself paralyzed by uncertainty. I need to believe in my self-worth, even when I don’t feel like I’m at my best. I need to make self-care a non-negotiable, so that I can sustain this journey.

I will.

I took the time to think about the things that I need the most from myself, and they’re doable. Now, it’s time for me to execute and hold myself accountable. People can encourage me, but no one else can do these things for me. If I don’t have the discipline and motivation to put myself in position to win, I can’t expect anyone to cheer for me or help me along the way.

I value being a self-starter, but I recognize that I can’t go at this alone. Community is essential for this journey. Talking to my friends about my experiences reminds me that I’m not the only one experiencing all of these plot twists. We’re all going through it in different ways. We’re not alone. Talking about your experiences and thoughts with like-minded people reinforces what you've learned and affirms and offers new perspective.

Self-reflection. Community dialogue to build upon that reflection. Necessary.

No matter how your first quarter turned out, take time to reflect on it and exchange notes with the people you love. I encourage you to take the time you need to reflect on your first quarter, set time-sensitive goals for your second quarter, and make sure your habits line up with your goals.

Think about opportunities that you have to improve. Give yourself grace, because we’re imperfect human beings and we can never predict everything that will happen in our lives. Keep people in your circle who will affirm, encourage, push, and inspire you, and be sure to do the same for those people. Remind yourself that there’s plenty of time left in 2018, and that every day is an opportunity to make moves in the right direction.

Let’s move into the second quarter of 2018 feeling refreshed, focused, and confident in our ability to persevere.



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Courtesy of  GIPHY , of course.

Courtesy of GIPHY, of course.




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