Hello My Loves!

Yes it is been forever and a day, but I am happy to say that I officially finished graduate school last Sunday! Working on my 2nd Masters was definitely a challenge. I was in an accelerated program and completed what normally takes two years or longer for some people in 14 months. The program consists of six weeks of pre-course work, two 5-week intensives (five weeks for Summer I and five weeks for summer II) and a 10-month long internship. As I said in an earlier post practically everything suffered because of the intensity of the program. I was so busy I barely wore heels and if you know me, you know I love my heels. The last 2 1/2 weeks were the most intense. I haven’t pulled so many all-nighters since undergrad over eight years ago. Completing this degree was by far one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve done in my life. My degree will be conferred in October, and I will be able to walk across the BIG STAGE in May 2015.

Now that I’m finished I keep getting asked the same question…what are your next steps?

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Besides catching up on sleep and catching up with friends and family I haven’t had much time to really relax. While I was in school I decided to look for a new apartment. I know…what was I thinking right? Well this was my logic, I wanted to find a place before school was over, so once I was done I could just pack and move so I could be settled by September when the school year starts. Well I found a place and I am in the process of packing and moving. Don’t worry, my laptop won’t be packed up, so I will have time to blog!

I’m also planning a birthday/graduation/house warming shindig. I figured why not celebrate all three at once. This way I can catch up with my family and friends who I have not spent that much time with over the last few months because of school and the internship.

So what’s next? I need to relax, but I can’t get restless. I have to stay motivated and put to use what I learned over the last 14-months.

Yesterday in church was “Graduation Day,” and that is when everyone who graduated from high school, college, and graduate school go up to the altar and one of the ministers pray over everyone for guidance regarding their “Next Steps.” This brings me to my favorite scripture Jeremiah 29:11 (I reference this scripture all of the time to keep me grounded and to remain faithful to God’s promise). It says,

“11 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.” New International Version

I know what God has placed in my heart and I am not sitting around hoping for something to fall in my lap. 2014 has been a HUGE year for me and everything that I set to accomplish, I have by the grace of God. I gave myself a list of things to do before I turn a certain age (I’ll tell you what that age is in October) and I’m working hard to do that. I know that God is calling me to advance in my career, and I am taking the necessary steps to do that. Besides moving up the career ladder,  my next steps really are just following God’s word and plans that he has placed on my heart. That deals with improving my spiritual life, relationships, finances, health, and blog (Yes I pray about HGB constantly-this is my baby).

God has taken me in a totally different direction than I was going two years ago. Honestly, two years ago I didn’t think I would have my 2nd masters degree because I didn’t want it. I thought I was done with school, now look at me lol. I can only laugh and think about this:

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Of course I set goals…don’t think I’m just out here waiting for a “sign” from God, that isn’t the case. What I’m saying is that you  may have one plan for your life and it may not be what God called you to do, so instead of trying to do things your way, follow God’s plan because He always has your best interest at heart.

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It’s been WAYYYYYYYY too long since I’ve written a Motivation Monday post, so instead of giving you all of the fluff I’ll just tell you what’s been up.

1. Work- This year I had a lot more demands with work that occupied a lot of my time. I will have some of those same responsibilities, but with a more flexible schedule this September.

2. School- In about four weeks I will have completed my 2nd Masters program. I had a year long internship (at work), which consumed a lot of my time, so as of August, I will have a lot more time to dedicate to the blog.

That’s mainly it. My graduate school program has been extremely intense and I am almost at the finish line.

Although I haven’t been posting consistently here, I have been guest posting for my friend Kim on her blog Makeup By Kim Porter. So check out a few of my beauty posts.

One thing that I promised myself to work on for 2014  was to have balance. I would let work and school consume my life, but I have been managing my time much better. Although I’m not where I would like to be, my family and friends have been extremely supportive during this time. So that’s my update.

Focus is a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity according to dictionary.com

My pastor preached this message for Watch Night Service on New Year’s. I found this quote by Tony Robbins that states,

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.

The part of this quote that stuck out to me is the first part that says, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power.” I found this to be exceptionally true for me. I consider my self to be a “goal digger,” and I set goals for all aspects of my life, but it is a struggle accomplishing those goals. I know that success is definitely a journey, but in many areas of my life, I feel like my journey could have been shorter if only I was focused. Some people may say that it wasn’t right because of God’s timing. God gave us free will so that we can make our own decisions. Some of the decisions that we make derail us from God’s plan, so he now has to redirect our steps and it takes us longer than he intended.

So in order to focus you have to know what focus is…

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Are you ready to focus?

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This is the last Motivation Monday post of 2013 and I will keep it short and sweet. Around this time many people are creating their vision boards, writing their new year’s resolutions, or simply planning for 2014. I have yet to start any of that because I still have some unfinished business with 2013. So in order to prepare for 2014 I need to reflect on what took place in 2013. So here is how I set my goals for 2014. What I add to this list is based on my reflections, prayers, and conversations that I’ve had that have been enlightening. These categories are not particularly in any order of importance with the exception of the first four:

  1. Spiritual- my relationship with God as a Believer in Christ
  2. Relational- my relationships with people (family, friends, acquaintances, etc.)
  3. Financial- my relationship with money
  4. Health and Wellness- my relationship with my physical body
  5. Career- my next steps to move forward and my current responsibilities
  6. Educational- “learning begins at birth and ceases at death”- challenging myself intellectually
  7. Blog- my plans for the HGB brand
  8. Community Involvement- giving back to others- developing a spirit of generosity
  9. Character Building- How can I become a better me?
  10. Leisure/Self-Care- Doing things that I enjoy and that make me feel awesome!

So these are the areas of my life that I reflect on when developing goals for the new year and also when developing my vision board. I create a table and list a few bullet points for what I want to do throughout the year pertaining to those areas. Some categories can have somewhere between 3-5 bullet points, others may have one. I just depends on what I want to accomplish. I keep it posted near my night stand and jewelry board so I see it constantly.

How do you prepare for the new year?

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From our family to your we want to wish you a Merry Christmas! Remember Jesus is the reason for the season. Although the gifts are nice this is the time you spend with your family and friends. I am blessed to have such loyal readers and I wish you all the best on this day!