Tuesday, August 30, 2016

And so, today I’ve made the commitment to consistently add exercise into my lifestyle.  I’ve done a little here or there in the past, but I’ve just made a commitment to good health and this is part of my plan.   I was thinking the fall is a wonderful time to start, it’s a good season for a stroll in the park or a walk around the track.  I’m a beginner in this game, not quite ready for a 5K, but I’m excited to be on my way.  Life is a journey and it’s really nice once in a while when you know you have it right. 

I was thinking that I would start out with a half hour walk, three times a week and work my way up from there.  And at some point, I’ll add a full workout to my exercise regime.  It’s never too late to start something new, especially when that thing will improve your health. 

I’m sure there are “Diva’s on the move” out there.  So, what do you think?  Are there any good work out strategies for a newbie?  Do you work out?  What is your regime?  If you are working out for like, three hours a day or something, you are my hero but I’m not there yet - be gentle.  I’m getting ready to bus a diva move though, so excited!!!! 

Monday, August 29, 2016

At some point, we learn that being financially responsible is the only way to go.  Who wants to come home to a dark house because they didn’t pay their electric bill?  Getting hounded by creditors or collection agencies is a nightmare – literally.  So we learn real quick, either first hand or by watching a buddy go through it.  Yup, note to self, this is what not to do.

There is so much more to fiscal responsibility than paying your basic bills.  Saving for a rainy day, retirement, and other events that will come whether we are ready for them or not, is a necessity.

We have to condition ourselves to spend way less than we make, so that we can save more and live a better life in the future.  Coming up with a good savings plan means, we have to do the “B” word, yes budget.  You must keep your expenses down.  Live beneath your means and come up with a savings plan. 

Basically, you’ll need at least 3 savings accounts:

1.        A long term savings account.  To handle the major things that will come in life, that house and beyond that.  A good way to really safe for the long term is through a credit union or a bank that is not easy for you to access.  Having the money direct deposited into your account without a withdrawal card means you stand a good chance of really building your savings.

2.        An emergency fund comes in handy to help defray the cost of that unexpected car repair or other forms of emergencies.  The one thing you can expect to happen in life, is some sought of an unexpected problem that will need to be fixed.  Fixed with what – money honey.

3.        Roth IRA.  If you don’t have a pension plan, a Roth IRA is a good option.  Again direct deposit and forget it.  At least as far as spending it goes.  If you can’t save for retirement when you are working, you certainly can’t save for it when you are not.

Once you have accumulated some funds, shop around for other financial vehicles that can help your money grow, CD, Money Market accounts.  Before you know it you may dabble in the stock market and making other investments in real-estate or whatever you choose.  You can’t take money with you, but you can’t live here without it.  So as Diva’s always do – find your balance.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I prayed for you even before we met.  I prayed that you would make it into this world safely and I continue to pray that God will guide you through this life and keep you safe from harm.

God has done his part and you will have to do yours.  We have protected you as you grew.  This world is not as nice and as wonderful as we wished it would be for you.  You have to be careful and stay safe.  There are a lot of people in the world that are, let’s say, less than kind.  You can’t focus on them or you won’t live the full wonderful life that we want for you so look past them – onward and upward.

We did our best to raise you.  We instilled our morals and faith.  You’ve learned to treat others how you would like to be treated, to be kind, and compassionate.  We taught you the importance of saving and the importance of helping people who are less fortunate than you.

You’ve learned the importance of an education and the necessity of a strong work ethic.  You’re a lifelong learner, so I know you will continue to learn, grow, and improve over your lifetime.  It was important for you to learn to be a critical thinker and to think for yourself so that you can make your own decisions.  You’ll need that skill to make pertinent life choices.  We’ve taught you how to overcome obstacles as we modelled for you as we progressed through our own life. 

Now there are going to be some good times and wonderful experiences that you will have.  Enjoy every minute of it and live well.  But there will also be some tough times and you’ll wonder how you will ever make it through – you will.  Listen to your instincts, walk in truth and let the facts guide your decision.  Just know, that you come from a long line of strong individuals who have successfully taken this journey before you.  You have everything you need inside of you to live a wonderful life so go, live, enjoy.  And I will always pray for you.  Oh, and when you come back to visit bring popcorn – we’re watching Martin & Gina.

Friday, August 26, 2016

I read a research paper that confirmed what I already knew, body language speaks louder than words.  A researcher named Albert Mehrabian conducted a study on body language and communication and published his finding in 1971.  He said that words accounted for 7 percent of the overall message, 38 percent is the tone of voice, but a whopping 55 percent of communication is body language.

Anyone who majored in leadership know that when you are conducting an interview the candidate’s lips may say yes, his tone might say maybe, but if the body language says no – it’s a wrap, next.  The thing about integrity is, if you have it – integrity will always shine through.  It will be the consistent you.   No work involved, its natural.  But we have to be willing to put in the work to improve who we are as a person.

You can only be your best self if you know who you are right now and work on improving anything that is not aligned with excellence.  When you do what you have to do, to get where you have to go, it will be quite the accomplishment.  Then when integrity meets confidence your best self will naturally shine through.  When that happens, your overall message, tone, and body language will match one hundred percent.  Now don’t be surprised that as soon as that happens, you awake a few haters.  It might trigger a few hater steers, (i.e. Who does she think she is.)  But remember when integrity and confidence shines through your crystal clear on who you are – apparently they know too.  Unfortunately, some people even friends feel more comfortable with you when you are struggling.  Don’t worry about the haters, you can’t stop the rain.  Perhaps they too have an underlying beneficial purpose – not your concern.

Focus on you.  Become the person that you inspire to be by making the commitment to change.  Look at models of excellence.  Pay attention to people that are about it, there is something you may be able to learn from them.  Don’t listen to someone telling you what to do right, if what they are saying did not work for them, but that topic is another whole blog post girl.

Whatever you don’t like about you, bottom line – fix it. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I heard someone say once that working hard is not the same as working smart.  If you have ever cleaned out an addict or a garage, you have a pretty good understanding of the difference.   People often jump right in and start moving about, doing stuff without planning in advance.   It’s easier to take a few minutes and plan out your course of attack.  Organize your efforts by thinking in advance of having a keep pile, a throwaway (straight in the garbage bag it goes) and a pile for good will.  You can’t keep everything, someone could use it if you no longer have the need.

The next step is, to avoid the mess again, you’ll need some sought of an organizational system.  Do you need shelving, bins etc?  Invest in a label maker.  Once everything has a home it has somewhere to be neatly put away. 

Consider the dust factor, attics and garages may not be visited every day nor cleaned frequently.  Get the mask and goggles if needed.  You certainly will need your cleaning solutions, especially when tackling the garage.

Lastly, get your music going.  Just like music motivates you to keep exercising it will do the same for cleaning.  And if you want to be a diva on the move, fill up your water bottle so you won’t have to stop for a drink.  Neat is sweet – clean on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A few years ago, my girlfriend called me and said, “Let’s go to Paris and England.”  I thought, no way.  Of course I immediately began to calculate in my head what the cost could be.  “Let me think about it,” I replied.   Without saying no, I was looking for a way out.  I spoke to my sisters, children and some of my other friends.  I shared the idea with a few of my colleagues at work also.  I was certain that someone would agree with me that it just cost too much.   Instead, everybody thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I should go for it.  Listening to my circle of peeps and after much thought and contemplation, my let me think about it turned into, let’s start planning, we’re going to Paris!

It was a wonderful experience and sometimes you just need to fly away You need time to enjoy what the world has to offer.  Everybody at some point need time to clear their mind and have fun.  What happened in Paris and England, what I experienced there, was wonderful.  However, what I was even more pleased about was that I did not miss the opportunity to get on that plan and go – it was a good decision.  Whenever we make a good decision – we know it.  Take advantage of a temporary adventure and experience something brand new, it is priceless.  Divas with a little bit of help, eventually learn to embrace the moment and go for the gusto.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

When how you live affects your health, it is clearly time for a change.  Your diet, lack of exercise or just toxic people in your circle can cause stress, aggravation and sheer exhaustion.  Guess what, if you don’t take care of your body, it won’t take care of you.  Do what you need to do to be healthy, happy and energized.  There is no time like the present.  Bust a diva move…take care of you.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Have you ever fallen head over heels in love with someone just to find out the guy that you gave your heart to is a vampire?  Well okay not really a vampire but, he caused you so much heart ache - he may as well had been?

There are no guarantees in life and certainly none in love.  People could choose to be and do whatever they want.  Love is a wonderful thing when you find the right person.  Who wouldn’t want to share their life with someone who is actually their best friend?  However, should you run into a romantic vampire, you must be prepared.  Here are five tips you can do, in advance, to survive the heart wrenching shenanigans and tom foolery.

1.     Know your worth and carry yourself like a lady.  While some men will play with a chicken head, they all want to marry a classy lady who has more than a short skirt going for her.

2.     Keep your standards high. “Easy come, easy go” is not just an old saying.

3.     Always take care of yourself.  No one will love you or care for you more than you care for yourself.  You need to be in good physical and emotional shape to make sound decisions every day of your life.

4.     Honey Keep your friends.  Women tend to drop their sisters when they fall in love.  A healthy relationships between a man and a woman survives when you both have other friends in your life and things you can do together as well as apart.  You will always need good supportive sisters in your life.  If unfortunately or fortunately a fang pops out and the relationship ends, you won’t be like ginger on Gilligan’s island – all dressed up with nowhere to go.

5.     Never lose yourself or forget who you are.  A strong couple that will stand the test of time both bring 100% each, to the table.  If you find yourself loosing blood – check the table.

6.     Divas handle their business.  Their finances are right, their mind is right and their direction in life is on point.  You can recover from a broken heart.  It’s more difficult to recover if you don’t even remember who you are and every other aspect of your life is equally unstable. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

We live our life in natural stages.  After high school, we might gravitate towards college, some girls went straight into the work force while others got married.  There are a thousand scenarios and then combinations of those scenarios.  But after high school, we assumed our new position in life.  As we moved forward in life, we chose our path.  In some cases, our path chose us like in my case. I thought I was going to be a banker, but after having children, I was very interested in their education and the field of education became my career for a number of years and still is my love today. 

What is important in life, regardless of our life choices after high school is that we grow, develop and become well rounded individuals.  What is important is that we are able to take care of ourselves and our children.  What is really important is that we hope for the best, but plan for the worst.  We can’t control everything but preparedness is paramount.  So regardless of where you are in your life right now a one year plan and even five year plan is absolutely essential.  We have all heard the saying, “If you don’t plan, you plan to fail”.  Life rarely ends like a fairy tale.  Fairy tales and illusions have one thing in common – they are both not real.  Don’t live your life with one foot on Fantasy Island.  You will get out of life exactly what you put in it.  There are no get rich schemes that work.  So as you plan for your future, I hope you include going back to school.  Preparation is paramount, not to say that you cannot learn informally by reading etc. but let’s face it, in America you need that degree to get that high power job in most cases.  The higher the degree the higher the salary on average.  Shoot for the stars girl.

I know college is expensive but so is life.  Don’t have difficulty investing in yourself, the investment of a college education will pay for itself.  At the end of the day, we are all going to have to work hard to keep our jobs and be successful.  You’re going to have to work hard if you’re making ten dollars an hour or eighty dollars an hour.  The latter just seems like a wiser decision, no?  Think about what you can do for yourself and your family if you were in a higher salary bracket, then plan to and get there.  Once you sharpen that brain Diva, you will be amazed at the numerous ways you can use your knowledge and education to help yourself and others.  The first step is always the hardest, but I challenge you to get started.  Start your research into good schools with the academic program that will meet your career goal needs.  Hey, when you get that doctorates, I want to hear about it – call me boo!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sometimes we think we have an exorbitant amount of time in life.  We take our time and get stuff done when we feel like, if we do at all.  I can almost hear people saying, “What is the big deal?  I’ll get to it when I can.” 

Life is a big deal, we are lucky to be here.  There really is a time for everything. We can literally “miss the boat” due to procrastination.  Once too many things have to get done – then nothing gets done.  If we waste too much time, the proper time can and will run out.  Since we only get one life and we have no idea when it will end, it is important to live it like we comprehend that fact. 

Living a diva lifestyle is not about sleeping through life or running a marathon through it.  It really is about balance and taking things in stride.  Moving at a progressive pace is the way of a diva, girl.  You certainly get an understanding that life has purpose.  You work hard, you play hard and yes, you do whatever you can to live well.  It takes a conscious effort to keep a balance, but at the end of the day, you can take a breath and say, “Thank you God for another wonderful blessed day!  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Why do you think we spend so much time taking care of everyone around us, putting ourselves last on the "TO DO" list - if we put ourselves on there at all?  I'm not saying we shouldn't be good wives, mothers and overall caregivers.  We love our families and it is truly our responsibility to take care of those we love - I wholeheartedly agree.  But where did we learn that we don't deserve to be a priority in our own life.  It is a colossal mistake not to realize that if we don't take care of our self at least as much as we do our families, we are setting our self-up for a major disaster somewhere, sometime in our life.

Make sure you do everything you ever hoped to do.  Every goal you ever set. Every class you hoped to take.  Find time in your life for you.  Trust me, if you do, you will be a better wife, mother, friend and everything else.  You will be a better, stronger and wiser you.
One of the things I learned in life is that you have to know what is important to you.  What do you value, what do you really want?  Once I was able to verbalize my values in priority order, it became transparent, what I had to work on first.  Listing the steps to get me there was the next step.  Writing things down and planning a timeline, motivated me to get started and get things done.  Keeping the goal in mind and understanding if it has been done by someone, it can certainly be done by you is realistic.  Nothing good comes easy, if you want anything bad enough, you have to be willing to put in the work.  Having a Diva mindset means not putting off for tomorrow what you can accomplish today. Change your mind, change your life.

Have you ever thought about what it would take to be the boss?  What would you need to do to be the boss at your present place of employment or better yet for yourself?  If you haven’t thought about it yet – get movin’.  To make something good happen tomorrow, you have to get started today.  Living fabulous means working on a life plan of improvement – Happy Planning. 

Remember a verse from that old '80's commercial, "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you're a man 'cause I'm a woman".  Who knew we'd really be all that and more.  To all the women out there holding down their family, pursuing a career and/or education and, who manage to look fabulous in the process - I salute you.  More importantly - salute yourself girl, you rock!!!