Stop! What is your identity based on?

April 28, 2018

"Don't lose yourself trying to be 
everything to everyone."
 - Tony Gaskins

 Man, these last few weeks have been busy, busy, BUSY. As some of you know I launched my business earlier this month which is off to a good start. Now I'm preparing to return to work which I love! So, I'll have 2 full-time jobs, lol! We'll talk about this in another post. Today, I'm collaborating with my girl Latoya again! She shares her thoughts on how to remain true to yourself over at The Life With Latoya! Check her out you won't regret it.

Last week hubby and I have sat through a thousand meetings in search of the right childcare for our babies! Something women often ask me is how I balance being a mom, entrepreneur, personal development junkie, and find time to relax. My response is always, "It's a challenge! BUT we make time for what's really important to us." Choosing to be a wife and becoming a mother is no doubt a blessing, just don't let it take away from who you are.



Self-Awareness

You spend most of your life getting to know yourself, and then BAM! He gives you a ring, the exact ring you've imagined yourself having for YEARS and slowly, over a period of time, you're sold! You lose your personal convictions, start compromising your values and goals, and sometime over the course of the relationship you get distracted from your passion. I know I'm not the only one! If you've experienced this say "I!". What I want you to start doing is to periodically take time out to study yourself. Reflect on who you are and what you want. 

Ask yourself questions like:



  • What do I enjoy doing outside of my family (husband included)?
  • What is one thing I want to do for myself this month, week, or on a daily basis?
  • How do I want to spend my time this month?
  • What do I naturally do well that doesn't involve my family and/or my husband?


  • Habitual reflection will help you stay in tune with yourself which increases your personal satisfaction and happiness! It's a win-win. Don't worry, thank me later *wink!*

    Have Fun

    Enjoy yourself as a person! When you were single, before hubby and kids, you pampered yourself with visits to the nail salon, homemade facials, and hairstyles that reflect your personality. Why did you stop? I know that life gets busy and you're constantly on the go, but it's like I said earlier "we make time for what's important to us." As a wife, mother, or both, this is the season to commit to self-care and self-love. We must prioritize knowing, loving, and being ourselves. We hear experienced mothers say "if you don't take care of yourself you won't be able to take care of anyone else."  I know this is 100% true because I had a short season of feeling discouraged and frustrated with my life because I wasn't actively pursuing my goals. I wasn't getting the results I wanted, and my only focus was taking care of my family. My intentions were good. I just had to learn how to balance all of my roles and build a life that reflected the different aspects of me.

    Express Yourself

    Bag of make up, express yourself, be creative

    Enjoy who you are! Don't stifle your personal preferences to please people that don't understand or agree with you. Freely and respectfully express yourself through:


    • Hairstyles
    • Fashion
    • Speech
    • Actions
    • Etc.

    Choose to stay true to who you are. If you're friendly, loud, and outgoing, continue to be that! If your the focused, ambitious, silent type, continue to be that. Love yourself and value who you are. Let go of rejection and everything else that you've based your identity on and trust that God designed you as a high-quality love machine. You are special and capable of influencing the world just by simply being yourself!


    So, instead of basing your identity on things that are fleeting, develop your self-awareness, enjoy everything that makes you who you are, and respectfully express yourself. 



    Until next time,
    Xoxo
    Theresa Forever



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    Failure is the result of...

    April 27, 2018


    "Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up."
    - Chinese Proverb

    What's the difference between people who succeed and those who don't? Do you think it's a matter of luck, intense seasons of self-discipline, or having access to incredible mentors and resources? I'll be honest, I used to think success was only set aside for highly gifted people. I'm talking about people that could out sing even the best singers, out think the smartest minds, and out run the fastest runners. After studying the principles of success and examining the lives of successful people I began to see a pattern.



    Successful people

    1. Take responsibility for their life.
    2. Know what they want and take action.
    3. Are willing to pay a price.

    Take Responsibility For Your Life

    "The greatest day in your life and mine is 
    when we take total responsibility 
    for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up."
    - John Maxwell 

    You're the only person responsible for the quality of your life. You can't change circumstances, but you can manage your response to them. Taking responsibility for your life simply means you're responsible for the outcome of your life because you're the only one controlling the input. No one can force you to complete school, no one can force you go to work every day, no one can force you to develop your character, and so on. You have to exert the effort.

    If you want to start getting desired results in life you have to accept 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in life. This includes:

    - The level of your achievements
    - The results you produce
    - The quality of your relationships
    - The state of your health and finances
    - Your physical fitness
    - Your income
    - Your feelings
    - Your level of understanding
    - Pretty much every area of your life!

    This will be a hard pill for some of you to swallow because we all face the temptation to blame others like our parents, family history, "the system", the economy, our environment, the weather, our spouse, the astrology prediction, and pretty much everyone else for the results we don't like in our lives. We have to stop looking outside ourselves for the answers as to why we haven't created the life that we desire. We create the results that we have. If you don't like something change your approach.

    Decide & Commit

    People that take responsibility for their lives decide on what they want and commit to the process. As you read this I want you to consider these questions:


    • What do you want to be true about your life within the next year?
    • Where do you want to go within the next year?
    • Who do you want to become within the next year?
    • How much income do you want to bring in within the next year?
    • How much weight do you want to lose within the next year?
    • What kind of friends will you have within the next year?
    • Will you still be in debt within the next 5 years? 
    • What do you want to have within the next 5 years?
    • What will your kids be doing within the next 5 years?
    • What do you want to do?
    • What do you want to accomplish?
    • What do you want to experience during your lifetime?

    Decide what success looks like to you. After you've decided, create a simple step-by-step action plan with your ultimate, dream goal in mind. Consider the steps you have to take to get to that result. Write every little detail including the amount of time you need to spend doing each activity. Once this is complete blast off! Start moving towards your goal! When you start moving towards your target it will become clearer, and any obstacles and distractions will fade into the background. You'll be able to:

    1. Better define the results you want 
    2. Learn things that can't be learned from studying or hearing about the subject 
    3. Get personal feedback on how to improve
    Here's a goal-getter cheat sheet to help you follow through!

    Pay The Price

    Behind every great achievement is a story of training, practice, sacrifice, discipline, and personal development. The willingness to do what's required helps you overcome every obstacle you'll face. These obstacles are not a sign that you should run back to your comfort zone and give up on your goal. Man, no!! Obstacles are check points confirming that you're heading in the right direction and that you're being stretched!

    "Pain is only temporary, the benefits last forever."
    - Jack Canfield

    I believe that you can fulfill any passion that's been burning on your heart no matter how many times you've tried and failed. Begin implementing the principles I've shared and you will 100% start getting results.


    If you'd like additional support by having me walk you through a proven goal crushing strategy and help you to create a plan that'll maximize your results, Let's talk



    Until next time,
    Xoxo

    Theresa Forever



    How To Be A Focused Goal-Getter Working Mom

    April 21, 2018





    "The dream is free, 
    the hustle is sold separately."


    - Unknown

    This one is for all my ladies! Especially my mothers out there! I'm excited and honored to have collaborated with my girl Latoya over at The Life With Latoya blog. Today, I'm sharing gems on how to be a goal-getter working mom while my girl Latoya shares how to get things done while being a stay at home mom! Ya'll are going to love it! You can read it here


    As a mom of 2 under 2 I know and understand the level of intentional focus required for you to attain your goals. Taking care of your kids, ensuring they meet developmental milestones, while also challenging them to think through things and become smarter is the real definition of doing work that matters! I just have to stop, applaud you, and appreciate all that you do for everyone. You're the bomb.com, okay!? 


    When I first started my journey I only had one child, and for me, it was fun. I enjoyed everything about being a mom to my daughter. Getting to know her was the best part of my experience. I felt like she was not only the perfect addition to my family, but she was also everything I didn't expect her to be (a real life perfect baby lol). 


    When I got pregnant with my second daughter I was in the midst of business planning. I wasn't highly stressed because of my second pregnancy, but I was a little anxious to get the ball rolling with my business. I knew that having a baby while building a business was a recipe for zombie life.


    Kids are time consuming! Yes, they're a huge blessing from God, they keep me laughing all day and they've become the joy of my life. I love watching them grow. Yet, if I'm honest, having 2 under 2 at this stage of the game is all consuming. Being a mom calls for your full attention. So, here's what I learned from being a working mom while having 2 under 2.



    1. Always Create a Work Schedule or Routine 

    Kids function best with a schedule. Both of my kids have a flexible routine that incorporates free time and free flow activities. We also have structured learning time and my favorite, bonding time! They not only love it, but they look forward to it. This allows me to plan my tasks and create a predictable work routine for myself.

    Always plan your work at the beginning of the week and the night before, then execute the most important things first because as you know, with kids some days can be unpredictable! If you execute the most important things first you'll feel both accomplished and like you've had a productive day.



    2. Allow Yourself to Have 10-15 Minute Breaks in Between Tasks 

    This is especially needed when you start feeling like you're constantly on the go and need some time to just hear your thoughts clearly again.

    Ladies, I had a few months where I was so frustrated with myself. I was being pulled in different directions, felt like I wasn't being productive in accomplishing my tasks, and I remember reaching out to a friend for some counsel. She told me something so simple and yet when I started implementing it my mindset changed. She said something along the lines of: "you don't have to do everything in one day". 


    As a mom the immediate needs of your kids always come first. However, designate time for your goals and tasks. Don't let a whole day pass without doing at least one task that'll get you closer to achieving your goals. Having a to-do list doesn't mean you have to crush everything in one day. Spread out your tasks and celebrate your small victories. 


    "Taking small steps in the right direction
     every day is better than killing a bunch of tasks
    and producing sloppy quality work."
    - Tee Forever

    3. Enjoy Your Season 

    Something I constantly remind myself of is that I only have a short window of time to enjoy the different stages of my children's growth. They won't be this young forever, and they won't be this dependent forever (although my kids are already really independent). So, instead of being busy working 24/7 or being busy trying to be the perfect mom or anything else, I choose to focus on being present and live in the moment. I want to enjoy my kids at every stage. At the same time, I'm a wife, a business woman, etc.

    I've learned that not every season will be as productive as I'd like business wise and not every season will allow me to take my kids to the park every day. There's a flow that I must tap into to play all of my roles well and take care of myself. 


    Being a mom and wife is a blessing that shouldn't slow you down or distract you from getting the results you want for your life and/or business. Trust yourself, never find your identity in the roles that you play and stay true to who you are.


    Until next time,
    Xoxo!


    Theresa Forever


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    What Made Me Who I Am?

    April 14, 2018



    "The only time you should ever look back 
    is to see how far you've come."
    - Unknown

    Quite a few of you have been wondering how I became the person I am today, who my major influences are, and what my top personal development books are. So, in today's post I'm sharing all my goodies!

    I grew up fatherless and my mom passed away when I was 15 years old. Before you start feeling sorry for me, consider all the practical life skills and wisdom I was able to learn at an early age. At 15 I started paying rent in a shared apartment with my older sister whose 2 years older than me. I had to learn how to budget and make my income stretch to cover all my expenses. I also learned responsibility through my part-time job at a movie theatre.

    Growing up in a christian household taught me that God was real. However, this doesn't mean that I was a christian. I really couldn't understand how God had any relevance to my life. He was invisible, He was silent (or so I thought), and He was distant. Why waste my time trying to understand Him? He's probably boring. 

    Fast forward to after I graduated high school. I met a girl who was different in her approach to life. She was easy to connect with, genuine, and very sweet. At this point in my life drama, fighting, cussing, parties, and all that was normal, and I enjoyed it. I had girlfriends, but I didn't trust or like girls (weird I know). My new friend introduced me to the real Jesus who was fun, loving, and very interested in my life. After seeing Him in a new light I was convinced that He's alive (and not boring) and we all need Him more than we realize. I could dive deeper into this, but I'll save it for another post :).

    After making a real commitment to follow God my life upgraded significantly. First, my environment changed. I stopped partying and I stopped listening to entertainment that clouded my mind. I began to build relationships with people that were growing in areas I wanted to develop. I also started reading personal development books that challenged my character.




    The bible alone elevated my mind and helped me clean up my act. Including personal development books added another layer of mentorship. The top 2 personal development books I'd recommend to anyone that wants to develop themselves are:


    1. Developing the Leader Within - John Maxwell
    2. Who Moved My Cheese - Spencer Johnson

    One of my primary mentors is my godfather who is a great thinker, highly articulate, and successful in his industry. He continues to show me the benefits of pushing yourself and putting in hard work. Most of my other mentors are authors and business leaders. I read TONS of books, watch a lot of documentaries, and I'm always listening to educational information. I enjoy learning and always have an open hear to wisdom!

    The reason I shared this with you is to challenge you to think about who you are now and who you want to become in the next 5 years. Review the obstacles and distractions that have hindered you in the past and create a plan to work through those things. Don't allow anything to stop you from becoming who you know you can be.

    Here's a goal-getter cheat sheet to help you follow through on your goals!

    I'm grateful for every experience I've had in life because they not only made me stronger and wiser, but also a woman of solid character, integrity, and moral values.


    "Your life will only be as good as you make it 
    so, create something great!"
    - Tee Forever


    Until next time,
    Xoxo!


    Theresa Forever


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    Good News! Your Choices Create Your Results

    April 12, 2018

    - Unknown
    Click To Tweet

    This quote is not for the person sitting beside you, or the miserable person that you know who lives up the street. It's for you. We "can't be bitter" living in the past "and expect (our lives) to be sweet." Full of peace and thriving relationships. Why? Because how we feel and what we think determines our quality of life.


    "Everything we do 
    reflects what we believe."
    - Tee Forever

    Here's an example, if I believe that my job sucks, my boss doesn't like me, and my co-workers talk about me behind my back. Will I enjoy going to work? NO WAY! Will I produce my best work? 100% no! Why? Because my actions are fueled by my beliefs no matter how much I try to ignore or dismiss them.

    Our behavior follows our mind. If we think we'll be amazing at running a business, parenting, marriage, and relationships, we'll feel excited and strong. This fuels us to develop ourselves and learn what we need to know if we want to be successful in these areas. Then we'll begin to CRUSH IT! On the same token, if we think that running a business is too much work, parenting is hard, and kids are annoying, and marriage is boring, then we won't feel motivated or inspired to cultivate those areas.



    "Life is a matter of choices and every choice you make, makes you."
    - John C. Maxwell

    Believe idea's that'll help you create the kind of person you want to be. Make choices that'll help you build the kind of life and relationships you want to have. 


    Read that again. What do you think about that? 

    For me, this says I have to stop being an emotional decision maker. Overall, I'm a very practical and logical person. In most areas of my life I make decisions with the big picture in mind. However, I experimented with emotional decision making a few months ago and produced a MESS! I had to eat the bitterness of my choices, BUT I didn't allow it to make me bitter and I didn't beat myself up for the mess. I learned so much from that experience and now I'm committed to resisting the temptation of making emotional decisions. Having accountability also helps with this because I get an outside perspective to help me remain logical.

    When it comes to choices, you're in complete control. You're on the receiving end of the consequences of every choice you make. You'll either benefit from making a good choice or you'll suffer for a bad one. Choices are completely your responsibility.

    "Everything in your life is a reflection 
    of a choice you made. 
    If you want a different result, 
    make a different choice."
    - Unknown

    This is a basic principle. If everything we talked about today is true and what we believe fuels our actions, then doesn't this mean that our thoughts shape our lives? 

    What we think about something determines how we decide. What we think turns into action which produces results. So, the results we have reflect our thoughts and beliefs. If we want to improve our relationships, finances, businesses, etc. We must improve ourselves. 

    This is good news! This means that we can turn all our bitter experiences into sweet, learning curves. This means, that if we feed our mind knowledge that develops our character and filter our thoughts to ensure they are conducive to the future we want. The result will be exactly what we want. 


    "Everything in your life changes 
    when your thoughts change."
    - Tee Forever


    Until next time,
    Xoxo!


    Theresa Forever



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    Community: The Missing Link

    April 7, 2018

    Every successful individual knows that 
    his or her achievement depends on a community of people working together."
    - Paul Ryan

    Man, I can't even begin to tell you how many people have encouraged, helped, and prayed for me throughout my journey. Life was never meant to be lived independently of others and you were never meant to pursue goals on your own. Trust me! I know sometimes it feels like the world is against you and no one will or wants to help you, but the truth is we all want the same thing (love and connection) and we're here on earth to build community with others.

    Something I love about being a part of a community is the freedom to be my raw, unfiltered self without the fear of being judged. I have several people in my life who know me inside out. They know my strengths, weaknesses, struggles, insecurities, and EVERYTHING else! I let them in when I make mistakes as well as when I'm on top of the mountain. I use to be afraid of this kind of intimacy because it made me feel vulnerable and weak (which I hate to be honest), BUT what I've learned is that exposing myself to trusted people that I know will keep everything confidential, helps me sort through my thoughts a little better and allows me to let my guard down and just be myself without any consequences.

    If you don't connect with at least one person on this level, fam jam! You're missing out!


    "Community is an opportunity to create a family outside of the one we were born into. You get to build real connections and deep friendships with people that were once considered strangers."
    - Tee Forever



    Allow me to pause right here and say that the kind of community I'm referring to includes more than just your girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife, or the 3 people you still talk to from your hometown. No, they're apart of it, but it expands to people like the money smart person that lives down the street. You've talked to them a few times and you know that their good with money, but you've never opened up and asked for tips on how to manage your money better. Why not? What if it turns out that they're actually a millionaire and would love to give you some feedback on what you could be doing better. They might even refer you to a really good accountant that could help you save some mula during tax season! Ever thought about that?

    Instead, since you thought it would be awkward to initiate a relationship with them you'll never reap the benefits that connection would've brought. To all of my stressed out parents, have you ever considered talking to that other parent you always see at the park with the 4 kids? They seem to have a good grip on things. Their kids are happy and well taken care of. You could "sniff them out", see if their trust worthy and if so, you could begin to talk to them about the stress or pressure you feel from parenting and find out what strategies they use to keep everything together while taking care of themselves. All of these small connections play a big role in enhancing the quality of your overall life.

    Now, when you start building your community don't just chose Sally or Bob because they seem nice. Choose people that are wiser than you and have strengths or success in areas you want to develop. People that don't talk about others and have a reputation or history of keeping things confidential. Lol, the last thing I want you to do is start building your squad with people that aren't mature enough to handle your realness! Not everyone is meant to be in your inner-circle so don't give everyone access.




    Another thing I'm quite fond of in community is the fact that I'm able to have authentic transparent and honest communication. This is BIG for me because our society is full of small talk and typical responses. Here's an example: When someone ask, "How are you today?" or "How's your day going?" you respond with ... (I'll give you a second to think about it) ..."I'm doing well, how are you?" or something along those lines, right? BUT THAT'S NOT ALWAYS TRUE! What about those days when you just want to hide in a corner and cry because you're so stressed out or overwhelmed!? Or what about when you're so mad that you want to cuss every and anybody that looks at you the wrong way. We don't always share that with people. Most of us bottle it up inside and then explode on the wrong person OR overtime become angry, withdrawn, emotionless, etc. Having a community or inner-circle of down to earth, trusted, regular people will help you work through your emotions and process life in a healthy way.

    With a handful of people, I'm able to share exactly what's on my heart whether it aligns with my faith or not, whether it's good news or bad news, no matter what I'm going through, no matter how much I'm struggling these people provide a safe place for me to share my heart in an open and defenseless way.

    "Taking the time to build community,
    to get to know people will have long-lasting benefits."
    - Clifton Taulbert

    Connection and community is not only good for your soul, it benefits everyone that gets to experience it. Find and create your inner-circle. Sharpen and inspire each other and love them until the wheels fall off!

    PS: Guess who caught a cold! Stuffy nose and everything! If any of you want to start adapting this principle here's your perfect opportunity! Feel free to bring some spicy Jamaican chicken noodle soup to my house :) ha-ha I'm kidding! I love you guys!


    Until next time,
    Xoxo!


    Theresa Forever



    Enjoy Life Now: Work Hard, Rest Harder

    April 5, 2018

    "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; 
    it takes sweat, determination, and hard work."
    Colin Powell

    Ya'll ain't ready! Guys! I can't hold it! Remember last month when I told you my self-discipline goal was to launch my online business by April (Read About It Here)?! Well....drum roll please! *drum roll starts*... I officially launched my business today! I purposely waited so that I could blast some music, sing at the top of my lungs, sip champagne and celebrate this moment with YOU! I know you guys were up to some pretty adventurous stuff last month as well. Launching books and starting businesses! *High five!* This is only the beginning. 




    This month's personal growth challenge is to get in the habit of getting proper rest! Yes, I said REST! I'll be honest. I'm the least qualified person to talk about rest because I don't ever get enough lol. However, this month! I'm going after it! Rest is apart of maintaining self-discipline. It's easy to work all day and night because there's always something to do. Choosing to prioritize rest not only reaps physical and relational benefits but you come to life! We experience a real connection in relationships that comes from being present and we free our minds from constant busyness. Balancing a strong work ethic with solid rest habits is a fountain of life to anyone that want it.

    I'm going to start implementing things like no "screen time" (cell phone, TV, lap top, etc.) an hour before bed, and no phone time until one hour after I wake up. I want to center myself, do some mental detox and just relax completely before bed and first thing in the morning. It's kind of like getting a...




    By the way, I didn't go to bed until AFTER 4 a.m last night and my beautiful chicklets forced me out of bed by 8:30 this morning! ...lol. Chronicles of a working mom! Ha-ha. To prevent scenario's like this during this month I'm going to DELEGATE some of my most time-consuming task to people that specialize in those area. 


    "Rest is as important as working hard."
    - Unknown

    I know this is going to be a challenge for most of us but make rest a priority for the next 3-weeks! It's worth it.


    Until next time,
    I'm going to get some rest! :)
    Xoxo

    Theresa Forever