Personal Development Apps

We all know that personal development encompasses not only shifting the way we think but also shifting the way we take care of our bodies, finances, emotions, relationships and our spiritual relationship.  Fortunately for us today, we live in an app-centered world and our smartphones and tablets to help us in making these shifts.  The apps are available for both iOS (Apple) and Android devices and some can also be used on your computer. Here are my suggestions:

Mental. How you think determines how you act.  Upgrade and sharpen your thinking through reading or listening to uplifting material and playing proven brain games.

  1. Audible.com (Android, iOS & Windows) – A plethora of books on self-development you can listen to as you commute, workout or just sit quietly at home sipping a glass of wine. The app is free as is the first 30 days of your Audible subscription. After 30 days, the cost is $14.95 per month, but you can cancel at anytime.
  2. Lumosity (Android & iOS) – Instead of checking the latest posts on Facebook to kill time while standing in line, exercise your grey matter with neuroscientist-developed games focused on memory, attention, flexibility, speed of processing, and problem solving.  The app and basic Lumosity are free.  I play Lumosity games when standing in long lines or sitting in the doctor’s waiting room.

Physical. A sluggish body leads to sluggish lifestyle. Track your exercise and eating habits the right foods to stay healthy.

  1. Runkeeper (Android & iOS) – This is an easy to use GPS-driven app to track distance, time and calories burned as you walk, run, cycle, etc. As you go, you’ll hear an audio readout of your distance, time and pace so you can make adjustments.  You can also invite friends and create challenges. As of Oct. 22, 2015, you can use Runkeeper with your Apple watch. The app is free.  I’m a walker and this is my go-to app.
  2. Sparkpeople (Android & iOS) – Not only can you track your workouts with this app, but you can also track what you eat. Sparkpeople is chock full of fitness and diet information such as workout videos, healthy recipes, bar code scanner, ability to interact with other users and join groups to help stay motivated.  You can also earn Sparkpoints for prizes and other incentives. The app is free.  I track on Sparkpeople everyday and regular use the workout videos.

Financial. Don’t let your finances control you.  Instead you can control them with tools that let you know at a tap what’s what.

  1. Mint (Android & iOS) – This money management app was developed by the makers of Turbotax® and Quicken® so you know it’s good. You can create budgets and categories of expenses then track your income and expenses as you go. You can also create alerts to let you know something is wrong better still something is right with your accounts. Mint also gives you money-saving tips.  What I like most about this app is that you can use it on your phone or computer.  The app is free.
  2. MileIQ (Android & iOS) – If you are an entrepreneur, full or part-time, this is the perfect app to help you track your mileage. No more estimating or forgetting to record your daily mileage. Working with your phone’s GPS, MileIQ automatically tracks mileage as soon as you begin to drive from place A to place B.  At the end of your trip, with a swipe of your finger, you can categorize your trip as personal or business.  The app is free. I use this everyday.

Relationships. We all have them and while there isn’t an app to create relationships, there are tools to help you have better relationships with people.

  1. Habit Streak (Android & iOS) – This app helps you develop new habits and achieve goals. You decide what habits you want to foster, ex. encourage someone or read/listen to personal development 30 minutes daily or watch 30 minutes less of television, and add your habit into the app.  If you can’t think of a habit, the app offers suggestions. It also reminds to record and analyzes your progress. The free version allows you to track up to four habits. The Pro version costs $1.49 and you can track an unlimited number of habits/goals. This app is helping me get better.

Emotional. Ok, there isn’t an app to control your emotions; only you can do that. You can relieve a lot of stress and be calmer with earlier-mentioned apps such as Mint and Habit Streak.  There are apps that help you be more aware of your emotional responses to situations and possibly change them when you encounter the situation again in the future. (Disclaimer: these apps are not a substitute for medical treatment if you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect you have a mental illness or disorder)

  1. Optimism (iOS only) – This app helps to track your moods and learn what triggers your behaviors/responses. The app provides charts and reports to give you feedback. This app is to be used in conjunction with the help of a mental health professional. The app is free.
  2. Diaro (Android, iOS & Windows) – This is a cool journaling app to record and categorize your activities and ideas throughout the day.  You can also record and categorize your photos.  If can immediately share your musings via email, text or Twitter. And so you don’t loose any of your precious thoughts, you can upload to Dropbox or synch with another device.  This is a great app for writers, budding and seasoned, as well as photographers. The app is free and there is a pro version available with more features.

Spiritual Relationships. To grow personally, we must realize that it’s not “all about me” and that there is someone beyond mankind operating in this universe. I’m a Christian and for me that someone is God. You may have another belief and that’s fine. There is an app to support you in your spiritual growth.

  1. YouVersion Bible (Android & iOS) – Pick the translation you like best. You can bookmark verses and add your insights in the Notes part. You can share your Notes via social media. The app provides different reading plans on a myriad of topics with new ones added regularly. You can sign up for as many as you want and get daily reminders so you don’t forget. The app is free.  I’m glad I found this app because now I’m never without the Word.
  2. Other Bible Apps. There are separate apps for different Bibles for Android and iOS devices. Available are the Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB), Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), Catholic Bible, Al-Quran (Android) and AlQuran (iOS) to name a few.

These are just a few personal development apps at your disposal. There are, of course, many more apps available that fit into one or more of the above categories to help you in your shift. Try an app to see if it meets your needs. If you already use one that’s perfect for you but not mentioned above, by all means keep using it.  The important thing is to shift and grow.

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Sharman J. Monroe, a retired judge, now owns a successful business focused on wealth and empowerment coaching through residual income. She is a monthly contributor to Whine and Cheese.  Ms. Monroe writes the world-renowned blog, My Journey to Me. She also manages and contributes to the Anointed Women in Christ Blog. You can follow her on Twitter @sharmansjourney.  She is also an award-winning author. Her book on personal development, “The Plan A Way to Success”, is now at The My Journey to Me Store, as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Meet Ms. Monroe at her next book signing! Visit her blog for dates and times.

The Launch of Charlotte3 Branch!

KrystalBranch Name: Charlotte 3

Gathering Date: April 2016

 

One of my close friends in the DC area was a member of the DMV1 original Whine & Cheese branch. She always spoke so highly of the group and that stuck with me.  I longed  to create and facilitate a connection with women similar to her experience, and decided to reach out to Natalie and learn more about becoming a Vine.

I spent quite some time thinking about the various women in my life, some that I was very close to and others that I wished to connect with on a deeper level. I was very careful to not just invite a group of my closest friends, and specifically chose women who did not know each other to make it a more interesting mix.

First, I had to get my house togetherJ. Then, I planned the menu to help create an environment where people would feel comfortable. I did some shopping for a cheese plate (couldn’t help myself) and picked out some different wines for us to try.

Most of our whines were about difficulties we faced within our work lives; figuring out what our next steps should be and if we’re on the right path. Some of the whines were also about trying to be better women – taking better care of ourselves.

The theme of the cheese shared was gratitude; despite challenges in work or family, we were very thankful to be employed and giving ourselves credit for the progress we’ve made.

I am most looking forward to watching the group grow and connect together. We started the night of the first gathering as somewhat strangers, and by the end of the evening, there was hugs goodbye. I want to become a better woman, and I think connecting myself to other women with that same desire will only push me to greatness!

 

Krystal Owens is the Vine of the Charlotte3 branch located in Charlotte, NC.

Six Most Overlooked Tax Deductions

Who among us wants to pay the IRS more taxes than we have to?¹

While few may raise their hands, Americans regularly overpay because they fail to take tax deductions for which they are eligible. Let’s take a quick look at the six most overlooked opportunities to manage your tax bill.

  1. Reinvested Dividends: When your mutual fund pays you a dividend or capital gains distribution that income is a taxable event (unless the fund is held in a tax-deferred account, like an IRA). If you’re like most fund owners, you reinvest these payments in additional shares of the fund. The tax trap lurks when you sell your mutual fund. If you fail to add the reinvested amounts back into the investment’s cost basis, it can result in double taxation of those dividends.²
    Mutual funds are sold only by prospectus. Please consider the charges, risks, expenses and investment objectives carefully before investing. A prospectus containing this and other information about the investment company can be obtained from your financial professional. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
  2. Job Hunting Costs: A tough job market may mean you are looking far and wide for employment. The costs of that search—transportation, food and lodging for overnight stays, cab fares, personal car use, and even printing resumes—may be considered tax-deductible expenses, provided the search is not for your first job.
  3. Out-of-Pocket Charity: It’s not just cash donations that are deductible. If you donate goods or use your personal car for charitable work, these are potential tax deductions. Just be sure to get a receipt for any amount over $250.
  4. State Taxes: Did you owe state taxes at the time of filing of your previous year’s tax returns? If you did, don’t forget to include this payment as a tax deduction on your current year’s tax return.
  5. Medicare Premiums: If you are self-employed (and not covered by an employer plan or your spouse’s plan), you may be eligible to deduct premiums paid for Medicare Parts B and D, Medigap insurance and Medicare Advantage Plan. This deduction is available regardless of whether you itemize deductions or not.
  6. Income in Respect of a Decedent: If you’ve inherited an IRA or pension, you may be able to deduct any estate tax paid by the IRA owner from the taxes due on the withdrawals you take from the inherited account.³
  1. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.
  2. Withdrawals from traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.
  3. Withdrawals from traditional IRAs are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2016 FMG Suite.

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Dasarte Yarnway HeadshotDasarte Yarnway is the CEO and Head of Advisory of Berknell Financial Group, a full service registered independent advisory firm that specializes in helping clients reach their objectives in the areas of Retirement, Investments, Insurance, Tax and Estate Planning.
For more information and insight, subscribe to Berknell’s monthly newsletter and the company’s blog at www.berknell.com

Are You Resource-full?

My pastor is teaching a series on godly stewardship. As part of his teaching, he talked about resources and our need to exercise stewardship over our resources. So he asked the question, “What are your resources?” He told us to write them down. I wrote communication skills, computer skills, patience, and administrative skills. As we wrote, he pointed out that money is not our only resource, but that a resource is anything “that you bring to the table”. My pastor then referred to Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers and later became second in command over all of Egypt. (Gen 37:1-50:22). He said Joseph’s resources were favor, faith and forgiveness. He then stated that so many people struggle and fail in life because they are not aware of their resources; he charged us to think, during the week, about what our resources were.

After I left church, thinking about my resources was the last thing on my mind. But during my devotional time later in the week, as I was reading 1 John 2:24-3:3, I came to this verse:

              But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you

1 John 2:27 (NJKV)

I stopped and started meditating and thinking about resources. Is the anointing one of my resources? I wondered how other translations stated this verse and did some research. The New Living Translation says the verse this way:

              But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you…

Ooo! The anointing referenced in the verse is the Holy Spirit! It abides in us as a source of Truth. A resource! I got very excited! I started thinking “What resources do I ‘bring to the table’ as a member of the body of Christ, as a child of God?” I started writing:

1) Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17)
2) Favor (Psalm 5:2, Proverbs 12:2, Proverbs 14:9)
3) Grace (Ephesians 2:8)
4) God fighting our battles and going before us to make crooked ways straight (2 Chronicles 20:15, Isaiah 42:16, Luke 3:4-6)
5) Confidence (Philippians 1:6)
6) No condemnation (Romans 8:1)
7) God’s good plan for our life (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10)
8) Power over the enemy (Luke 10:19)
9) Forgiveness of sin (Isaiah 43:25, Psalm 103:12)
10) Prayer (Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

There are so many! The Bible tells us exactly what our resources are and all these resources originate from God.

If you had a million dollars in the bank and your car broke down and you needed money to get it fixed, wouldn’t you go to the bank to get money so you could get the car fixed? Or would you just stand around looking lost and being pitiful? You’d run to the bank, get the money and get the car fixed! As you are going through your daily life, are you using your God-given resources to help you? Or are you just standing around looking lost and being pitiful? Proverbs 29:18 in the Message Bible says,

 If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves;
 But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.

Stumble all over themselves! Visualize this: You are walking from Corner A to the Corner B in the same block, but you are stumbling all over yourself as you go. How long would it take you to get to Corner B? And in what condition would you be in when you finally (if ever) got there?

Today, resolve to stop stumbling through life. God gives you powerful resources. Are you using them? If not, is it because you don’t know what they are? Take 10 minutes right now and start a list of your God-given resources. Add to it as you think of or learn about more resources. Read your list everyday. Take it one step further – put the list in your wallet or purse and refer to it throughout the day.

Be greedy in using your God-given resources. Use all of them daily, no… hourly. You can’t use them up. They never run out. Be powerful! Be resource-full!

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Sharman J. Monroe, a retired judge, now owns a successful business focused on wealth and empowerment coaching through residual income. She is a monthly contributor to Whine and Cheese.  Ms. Monroe writes the world-renowned blog, My Journey to Me. She also manages and contributes to the Anointed Women in Christ Blog. You can follow her on Twitter @sharmansjourney.  She is also an award-winning author. Her book on personal development, “The Plan A Way to Success”, is now at The My Journey to Me Store, as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Meet Ms. Monroe at her next book signing! Visit her blog for dates and times.

Words of Wisdom: God Knows the Real Deal

7Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. -Proverbs 4:7

Many people have heard this statement over the years. But last week, God gave me a demonstration. Have you ever had a conversation but were perplexed about the reason? Were you ever asked to do something that didn’t settle well with you but couldn’t put your finger on it? Have you ever come away from a situation as though it didn’t go over well but you didn’t realize it until after it was over? It is in times likes these to seek the Lord for wisdom and understanding.

What is sometimes seen on the surface is not always the true meaning. God always knows what is hidden in the heart of man. And it is He who discerns or reveals the true meaning of what is said or unsaid and what is done or undone. I had a situation like this and it just didn’t sit well with me. When I went to God, He revealed ALL things that I needed to know through His Holy Spirit. Those things were then confirmed by man down to the images and plays on words God showed me. I sought God for wisdom and understanding. He provided both in such a way that I knew it was Him. He provided both in such a way that I immediately heeded. God knows the real deal even if no one else does. Do you know the real deal? Or are you caught in counterfeits?

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Joy T.J. Riley began writing at age eleven to channel feelings she could not express in spoken word. Yes, becoming an author was always a dream but she had no idea that by submitting to God her dream would come true. She was commissioned as a teacher of the Word of God in August 2006. Joy has co-founded organizations, been a guest speaker, mentored youth, and volunteered her time with senior citizens and the homeless.  Joy is president & co-founder of Get Your JOY In The Morning! LLC. It is not just about finding faith, but to show that it is through faith that one finds purpose. Joy is also the author of two books, Get Your JOY In The Morning! and Shh Don’t Tell. She has mentored and assisted five writers to become authors, currently writes the monthly Words of Wisdom column for Whine & Cheese Inc., writes on LinkedIn Pulse, is a contributing writer for The Divine Voice Magazine, been on radio, TV, and one of three women featured in a short documentary film, The Power of Femininity by Ratliff Events. Joy writes devotionals to several hundred people across the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Joy Empowers

Why mope around with a scowl on your face and a sluggish spirit when you can choose instead to be joyful? Don’t strain to see through a murky window of despair when you can gaze out from a crystal clear perspective of joy.

Though difficulties may hound you, there’s no reason to add to them. Read, write, walk, run, work, play, listen and speak with joy.

Joy empowers. Every moment without joy is an opportunity lost.

Joy delivers a steady stream of life’s best possibilities to you. Joy connects you with thoughts, ideas, people, situations, places and things that enrich you.

Joy does not need a reason. Joy creates its own reasons.

Make the world a more joyful place by creating some brand new joy right now. There’s no reason not to, and no end to the good things joy can bring to life.

-Ralph S. Marston, Jr.

Love You!

It’s February and everyone’s thoughts are turned to love – love smothered in hearts, chocolates, stuffed teddy bears and diamonds. There are several definitions of love in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and I found this one particularly significant: “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of others”. I’m going to tweak that definition and change “of others” to “of yourself”. Yes, in this life, you must love yourself. It is okay for you to have an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for yourself.

You’re probably asking, “What was does love have to do with my personal growth?” EVERYTHING! If you are not concerned about yourself, if you don’t love yourself, you will make poor decisions and engage in destructive behavior time and time again. Here are five tips to help you love yourself:

  1. Know and accept your weaknesses. Everybody doesn’t know or is able to everything. That’s the way life is set up and you can’t change it. Don’t beat yourself up. Life is also set up so that there is someone already in your life whose strength is your weakness. Numbers and I don’t get along so I have a financial advisor. She’s awesome and translates financial gobbledygook into something I can understand. Be concerned enough about yourself to find your strengther to help you.

2. Know and relish your strengths. In the same vein, everybody has a strong suit, something or things they excel in without trying. That’s the way life is set up and you can’t change it. Relish that you can sing, write, paint, organize, fix cars, etc. without breaking a sweat. Be concerned enough about yourself to develop your strengths and then find someone you can strengthen.

3. Accept others people the way they are. Everyone is different. Other people aren’t supposed to be a carbon copy of you. Again, that’s the way life is set up and you can’t change it. Our differences make each of us special. Make the effort to look for that “special” in a person and enjoy it. Adjust yourself if need be. If a person wants you to change her, she will let you know. Be concerned enough about others to respect their choices in life.

4. Develop others’ strengths. Again, everybody has a strong suit, something or things they excel in without trying. That’s the way life is set up and you can’t change it. When you see a person with a talent or gift, encourage her and congratulate her on achievements. Give guidance if you can. You may be the only person in her life in her corner. Being a hater or distractor or showing jealousy will get you nothing. The person will still have the talent. Be concerned enough about others to help them excel and flourish in life.

Practicing these tips daily will help you truly be loyal to and concerned about yourself to the benefit of you. You will grow as a person and love will come looking for you. Give yourself chocolates and a stuffed teddy bear and diamonds today!

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Sharman J. Monroe, a retired judge, now owns a successful business focused on wealth and empowerment coaching through residual income. She is a monthly contributor to Whine and Cheese.  Ms. Monroe writes the world-renowned blog, My Journey to Me. She also manages and contributes to the Anointed Women in Christ Blog. You can follow her on Twitter @sharmansjourney.  She is also an award-winning author. Her book on personal development, “The Plan A Way to Success”, is now at The My Journey to Me Store, as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Meet Ms. Monroe at her next book signing! Visit her blog for dates and times.

Words of Wisdom: Such a Time as This

14For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? -Esther 4:14
Queen Esther, Hadassah being her Jewish name, is my favorite woman of the Bible. Hadassah was orphaned at an early age and her cousin, Mordecai raised her as his own. After Queen Vashti had been removed for not obeying the request of her husband, King Xerxes, a new queen was sought. Many women were brought from all over the provinces. And it was a seemingly unsuspecting Jewish girl who had favor with everyone she met and won the king’s heart. When an enemy of the Jews, Haman, used his influence with the king to annihilate the Jews, Mordecai sought out Esther to step up and use her influence as the queen to help change the tide. Esther was reluctant at first. Mordecai reminded her that should she stay silent, she and her family would be impacted. However, he reminded her that it may have been God’s plan all along for her to be in the palace to stop the killing of the Jews. She did it, even though it meant she could lose her life. Have you ever been in a situation where you realized your presence was no accident? There’s a saying that God makes no mistakes. In the word of God it says that God is sovereign. Meaning God can do whatever He wants, when He wants. The New King James Study Bible says, “Mordecai’s remark is a veiled reference to God’s providential work in orchestrating life’s circumstances.” In another month, the Jews will celebrate the festival of Purim which is the casting of the lot and Esther’s courageous move that helped save the Jews.
Yes, we all have choices to make. And do not be deceived, there is always a choice. However, there is no mistake that the place you are in is the place you are in. What will you do with the influence you have where you are right now? Do you have the ability to be an agent of change? Do you have the ability to assist others? Do you have favor that can be used to help a greater cause? Who knows whether you are in the place you are for “such a time as this.”
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Joy T.J. Riley began writing at age eleven to channel feelings she could not express in spoken word. Yes, becoming an author was always a dream but she had no idea that by submitting to God her dream would come true. She was commissioned as a teacher of the Word of God in August 2006. Joy has co-founded organizations, been a guest speaker, mentored youth, and volunteered her time with senior citizens and the homeless.  Joy is president & co-founder of Get Your JOY In The Morning! LLC. It is not just about finding faith, but to show that it is through faith that one finds purpose. Joy is also the author of two books, Get Your JOY In The Morning! and Shh Don’t Tell. She has mentored and assisted five writers to become authors, currently writes the monthly Words of Wisdom column for Whine & Cheese Inc., writes on LinkedIn Pulse, is a contributing writer for The Divine Voice Magazine, been on radio, TV, and one of three women featured in a short documentary film, The Power of Femininity by Ratliff Events. Joy writes devotionals to several hundred people across the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Words of Wisdom: Holding it Together

29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. -Matthew 11:29
 God has been speaking to me about egg yolks metaphorically for the last few days. I was fixing egg whites in an omelet the other day. I noticed that when I had used whole eggs, the omelet stayed nicely in place. But, when I used egg whites, things looked to be held together well until it was time to flip the omelet over. I kept hearing God when He said that people try to seem healthy and whole, but when they leave Him out, they still fall apart. The yolk holds everything together.
Now, yolk is not to be confused with yoke. Per the New Kings James Version Study Bible, the yoke referred to in scripture is a “double harness in which two animals pulled together. Often, one harness was larger meant for the stronger, more experienced animal, while the smaller was used for the animal being trained.” But, if you go back to the egg white demonstration, after the personal training session I had last month, the trainer kept talking about using egg whites as a source of protein along with some meat. But if being healthy was only an outside tool, it would be easy to do. Health is inside and out.
A few months ago, I started getting therapeutic massages as a way to help reduce the stress I was under. Stress without rest is futile. As a matter of fact, Jesus said to take up His yoke and we will find rest. The ultimate rest comes when we see Him as the source that we can go to for teaching, growth, comfort, healing, etc. The gym is a great place to blow off steam and massages can reduce stress also, but it cannot heal the wounds in your heart. It cannot provide direction when you don’t know where to go. Let Jesus’ yoke be the yolk for your life to hold it together.
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Joy T.J. Riley began writing at age eleven to channel feelings she could not express in spoken word. Yes, becoming an author was always a dream but she had no idea that by submitting to God her dream would come true. She was commissioned as a teacher of the Word of God in August 2006. Joy has co-founded organizations, been a guest speaker, mentored youth, and volunteered her time with senior citizens and the homeless.  Joy is president & co-founder of Get Your JOY In The Morning! LLC. It is not just about finding faith, but to show that it is through faith that one finds purpose. Joy is also the author of two books, Get Your JOY In The Morning! and Shh Don’t Tell. She has mentored and assisted five writers to become authors, currently writes the monthly Words of Wisdom column for Whine & Cheese Inc., writes on LinkedIn Pulse, is a contributing writer for The Divine Voice Magazine, been on radio, TV, and one of three women featured in a short documentary film, The Power of Femininity by Ratliff Events. Joy writes devotionals to several hundred people across the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia.

I Hate Goals

It’s the beginning of a new year and everyone is talking about setting goals. I hate goals! They are the bane of my existence. Every January, I would think about what goals I wanted to reach and write them on paper along with a goal date. I would go the extra distance and post them around my house. And then life would happen and I wouldn’t reach my goals. I’d feel bad, wonder what was wrong with me and view goal setting as an empty exercise. But last year, something happened… I set some goals and reached them! I am so excited now and my goal setting model is changed forever! I’m assuming you feel the same way about goals or you wouldn’t be reading this post so I going to share with you my new goal setting model or tips to help you accomplish your goals this year.

  1. Start from a place of gratitude and abundance. You already have so much in life and much to be grateful for. Take about 10 minutes and write down those things down. Approach your goals not from a position of lack and need in your life, but from a position of gratitude and abundance. What do I mean? I wanted to increase the number of customers I provide service to in my business. I decided on the number and changed my thinking from “I need to get more customers so I can increase my income” to “I already have (gratitude and abundance) the additional customers and all I have to do is go find them.” This subtle change in my thinking kept me going because my goal turned into a treasure hunt. I eventually surpassed my original goal.
  1. Set no more than five goals. I know we live in a society that applauds the overachiever but when you set too many goals, you get overwhelmed and overloaded. Your attention is pulled in so many different directions that you accomplish little and give up quickly. Last year, I set four goals for myself. My focus on doing the necessary steps was sharper and I didn’t feel so consumed by my goals and feel that I had to work on them 24 hours a day. I also could quickly adjust my actions and stay on course. In the end, I achieved each one. Also because I felt good about accomplishing something, I eagerly added new goals throughout the year as I finished my original goals.
  1. Accept it will take longer than you think. We know the saying, “goals without deadlines are just daydreams.” I believe this statement. However, deadlines are not etched in stone. Activities and results always perform flawlessly on paper. But the reality is, life is not flawless. Sometimes, you need to do more things than you anticipated. When you need to interact with other people to achieve a goal, more often than not, they don’t respond as fast or the way you anticipated. If you hit your deadline great! If you miss your deadline, great! Breathe. You’re closer to your goal than you were when you started. Last year, I wanted to reach a milestone in my business by June. I worked and worked but other people didn’t respond the way I anticipated. Surprise! But I kept working and reached the milestone in November. I’m happy with no complaints.
  1. You are not perfect. To err is human. Along the road to your goal, you’ll make mistakes, have slip-ups, life interruptions and unexpected stuff. Forgive yourself, get back up and continue along. I joined Toastmasters in March 2015 and decided to attain the first achievement award, Competent Communicator or CC, by December 25, 2015. To become a CC, you must do 10 different speeches. I missed most of the summer meetings for my Toastmasters club due to life interruptions which put me behind in my speech number. On December 1st, I had four speeches left. I decided to stick with my goal date. Since my club was only meeting once in December, I contacted other area clubs and asked if I could be a guest speaker. I did one speech at my club and the remaining three at other clubs; my last three speeches were done back to back. I achieved CC on December 15th.
  1. Don’t give up on setting goals.  Setting goals, either in January or throughout the year, is good because it means you’re directing the type of life you want to live. Whether the goals you set are realized or not, keep setting goals. Before 2015, I would set goals and they would blow up on me; I rarely reached them. Perhaps this happens to you. Maybe like me, you’re setting your goals too high or setting them based on other people’s expectations. Or maybe like me, you aren’t really ready to grab the brass ring. Something changed with me in 2015. I started looking at my goals differently. I used to look at goals as a way to fill an empty hole in my life because I didn’t have enough and that I had to claw and strive my way up to them or I was a failure. It was exhausting. Now I see my goals as a done deal and all I have to do is go on a treasure hunt to find the pieces to reach them. When I’m hunting for a certainty, I know I can’t fail; I just have days when I find and days when I don’t find pieces. I don’t feel exhausted or give up.

My business coach says, “To achieve something you’ve never achieved before, you have to do something you’ve never done before.” Do something different this year. Apply the above tips and watch yourself achieve.

Happy Goal Setting!

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Sharman J. Monroe, a retired judge, now owns a successful business focused on wealth and empowerment coaching through residual income. She is a monthly contributor to Whine and Cheese.  Ms. Monroe writes the world-renowned blog, My Journey to Me. She also manages and contributes to the Anointed Women in Christ Blog. You can follow her on Twitter @sharmansjourney.  She is also an award-winning author. Her book on personal development, “The Plan A Way to Success”, is now at The My Journey to Me Store, as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Meet Ms. Monroe at her next book signing! Visit her blog for dates and times.