Forget Setting Goals, Set Boundaries First
(6 min read | unless you're distracted)
After taking a hiatus in 2020 while witnessing the beginning of a global pandemic, the murder of George Floyd create heightened awareness of systemic racism in America, one of the most unbelievable US Presidential elections I will probably ever witness, putting my dog AND my cat to sleep … I had a bottle of wine and passed out sleeping my way into the New Year grunting f*ck 2020, or something like that. I certainly did not count sheep that night.
Happy February to you all, and Happy Black History Month!
This brings me to why I decided to relaunch this professional development blog focused on confidence, happiness, and intention. I realized in 2020 that I need to reignite my passion and share it with the women who go beyond my reach in the corporate space. While I love it, this really fills my cup in ways that just never will. In the past, I catered heavily to women and while I still intend to, I do appreciate (some of) the male audience that supports me and shares my passion with the women in their lives.
QUICK SHAMELESS PLUG: my free Connecting With Confidence webinar is open now to all, so be sure to check that out when you have about 45-minutes to spend some time on your own professional development. Please SHARE, SHARE, SHARE with your friends!
I'm forever grateful for all of the connections that have come from my beautiful network of friends. You guys will never know how much joy it brings me when we can share our passions with the world and support one another.
If you have a business that you'd like me to shout out, support, share, or feature … PLEASE send me a message and I gotchu. :)
If you didn't notice, 2020 rocked many of our work/life balances, so blending our work with personal time is a bit more normal these days. We're now living in a masked-up, heavily-digital world. As you read more of my content this year, you can expect a similar flow of information with current events, relevant hot topics, suggested steps you can take around the topic at hand, and helpful information to share with your network. See how this supporting one another thing works? ;)
Let's Start with Why
If Simon Sinek taught me anything that I continue using daily, it's to share 'why' this matters before wasting your time reading further. Throughout the year, many of us experienced tremendous loss and suffered from more grief than imaginable, while others seemed to experience moments of reflection and express gratitude for what they have. This observation reminded me that no matter what is happening in the external world around us, we have the ability to control how it affects us internally, and how we respond to it.
We are not perfect humans, so regardless of any intrinsic or societal pressures placed on us, we shouldn't ever pretend to be.
I've personally seen that leaders who have demonstrated abilities to lead by example, engage in authentic (sometimes uncomfortable) conversations are those who make the greatest impact on their teams, and their circle of influence. The leaders in your friend circle, family circle, etc. can probably pop top of mind for you... think about it. What qualities do you admire in the leaders you see around you? I'd like to help you grow and expand as you continue your professional journey, so it's important that you do this with a plan.
So... Forget Setting Goals (before you set boundaries, anyway)
Early in the year, many of us set goals both personally and professionally. Whether you're looking to lose 10 lbs. or 10x your sales volume, what I've realized is that before taking a step towards that goal, looking at boundaries is really important. To lose 10 lbs., one more than likely would need to set boundaries with their eating habits. To set 10x your sales volume, one probably would be best served setting some pretty solid boundaries with the way their time is spent. Follow me? Let's dig into how setting proper boundaries will actually help you accomplish your goals in a more natural way.
Set Proper Boundaries
Setting boundaries provides us the opportunity to reallocate the time and energy that we spend on the factors outside of our control that do not contribute or provide any return on our bottom line. Or waist line, whatever you're working on. Think about the number of interruptions that we have throughout the day with our phone. We have email, phone calls, text messages, WhatsApp Messages, Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, omg... How can we possibly get anything of importance done to our maximum potential with so much distraction around us? I didn't even mention the kids, the pets, the plants, the chores, etc. Whew! I'm feeling a little anxiety now. Let's wrap it up.
Here are a few quick ways to increase your confidence, happiness, and intention this month:
Protect your peace. Begin using the do not disturb feature on your phone at certain times during the day. If you don't have the Calm app, I highly recommend getting that to chill out, remember to breathe, and practice mindfulness. It's been extremely helpful during stressful days where you're in back to back meetings, having technical issues, or need to prepare before an intense conversation. Go for a walk, be sure you're getting in a workout, and don't forget to exercise on some sort of basis. Our bodies were meant to move, our minds were meant to be stimulated, and it is one of the best ways to release the endorphins to bring us joy. Spar Houston and Glute Camp have quickly become some of my favorite new workouts in Houston. I also have a home-based program that I've followed for years now.
Recognize Black History Month. Believe it or not, I didn't grow up knowing much about the Black side of my family (aside from those living under my roof), the history, or really even acknowledge/embrace my Black heritage until my 20's. I actually used to be ashamed of it because of the things that some of the White and Latina girls said to me in school. Black girls were always nice to me, but unfortunately there weren't that many in the schools I went to. I've had to begin learning (and unlearning) a lot. It's February 2021 people. IMO, education on systemic racism in times like these is one of the BEST professional moves that you can make regardless of what you do. Diversity is everything. If you're interested, listen to the Brené Brown with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist podcast. It's quite insightful and Brene is an amazing Houston-based thought leader/researcher for anyone looking for more professional development.
Adapt to the new normal. This is it, folks. As I said earlier, we're now living in a masked-up, heavily digital world. COVID-19 isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and although vaccines are becoming available -- it's not a magic cure, unfortunately. Children may be at home more often than before, pets will now be co-dependent and have mad separation anxiety if they've adapted to you being around more, and Amazon will probably continue to take all of our money even though Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO. Be sure that you are managing your time properly, taking care of yourself, and keeping focused on things that bring you joy. Don't forget to keep up with your nails, hair, lashes, etc. We can gain so much more confidence and joy just by looking in the mirror and loving who we see looking back at us. If you didn't know this already, you'll find that everything I stand for encourages women to boldly be themselves FOR themselves.
I truly appreciate you being here and know that 2021 is going to be an incredible year of recovery and growth for our world, for our economy, for our businesses, our careers, and for us. My ask is that you take the time that you need each month to focus on what boundaries you need to set, which goals you can realistically tackle, and how you can continue adding value to this world while protecting your personal boundaries.
Support Black Business
Before I wrap up (pun intended), I have to plug my dear friend's new business, Wrapresent championing diversity and inclusion in the gift accessory space, providing wrapping paper and gift accessories that look like us different shades of brown people. Wrapresent is committed to donating a percentage of each sale to black and brown charities shaping our communities because giving back is always a great idea. What goes around comes around, y'all. :)
Thanks for taking time to read, and I do hope that you'll share this with a friend or colleague who will benefit from giving it a quick view. I look forward to hearing from you soon and hope you like the blog, the content, and the flow. I'm always open to any and all feedback on how to make this blog most helpful to you. :)
Oh, and if you didn't know - I have a FREE webinar to help you connect more confidently in your business and life. Be sure to check it out at your own pace or share it with a friend/colleague that would enjoy some professional development resources! :)
Brittanni Below, MBA is a coach, speaker, and trainer based in Houston, TX that provides services to help fierce and self-driven women to live a more balanced, healthy, and more fulfilling life. By fully understanding your unique talents and gifts and what is distracting you from being successful, Brittanni helps you transform fear, lack of confidence, and life challenges, into lessons that push you to crush the goals that you've set for yourself. If you're interested in business or career coaching, book your FREE coaching session with Brittanni here.