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What will you leave in 2020?

Fireworks photo by Jude Beck
2021 is here!

Happy New Year! It’s the start of 2021 and an opportunity to reset and recover from the madness of 2020. The pandemic remains with us, but it doesn’t have to control our every thought and action.

Take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your community while also transforming 2020's tragedies into the energy required to make progress aligned with living in your full potential this year.

Think about selecting a power word or affirmation to help guide you in 2021. A powerful word or positive statement can help recenter you on your goals and values as you encounter the inevitable challenges that come with life.

My 100-year-old grandmother passed away this week. I would love to travel and be with my family in the States, but the COVID situation makes it too high risk. Virtual support is the safest option for us during this challenging season.

Did you lose anyone in 2020? While losing someone is always difficult, we must find a way to appreciate their legacy. My grandmother was a kind woman who helped shape the faith of my mother and her twelve siblings.

I remember visiting my grandmother's home in Compton, California, and eating sweet potatoes at her kitchen table. Whenever I visited, she went out of her way to make sure that I had something to eat. In the latter years of her life, she forgot many of her grandchildren's names, but I remember the simple moments of our time together.

On the other side of loss, there exist opportunities to find gratitude.

This week I also celebrated eleven years of marriage. We enjoyed a simple day at home with carryout food from our favorite restaurant. My marriage has matured me in ways that are difficult to put into words. Let me also tell you that our relationship has had challenges similar to many couples.

The uninvited guests called money, sex, and parenting conflicts, have visited us at different points in our marriage. It’s our faith in God, relentless commitments to each other, and humility that has guided us through the tough moments. I also credit a few relationship books, successful couples, and difficult conversations that have helped us stay together for eleven years.

In my next book, Dear Brother: 82 Powerful Poems to Guide Your Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity, I share poetry, reading recommendations, advice, and other resources reflective of my marriage experiences. The triumphs and challenges that are #themarriedlife, have led me to a great life abroad with three beautiful babies.

How should you approach 2021 with increased awareness of death and life? Commit to making more mindful time with family and find communities aligned with a healthy lifestyle. Adopting an optimistic perspective can also help you to see victories on the other side of 2020s battles.

Before you drink the positive Kool-Aid, get clear on what you want in life. Clarity is a critical first step in making meaningful resolutions. If goal planning is part of your day’s plans, spend some alone time in silence visualizing what you want to accomplish or experience.

Goal setting is challenging with children or a partner at home. Wait until they go to sleep, or schedule it for tomorrow morning before sunrise. Do not feel confined to this day, to create new goals.

It might take a few weeks with multiple revisions to gain clarity. I know making realistic and relevant goals is a process.

For the past few weeks, I’ve participated in, The Joy Collective’s, Annual Clarity Retreat. Dr. KerryAnn Rockquemore organizes The Joy Collective. Rockquemore is a former professor who left academia to address faculty mentorship inadequacies and create the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity.

After Rockquemore built a multimillion-dollar company to impact college campuses' mentorship practices throughout the world, she retired in her 40s. The dynamic leadership she embodied as a college professor and entrepreneur continues in The Joy Collective. She is helping faculty, graduate students, academic professionals, and others reframe their thinking around goals and life missions.

Rockquemore has served as one of my mentors for almost twenty years. As one of my undergraduate professors, she helped guide me through applying to graduate school. We continue to have conversations about entrepreneurial and educational topics.

As part of the retreat, Rockquemore asked us to leave something behind in 2020. Although the question, what will you leave behind in 2020?, came three weeks ago, I continue to wrestle with my answers.

What will you leave behind in 2020? It's easy to say that you will leave your corona related fears from last year in December. Behaving fearless and protecting your health in January and beyond is a different story.

This week’s vlog episode captured how my boys left a lopsided chunk of their hair behind in 2020.

As 2021 begins, I want to encourage you to get off to a productive and positive start. Join me for a FREE 30-day accountability program where we will work together and ensure you make tangible steps toward identifying and achieving your personal and professional goals.

This FREE accountability program will begin on January 10 and will last 30 days. Will you join me? Complete this intake form to join the group.


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