Happy New Year

  • 7 Tips To Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

    Every year, millions of people start the year with New Year’s resolutions that are intended to make their life a little better. Many people, plan to work out more, save money, and overall just get our shit together for the new year. As usual, folks get off to a great start but after a few weeks, the desire to continue to stick to your new year’s resolutions begins to fade. Listen, I don’t keep most of my resolutions past March, so there’s that. And as a result, lots of folks (myself included) lose confidence or become depressed for not accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions but it doesn’t have to end that way.

    To prevent that from happening here are seven tips to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions:

    Stick to Your New Year's Resolutions mommyrandr

    Set Realistic Goals

    Having high expectations for yourself is good, provided you don’t go overboard. This is what many people are guilty of, myself included. We tell ourselves we’re gonna do a, b, c, x, y, and z, and ultimately end up not accomplishing shit. Why? Cause we set our own selves up for failure by aiming too high for impossible goals. However, realistic goals are achievable. Instead of setting a goal to read 100 books in a year, start by setting a goal to read a couple of minutes each day. No matter how busy you are, this is something that you can do if you are passionate about improving your knowledge or reading more books in general.

    Starting small doesn’t mean you lack as a person. It’s actually a smart decision to figure out how much you can handle based on your dreams and your routine life. In fact, small accomplishments will help you find happiness and also motivate you to continue to work towards the next step of the resolutions.

    Use The Buddy System

    Having someone or a group of people to hold you accountable will encourage you to keep your resolution going all year long. No matter your resolution have someone in your corner who you can count on to cheer your milestones (big and small) and also call out if you start falling off track. Remember, this is a two-way street in which you’re pushing each other to win. Now if you come to a situation over time when your buddy isn’t being positive and happy for the strides you’ve made then it might be time to seek out someone who is. No one wants or needs a Debbie Downer or worse a hater in their corner.  

    Set Reminders

    We have a lot of things going on at once and trying to remember everything is damn near impossible. Thankfully, technology makes it easier to get daily reminders of the things we need to do. Now you won’t forget to follow through with your goals. And don’t be afraid to set follow-up reminders especially if you know you’re the type to say, eh I’ll do that in the next 10 minutes. By the way, it’s me, I’m the type to say that, and you are too – set that extra reminder.

    Keep Track of Your Progress

    It really is motivating to see all the progress you’ve made so far, even if it’s only been a few weeks. It’s going to encourage you to continue on your path until you reach your goal. Remind yourself of all your hard work by posting your progress where you can see it. On your bathroom mirror, the fridge, in your journal, or on your phone. Every time you look at it it’s going to show you where you started and how far you’ve come since you began. It’s the ultimate motivational booster.

    Focus On The Positives

    Are you going to have setbacks on your way to achieving your goals? Yeah, everyone does. No one sets a goal and then poof in a blink of an eye they’ve achieved it. Nah. That shit takes blood, sweat, and tears which includes setbacks. But don’t focus on that. Learn from it yes, but don’t let it deter you from getting to the finish line. Focus on where you are and how much hard work it took for you to get there not the 2 steps back from a month ago. Let the positive lead you to where you wanna be.

    Keep Trying Don’t Give Up

    Okay, so you set a goal, and guess what? You’re starting to slack off, things aren’t going exactly as planned, or worse you failed. That’s fine, cause that’s life. But the thing you have to remember is don’t stop trying. If you got lazy shake that shit off. Get your mind and body back in the game. If a door closes in the front go around the back to see if that door is open. Also, if you have to scrap and redo your plan in order for it to work better, do it. Do you fail? Alright. Be like Aaliyah and dust that shit off and try again. Do what you gotta do (legally) to reach your end goal.

    And most importantly…

    Don’t Doubt Yourself

    Never for a second doubt that you can’t do it, cause you can, and you WILL. I believe in YOU.

  • Happiness Is My 2019 Word of the Year – It’s Time to Remove My Mask

    word of the year happiness valerie pierre mommyrandr

    My word for 2019 is happiness.

    I have a confession to make and it’s gonna shock the shit outta you. Are you ready? Okay, here goes – I’m not happy. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was truly happy. I know you see me all jokey n’ shit but most days it’s just a mask.

    I’ve been faking the funk and it’s taking a toll on me, and I’m tired y’all.

    I’m. Fucking. Tired.

    What’s making me unhappy?

    Honestly speaking, it’s my home life. Specifically, where I live and who I live with. No, it’s not Jeff and the kids. You see, I live with my in-laws and the clash of age, culture, and common sense leaves me wanting to scream. But instead of fighting yet another battle I know I’ll never win, (cause common sense never prevails) I bottle it up, keep quiet and go on about my day. That is until I boil over and start taking my frustrations out on those closest to me – Jeff and the kids. If I could afford to visit my therapist I’m pretty sure she would diagnose me with some form of depression. That’s how bad it is.

    How do I know? Cause like most people with an internet connection I looked up depression on WebMD and I found that I suffer from 10 out of 13 symptoms. Some of which include: fatigue, feeling hopeless, trouble concentrating, and irritability to name a few. I can go through a range of emotions that leave me feeling just plain out of it. I feel trapped within the walls of my body and the walls of this house, and I need to break free but there’s no place to break free to.

    How long have I been wearing a mask?

    Who the hell knows, but I know the mask has gotten thicker and right now it’s so heavy I can hardly hold my head up. So much so, it’s causing a number of issues hence the reason for my new year’s health and wellness goals. I’m sick of existing like this. I need to make a change and fast.

    How the hell do I find my happiness?

    The most obvious thing is to move. We know this and we’ve been working on it. Trust me. Our new goal, come hell or high water is to be out by the end of the school semester. But in the meantime, another obvious place to look for happiness is within me.

    I hear a lot of people talking about speaking things into existence. Well, here’s another truth bomb, privately I’ve been speaking very negatively about everything in my life. So how can I expect the universe to give me any positivity when I haven’t put any out in the world? It took a long time for me to understand that I control my happiness.

    My problem was I was pointing fingers at those around me for the cause of my misery. I cannot look for others to give me something that only I can give myself. I also can’t expect Jeff to add my happiness to his to-do list. He’s got enough shit to deal with as provider for our family. I need to get my ass on a white horse and save myself.

    word of the year happiness valerie pierre mommyrandr

    After some research I’ve found six ways I can start bringing happiness back into my life:

    Wake up with positivity

    The first thing I’ve started telling myself when I wake up is, “Today is gonna be a great day.” or “I’m gonna get a lot done today.”  These positive affirmations set the tone for the day. If I’m thinking and speaking positively there’s no room for me dwell on the negative.

    Be grateful

    This is a biggie. One, while I complain about where I live and with whom I need to be grateful I have a place to live. Others aren’t so fortunate. Two, I’m not living here alone. I have Jeff and the kids. They should be my only focus and I need to enjoy spending time with them and not worrying about the other people I live with.

    Go back to therapy

    Therapy can be expensive. Those co-pays add up. But I need to go at least once a month to talk to someone about my thoughts and feelings. Keeping them bottled up is no way to live and it’s not fair to my family to emotionally unload on them. And if I can’t get to therapy I need to open myself more to Jeff in a way that’s not offputting so that we both can get things off of our chests and work on a solution together.

    Update my vision board

    I’ve had the same vision board for at least 5 years. I look at it every day but I don’t really look at it. Which is why I’m gonna toss it and start anew. I’ve already started flipping through old mags and I see I’m more drawn to visuals that invoke happiness and serenity. I’m going to decorate my work area with peaceful imagery as a way to surround myself with happiness.

    Do things that I love

    I’ve gotten into the habit of making time for things and people that bring me joy. I love ending my day reading an article or book chapter, going to meditation on Friday mornings, and spending Sunday’s in bed with Jeff watching Netflix. These things help me find the inner peace I need in order to make it through the week.

    Celebrate achievements

    No matter how big or how small all achievements need to be celebrated. Like cleaning out the boxes of crap in the closet, Jeff getting a job in a new career, our 10 year wedding anniversary, Sierra receiving glowing remarks from all her teachers, and Lil’ Jeff’s speech improvements. This also includes daily achievements like the kids cleaning their room or putting laundry away. It’s all about keeping it positive.

    Choosing happiness for my word of the year was an easy choice. The moment the word hit me I and started seeing how the word made me feel I knew it was the right decision. And these are things I’m going to stop doing once we move? No. I’m going to keep doing them cause no matter where we go it’s important that I’m living my happiest life.

    What are you doing to ensure your happiness this year? What’s your word for the year?
  • B.S. I’M LEAVING IN 2014

    10864875_1527049677572137_2044334361_nMy good friend Shaniqua of Brown Media Mama who is profiled this week in my Mommy Me Time series had a great post a couple of weeks ago entitled, “The Rant of 2014“. She described all of bullshit that she would be leaving behind in 2014. That post inspired me to think about the bull happening in my life that will remain in 2014. Then shortly after her post this photo appeared on my Instagram timeline. It truly couldn’t have come at a better time as I was currently writing this post. It symbolizes exactly what it means to ditch the unnecessary crap in your life and to only take who and what is going to enrich your life in the new year and beyond. That said here’s my list for bullish in my life that I’m leaving in 2014:

    My obsession with long hair –

    I’ve been natural for more than 5 years and during that time I’ve had to chop my hair twice due to bad splits. Because of those chops I’ve become utterly obsessed with getting my afro to completely engulf my entire body. Okay, maybe not my entire body but to at least touch my shoulders all the way around. I wake up everyday and look in the mirror for an immediate sign of change that I know is not there. But, for the new year what I’m going to start doing is accepting my length as it is and stop obsessing over something that’s going to happen on its own time. I will remember what while I can admire other natural’s lovely long curly locks I will know that my roots are my own and they will do what they please when they please to do it. I know my time will come when I wake up and be able to pull all of my hair into a pony but for now I’m going to enjoy this stage and the next and the next until I get my hair to where I want it to be.

    Fear & Self Doubt  –

    In March of 2014 I started Mommy R+R followed by Brooklyn Kid’s Flea in December and while I’m very happy with the responses that I’ve received from all who have visited the website, attended my events and blogger who I’ve met at other events I cannot tell you how much fear I have about putting things out there. Meeting new people and talking about why I started Mommy R+R is the easy part. It’s when I need to put my ideas and thoughts out to the public (including those same ladies I met the week before who loved me) when I break out in cold sweats, my heart races and I get the shakes. All from 1 post or one idea. I start thinking, am I good enough? Will they like me? Is this right? Will they come back? Am I doing the right thing? These questions and more will cloud my mind nonstop and will even keep me from sleeping as an event date nears. But times they are a changing, for 2015 I will no longer allow fear and self doubt stifle me and keep me up at night. I will not let it control me, hold me back and keep me from making my businesses the success I know they can and will be. I will pep talk myself as much as necessary to make sure that I’m not falling back into the pit of fear and self doubt. I know that I cannot please everyone but as long as I’m happy about what it is that I’m doing and it helps 1 mom then I have done my job and it will allow me to continue to help another and so on.

    Leaving My In-Laws House –

    A couple of years ago I had the great idea of leaving our spacious 1.5 bedroom rent stabilized Brooklyn apartment to move in with my mother-in-law as a way for us to quickly save to buy a house of our own. I know a number of couples who’ve done this and despite the downsizing and tension that sometimes arises with families living in close quarters they were able to save a considerable amount of money in a short time span by living practically rent free. Sadly, that did not happen with us. Shortly after we moved in my mother-in-law secretly decided that she would save her paychecks and up our rent by several hundred dollars effectively making us responsible for the bulk of her mortgage which left us only saving a teeny tiny bit. We explained our reasoning for making this drastic move and how with the arrival of our 2nd child we really needed to save more in order to move out faster. That plea fell on deaf ears. In the end this move would weigh heavily on me since it was my great idea and leave us both angry and regretful that we left an apartment that we shared for over a decade. If it wasn’t for the astronomical rent increases all over Brooklyn we would have moved out just as quickly as we moved in. But, despite our hardship we’re now, finally, in a position to hunt for a house in NJ or locate an “affordable” apartment in Brooklyn. I use the word affordable loosely as we’ll without a doubt find the former way before the latter. The hubs isn’t fully sold on the greatness that is NJ which is why NY has to stay on the table for a little while longer. So, for 2015 we will at some point (hopefully sooner rather than later) say farewell to my in-law’s house and hello to a place of our own.

    And the one thing I wish everyone would leave in 2014 is ….

    Mommy Wars –

    I swear to goodness if I read another article or mommy group post that tries to imply that one mother is better than the next simply because she chooses to do one thing that doesn’t fit the “norm” of what a mom should be doing I”m going to scream all bloody hell. The natural v. epidural , push v. planned c-section, breast v. bottle, work v. home, organic homemade v. jar wars that exist between moms really needs to end, and end now. Regardless of which way a mom chooses to bring her baby into the world, feeds them, raises them etc. that gives no other mother the right to feel that she’s superior and it especially doesn’t give her the right to stand on her soapbox and make others feel bad about their choices.  We are all mothers trying to navigate the treacherous waters of motherhood. As women and  mothers we should be coming together to congratulate those who made it through various stages of instead of motherhood instead of making one feel bad about their various choices. We all do what’s best for our own families and that should never in any way be questioned by someone who is on the outside looking in. As long as baby is happy with a full tummy no one should be having anything to say.

    What’s some of the bs you’re leaving behind in 2014?