Joy

8 Tips to Start The New Year Right

Yeah.

So…

Okay,

I don’t really have an intro…let’s just get into it.

 

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1)  Don’t say, “New year, new me.”

 

Chances are if you’ve said this, in about a month or so you’ll probably go back to the old you.  Don’t be ashamed.  Just acknowledge this truth and find a way to fix it.

 

Fixing it:  FULLY commit to your goal for the new year.  It’s important to commit to it even on the days you don’t feel like it. It’s not always about what you feel like doing; it’s about committing to what you said you were going to do long after that good, motivating feeling is gone. Motivation doesn’t last but habits do.

 

2)  Do something you didn’t do last year.

 

Oftentimes we can catch ourselves saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow, or in a few days, or in a few weeks or months.”  It’s hard to get ahead if you keep putting it off until “tomorrow.”

 Fixing it:  I know it can be tough sometimes, but just be courageous TODAY and do something different.  Start today. Focus on the now, on this present moment.  Then tomorrow, take a deep breath and find that same courage.  And then find it again the day after that.  The time is now, and there is no time like the present to start something new.  In order to get somewhere, you have to leave somewhere. Get out into the unknown and leave the comfort!

 

3)  This is my year!

 

Last year wasn’t your year.  Or the year before that.  But this year!!!  Oh baby, this is the year.  I feel it! 

 Fixing it:  All it takes is a few small things to work in your favor to build that momentum. Once that momentum builds, you’ll start to get some wins in areas you probably didn’t think you would get just yet. That’s all success is- a lot of small wins stacked on top of each other.  You never know when things will come together, but no matter what, you must believe that your time and year is this present one because it is!  If not this year, then best believe 2020 is the one! Expect that breakthrough, believe in that breakthrough, claim that breakthrough.  You don’t have to tell the world, but you have to tell yourself.

 

4)  Know the difference between a need and a want.

 

It’s not always about what you want.  Everybody wants something, but do you need it? How do you know the difference?

Fixing it:  A need is something you cannot live without.  A want is something that will bring you instant joy & temporary happiness (that’s kinda deep and I wasn’t even trying to be).   Needs require a budget.  Wants have no expiration date. A need involves prioritizing your focus; a want involves how big your eyes get when you look at it. Put it this way, if you take care and focus on what you need right now, you’ll have what you want in due time, and probably in abundance because you taught yourself discipline.

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5)  Re-evaluate your circle.

 

Every year there is a meme that says, “If I don’t reply to you, I left you in last year,” (some of the memes are actually kind of funny). It’s not always about cutting people off; it’s about making sure those you surround yourself with aren’t just taking from your energy but are also adding to it.  Sometimes you have to make sure everyone in your circle is on the same page as you. 

Fixing it: Priorities change, you change, your goals and motivation change.  That’s called growth.  As an individual grows, so do certain things in his or her life.  We are a new person every single year which means we should raise our standards.  Oftentimes, when this happens, people naturally drift out of our live, and that’s okay.  Never apologize for growing into your full potential and having to leave some people behind, no matter who they are.   

 

Everybody wants to ride the wagon up the hill until the wheel falls off.  That’s when you’ll find out who’s there to help you push and who’s just there for the transportation.

 

6)  Get your nutrition right.

 

For real.  Don’t play with your body.  Amazon and ebay don’t sell bodies.  Trust me, I’ve checked.  You only get one body.  Just one! So take care of it.  If you take care of your body at the beginning stages of your life, your future body will thank you.

Fixing it:  Drink water, eat your veggies (broccoli won’t kill you).  Get that exercise in, even if you’re not really into exercising.  Just go for a walk.  You’d be surprised how good for your joints just plain walking is.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to realize you should have taken better care of yourself.  Exercise and nutrition are in your control.  Take control of them.  

 

7)  Don’t let your past keep you trapped.

 

“This is how my family has always done it. And this is probably how I’m going to do it.”  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But what if that’s not what’s best for you?

Fixing it:  Going against the grain is always tough. It’s not always comfortable or ideal, especially to those who know you well. (Quick story time!)

 

A few years ago, I was talking to an individual that I will call Achilles, and the conversation went like this: 

Achilles:  Man, I don’t even like what I’m majoring in at school.

Akeem:  You wait until 3 months before you graduate to have these thoughts?  Why’d you choose that major?

 Achilles:  I know right. Because my parents are engineers and so is my brother.  It only makes sense.

Akeem:  I get it. It’s in the family. S what’re you going to do?

 Achilles:  I’m going to finish, and then I’ll probably find a job in that field for a year, and then I’ll quit.  What would you do?

 Akeem:  Well, you should probably take some time and figure out what you really want to do.  Whatever you do, just don’t half-ass it.  People never forget a hard worker. 

 Achilles:  Yeah, that’s a good point. I’ll take some time to figure it out these next few months. You tryna go to Dairy Queen this week, though?

 

I heard Jim Carey once say, “You can fail at doing something you don’t like to do, so why not take a chance on doing something that you love to do?” 

 

8) Unwavering faith. 

 

Faith is believing in something you cannot see.  Faith is finding a reason to keep going even when you can’t see the path.  Faith is practicing your craft every single day when you don’t know when that opportunity might come.  Faith is wiping your tears and smiling at the same time.  Faith is understanding things will get worse before they get better.  Faith is encouraging others when you need encouragement yourself.  Faith is being positive when you don’t see anything to be positive about.  Faith is believing your breakthrough is just around the corner when the corners aren’t very wide.  Faith is believing God is working in your favor when it feels like He’s forgotten about you.


If you are reading this today, I am praying for you.  I hope this is the year you’ve been praying for.  I hope this is the year the seeds you planted will start to bear fruit.  I hope this is the year generational cycles are broken and a new generational cycle begins.  

 

I hope today is the day that it starts.

 

Leave a comment below and let me know which tip spoke to you.

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-Akeem

Blog edited by: Chanelle Price 

 

The Race Is Not Given to The Swift

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There are some things you’re just going to have to find a way to outlast.  And if you can find a way to outlast, you’ll not only come out a better version of yourself, but you’ll also realize you’re much stronger than you think.
— Akeem Haynes

 

I hear this saying often, but I never really understood what it meant.  After searching for the correct context in which this phrase is used, I was able to give meaning to it and put it into my own words.

 


Ecclesiastes 9:11 says: 

I have seen something else under the sun.

The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
    or wealth to the brilliant
    or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.


 

That man Solomon was deep! 

 

To me, Solomon is saying we need to find the strength and endurance to persevere through the tough times-the times when we feel like breaking, the times when we feel like giving up, the times when our faith is questioned, the times when our backs are up against the wall, the times when we feel alone, the times when we don’t feel like being positive, the times when fear and doubt creep in.

 

Oftentimes, when circumstances aren’t going in our favor, we question if things will ever get better, if things will ever change. 

 

Maybe you’re not where you want to be right now.  Maybe you’ve had a tough year.  I just want to remind you today that, despite what you may be going through, you’re still here.  And because you’re still here, there is a purpose behind your pain, struggle, and hardship. The greater the struggle, the greater the reward.

 

“The race is not given to the swift, only to those who endure it.”

 

There are some things you’re just going to have to find a way to outlast.  And if you can find a way to outlast, you’ll not only come out a better version of yourself, but you’ll also realize you’re much stronger than you think.

-Akeem

Blog Edited by: Chanelle Price

Why Joy Is So Much Better Than Happiness

Having joy does not mean you will not get upset, sad, angry, afraid, or discouraged.  Those are all natural, human emotions.  But joy allows you to see past your circumstances.
— Chanelle Price

Do you know someone who can stay positive no matter what life throws his way?  Someone who can find peace in the midst of ANY storm?  You look at this person and wonder, “How the heck is he still smiling?”  The answer is simple:  he has joy. 

            Now, think of someone else who is content when life is going well.  But as soon as things go wrong or circumstances get tough, he crumbles.  This person may even be yourself.  In fact, most people are this way.  Why?  Because we desire happiness, not joy.

Happiness and joy are not the same.  Happiness is based on outside circumstances.  My bills are paid, I’m happy.  I’m healthy, I’m happy.  I’m succeeding in my profession, I’m happy.  I look good, I’m happy.  But what happens when you can’t pay your bills, you get sick, you lose your job, or you don’t feel attractive?  That happiness goes away.  All of a sudden life sucks and you are miserable with nowhere to turn. 

Unlike happiness, joy comes from the inside.  It is one of the best feelings in the world.  It encompasses hope, faith, peace, and resilience.  And the best part about joy?  It doesn’t go away!  No matter what is happening in your world, you can always experience joy. 

Having joy does not mean you will not get upset, sad, angry, afraid, or discouraged.  Those are all natural, human emotions.  But joy allows you to see past your circumstances.  Joy is that small voice that whispers, “Everything is going to be okay.”  “Things don’t look good or feel good, but I know everything is working out for my good.”  “I‘ve overcome hardships before, I can do it again.”  “God will never give me more than I can bear.”  “Times don’t stay difficult forever.”  “Better days are ahead.”

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that life is not always going to be easy.  But we can make it easier on ourselves by choosing to take control of our situations instead of letting our situations control us.  Stop letting life determine whether you’re happy or not.  It’s easy to look for happiness in your occupation, your materialistic possessions, your looks, your location, your friends/family, and your significant other.  It takes a very, very strong person to say, “No matter what I do, what I have, where I live, what I look like, and who I have in my life, I’m going to be okay.”

This “I’m going to be okay no matter what” mindset is my definition of joy.  How do you develop this type of attitude?  Through practice.  The next time life throws you a curveball, take a deep breath and say, “I’m going to be okay.”  Because, believe it or not, you will be! Choose to enJOY life in the midst of any and everything you go through.  

 

 

Chanelle Price

 

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