I love this time of year! No, not fall. Fall is nice, but I mean LIBRA SEASON. I am a Libra, which means this is my birthday season. Plus, I know a million and a half other Libras that are all amazing people! There is no denying that great humans are birthed in late September to late October. Since my 30th, I have come to view my birthday as my New Year. It is a season of reflection, renewal, and revitalization. I am not yet certain what my specific goals look like, but I know that overall I want to focus on living the next year intentionally in a few areas:
Being a mentor. I have been a mentor in one form or fashion for years, but it has not been as deliberate as it should be. This year I will be more consistent and methodical in my approach to mentoring.
Being mentored. I have a couple people that agree to meet with me every once in a while, and let me pick their brains. I truly appreciate the time they take to pour into me. I hope to make these meetings regular occurrences over the next year and really build these relationships.
Serving my community. One of the best things about my job is that I get to do this for a living. However, if I want to be the change I want to see in the world, I have to walk my talk outside of just my 9 to 5.
Professional development. I have done a decent job looking for ways to learn and grow professionally. My focus here is to ensure that I outline exactly what skills I want to develop or improve and seek out opportunities to do so. Being intentional in this area is about more action.
Networking. Over the last year or so I have realized the power in relationships. Not simply for my own purposes, but for the communities I am a part of. As an introvert, I don’t do so well spending a lot of time with people simply for the purposes of small talk. Understanding that about myself, I realize that I have to meet people in small groups and engage in personal, real conversations. That’s not to say I will never attend a ‘networking event,’ because that’s not realistic. I simply understand what strategy is going to work best for me and therefore should be employed regularly.
Spending time with the people that I care deeply about. I have an amazing support system. My husband, family, and friends are some of the dopest people I know. I do not get to spend as much quality time with them as I would like. Although I think it is normal for this phase of my life, I don’t want to look up five years from now and realize I have no idea what is going on in their lives.
Being present. I often find myself physically in one place, but my mind is somewhere completely different. I am constantly thinking about what needs to be done next, analyzing how I handled something that already happened or rushing from one place to the next. And let’s be honest, it’s ‘normal’ to have my phone in my hand, looking at emails or tuning out by scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. I need to learn to be present in the moment without mental or physical distractions.
Self-care. Sometimes I look up and it’s been weeks since I spent time doing something that is wholly and selfishly for me. Then I’ll get into a groove of doing something once a week for a few weeks and eventually it tapers off. It’s a vicious cycle. When I care for myself I am a happier, focused, better person to everyone else. I must be intentional in caring for myself because it enables me to care for others.
Being intentional about these things does not mean that I will always get it right or that I will always do everything. For me, being intentional means creating a plan for some things, like being a mentor, and just making a conscious effort to improve in others, like being present. There is no magic formula and there will never be. I am aware and that is a good place to start my new year!
Yolanda Jenkins is a wife, mother of 2, and an introverted leader. She can sometimes be found sharing the good, the bad and the ugly on IG @thislibralife.
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