What a year 2016 was! I personally feel like it was one of my biggest years of self-development. My business flourished, my family paid significant debt down from a couple of promotions I excelled with, I was able to travel multiple times throughout the year, I met new friends and started many new intricate relationships, I gained more strength and footing as far as my health journey goes, and I witnessed some of the most important growth milestones in my son’s life!
Early in 2016, I realized that I had been running my side business as a manager instead of a leader. I had to sit down and really consider what I wanted for myself, for my family, and for my business partners – did I want to manage or did I want to lead? I made the decision to be a great leader – I developed a vision, I starting thinking in the means of execution, I committed to a higher standard, I accepted responsibility of making tough decisions and exercising moral courage, I began to focus on responsibilities VS. Rights, I committed to openly communicate with my entire team, I started to demonstrate sincere interest in developing the people in my organization, and in doing so, I gained a perpetual team spirit. Exerting courage over contentment is the foundation of my leadership.
By March and April of 2016, my leadership and desire for “more” had evolved into my earning significant “Get Out of Debt” bonuses that I graciously took home to my family. “Little by little, a little becomes a lot” and I, as the financial leader in my home, knocked out several financial burdens holding my family down from our plans. Such a blessing!
I traveled to Sarasota and Tampa, Florida a couple of times, to Galveston Island, Texas with my little family, Atlanta, Georgia with my girlfriends, and ended my year in Mexico with family. Traveling has always been one of my greatest joys. Long before we were blessed with our son – 7 years, in fact – my husband and I only had traveling to “fill” the void of not being parents. We traveled to the beaches and to the cities and to everywhere in between. Seeing the world together was the best way we could have spent all those years together and I am utterly grateful for the opportunity. Now, we get to bring our little man along and it is that much more rewarding.
The area of business I’m in leads me to intricate relationships. To business build, I people build. Throughout 2016, I was constantly linked up with like-minded individuals who aspire and dream and take action in the way of their goals. To rise, I lifted others. Most never realize the true and positive impact doing so brings. The best thing you can do for yourself, for your success, for your goals is to give back tenfold. I partnered with a few very impactful organizations to help others in nations not quite as fortunate as ours and GIVING BACK was such a great and lasting impact on my year!
Throughout the year, I worked just as hard on myself as I did on my business. I started training again, clean eating again, and setting the standards high for myself and for the example I lead for my son. I may have weighed 370 pounds in my “past life”, but I refuse to let my son see that empty side of me – I choose, every single day, to shine the light on healthy choices so that one day, he too will enjoy a healthy life.
Though there were times the “terrible twos” plagued our home, I wouldn’t change a moment or a memory of our life together as a family of three. My son learned to count to 20 in English and 12 in Spanish, he earned a Peacemaker award at his little Kiddie Kollege, and he’s truly such a compassionate little boy. I am SO proud of him!
I think what I took away most of all from 2016 was that in order to FIND yourself, you must be willing to LOSE yourself in the service of others. Giving is much more rewarding when done authentically. For the first time in my life, I woke up on Christmas morning with a “giving” heart instead of a “receiving” heart; I woke up with the desire and calling to take Christmas to someone else. My brother wasn’t able to make it to Christmas, so my little family and I took it to him. Boy was it magical. “Blessed” just doesn’t do it justice. When you wake up on Christmas without consideration of what may or may not be under the tree, you know you’ve grown in spirit and heart.
For 2017, I want to continue down the rightward path I’m on. I want to give more, be more present, be on mission always, travel with my family, and strive to find creative ways of ministering to family and friends and those that I encounter that need something within me for one reason or another.
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declared the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11