#TheBisForBossTips

BADDIES & BOSSES TAKE TULUM: HERE’S ALL THE FASHION TIPS YOU NEED for a summer getaway

As seen on AsiaMillia.com

Fashion and Fitness Influencer @missasiamilia who runs  @curves.n.cardio,  while also writing for InStyle and FashionBombDaily penned a blog for the B is for Boss Squad to prepare for our Baddies & Bosses Retreat in Tulum, Mexico. We're just 16 days away from our all-inclusive baddie boss experience, complete with networking mixers, group and panel discussions, excursions, and relaxation. If you missed out on RSVPing this year for our retreat, then head on over to www.baddiesandbosses.com to get added to the list for next year!  Whether you're attending the retreat or planning your own trip this summer, the tips below are sure to have you ready to SLAY the gram in time for your next vacation. 

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The countdown is officially on! Who’s ready for the Baddies & Bosses to hit Tulum? I know I am. We’re days away from slaying an island and creating new sisterhoods amongst a handful of bosses, who are obviously baddies. I am so elated to be apart of such an amazing group of women as the official influencer on the scene covering all the major moments that will go down (because we already know they will)!

 While I’ve partied it up in Cancun three too many times, I’ve never stayed in Tulum. But, we’re in for a treat and the team is bringing the heat— from the exhilarating views of white sand beaches to the loads of tequila we’ll be drinking (and there will be plenty), this trip will be a memorable one had by all.

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You all know pictures create the perfect memories and who doesn’t want to be flooding their Instagram feeds with straight heat?! Sorry Drake, we’re not “posting pictures for people at home,” we’re showing off for our own damn self! In preparation for shutting the ‘Gram down you know the fits have to be on point right?! Here’s my top 5 fashion tips for when traveling to the official Baddies & Bosses Retreat in Tulum.

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1. Don’t over pack

It’s easier said than done, I get it. But, the reality is you pack 50,000 looks and realistically how many do you really end up wearing? Save some money and carry a carry-on and roll your looks in to save some space. If you have a bomb hat or purse that you want to pack wear it on your flight so you have more space to pack essentials. Speaking of purses—

2. Have one everyday bag

It is absolutely possible to have your beach bag, night bag, and brunch bag be one for vacation. Straw bags are on trend, but if you’re into trying something different try your hand at a more playful straw bag with colors, one that differs from the purse that everyone carries. ASOS has a cute one here.

 3. Pack a few layers

Luckily temperatures will be scorching hot while we’re in Tulum, but don’t get it twisted— the temperature drops significantly on islands for some reason. I’m not saying to pack a hoodie and sweat pants, but definitely pack a maxi dress or 2 and a look with some sleeves, don’t get sick trying to be cute! Also, the airplane is always freezing cold—throw on your cutest leggings to ensure you stay comfortable in-flight.

4. Read the itinerary and prepare your looks now

You didn’t think we weren’t going to be in formation right?! The retreat team worked tirelessly to create a thorough itinerary for the weekend. From Thursday’s flirty PJ’s to Friday’s color coded brunch and Saturday’s hot yellow swimsuits, every event requires a certain attire. Don’t wait until a few days before jet setting to place your order. Place it now so you don’t have to stalk to UPS man. FYI— stalk sales! Zara & ASOS are my go-to’s and they’re both having major sales right now. While you’re at it, be sure to check out for your swim threads priced at $25 and under, issa steal!

 5. Don’t let your clothes be your focus

Yes, we all want to be snapping it up for the ‘Gram, but don’t get so consumed in content that you forget to fulfill your true purpose of being at this retreat. Don’t leave with a bomb Instagram feed, but not a new motivated spirit to keep pushing towards your goals. That doesn’t add up sis! Arrive with the intention of a perfect balance.

Overall your clothes are only a portion of what matters on this trip. Whether you’re a beach boss babe or an edgy baddie, we’re going to manifest straight excellence on this 4 day weekend in paradise. So get ready to have a life changing weekend— understand that you will be returning home better than you left. We will celebrate current and future success and slay while we’re at it.

See you ladies soon! And, for those who won’t be at the retreat, these tips can help you for any luxurious getaway or even a weekend get away with your squad. Bon voyage, boss babe!

 

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BOSS 101: Interview with Maya Allen

In honor of Women's History Month,  I'm bringing back #BOSS101 interviews every Wednesday throughout the month of March, with some women that are redefining the "B" word. I'm so excited to kick this month off with this gem, that I met last year at a mutual friend's birthday party. I was instantly in love with her personality (and bomb highlighter). She is creating waves in the beauty industry and truly redefining the "B" word when it comes to beauty, branding and a being boss. You have probably read one of articles or seen one of her viral videos on the likes of Cosmpolitan or Byrdie. When we met, my blog hadn't launched but I knew then, when it did I definitely wanted to feature her. I'm so glad I was able to catch up with her as she offered up some boss tips... get your pen and paper ladies! Maya took us to school with this interview. Class is in session!

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Tell us a little about yourself…

I’m Maya. I’m originally from Portland Oregon and a proud Howard University alumna where I majored in journalism. I’ve always been inspired by the power of words and using storytelling as a way to uplift humanity, particularly women. I truly believe in radiating self-love and spreading positivity. The world needs more love so I put forth that philosophy first in everything I do.

Give us a little background on who Maya Allen is and what aspects of your early adulthood guided you to where you are now.

I’m constantly evolving. But being a dreamer has always been a constant in my life. I truly believe I was destined to become a writer. I was born with an undeniable connection to words. Growing up, I collected every issue of American Girl, Seventeen, and Teen Vogue magazine. My adolescent eyes would be entranced by the covers of my mother’s monthly subscriptions to Jet, Ebony, and ESSENCE magazine. The stories I read inside of these slick, glossy pages greatly contributed to my womanhood. I also collected journals and writing became a very personal and therapeutic hobby for me at a young age. And it still is today. I always yearned to see more women who looked like me in the magazines I felt so deeply connected to. This propelled me to pursue a career in editorial. Now as a beauty editor,  I use my voice and platform to tell the stories I needed to read as a young woman. In the cultural climate of today’s society, I take my responsibility to spread representation in mainstream media as an honor. It’s what keeps me going.

Tell us more about your job at Byrdie and what the transition from Cosmopolitan has been like.

At Byrdie, I work on a team of the most talented editors creating fresh, forward-thinking content for the beauty-obsessed woman. I cover beauty, health, and wellness. The transition from Cosmopolitan.com has been amazing, because I’m still in the digital editorial space learning new ways to tell stories that will resonate with our readers. I’m fully immersed in the beauty world covering well-reported features, interviewing celebrities, and beauty experts. It’s been so fulfilling to see my writing transform overtime.  

Speaking of Cosmopolitan, you were making waves there, creating a true lane for women of color before you decided to go. Why the switch?

I wouldn’t trade my time at Cosmopolitan.com for the world. It was my first “big girl” job in the industry and my experience was incredibly valuable. There, I learned how to think visually and package my feature stories on a bigger level. It was the most ideal start to my journey of becoming an exceptional editor, storyteller, and most importantly a hard worker who knows how to think strategically and critically in today’s digital age. My former bosses and team members at Cosmo have become mentors and close friends. I’m always seeking new challenges and ways to professionally stretch myself while building my digital repertoire. I’ve been an avid reader of Byrdie since its inception a few years ago. Learning how to cater my writing and editorial skills to a more niche, beauty-obsessed audience of smart women intrigued me to make the jump. It’s been an amazing experience thus far.

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I had a similar situation, where I left a dream job for another job and people couldn't believe it. But I knew in my heart it was right. What piece of advice do you have for women who stay in jobs/CAREERS because of the influence of others?

I was so taken back by the overwhelming amount of responses I received after I made the announcement that I’d be starting a new job. I knew that I’d successfully tapped into a new demographic at Cosmo, which built a lot of my loyal readers who follow my work. But I had no idea that so many people I didn’t know were so personally invested in my career. To be honest, I didn’t know how to handle the overwhelming amount of Instagram DMs, text messages, calls, and emails that flooded my inbox inquiring about my transition and my next step. Some people’s unsolicited advice about my choice to evolve professionally were negative. And this feedback was coming from people I didn’t even know. I had to take a step back, center myself, and realign my thoughts away from all of the noise. I’m naturally an extrovert, but when it comes to my dreams I’m an extreme  introvert and selective about who I share them with. This was a decision I made for myself and I knew that it’d serve me well and the millions of potential readers I was doing it for. My advice is to live life on your own terms. A strong sense of self will elevate you higher and higher. You’re the author of your own story so write it however the hell you want.

You have had a couple videos/photos go viral. What's your secret?

It’s so exciting working in digital media because I’m staying submerged in all corners of the internet every single day. I’m a beauty girl at heart, so I always know what’s having a moment. It’s not only about knowing the latest trends, but becoming an expert on how people like to digest and consume content. In terms of video and photo-heavy features, I credit lots of my viral content to being on the pulse of beauty. But I like to package things differently in ways that haven’t been done before. I always think to myself: how can I elevate this concept and tell this story visually in a new, authentic, and innovative way? I stay abreast of up-and-coming hairstylists, makeup artists, and influencers that haven’t been discovered yet. I’m constantly seeking inspiration and I use my sharp visual aesthetic with my editorial eye to create relatable content that speaks to all women.

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What inspired you to work in your industry?

Growing up, I never felt included in the conversation in mainstream media. I grew up in a predominately white environment and was always the token black girl. Outside of my immediate family, I didn’t see the celebration of black beauty anywhere. Our rich culture, skin tones, hair textures, body shapes were excluded. You could barely find us on the covers of magazines, on advertisements, or on big screens. I wanted to change that. I wanted to use my infinite love of words to inspire women who don’t deserve to be an afterthought.  It’s so fulfilling to work in beauty and create concepts that celebrate and empower women of color. There’s truly no greater feeling.

How important is networking and relationships when it comes to your brand/business?

Good relationships are one of the core values of success. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mentors who’ve been there for me through every step of my professional journey. There’s a big difference between organic and forced relationships, though. Since the beginning of my intern days over six years ago, I’ve made it a point to be kind to every single person I come in contact with—from the Editor-In-Chief down to the messenger who delivers packages all day and the janitors who are at the office with me late at night when I’m still working. I’ve made it a priority to build authentic relationships and friendships with people in the industry because it’s important. I’ve cultivated those relationships because you never know where that person will end up or how that relationship can professionally propel you further. My former bosses while I was interning have turned into close colleagues and friends of mine. However, people make the mistake of strategically building relationships with only themselves in mind. I can’t stress enough that it’s not only about you. I wish I could show some of the messages I’ve recieved that simply state: Hi, I know you don’t know me but how can you help me? When approaching someone for professional advice you have to come correct. Do you read their work? Or do you just follow them on Instagram and think they’re cool? Those are two very separate things. I’m a strong believer that all relationships need to be reciprocal. My mentors teach me things and I learn from my mentees, it’s a constant exchange of knowledge, which comes from experience, and I value that. My “brand” (I use that word loosely because I feel like it’s used too fluidly nowadays) is not about me—I do everything to be of service to other women. When you realize that the core of your career is bigger than you, you’ll excel. You’ll naturally want to connect and collaborate with dope people and do dope shit. It truly takes a village.

What’s one piece of advice you have for women that want to work at A magazine?

You better get ready to work, girl. And I truly mean you need to be willing to put in the work. Lots of women reach out to me and tell me they want to work for magazines but nine times out of ten they have such a glamorous perspective of the industry—it’s not 100% glam. Actually, if we’re being honest, most of my career has been a combination of sleepless nights and early mornings at the office. With that being said, enter in the industry for the right reasons. Interning is so incredibly valuable. Take your internships seriously because they can turn into your job. Be the first one at your office and the last one to leave. Build a good rapport and solid trust with your editors so they allow you to take on responsibilities beyond the traditional “intern” role. To do that, act as if you’re an integral member of the team and allow your work to show for it. Pay attention to detail, go above and beyond, know when to speak up and when to be a sponge on the wall and soak up your experience. Understand that to write well, you must practice the craft daily with the intention to improve.

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What Challenges do you face as a woman in your field? Specifically, what challenges do you face as a black woman?

Black women, understand that we’ll always need to work twice as hard. If everyone’s at 100%, I’m aiming for 150%. It’s the way of the world we live in, and we’re more than capable to handle everything that comes our way. As a black women working in the media, I truly believe it’s my innate responsibility to put on for my sisters every single day. I’m constantly pushing our stories to the forefront of my coverage because the world needs us. With that being said, I feel a lot of pressure from that duty to push representation forward and tell our stories the right way, since they’ve historically been told the wrong way or not told at all. However, I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by magical black girls in my life who constantly pour into me. That love I receive transcends and touches every aspect of my life—professionally and personally. So, in retrospect every challenge becomes a blessing in disguise.

When trying to build your brand and expand your reach, what components do you find most valuable?

Be genuine. With the rise of social media, everything is becoming oversaturated and clouded by a facade. People are judging your life based on your Instagram page, which is nothing but a highlight reel and not real life. In order to move and maneuver in these waters, showcase authenticity. When your purpose goes beyond the surface of self-righteous pursuits, everything will fall in line.

When we embark on a journey of building any sort of business or brand, we imagine it going a particular way. How do you deal with inevitable disappointments?

I’m my biggest critic so this is tough. Being a perfectionist is a double-edged sword because not everything is going to go as planned and I’m still learning how to be completely unafraid of failure. When I’m in the midst of disappointment, I hold on tight to the belief that everything that is for me is for me and will not pass me by. I’ve gotten so many NO’s and doors slammed in my face (literally and figuratively) but I’m so grateful that I didn’t let that stop me. People are surprised when I share my disappointments because for some reason it seems like I’ve had the ideal career. There have been times when I’ve felt so low in my career. I’ve nearly lost myself in my work before, which became a vicious and unhealthy cycle. I’ve learned to never lose who I am working to please someone else, no matter the job, position, or title. I had to pick myself back up. Instead of sitting in my thoughts for too long and harboring self-doubt, I step away and remind myself of my why. Being gentle with myself, practicing gratitude, and self-care has saved me.

What inspires you?

Black excellence. I’m so proud of US. I jump at the opportunity to sing our praises, showcase our beauty, and remind everyone of our magic. I truly believe Black women are God’s gift to the earth, so my sisters are my number one source for inspiration.

What Quote do you live by?

It’s impossible for me to pick just one. From the woman I was named after: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”—Maya Angelou

From Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

How do you redefine the B Word/What’s your Boss Word?

Be unapologetic. I know that I have a gift and I’m on a mission to reach the highest, truest, fullest expression of myself.

Any parting words to inspire and help a woman reading this that is inspiring to build her brand, her career, and/or a side hustle?

Know that you’re that girl. You have a superpower and no one can take that away from you. Celebrate your life, your losses, your wins, and your failures, because they’re all a part of your testimony. I don’t look like what I’ve been through because I know my very best is yet to come. This is just the beginning.

If you're not already, go follow this gem @mayaalenaa to catch her glowing up your insta feeds with her latest beauty photos and articles.

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THE GRIND ISN'T ALWAYS GLAMOROUS

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It's been a minute since we had the Conquer Your Year Webinar Part 1 & 2, and I wanted to  check-in and see how my tribe was doing on their goals. I hope you're still using your Conquer Your Year ebook to keep you on track.If you still haven't purchased the Conquer Your Year Ebook, it's not too late. Purchase it here. I promise it will change the way you set and accomplish your goals. 

Since we are 40 days into the new year, now is the time you should be doing a check-in to make sure you are on par for your Q1 goals. 

I know for me personally, January kicked my a**. I hit a lot of goals, but I missed a lot too. Between coming off of the holidays, hosting my first event, planning a second event, on-boarding a new person to help me out with @TheBisForBoss and Super Bowl with 13 clients for my 9-5 (read 9-8), I had a busy month. Unfortunately, I didn't get to dedicate as much time to several of the goals I sought out to do outside of my job.  

However, the beautiful thing about goals, is that you don't have to throw the whole goal away. Sometimes you just need to adjust the timeline.

Last weekend I made a choice, I sat down and did a progress report to recalibrate and see where I hit my goals and where I fell short last month. It was a humbling exercise but very necessary. I was reignited with some of that new year excitement I had just 4 weeks ago to crush my goals. 

Comment below and let me know how you have been doing on your goals? What were your BIG wins in January? What's been challenging these first 40 days into the new year? Accountability? Feeling Uninspired? Time Management? I want to hear from you.

Also, if you have any questions you would like to ask me live, I'm bringing back Tea With My B's and I've revamped it and I am adding in a IG Live element to make it more interactive. Join me each and every Thursday at 8:30pm EST.
 

10 MORNING AFFIRMATIONS TO SLAY THE DAY

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I've been on quite an affirmation kick this month. I think it's partially because of the New Year but also because I've truly had so much going on, that I have had to depend on the power of a healthy mind now more than ever to stay encouraged, focused, and filled with energy.

The other day I shared with you how I reached my goals last year, so this morning, I felt empowered to share with you 10 of my favorite morning mantras to help you slay the day.

Here are the affirmations I use each morning to get up with a sense of gratitude, inner-peace, and serious ambition:

  1. I am so excited about what this day will bring and all the opportunities I am about to create

  2. I will not stress over things I can not control.

  3.  I will begin my day with clarity, confidence, and faith

  4. I feel healthy, sexy, strong, and beautiful in my body

  5.  I get to choose the woman I want to be today

  6.  I feel grounded and centered today

  7. Today I will give love and spread positivity to those around me. I get to make people's lives a little better

  8. I always make the best decisions and I trust my gut because she knows what's up!

  9. I am always guided and I know that what is for me will not pass me

  10. Today I wake up filled with gratitude and light. Today is about to be the best day of my life

I hope you ladies have a powerful day. Please feel free to use these affirmations or even better - create your own!

Your mind is your best asset. Use her wisely ;)

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Building Your Network - When You Know No One

In April 2017, I said goodbye to family and friends and headed to the airport with 2 suitcases. I was doing it. I was traveling abroad for the very first time. I was moving across the world and I didn’t know anyone.

As a person that’s really big on relationships, it was more alarming to not have any connections than it was to be moving overseas and away from familiarity. Taking a lesson from our girl Issa Rae: "it's not about networking up, it's about networking across" - I focused on connecting with people that were 'in the trenches with me, struggling with me and just as hungry as me' (no, seriously, LOTS of lunch and dinner dates). Here are 4 strategies to build your tribe in 2018, the same tactics that helped me build a tribe in a country where I knew no one:

1. Tap into your network.
Start with your circle: ask your company for introductions, reach out to your family, friends and professional contacts.

Shortly after being offered my teaching role, I proposed to the hiring manager that I would start and manage a FaceBook group for new hires and current teachers. He was thrilled. I created the group and in a few days - it slowly grew with people from all over the world planning to move to Bangkok. We connected. We all shared our doubt, excitement, and advice. And we made plans to meetup in town as everyone flew in.

Within the first 2 hours of arriving, I was walking out of my Airbnb to the skytrain to meet people from the group. (Shout out to Bangkok for the WARM welcome: literally and figuratively). I am still very close to this circle and we’ve had many experiences together. From Khao San Road (good times) to island hopping, the memories are priceless.

2. Network online.
Connect with people on social media and forums.

  • Join FB groups - Recently, I posted in several expat groups searching for a swim instructor. Enter my new friend, Mimi, that was also looking for a swim instructor. We compiled research together, all via FB Messenger and a Google Drive spreadsheet. A week later, we met for the first time at a pool for a swim lesson. That's insane to me. Mimi and I immediately connected and supported each other throughout the swim lesson. We even made a bet - whoever comes up from underwater first buys the first drink! The world is truly beautiful.
     
  • Start conversations on IG - I love shopping. I knew that shopping for curvy sizes, and American sizes period, would be a challenge while living in SE Asia. So, I searched for industry contacts on Instagram. I connected with two plus size bloggers and brands and I continuously nurture the connections. This has also helped me leverage these connections for future collaborations and opportunities.
     
  • Comment in forums/blogs - I asked several questions on different travel forums such as Trip Advisor. I’ve found relatable contacts that understand issues like shopping for hair products (the struggle) and I get random contact requests via different forums.
     
  • Connect with professionals in your industry on LinkedIn. One of my best roles I've had as a Digital Marketing Manager at Texas Instruments (TI) started as a simple LinkedIn message. I connected with someone from my alma mater (Hook 'Em!) who had just been hired at TI and asked her how she found the opp and about her experience thus far. I had no expectations. Yet, that simple message led to me being flown out to Dallas for interviews as well as 2.5 years of great corporate experience - all without even filling out a job application. LinkedIn provides a platform to connect with hundreds of millions of professionals all over the world for FREE - take advantage of it. 
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3. Get out and make in-person connections.

  • Go to networking events. I’m all about attending conferences, professional happy hours, etc. We all know the pros of in-person networking. Before even moving to Bangkok, I had RSVPed for an upcoming American Chamber of Commerce happy hour. I now have a few corporate connections in different industries from different parts of the world.
     
  • Join meetup groups and actually go to the events. Going to large networking events isn’t for everyone but meetup.com provides a space to find intimate groups with people that share the same interests ranging from book clubs to hiking. There’s a group out there for you. And if there isn’t a group for your interest, create one (see tip #4).
     
  • Volunteer. A couple months ago, I emailed an Opera organization to manage marketing and PR, on a volunteer basis. Because of one email, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the CEO of a top PR agency that has offices in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Volunteering also allowed me to attend events where I was introduced to Ambassadors and members/associates of the Thai Royal Family. Golden.

4. If all else fails, create your own small community.
Before moving, I searched for a space for Black professionals living in Bangkok to no avail. So, I created a group on meetup.com that now has over 50 members and has created so many connections, both socially and professionally. We’ve had great times together, shared professional advice and collaborated with each other at planned networking events. I’m looking forward to what 2018 brings us!

About Tori
Tori moved to Bangkok 8 months ago as an English teacher because she was eager to explore other parts of the world for a year. Before moving, she was a PR and Marketing Consultant helping to promote startup companies as well as high profile events and clients such as FoxTV via press releases, red carpet media interviews, social media and press conferences. 

She has also worked in corporate marketing, radio and as a Media Buyer for an advertising agency. After living in Bangkok for a couple months, she grew in love with the city and decided to settle in for a bit. She is now working at a marketing agency and venturing into arts and media in Bangkok with plans to launch an online shop and blog, ToriTalks, in 2018.

       

 

 

 

 

HOW I REACHED MY GOALS IN 2017

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When you want to reach places you have never been, you have to be willing to do things you have never done. At the beginning of 2017 I created a vision board and I had all my goals written out and I was ready to crush the new year. In their true fashion, internet trolls came (like they do every year around this time) with memes, talking crap about how they think vision board parties are pointless and how they don't need a new year, new me mantra.... because blah blah blah. And that's fine, for them. I've never been one to shy away from proclaiming "New Year, New Me", because every year in my twenties, life has gotten better and better since I started being intentional with my goals.

If New Year's resolutions or Vision Boards aren't your thing, that's fine. However, I don't see the point in being negative or talking down about people who are committing to be a better version of themselves in the new year. Yes, more often than not, people drop the ball -- but I admire anyone who has the guts to try and change their life. For those people, I want to help hold you accountable, so a year from now, when the internet trolls and bitter bettys are whining again, you can look back at all the progress you have made -- and know you truly proved them wrong. 

"There is something refreshing about pressing reset on your life and refocusing on the new year." - Me

I love a fresh start! So I've always been the type to set New Year's Resolutions and because of the planning system I use, I've been able to see most of my goals through. Emphasis on most. The ones that I didn't reach, I adjusted the timeline --and I'm perfectly fine with that.  I would choose that outcome any day over waking up on New Year's Day pretending like I'm not about to set that year on fire. My only  hope is that I can encourage you to do the same.

Here's four ways I was able to reach my goals in 2017 -- and you can too in 2018.

Turn those "CAN'Ts" into "CANS" and DREAMS into PLANS.

Two years ago in 2016 I hit a lot of goals, but I missed a few too by making excuses. The biggest mistake I made was not properly planning. I wrote down a list of goals, but I had no action plan of how I was going to get there. Don't get me wrong, 2016 was still a pretty successful year, as I completed about 80% of what I had set out to do. However, I got there through many sleepless nights and way more stress than I needed. This year, I was much more strategic and my 2017, was one for the record books.

For starters, I launched this blog. I've had the idea for this blog and owned the domain since February 2016. For 14 months I let fear, procrastination and excuses cause me to sit on my idea. However,  what I did differently in 2017, was that I made thebisforboss all my passwords. (I changed them now, so don't try to break into my bank okay? lol) But seriously, I wanted to remind myself everyday about the plans I had made. I wanted to remind myself everyday that I could do anything I put my mind to.

Instead of dreaming and then creating excuses as to why I couldn't reach said dreams, I made plans.  I wrote them down -- and not just as my passwords. I made a planner and I created timelines to stick to. I created excel sheets for my financial goals, I created mood boards for my blog, and a vision board that captured my travel desires, and my goals for my . 9-5. 

What happened next, I could have never predicted. The four main things that I wrote out and reflected on my vision board was: get promoted, make six figures, launch my blog, and pay off my Invisalign and credit card debt (over $12,000 combined).

Within six months of 2017, I had paid off my Invisalign, I launched my blog and received over 5,000 views on my launch video, all while hitting and then exceeding my salary goals. In Q1 of 2017,  I had my best quarter at work. I  got a bonus in Q1, promoted in Q2 and by Q4 I was accepting another role, making even more money. I doubled the salary goals I had set for myself and then I was able to add to it by turning my blog into another stream of income.

Talk about turning can'ts into cans and dreams into plans. I don't say any of this to brag, only to point out the power of planning. But that is only one part ...keep reading. 

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Think of your goals in terms of LIMITLESS possibilities

If you have ever read You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero or Girl Code: Unlocking Secrets to Success: by Cara Alwill Leyba, then you are familiar with limitless thinking/beliefs. 

If you haven't heard of either of those, then you have likely heard of "The Secret" . All three are based off similar principles but to be completely honest, that type of thinking always seemed like Harry Potter talk, and BS to me. Like what do you mean I can "manifest" my life.

However, it wasn't until I read those two books by Jen and Cara that the power of limitless thinking was put in lamen terms, boss b*tch style for me -- that I was able to wrap my head around the power of manifesting and believing that the world is limitless. We can do anything and have anything we set our mind to. Now, don't get me wrong it takes hard work, timing, and dedication. But you can't pursue something if you don't first believe it's actually possible. I meet and hear so many women talk about "I want to do X but it's just not in the cards for me" or "I wish I could do Y but I'm not [insert some self deprecating excuse]." 

Both these books helped kick me in the @$$ and helped me stop thinking and talking that way. I washed away self doubt and started to lean into my fears. Every time I made moves to get more, it happened effortlessly. Why? Well, because there is truly enough resources in the world for EVERY one who opens their mind and heart to see it. When your faith and belief is lifted higher, then the possibilities become more tangible.

I begin speaking things into existence, every single day and they started happening.  I started thinking in terms of having plenty instead of lack. I invested in myself -- I dressed for the job I didn't have yet, I hired an intern for my blog when I only had 500 followers, I started envisioning me making the final payment on things that felt like I would never stop paying on. 

If you're like what in the world is she talking about? I would suggest checking out those two books which really help catapult my thinking. I mean seriously -- a man landed on the moon, so why is it so crazy to believe in yourself?

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Be Stubborn with your Goals but Flexible with Your Methods

 I made more strategic moves in 2017 instead of moving on impulse. I learned what I needed to learn according to the season I was in. It takes time to develop worthwhile goals, too often people's goals center around objects -- and these rarely last. And if they do last, they  achieve them and move on without adjusting.

When I set out to launch my blog, that was all I had set out to do. LAUNCH by June 2016. I gave myself a goal and I gave it a timeline. So I already felt I was headed in the right direction. However, I didn't settle. I remained nimble and steadfast in making this a success. Within six months, I had brought on an intern, wrote an ebook, and rebranded. When 2017 started, I couldn't have predicted that. But I didn't sit on my hands once I realized people were responding positively and wanted more. I invested in a small business coach and started spending hours each week to make sure I was delivering content, products and services to the best of my abilities. 

My blog wasn't the only time I was flexible with my goals. I was also flexible in my career. The only goal I had set out for in 2017 was to be promoted, so once that happened I had planned on riding into the sunset with my new title. However, God had different plans when i was approached by a global agency to work on different sports accounts. So guess what I did? I dusted off my resume and got moving. It was tough, because I loved that job, but I knew I had to set new career goals and couldn't sit because I had achieved the one goal I had set out to. 

You should always have multiple goals to pursue at any given time, but you shouldn’t be afraid to change them if you think that's what they need. It makes sense that our purpose changes in accord with our maturity. The more we learn about the world around us -- and the world inside us, for that matter -- the more our beliefs change.

But we shouldn’t be TOO eager to give up on what matters most. To a certain extent, you need to be stubborn. People will try to change your mind. If you dream big enough and your goals are worth achieving, people will get jealous and call you unrealistic, overly hopeful and bound for failure. That’s the way it is.

But you need to remain stubborn. And, weirdly, the most important part of standing your ground is this: You need to be flexible about how you'll go about achieving your goals.

Because if you can be stubborn with your goals and flexible with your methods, you can do anything.

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Eliminate Toxic People/Things

In 2017, I deleted the contacts that were not serving me. I became more involved in learning about myself, and who I needed to become successful.

Whether it's your in-laws complaining about your cooking/cleaning, your boss being an angry cynic, or a friend being a pessimistic downer, dealing with toxic people can be unavoidable. But the way you respond to toxic people and how long you allow them to effect you is a choice.

In order to be successful, you need a clear and positive headspace. You can't focus on a business plan or a weight loss goal if you're still reeling from the slugs your mother-in-law through at the dinner table two weeks ago. You can't build a business if you're best friend is knocking down every idea you pitch to them. 

Whether you’re dealing with a master manipulator or the office gossip, toxic people can stir up strong emotions. If you’re not careful, the stress and frustration can easily consume you.

In 2018, seek Good Vibes Only. 

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I want to help you crush your goals for 2018.

Below are three tips but I'm also hosting a webinar on 12.28.17 on "How To Conquer Your Year" Sign up here.

Start with these, and see a greater percentage of your goals completed in 2018.

1. Plan

2. Be Consistent

3. Don't Change the Goal, Change the Method.

If you're interested in more ways to reach your 2017 goals, you can also check out our Conquer Your Year ebook on sale for $8.99, it is sure to get you on the right path to conquering your New Year.