Category Archives: New Beginnings

Plotting Your Course for 2018


Well it’s another year with ample opportunities for you to improve, excel and renew. So how will you begin?

First, revisit 2017 and note your highs and lows, successes and challenges. This is important because you can use this to help plot your 2018 journey.

As with anything it calls for a plan and it calls for active participation in working that plan. What goals have you set for yourself.? Are you ready to step out on faith and remove yourself from an unhealthy relationship? Great! We applaud the effort. And whatever you do don’t say it’s hard just take it one simple step at a time. if you need a little guidance be sure to download the FREE eBook, “Exit Action Plan, 10 Steps for Leaving an Unhealthy Relationship. This tool will be invaluable for you or a loved one you know who’s going through.

Secondly, plot your strategy for success. Do it in 30 days, 90 days, 6-months and a year. Visit it often and make adjustments as needed. You’ll be rewarded with a happier, healthier and successful you.

Don’t forget about making a commitment to be financially stable and secure. Seek help if needed and for the budding small business owner or entrepeneur position yourself to be ready to access the capital you need to start and/or grow your business.

In 2018 Fresh Start for Women will offer self-defense classes to aid you in your quest to be safe. These classes will help you to learn to not be a victim but proactively protect yourself and loved ones by using techniques to allow you ample time to extricate yourself from a volatile situation. Please check our events calendar for dates and times in 2018.

In the end you’re the captain of your ship steer it in the right direction.

 

The Burning Question… Who Are You?


On this Fresh Start Monday, I have just this one question…Who Are You? Now before you begin to answer this question let me set the scene for you: You’ve just entered a room full of very interesting people. Everyone is smiling, laughing and talking animatedly about a variety of subjects. You stand there observing as you’re trying to decide which group you’d like to join. Of course there are butterflies in your stomach and you’re fighting the urge to run and take flight in the opposite direction. But you hold your ground.

You tell yourself, “I can do this. I can make conversation with anyone.” Right before you take that next step you spot the way to the ladies’ room and quickly make your way in that direction. Once inside you stare at the person looking back at you. You think back over the last 20 – 30 years of your life and wonder where did all the time go? In your mind’s eye you see your children from the moment they were placed in your arms until the day you saw them off to college, the military or just across town to their own place. Fleetingly you think about the son or daughter you witness get married and begin a whole new life with another person. On that day you were filled with joy and dread.

Joy, because you’re so happy to see your child all grown up and beginning his/her own family. Dread because now you wonder, “What shall I do with all this time I now have on my hands”? If you’re blessed to still have someone to share your life with you still have that same question, “What are we going to do, now that the house is empty except for the two of us”?

Does this scene sound familiar to anyone? I’m sure it does, I know long before that time arrived I made a decision that has served me well. I decided that though I had a responsibility to my children and of course to my husband. I also knew I had a responsibility to myself as well. This meant I couldn’t totally wrap myself in the lives of my children or spouse for when the day came and they weren’t around what oh what would I do with myself.

Finding interests or hobbies outside of your immediate family takes work and it’s a process of trial and error. You don’t know what truly fuels your imagination or fill you with wonder and amazement until you try it. So you have to have an adventurous spirit. For me I discovered that I love to read, I like running, I love puzzles and I like acting. Not a whole lot but enough that I tried out and participated in a few plays in the drama ministry at my church.

In the back of my mind I also knew that still wasn’t enough. I needed just a bit more. It was then that I looked outside of myself and found my greatest fulfillment! Helping others gives me the greatest joy and when people ask who am I I can readily answer in any number of ways depending on the circumstances.

The point I’m making on this Fresh Start Monday is that each of us should know who we are. Not who others think we are, or base our answer on what we think we should be but exactly who we are. The best way to answer that is to ensure you don’t become stale and bored with yourself. If you’re bored with yourself, I promise others will be as well.

 

For me being a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-n-law, aunt and friend are just a small part of what makes me who I am. I’m a complex individual with likes and dislikes as anyone else may have. But I’m unique to me. I can be happy with just my own company or I can be relaxed and comfortable in a room full of diverse people. I have opinions about the world around me and I have causes that are dear to me. I’m a writer, published author, speaker, workshop/seminar facilitator, evangelist and life coach. Together it all makes a whole me.

So what about you? What makes you tick, what fuels your passion? Do you have a cause that’s dear to you? Have you taken your life lessons and developed them into a new chapter filled with opportunity and promise? Have you ventured outside of your comfort zone and made new friends and developed new relationships based on mutual respect, trust and understanding? If not are you ready to? Do you need a little coaching and encouragement to make that transition? If so you just may be the perfect candidate to join a group of like-minded individuals participating in ‘From Adversity to Passion, A Guide to Your Divine Destiny and Joy’. If that’s the case visit the Fresh Start for Women event page and sign up. You won’t be disappointed.

Come on join the movement so that the next time the question is posed you can answer without hesitation. ‘I am ….’

Happy Fresh Start Monday everyone!

 

9 Steps to a Better You in 2016


The start of a new year is a great opportunity to reassess where you are in life both personally and professionally. I’m sure this sounds like your typical new year’s resolution activity but it’s not. Making a resolution that is normally broken within the first 90 days is much different that actually taking a look at your current situation and taking steps to improve it. What exactly is required you may wonder? First you’ll need to revisit the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the previous year. You’ll need to assess whether you made great strides, did you get side-tracked or had to make adjustments. Once you determine that then you can answer the question, “Where are you and where do you want to be?”

Like many others I would take time at the beginning of the year to set goals for myself. The purpose of these goals is to give myself a road map leading to success. They were called as mentioned above, “new year resolutions”. In order to give myself a greater shot at success required me to make a change in my thinking. That change started with me changing “new year resolutions” to, “commitment” instead. Commitment to me meant I was taking responsibility and ownership for the plans I made for myself. This commitment didn’t allow me to easily give up should I fall short instead I was encouraged to make adjustments in order to be successful if my initial plans did not produce the results I hoped for.

Have you ever made a commitment to yourself? How did you go about setting that commitment? Do you take time throughout the year to assess where you are? Well here’s a perfect time to jumpstart 2016 in a different mindset. Below are my tips that I hope will give you reason to make a commitment to yourself:

Write it Down – Commitments or Goals are specific, measurable and time bounded. Write your commitments or goals so that they reflect all three components.

List Your Personal Benefits – Identify exactly “why” you want to achieve this goal.  List all the ways you will benefit personally.

 Analyze Your Current Position – Success is information dependent. You need integrity in your information. Identify your specific strengths, weaknesses and opportunities as it relates to achieving this goal.

 Identify Obstacles and Risks – List everything that could possibly prevent you from achieving the commitment or goal you’ve set for yourself. Identify Investments and Sacrifices.  List everything, including time, money and sacrifices that you can anticipate.

Identify Knowledge Requirements – List what additional knowledge you need to acquire or have access to.

Have Support Team –  List the people, groups, and organizations you may need help from as well as the specific role each one plays.

Develop Your Plan – List in chronological order each activity and their corresponding target date for completion. Use all the information gathered in previous steps to develop your plan.

 Set a Deadline – Determine on what date you will achieve this goal.

Reward and Celebrate – Identify your reward for the achievement of your commitment or goal. You deserve it! But don’t just rest on the successful completion, start again and make it even better. I can guarantee you won’t give up at the three-month mark.

Here’s hoping 2016 will usher in a new, positive, focused and determined you.

And the Butterfly Emerged


Those four words make you wonder doesn’t it? After all the butterfly wasn’t always a butterfly it started as a very tiny egg. Once the egg hatches it becomes a caterpillar. It is during this stage that the caterpillar begins to prepare itself by first eating the leaf it was born on. Once it has reached its appropriate length and weight it begins to form themselves into pupa, also known as chrysalis. of course from the outside it looks as if the caterpillar is resting, but inside the caterpillar is actually changing. if you could peer inside you’d see the stubby looking caterpillar begin the metamorphosis of becoming a butterfly.  When it is ready to emerge from its chrysalis it will be a full grown butterfly.

Now take the same stages and apply it to you. You’ve experienced some heart wrenching moments. They be physically, emotionally, spiritually or a combination. In either case you’ve been blessed to survive it. So now what? Good question. Let’s examine your options:

1. You could stay stuck in the past. Not a good option for it will cause you to miss out on some wonderful adventures. This could include meeting new friends and experiencing new things including a new relationship rooted in respect and love.

2. You could carry the hurt with you into the next relationship. Again not a good option. Eventually you run the risk of not even enjoying your own company.

3. Or, you could reap the lessons from the experience and move forward confident and ready to move to a happier and healthier existence in which you spread your beautiful wings and soar.

Sure there will be setbacks along the way. The key is to persevere and stand rooted in the knowledge that you know how valuable you are. Like the butterfly you are able to bring joy to others as well as yourself. The events of the past don’t have to define who you are today.

New Year’s Resolution or Commitment?


cup-of-love-full-of-hearts-wallpapers-1024x768[1]2015 has arrived with an opportunity to experience new things, refine others and live in the moment. It is also that time of the year when everyone decides to make a ‘new year’s resolution’. However each year, although they are made with good intentions accomplishing these resolutions usually fall by the wayside within 30 to 90 days.

So how can you increase your odds for success?  I’m so glad you asked! While loving myself with a hot cup of coffee I thought about my own resolutions. The first thing I decided was to steer clear of resolutions and instead concentrate on making a commitment.  Resolutions don’t seem to hold as much power as making a commitment. Think about this when you get married you’re making a commitment to another person as well as yourself. And although marriages fail ever day that commitment forces a degree of stamina and drive than making a resolution. After all you wouldn’t make a resolution on your wedding day…would you?

Something else about resolutions –  you usually make them to yourself, rarely will you let anyone else in on your secret. And it’s because if you fail no one else knows. But a commitment demands that it be shared and by sharing you gain supporters and a team of encouragers to see you through the difficult times when you’re ready to let go and try again ‘Next Year’.

For 2015 I’d like to offer these 10 Steps to making ‘Successful Commitments’

Write it Down – Goals are specific, measureable and time bounded. Write your goals so that they reflect all three components.

List Your Personal Benefits – Identify exactly “why” you want to this goal. List all the ways you will benefit personally.

Analyze Your Current Position – Success is information dependent, You need integrity in your information. Identify your specific strengths, weaknesses and opportunities as it relates to achieving this goal.

Identify Obstacles and Risks – List everything that could possibly prevent you from achieving this goal.

Identify Investments and Sacrifices – List everything, including time, money and any other sacrifices that you can anticipate.

Knowledge Requirements – Identify what additional knowledge you need to acquire or have access to.

Get a Support Team – List the people, groups and organizations you may need help from as well as the specific role each one plays.

Develop Your Plan – List in chronological order each activity and their corresponding target date for completion. Use all the information gathered in previous steps to develop your plan,

Set a Deadline – Determine on what date you will achieve this goal.

Reward and Celebrate – identify your reward for the achievement of this goal. You deserve it!

After determining my top three  I shared them with four people I trust to help hold me accountable. Now I’m making you my reader the fifth member of my team. Throughout 2015 I will keep you posted on my progress  in the three goals I’ve set for myself and what I do to get back on track should I stumble.  What are my three goals (commitments)?

1. I am committed to getting healthy physically – I have 125 pounds to lose. This means I must lose an average of 10.5 pounds per month.

2. Get healthy financially – by December 2015 I want an additional $3,500 in my savings.

3. Write book number three and have it published by September 2015.

These are my three main goals. I will repeat the ten steps listed for each goal I’ve set for myself. I am excited and look with great expectation to succeeding!

I wish you all the best in achieving your own goals and sticking to the new year commitments you make. I’d love to hear from you. Start today  and plan your steps to making 2015 your best year yet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give Freely of Yourself and Heal


I know it sounds easy but in reality it can be hard. In the beginning that is. By giving of yourself you are negating the effects that have held you in a vice grip for far too long. Share your story and watch the shackles break away and fall.  It is only when you hold on that you find yourself stuck feeling unloved, hurt, unwanted and just plain not you. So rediscover you today. Tell your story, the failures, the lessons, the triumphs the tears and the joy. Before you know it that smile you paste on your face each day to get by will become genuine and no one, I mean no one can ever take your joy again! That is not without your permission.

Today take it all back. Reclaim your purpose, your joy your hopes and your dreams, Share it with those around you and even a stranger. Who knows you may be just the one they’ve been waiting for to remind them that all is not lost, that life is still good. After all you woke up this morning, didn’t you.Tulips

Why Me?


That’s a question all of us at one time or another has uttered. Ironically It’s rarely if ever done so when good things happen. So why is that? Have we somehow convinced ourselves that we should be insulated from tragedy, discord, unhappiness, strife or change?

Before I matured I counted myself in this group as well. There were times I wondered why did I have to endure the pain of rape, shame, betrayal, divorce, loss of my parents and other loved ones. Now that I’m a mature individual (not age but understanding) I get it.

All of it has combined to play a significant role in the person I have become, I’m more patient, empathetic, giving, trusting, forgiving and nurturing. In addition I’ve become outspoken on issues I hold dear to me. This not only includes domestic violence but also cancer (breast cancer), child abuse and healthy living just to name a few.

As I think of these I can recall an incident in my history in which I was personally affected by them and these experiences molded me to be the person I am today. As much as there’s a part of me that wishes I had not had to go through them the other part of me is grateful for it has given me a reason to be vigilant and think about others instead of thinking the world revolves around me.

If you dig deep enough you too can find meaning, lessons and uncover a passion as a direct result of your experiences. As long as you’re a part of this big world called the human race instead of lamenting, “Why me?”, let today be the day your say, “Why Not me?”