Sis, We Got Your Bucket List for 2019

2018 has been an interesting year and is set to end in a splash! From the excitement of the midterm elections to Cardi B’s announced divorce from Offset on the pop culture landscape, 2018 shows all the potential to be epic in newsworthiness and cultural impact!
With this as a backdrop, it’s time to prepare for a real change! In this day and age, we need to be deliberate in seeking adventure and finding the thrills that give our lives a higher meaning. I dare say we all work hard to maintain a standard of living, but do you work as hard to find the right sense of entertainment or enjoyment in our personal lives? So often we tend to leave it to chance, try a little this, go here, do that, and then we are actually surprised when we hit that sweet spot of enjoyment with wow factors worth repeating!
We’re not suggesting a complete reinvention or self-transformation of your life or some self-guided mindfulness adventure to find out what matters to you, or how to make your life seem more exciting or carefree to your peers on social media, but rather a change in mindset and focus that leads to enrichment, greater fulfillment, and enjoyment that is deliberately embraced and is fully engaging…getting more out of your leisure than you ever considered available to you.
It starts with a list! Yea, it’s that simple, a list geared to promote self-discovery. While it does require a bit of an effort, you want to be challenged. If it were easy, everyone would have done it twice already. I hope you can join with me on this journey of self-love and self-empowerment into the new year.
Find a mentor and/or therapist…cause self-care is dope.  
New Year, new me, right? If you need to level up in certain areas in your life, whether it’s in your professional life or love life, it’s time to find someone who can help guide you to the best you. It’s virtually impossible to see yourself in the world. You can use a mirror to see an image of yourself, but to see yourself you need a little help. I learn through bumps and falls, literally the hard way, but that it’s absolutely okay to ask for help. The most successful people are good at networking, listening and incorporating the advice offered by others. That’s not to find a guru or fortune teller, but rather a mentor who has traveled a path that you find appealing and may wish to explore.
Equally, a good therapist may be invaluable in helping evaluate the positives and properly consider the negatives that we have adopted into our day to day view of the world. It goes back to the idea that what we tell ourselves about our successes and or letdowns makes all the difference in our confidence and personal resilience.

Go on a solo trip….yes do it!
This year, I will be a taking a solo trip to South America. I’ve been reading and researching many black women going on solo trips to all these different countries and I’m fascinated to start one of my own. You are your best companion so why not explore a new country, city, community on your own where you can make your own choices and be fully responsible for yourself. It gives you a chance to exercise your skills at making new friends and taking care of yourself without being tied to your familiar surroundings or people.
This is not to put down or suggest a diminished view of trips shared with a companion, but rather to point out that when we travel with others our perceptions are engaged in mixed loyalties. When you travel solo, it’s all on you. Your experience, your engagement, your enjoyment!
Challenge yourself to take one day out of your trip where you take no photos or videos. Soak up the experience creating your own personal memories. Take a chance and find a place you will love to explore on your own. Maybe you want to start small with a day at the zoo, or museum, or a trip to the vineyard or antique store. Satisfy your curiosity and embrace the new you! If you’re uncomfortable with it, channel it to a controlled discomfort. Ultimately, you want to find yourself and your parameters of travel adventure and enjoyment!
Have a serious self-chat with your finances…fr fr.
I know that some of us fucked up our finances many years ago with school loans, or new credit card splurges, you name it, and others have just ruined their credit this past year. We’ve been spending money frivolously and trying to figure out how and why we don’t have our shit together. Whatever explains it, whenever it happened, get a grip, we really didn’t have the money to blow, so now we’re on the other side of the coin! It’s okay! It happens to the best of us some time or other! We can change our spending habits, but it starts with a commitment and a mindset to do it in small steps.
You might start with rewards for successes. Set goals and schedule pay-downs weekly, monthly and quarterly. Look for opportunities to consolidate debt at lower rates. You can put a small fraction down on your debt monthly but you have to be consistent. Start an IRA account to expand your tax refund. Start an emergency fund and make sure you are putting money into your retirement account, hopefully enough to get the company match. Nothing like free money! Don’t worry about trying to impress other people, or meet a target that is not sustainable. Do you, consistently one year at a time. Any small progress is progress. Reward yourself as encouragement to keep it up!
I challenge myself to not spend any money on new clothes and….sigh…shoes for the first 6 months of the new year and see how my life will change. Wanna join me on this money challenge? Establish a challenge for yourself! Let’s get to it!

Do you really love your job? Bet.
There had been times I wanted to leave my day job to work full time as an entrepreneur. But the way how these bills are set up and right now, it’s not a good time to jump all in with both feet in the tough world of entrepreneurship. If you’re not transitioning to entrepreneurship but more so with reflecting in changing their careers, this is the great opportunity during the holidays to ask questions about your future career. Sometimes we do hit a wall in our careers in whether we are not being challenged enough, being overlooked for a raise or promotion, or just don’t have the passion or drive in your job anymore. You’re craving for a change in your career goals and that’s completely normal. It is time to reevaluate whether it’s the right time to move on and brush that old resume of yours or just be happy where you are.

Learn a new skill or hobby.
Socrates once said that “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Meaning there’s always more room to learn and realize there’s so much in this world to gain new experiences and that’s why it’s important to gain new skills and use those skills for our personal. Whether it’s learning a new language or taking self-defense classes, knowledge takes you places. This year, I’m planning to get back in the kitchen and learn some new food recipes. Developing some new cooking techniques and just experiment with new ingredients and different types of food such as Thai or Indian.
Socrates said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Meaning there’s always more room to learn and we must realize there is a world of new experiences to enjoy. That’s why it’s so important to gain new skills and to apply those skills for our personal benefit. Whether it’s learning a new language or taking self-defense classes, knowledge takes you places, expands your outlook, and opens your mind to new experiences.
This year, I’m planning to get back in the kitchen and learn some new recipes. Developing some new cooking techniques and experimenting with interesting new ingredients and different types of food such as Thai or Indian. I like to eat! But I really enjoy experiencing new taste and flavors that introduce cultural variety in my meals. Spending that kind of quiet time focused on an outcome or image appeals to me and I want to give it a try.
Read at least 10 books this year.
This one can be a challenge for some and not so much a challenge for others. Billionaire Warren Buffet spends 80% of his working days reading. [1] The way my schedule is set up, I feel lucky when I can find time to listen to a podcast from start to finish. So how will I ever find time to read? More so, why find the time to read?  Well, I know reading is powerful, and that’s what successful people do in their spare time. And if I think about it, reading has always been a comfort to me when I can find the time to do it! Not saying you will be a millionaire if you read, but I can assure you that you will never enjoy being a millionaire if you never read.  I dare say reading is a natural way to improve your communication and vocabulary skills, and that will certainly lead to more enriching and fulfilling conversations and interpersonal engagements.
Go back to your passion or find one.
With school, work, relationships, and parenting, a lot of things that we prioritized first can get in the way of true passion. Working on your passion doesn’t feel like work. It gives you the escape from the realities of the things you have to do to the things you want to do. It drives your creativity and showcases your inherent talent.

Find something about yourself and learn to love it. Periodt. 
From this day moving forward, I’m going to love my overly blessed thighs. I have been really insecure about the cellulite or the extra fitted jeans I wear that I have been working constantly to get rid through eating right and working out constantly. But instead of feeling ashamed and embarrassed, I need to embrace them and learn that they are mine to keep. So learn to love something about yourself whether it’s something physical or something personality-wise. You’ll start to learn that your imperfections are what you make you perfect :-).

Jasmin Williams is Melanation’s Co-Founder and Creative Director. On top of her full-time job, she’s currently working to make sure Melanation is a dope website where women of color can explore and be empowered to be fully themselves unapologetically. You can find her IG @jasminjanae to know what she’s been up to.

Anything else you want to add on the bucket list? Comment below!!!

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