How to kick-start your year

It’s 2022, and we’re all looking forward to a new start to motivate us. The new year is the best time to leave old habits behind and start some new healthy ones. Here’s how to kick start your year the right way.

Define your vision and set goals

Determine your vision and goal. You can divide your plan into months or weeks depending on what works for you, but be sure to reflect on it regularly. What’s important is to allow space for unexpected events and surprises that life can throw at us. If your goals or visions change along the way, don’t be afraid to tweak/re-write them at any time, but never give up on pursuing them.

Keep a journal

Take a moment to write down every thought, idea, inspiration, goal, wish and dream that comes to your mind. By recording things on your phone or on paper you relieve your mind, become better organised, reduce overthinking, and lower stress levels. Depending on your journaling style, you can define three main tasks for each day and then stick to them or reflect on these at the end of the day.

Develop healthy habits

Define your own healthy habits that work best for you by focusing on exercise, diet, meditation, mindfulness, self-development, love, and vision. Practice these habits regularly, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day, and watch them become part of an even better you.

Practice gratitude

Try to see each situation with a positive mindset, no matter how tough it may be. Although you may be facing a difficult situation, think about other aspects in your life that you should be grateful for. This can include family, friends, or just making it to a new year. Start each day with jotting down three things you’re grateful for.

Be consistent

As you practice these new habits consistently, you’ll build momentum. This means you’ll also feel good about what you’re working towards. Consistency leads to progress, which can speed up the achievement of what you want.

Kick-starting the new year with a healthier mindset can be helpful, especially if you’re going through tough times. If you can develop a positive outlook, it can lead to a greater sense of wellbeing. It can be difficult sometimes, but it all starts with taking that first step. Do you have any other tips for kick-starting the year? Leave a comment down below!

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

6 Motivational quotes to keep you going

Staying motivated is not easy because life is always throwing curveballs at us, and it’s normal if you sometimes feel like throwing in the towel, but you have successfully overcome the first 6 months of the year, there is no reason to stop now. Here are 6 quotes to motivate you and keep you going for the next 6 months (and beyond).

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

When you believe in your dreams so much that you can almost touch them, you’re more likely to put in effort and action to make them come true. Don’t ever doubt your capabilities of making your dreams come true, because you can do it!

“Don’t watch the clock, do what it does. Keep going.” – Sam Levenson

I understand that feeling stuck can be demotivating, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to always wait for the perfect opportunity so that you can make things happen. If you have the means, then do whatever you can that will help you achieve your goals.

“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt

It’s a beautiful thing to dream but sometimes our dreams can get so big that we get lost in them. Just remember to come back and work on them so that they don’t remain as dreams but become a part of your reality.

“Failure will not overtake me, if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino

Everyone will, at some point, experience failure in their life – and that’s okay. Most successful people didn’t stop after failing, but they learnt from their mistakes and applied them in order to succeed. 

“We generate many fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. “ – Dr. Henry Link

Our minds are very powerful things. We can use it to create many thoughts and images. When we sit and worry about our circumstances and the future, we give fear power. But, when we stand up and do something to change our circumstances and the future, we begin to overcome the fear.

“The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others” – Hasidic Proverb

When you accept yourself for who you are and appreciate both your strengths and weaknesses, you become more confident in making decisions and taking on challenges. This way, your confidence becomes obvious to others and they will also become confident in your abilities.

While the mid-year blues can hit you hard, remember that you need to be careful what you feed your mind.  A positive mindset can lead to better decision making and can keep us motivated.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)

 

5 things every woman needs to hear in her life

Every woman deserves to be motivated, to know that she can achieve anything she wants to in life, right? Well the sad thing is, some women don’t get the chance to be told how valuable they are – but I want to try and change that. Here are 5 things that you should know, and also tell other women whenever you can!

“You are enough”

This applies to all kinds of relationships, friendships, and even your future dreams– Choma you are enough. This means that you’re perfect and beautiful just as you are, and you don’t need to change yourself to impress anyone else. You are worthy of the kind of love you want, and you shouldn’t settle for less than you deserve. You, as you are, are enough and anyone who won’t accept all of you doesn’t deserve even half of you.

“You have the right to say no”

This one is so important, because a lot of the time, you can be pressured into doing things you really don’t want to, and that gets in the way of you living the kind of healthy life you want to. Peer pressure is a real thing, and you should know that you don’t have to give into it, as hard as it may be. You have the right to say “no” when it comes to sex, doing anything that won’t make you feel good – even spending time with people when you’d rather do something else. It’s your body, and your life.

“Your potential is greater than your circumstances”

I know sometimes you can feel trapped by your situation. Whether you’re stressed about not being able to study further, or you can’t seem to get that job you really need, you should always remember that your circumstances right now don’t define you. Things always get easier, but only when you put in the work to overcome. And when I say “work”, I’m talking about being positive about your future, taking care of yourself, and putting your goals first– it’s not easy, but it’s very necessary.

“Your voice matters”

Have you ever had (or witnessed) a moment where you were speaking and a man, or anyone, interrupted or tried to talk over you? This can really make you feel like you shouldn’t give your opinion or thoughts in a conversation, but you have to know that your voice matters! Women have been silenced for too long throughout history, but we can all encourage each other to change this. When you see a woman being silenced, call the behaviour out and let the interrupter know that what they’re doing is wrong. 

“You are not alone”

Last but not least, this one is to let you know that no matter what you go through in life, you don’t have to go through it alone. They best way to heal from your negative experiences is to be open about them. Confide in friends and family who care about the problems you’ve been facing. Even if they can’t really give you a solution to fix it, knowing that you’ve got support is important and will definitely help you through it. Even if you feel like you have no one else, remember that you’ve always got me. 

These are just a few things every women needs to hear. What other things do you think are important? Let me know in the comments below. 

Also remember that if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

How to Stick to Your Goals

We’re already halfway through the year, and it’s usually a time where most of you might even be thinking about the things you have, or haven’t, achieved. Generally, sticking to goals can be a challenge so don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t achieve all of them in a certain space of time. It doesn’t mean that you should give up on setting goals altogether, it just means that you need to change your approach to your goals. So before you give up, even on those New Year’s resolutions you made in the beginning of the year, here are a few tips for sticking to your goals Choma.

Focus on the why

Do you remember why you chose that specific goal Choma? One of the most important things to consider when you’re trying to achieve your goal is why you wanted to achieve it in the first place. It can be hard to achieve your goal when you lack motivation or if you lose focus on why you wanted to achieve that goal in the first place. To stay motivated, set meaningful goals for yourself and remind yourself why they are important to you. They don’t have to be huge goals Choma. Goals are actually easier to achieve when you start small. Or you could just break your big goal into smaller goals and focus on those. If it’s worth it Choma, don’t give up on it.

Believe in yourself

One of the biggest obstacles to not achieving your goals is not thinking that you can do it in the first place. If you think you can’t achieve something, it’s quite likely that you won’t end up doing it. If you truly believe that you can, then you will end up focusing all your energy into achieving your goal. Like I said Choma, start with the small goals. The more small goals you achieve, the more encouraged you’ll feel to achieve other, bigger goals. Don’t set unrealistic goals that you can’t achieve. Know yourself, know what you want, understand what goals are important to you and work towards those goals.

Learn from the past

Anything can happen along the way. You might face a challenge that makes it harder to achieve your goal. You might find yourself in a situation that distracts you from your goal. You might have tried to achieve your goal and it just didn’t go according to place. Don’t let these circumstances keep you from trying again. If your goal is something you truly want to achieve, look closely at the reasons you might have failed and learn from those mistakes instead of letting those mistakes keep you down. Failure can teach us what not to do, and how we can make better choices next time.

Achieve them with others

Sometimes the problem with achieving your goal is that you’re trying to achieve all of them alone without the support of those around you. A good idea is to see which goals you can achieve with your friends or a family member and work towards achieving it together. For example, you might decide that you want better marks this year and you might know a friend who wants the same – team up to form a study group and work together. You’ll find that achieving your goals is easier because you have someone who wants what you want, has your back and expects you to also have theirs. There’s power in partnership Choma.

Think ahead

If you do realise that something in the future might hold you back from achieving your goals, try to plan around it. For example, if an event is coming up – or let’s say your friends/family are coming over –  and this might interfere with a goal you planned to work, instead of thinking that your opportunity to achieve your goal will be over, reschedule your plans. Also learn how to prioritise. You don’t have to drop everyone and everything to achieve every goal, but know when it is important to prioritise achieving your goal over everything else.

 

If you need advice or help, remember that you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)

How to Plan for your Future

When you’re young you sometimes think you have all the time in the world to plan for your future, then one day you realise that you have to make important decisions that involve your future like what subjects to take by the end of Grade 9, whether you will be furthering your education after Matric or deciding on your career path after Matric.

The thing is chomas, the choices we make from a young age – from the sports games we choose to play in primary school to the subjects we decide to take by the end of Grade 9 – can affect the direction of our future. I’m not saying that all of your future plans should be made now chomas – you can always change the direction of your future at any age – but the journey can be made easier if you plan for it from today.

Deciding on your future

Go to a quiet place, a place where you can think for as long as you want knowing that you won’t be disturbed. Use your time here to think about what you want your future to be like and where you’d like to end up.

Think about what you are passionate about, what you are good at and what you currently enjoy doing, like an activity you’d be happy doing every day even if it means not getting paid for it. What might also help is talking to your friends and family and asking them what they believe you’re good at. This may give you a better understanding of where your future is headed. Just remember that at the end of the day the decision is yours. You don’t want to end up planning towards something you know you won’t enjoy.

Set your goals

Do you like children or volunteering at an orphanage? Maybe you should look into becoming a paediatrician, teacher or social worker. Do you make people laugh? Maybe you could become a comedian or a writer. Write everything you enjoy doing and that will help you start setting your goals. Once you know what you want to do, research your goal and find out as much as possible about it.

Detail your actions and set deadlines

Once you have set out your goals on your piece of paper, you need to write out your steps in detail and give yourself a deadline. Set a deadline for each step and keep a record of the steps you’ve taken and completed towards your goals. This will show you how close you are to your goals. If you missed your deadline, find out what stopped you from completing the step. Are you putting in enough effort or is there something else distracting you?

Volunteer

Do volunteer work in the industry you want to be in or with the people who have achieved the goals you want to achieve. No matter how young you are, you can always meet people that may later on become your business partners or help you reach your goals.

Always believe you can

It’s important to believe in yourself and your abilities to reach your goals choma. See yourself already achieving those goals. For example, imagine that you have bought yourself that house or gotten that qualification. Visualising your goal will keep you motivated choma! Now, work towards your goal and never stop until you have achieved them all.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your future and what you want to do. Always trust in yourself and be proud of taking this first step to planning for your future!  

Mid year tune ups

We start the year with such enthusiasm, and resolutions: I am going to get fit, run 10kms, work and study harder, be nicer to my little brother, eat veggies with every meal, and write a book… all before next Tuesday. But by February, our lofty goals are often forgotten. By May, they are ancient history!

Well, I say, why wait for New Year’s Day or next month or Monday to start making changes? Forget resolutions! Focus on how you can take steps today to keep your big plans on track.

1. Change one thing

Sometimes we have soooo many things we want to change, or we set the goal posts too far away, so we make it nearly impossible to achieve our goals. Then as you see your chances and progress slipping away, we get disheartened and give up. That’s like dieting for a week and giving up when you don’t drop 10 kilos in just seven days!

Pick one thing for now. You want to exercise two times next week. Or you want to try a healthy food you’ve never eaten before. Or if you are out of the house already, maybe you resolve to call Mom on Sunday, every Sunday. If you have only one thing to achieve in the short term, then you can achieve it relatively easily, and get a boost of positivity to keep going. Then try do that one thing for a couple of weeks in a row. When it becomes a habit, then you can look at adding another one thing to your plan. Just don’t overwhelm yourself.

2. Start now, right now

Action is critical when it comes to keeping to the big changes we want to make in our lives. It is hard to get started, but often once you get going and get excited by the early results you start to see then it becomes easier to just keep at it.

So, instead of waiting to make a big chance, start right now. If you want to get fitter, go for a walk today. If you want to save up some money, start right now by sticking R5 or whatever you have got in a jar or box. If you put R60 aside every month from today, you’ll have R480 by the end of the year. If getting healthier is one of your goals, you can make big changes now, and be reaping the benefits – feeling healthy and confident – in a couple of months. Don’t wait till December and then say “oh I wish I had started earlier”, start now.

3. Make commitments

It might help to get someone else “on your team”. Call up a friend and arrange to go for a walk with them after school. If you’ve committed to someone, you’re less likely to just laugh it off later when you’re not feeling as keen. If you’re saving money, tell your friend or your mom or someone. That way, they can gently suggest you skip buying another pink skirt, or junk food, or whatever, and rather put the money away.

If you don’t want to involve someone else, you can write a note to yourself, and put it in your wallet, so every time you mindlessly decide to buy something, you get a reminder to stop and rather save.

You could also make a “countdown” poster as another way to remind yourself of your big plans and to keep you accountable. Write goals on each week, so you can track your progress against it.

Tell us, choma: What are the big changes you want to make in your life, and how do you plan to achieve them?

How to stick to Your New Year’s resolutions

You know how it is, in January we’re all excited about the New Year and making status updates with the hashtag: #NewYearNewMe. And then come March or April we’ve forgotten or given up on most of our New Year’s resolutions. Well chomas, let’s make a decision to make this year different.

So to help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions, I’ve created a list to help you out.

1. Don’t try to change everything at once

One of the reasons that we give up on our resolutions is because we try to change too much too quickly. Start off slowly, maybe even by starting with just one resolution at a time. Choose the goal that you know you’re most likely to achieve. Once the first goal is ticked off your list, choose the next goal you’re most likely to achieve and slowly work towards the big things. This way, you will become more confident the more you achieve and feel more motivated to continue.

2. Write it down/talk about it

By writing your resolutions down, or talking about them with others, you’re making your goals more real. If you simply think about it, it’s easier for your to give up or forget about it because then your goals are just thoughts. Also, writing a list allows you to keep track of your goals – everything you’ve achieved and are yet to achieve.

3. Have a plan

Don’t just throw yourself into it, make sure that you think about it. Plan out what you’re going to start with and how you’re going to go about doing it. This way you will see what is and what is not achievable. Which brings me to my next point…

4. Be realistic

Know what is and what is not possible when it comes to you personally choma. I’m not saying limit yourself, but definitely understand yourself. For example, deciding to run a marathon next month even though you’ve never ran a race in your life may not be a very realistic goal. So just think about what it is that you want to achieve and set realistic expectations for yourself. Also be realistic about failure – sometimes it happens. Just make sure that you’re mentally prepared to deal with it. One way to be mentally prepared to deal with failure is to promise yourself that even if you do fail, you won’t give up. Remember, New Year’s resolutions don’t all have to be achieved in January. Do everything at your own pace.

5. Get support

Surround yourself with people who are behind you and believe in you. Sometimes when we say that we want to achieve something, not everyone believes us. It’s important to have others who will encourage you when you slip up and celebrate with you when you succeed! Better yet, why not partner up with a friend or family member and achieve your New Year’s resolutions together?

Whatever you decide to do, remember to make it fun and positive.

What New Year’s resolutions are you hoping to achieve chomas? Let me know in the comment section.