Never Complete Anything? Here's Why You (Probably) Don't.
Man. If there was ever an article where I wish I could put a friend's first, middle and last name in it, this would be the one. I say that because the person who I'm speaking of is brilliant. I'm not being biased either because, most of the people in their world, feel the same way as I do. Problem is, this person sucks, BIG TIME, when it comes to completing things. Genius idea after genius idea never fully manifests because the minute the concept comes into their brain and they begin, after about a good week or so, they're on to something else. As a result, nothing ever really materializes. And that really is a total and damn shame.
If this sounds like someone you know because, in all honesty, the person is you, please take a moment to at least finish reading this. It really is my personal belief that completing tasks are a form of self-discipline and, the more you do finish things, the better you are at taking on bigger, better and greater opportunities along the way. I've always been a firm believer that some of the best answers come from asking self-reflective questions. So, pull out your journal and write down your own answers to the ones I've listed down below. It could be what helps to put a fire in you to not just start things…but to actually complete them.
Do You Set Short- and Long-Term Goals?
Let's start with a point that should be obvious but actually, it might not be. Sometimes, we don't complete tasks because let's be real—some of the stuff that we set out to do is not going to happen overnight. A real investment of blood, sweat, tears and time is gonna be required which can wear us all the way out before we even begin. Sometimes I feel that way about my writing. When I know that I've got 10-15 articles to do in a week, I will get up on Monday already shaking my head. But things seem a lot less daunting once I break my assignments down into increments; you know—I create short- and long-term goals. On the writing tip, I actually tend to do the easier/quicker stuff first because that typically leaves me with only 5-7 articles by Wednesday. In my mind, because most of what I needed to do is already done, it's like getting a second wind to knock everything else out.
We've all heard the saying "So-and-so-crawled so that so-and-so could now run." If you struggle with completing stuff, put your name in both "so-and-sos". Set short-term goals (crawl) and finish those. If you do that, they will give you the extra "umph" that you need to get to the bigger stuff (run). If you make this way of approaching matters a part of your daily routine, you'll be amazed by how much you'll be able to complete—basically all of the time.
What About You and Time Management?
Social media takes up a lot of time (on average, it's about 2 ½ hours a day). Reading gossip blogs takes up a lot of time. Watching mindless television takes up a lot of time. Being in relationships with fruitless individuals (folks who take more than they give and/or are always trying to turn you into someone you're not) takes up a lot of time. Talking about what you're gonna do rather than actually doing it takes up a lot of time. Listen, we've all got 24 hours in a day, and, based on how you utilize those hours, your days can be really beneficial—or not. The harsh reality is, that there are a lot of folks who don't complete things for no other reason than they absolutely suck at time management (check out "These 10 Habits Are Totally Wasting Your Time").
A hack that helps me to avoid falling into this demographic is reminding myself that there will never be another day that is quite like this one. And since tomorrow isn't promised, I need to make the absolute most of it. Hmph. You'd be amazed how effective that is if you really take these points seriously. And literally.
How Excited Are You About the Things You’re Setting Out to Do?
Only a child (or a childish individual) would think that everything that we do in life is supposed to be fun all of the time. But something that I've learned is what you can do is "trick yourself" into feeling some level of excitement about the tasks that are on your list of things to do. For instance, I recently had two screws in my loveseat become stripped (because I've had this piece of furniture for a hot minute now). It's not really in the budget to buy a new couch; plus, I still like what I've got. So, I devoted an entire Sunday towards figuring out how to fix it myself. Do you think I really wanted to do that?! Heck no. But the excitement came from the thought of being able to fix the loveseat on my own while being able to keep some extra coins in my pocket. After doing a little research, I found an under-five-dollars solution and now it's good as new. And yes, I'm super duper excited about that!
By the way, I chose the word "excited" very strategically. One definition of it is "stimulated to activity". Whether it's a project for work, paying a bill (on time), completing a DIY project—whatever it is that's on your personal to-do list, if you struggle with completing tasks, figure out a way to get excited about starting in the first place. The faster you complete a work project, the easier it will be to either impress your boss or move on to something else. Paying bills on time will keep you from incurring late fees and can add some points to your credit score. Completing a DIY project can boost your self-confidence (I can totally vouch for that one!). Human nature is kind of wired to need an incentive for why we do the things that we do. If you can figure out at least three reasons why completing a particular thing will benefit you, this alone can gas you up to start and finish it.
Are You an Overthinker? Maybe You’re Constantly Overwhelmed.
Last summer, I wrote an article entitled, "How To Handle 'Purpose Fatigue'". In it, one of the things that I addressed is how overthinking can be our biggest deterrent in trying to accomplish, shoot, pretty much anything in life. Overthinking can cause you to create problems that don't even exist. Overthinking can make you super anxious. Overthinking can turn you into a worry wart.
Overthinking can make you live in the past to the point where you can't live in the present or plan for the future. Overthinking can literally stop you dead in your tracks. And, if you allow yourself to get—and then remain—in this kind of headspace, you will think your way out of possibly starting and almost definitely finishing something.
Know what else that overthinking can do? It can totally overwhelm you. This is one reason why it can be a really good idea to either begin each week—or day—with a to-do list that has things listed in an order of importance. That way, you can start off your week being clear about the fact that, if there's anything that you will prioritize, it's what you've already written down. That can help to organize your mind, manage your time and take some of the stress off—so that you can actually get things done.
How Good Are You at Celebrating and Encouraging Yourself?
Some people aren't able to complete things because they have wired themselves to believe that, unless someone is constantly encouraging them, then what they are doing might not be worthwhile. This is a really dangerous way of thinking. For one thing, you should never expect anyone to be more thrilled about and invested in your life than you are. Secondly, humans are flawed. This means that sometimes they will disappoint you. And third, there are gonna be certain things that you want to get done that folks around you may not get or support. I've shared before that I have family members who refused to talk to me while I was writing my first book. Close family members. Still, I knew it was something that had to be done and so…I did it.
Something that creatives, especially, need to keep in mind is, some of the ideas that come to your spirit are gonna sound straight up crazy to people around you (truly original things oftentimes do!). You've got to discipline yourself to push through the naysayers and do what you know is best and right, in spite of. It's an epidemic, the amount of people who don't ever complete things because they don't know how to hype their own damn selves up. Post up affirmations. Celebrate baby steps. Remind yourself why you started in the first place. If you are your biggest fan, anyone else will just be…surplus.
How Good Are You at Protecting Your Energy?
On the heels of what I just said, here's another great point. Energy. Energy is power. Sometimes, even if you've got the first three things that I mentioned checked off, if you don't protect your energy—especially from negative people, places, things or ideas—that can also bring you down and hinder you from finishing projects. A great example of this is, I have a close friend who is about to blow all the way up! A part of the reason why is because she's a really good person and when you put good out, good comes back to you (if not immediately, eventually). Anyway, meanwhile, she's got a hater in her midst. Not just a hater but a hater who poses herself as being a friend (check out "5 Signs Your Closest Friends Are The Most Envious Of You"). Because this so-called friend of hers is so cryptic and calculated, sometimes her stratagems can throw my friend off to the point where she's more focused on why her "friend" is doing the things that she does rather than tending to what can take her to an even higher level. Bottom line, that non-friend-friend is draining my friend's energy—that person is tapping into my friend's power source and that's preventing her from getting all that she needs to do—done.
You need power to start and complete things. This is why it is imperative that you protect your energy at all costs. If you don't, there's a pretty good chance that you'll never really get anything that's worth doing done (or done as well as it could've been if you hadn't let stuff infect your energy).
What’s the Benefit/Blessing Upon Completion?
I make sure my articles get done on time so that I can get paid on time. I finished my loveseat so that I could comfortably sit on it again. I make elaborate dishes sometimes because I enjoy certain foods that are hard to find in a "regular" restaurant. While these are semi-small examples of what it means to find a benefit or blessing in completing things, they are still really valid. Just like you should find your why for beginning something, it's also important to find your what when it comes to finishing it. Because the reality is a lot of people have a challenging time completing things because they forget why they began what they did in the first place (I deal with this when it comes to married couples all the time). An author by the name of Toni Sorenson once said, "The secret is not following the right path, it's following that right path to the end. Don't quit, my friend, until you've arrived." If you know that you have a hard time completing things, think about what is awaiting you once you arrive. Let that be the driving force to getting things done—the benefit or blessing that is guaranteed to wait for you on the other side.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Hands down and without hesitation, my favorite time of the year is the fall season. I like the cooler temperatures. I like the turn of the leaves. Some of my favorite men (my late father and late fiancé) were Libras. Layering clothes is dope. I start to (slightly) swap out iced chai lattes (with oat milk) for hot chocolate and apple cider. The foods that are in season then are some of my faves (eggplant parmesan, anyone?). Watching sports outside is fun — need I go on? And so, even though I like to write about sex — especially ways to have even better sex — any time of the year, it’s right around now when I start to get inspired to pitch topics like this one.
And honestly, I ain’t got no lies for you. The reason why this headline has “2.0” in it is because it was right around this time, three years ago, when I penned the piece “Here's How To Have Some Really Great Fall-Themed Sex.” Well, I think it’s been long enough to “upgrade” it a bit by providing you with 15 other fall-related ideas that could cause you to literally fall in love with fall as much as I have…and quite possibly renew your enthusiasm in the bedroom in the process.
Can you feel yourself getting excited? LOL.
1. Pumpkin. Lots ‘n Lots of Pumpkin.
Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin lattes. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cheesecake. Pumpkin deviled eggs. It should go without saying that if there is a signature food for this time of year, pumpkin would be it. So, if you’re someone who is big on aphrodisiac consumption, definitely add more pumpkin into your diet, even if it’s snacking on pumpkin seeds. Between the zinc that’s in it, which helps to boost your libido (and can even help with erectile dysfunction in men) and the fatty acids that help to keep sex hormones in balance, every time you enjoy some of your favorite pumpkin-flavored foods, you’ll be giving your sex life quite the boost.
2. DIY Some Cranberry Seed Massage Oil
Another fruit (because, yes, pumpkin is indeed a fruit) that is at its best during the autumn season is the cranberry. Although many of us don’t give it much thought beyond the cranberry sauce that sits on the table during Thanksgiving, its scent is actually pretty sensual when you use it in the form of a scented soy candle or if you decide to make some of your own massage oil.
In fact, if you purchase organic cranberry seed oil, it naturally comes with a subtle cranberry scent which means that you can give your man a lingam massage (check out “Blow Your Man's Mind By Giving Him This Tantalizing Massage”) without worrying if the ingredients in the oil will irritate his penis in the process.
As far as how to make the oil, all you need is some cranberry seed oil, a favorite carrier oil (check out “So, Here Are The Carrier Oils That Will Take Your Sex Life To A Whole 'Nother Level”), and possibly a bit of honey (for flavoring’s sake) and you’re good to go; especially if you heat it up in the microwave for like 10 seconds before applying. Whew, chile.
3. Also, DIY Some Pear-Flavored Whipped Cream
Another fruit that’s in season for fall is a pear. I like them, not just for how they taste, but because they symbolize things like abundance, femininity, fertility, and happy relationships — all of which are awesome things to think about when you’re sharing intimacy with your partner. That said, you know, there is nothing quite like bringing in a condiment or two during sex (check out “12 ‘Sex Condiments’ That Can Make Coitus Even More...Delicious”), and so, if whipped cream is totally your thing, how about making some that is pear-flavored? I found a recipe that is super easy (so long as you have some xanthan gum around). You can check it out here.
4. Incorporate Some Vanilla Lubricant
Another popular scent for autumn is vanilla. As far as your sex life is concerned, science backs that the smell of it can increase sexual arousal and even improve sexual performance in some people. Since pretty much all of us know that sex is so much better when it’s wetter, it might also be a good idea to have some vanilla (especially vanilla-flavored) lubricant on tap. Hello Cake has a vanilla chai lube that is a fan favorite (you can get it here). I also peeped a TikTok post that features a DIY recipe for this kind of lube (here), although it needs to go on record that it’s not the kind that you would incorporate if you use condoms (because there’s oil in it). Just sayin’.
5. Make Some Maple Syrup-Flavored Lip Butter
Is there anything better than a stack of homemade pancakes or French toast with some maple syrup on a cold weekend morning? Take the maple flavor up a notch by making some lip butter that tastes just like it. You know, I was recently talking to a group of guys about some of their underrated turn-ons, and one of them said that when a woman exfoliates her lips, he can always tell because they feel extra soft. Let that be a reminder that taking a couple of minutes out to apply a lip scrub ain’t never hurt nobody. Then, if you add some lip butter afterwards?
Girrrl…he’ll be all up in your mouth from sunset to sunrise! (No, I didn’t forget. The lip butter recipe is here.)
6. Add Some Lit Vines Around Your Bed
It’s kind of wild how much people underestimate the sensuality of good lighting when you’re trying to set the mood. Although candlelight is always a bomb option, if you want to think a little outside of the box, there are vines that you can purchase to put around your bed. I found some on Amazon (here) that can make you and your partner feel like y’all are in an enchanted forest or a log cabin somewhere — until you can actually get there. Plus, this kind of lighting can be sexy because it can cast shadows on your body without making you feel super self-conscious in the way that overhead lighting or a lamp (with a bright bulb) could.
7. Put Some Fairy Lights in Some Mason Jars
As far as lighting goes, another option to consider is putting some fairy lights into a couple of mason jars. I find this option to be very romantic as well as seductive. Plus, if you’re looking to create a sexy night at the last minute, you can find the lights and the jars pretty easily and at a reasonable price. For instance, a quick Walmart run would have you covered, all the way around.
8. Apply Some Apple and/or Caramel-Scented Fabric Spray
When it comes to attraction, looks aren’t everything. Studies reveal that how someone smells can help you decide if you’re truly interested in them or not. Not only that, but scent can impact your mood and performance ability, and, I’ve shared before that people with smell sensitivities tend to get aroused more easily; some women who fall into that demographic are able to have more orgasms too.
For all of these reasons (and probably more), you definitely should pay attention to how things smell in your bedroom prior to copulating. Something that you can do to make your bedding smell delightful is to either find a fabric spray that smells like fall-themed things such as apples or even caramel. I even found one on Amazon that is a combination of the two (here). #yourewelcome
9. Create Some Fall-Themed Potpourri
Do you want to keep some of the scents from your favorite summer flowers around for longer? Or maybe you want to avoid spending money on Air Wick and Glade Plug-Ins. Either way, something else to consider is making some of your own potpourri. I grew up with that in the house, and it really did make every room of the home smell divine. A YouTube Short that will walk you through how to make a fall-themed one is located right here.
10. Design a “Fallen Leaves with Love Notes” Hanging
While I was playing around on the internet a couple of days ago, I happened upon a page that was full of fall-centered arts and crafts. One that I liked, especially, was a hanging that had faux fall leaves on it (it’s #9 here). After looking at it, I thought, “Now, how sweet would it be to add some handwritten cards or Post-its that either express how someone feels about their partner or what they want to do to their partner?” You can even switch it up every couple of weeks to add some spontaneity. Just putting it on out there for you home décor (who also happen to be horny) folks.
11. Invest in Some Silk Sheets
If you go to your favorite search engine and you put something along the lines of “silk and warmth,” you will see all kinds of articles that cosign on the fact that although silk is light and soft, it also is a temperature regulator that has the ability to keep you warm. So, as the temperature drops and you’re looking for some sheets that will feel good to the touch, don’t have as much “heat generating potential” as flannel, and can bring sensuality into your space, investing in some silk sheets is definitely the way to go.
12. Pick Up Some Fall-Themed Lingerie
If you’re getting new bras and panties (roughly) twice a year (because that is what you’re doing…right?), you should put in your budget to cop some new sexy lingerie while you’re at it. Basically, some new stuff for spring and summer and some new different stuff for fall and winter. Since Black women look AMAZING in jewel tones (which are big during the holiday season), knock yourself out — or even go with something that particularly caught my eye called “Fall Fire Lingerie” (here). Husbands are constantly telling me that when their wife puts on something that they haven’t seen before, it’s like Christmas all over again. So, why not ring in Christmas early this year, a few times? Real talk.
13. Hang Some Eucalyptus Vines on Your Showerhead
Listen, the past couple of weeks, I know of several people who’ve gotten COVID; one had to be hospitalized. So, although I am a huge fan of shower sex (check out “So, This Is How To Make Shower Sex So Much Better”) and I absolutely think that bringing some greenery into the space is visually appealing, there is another reason why I’m making this suggestion.
Fresh eucalyptus has the ability to relieve congestion, suppress coughing, and make it easier to breathe. So, since the fall and winter seasons are the time of year when people tend to have more colds, be proactive and hang some of these vines from your showerhead. It looks great, it’s good for you, and it can help to keep both of you from passing unwanted germs back and forth.
14. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs for Something…with a Deeper Glow
Oh, here’s another lighting idea. So, what if you prefer to have sex when it’s pitch black and your partner would like a little bit of mood lighting? Colors like red and orange definitely fit in with autumn — and they also can be a real turn-on in the bedroom if you swap out your white bulbs for ones that are that color instead. They can also help you to relax when you’re all caught up in the afterglow of things too. #wink
15. Enjoy a Fall Fruit Aphrodisiac Cocktail
Whether it’s red wine, whisky, or tequila — all of them can get you where you’re good to go. That’s why, it only seemed right to wrap this up by recommending that you make a cocktail out of a fruit that’s in season this fall, whether it’s apples, pears, figs, passionfruit, pomegranates or something else that tickles your, umm, fancy. A girlfriend of mine is a huge — and I mean, HUGE — fan of fig and honey cocktails (recipe here) and ginger pomegranate martinis (recipe here) as far as her libido goes. She’s got sex stories for days, so…I’d at least give it a shot (no pun intended).
LAWD. Who thought that fall could be this damn sexy, right? Enjoy, sis. ENJOY!
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