I'm Setting My Intentions To Lead A More Purposed & Fulfilled Year
For many of us, 2020 was the most intense year we've ever lived. Talk about the roller coaster of events: from the pandemic, losing loved ones, jobs, police brutality making headline news and continuous protesting, to an intense ass election year, and finally having a Black and South Asian woman Vice President! Just thinking it through now, 2020 has been a wild year to navigate everyone's emotions and mental headspace. So many people lost their professions that they've been practicing for years and had to learn to pursue other professions just to get by. If there is one thing 2020 has taught us is that we need to be flexible with how life goes; everything doesn't always happen on our clock, and that's OK – God has something better for us to pursue in the meantime.
Adaptability is a trait that everyone has had to pick up one way or another due to life's circumstances. This year has brought so many people together and finally open to reconciliation. If there is one thing 2020 has shown me is to be patient and be intentional. In lieu of this, I've decided to opt for intention-setting in 2021 versus goal-setting. While every goal might not be checked off, the intentionality behind the way I hope to navigate the year ahead will always remain, which in a lot of ways feels more impactful. Keep reading to learn more about the intentions I'm setting for mental health, career, and love in 2021.
Mental Health intentions for 2021
I don't know about y'all, but my mental health was the most affected in 2020. It's such an odd feeling to have no real control of setting up your future because things keep changing, events keep canceling, and it's such a weird recession that some industries are thriving, and others are failing excessively. Our top tier intention this year is stabilizing our mental; however, that may look like.
If meditating or breathing techniques for 15 minutes a day relieves stress for you, make time for it, don't put it on the back burner. Journaling is a great way to organize and analyze your emotions, get that morning or evening workout in at home; I'm sure we've all set up a little home gym by now. If you haven't sought therapy prior, maybe now is a great time to start.
Mental health professions have recorded this year being a huge increase in anxiety and depression, and many insurances have lowered co-pays or made it free so more people can access therapy.
Career intentions for 2021
I'm sure 2020 has equipped everyone with new skill sets and being more open-minded on their career intentions. This year has taught us not to put all of our eggs in one basket because we don't know how things will pan out, so you could be working one job, but how are you growing your wealth in other areas? Recessions are one of the best seasons to start boosting your financial literacy, flipping and buying homes, investing in stocks, bonds, paying off debt, etc. I know we would all love to have more social events in our lives right now, but this is a season of diligence, act smarter with less versus having more.
It's a great time for creatives of all areas to start that business they have been dreaming of; small businesses are thriving, especially in the Black market when society finally realized we don't have to just invest in one Black brand; we can invest in several other ones – after all, we aren't a monolith, we all have something different to offer. If you want that promotion, start seeking those online classes or resources to build your skill sets to perform at a higher level at your job.
Just cause life is out of whack right now, don't lose focus, set your intentions, and leave room for grace but stay disciplined with achieving your goals.
Love intentions for 2021
Everyone, this is a season of reconciliation in every loving relationship, whether it's platonic or romantic. This is a time frame for all of us where we have to learn to forgive our loved ones and talk through things no matter how painful it is. If there is one thing COVID has taught us, no one knows their time, and life is very precious – give people their flowers while they're alive. We have to learn to meet each other where we are versus where we want people to be.
Love is everything but selfish; it's selfless. The more we set our intentions on healing, the more we can enjoy each other's company and the less stress we have from avoiding one another. Put your pride aside to work things out with your significant other, family member, or friends you haven't spoken to in months; it's not worth the fight.
None of us knows what 2021 has to offer us, but we have to stay present and focus on being grateful for what we have now because it could be so much worse. We're so used to having so much; it makes us unfortunate to be fulfilled with the little we do have. We still can't fill our entire year with plans, but we could take it day by day and appreciate what we can do to bring us happiness in the meantime. Life isn't supposed to be predictable, so we have to learn to keep adjusting to make the best of this season based on the doors opened to us now.
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Ajeé Buggam is a content writer and fashion designer from New York City and an alumna from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She specializes in writing about race, social injustice, relationships, feminism, entrepreneurship, and mental wellness. Check out her recent work at Notes To Self
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Exclusive: 'Praise This' Producer Will Packer And Director Tina Gordon Pulls For Non-Traditional Audiences With Film
Praise This has a uber-talented cast helmed by the multi-hyphenate Chloe Bailey. But before the cast, filming, and other things came to play, it started out as a vision from executive producer Will Packer and director Tina Gordon. In our exclusive interview with the visionaries, Will shares that when he received the screenplay, he knew that Tina would be the perfect person to make the script come to life.
"She and I were so aligned in terms of the mission of this movie. We said that we wanted to make a movie that if you were [a] traditional, staunch, church type of person who believes that church should fit into a box, that we were gonna blow that out. That this wasn't the movie for you," Will says. "We wanted to make a movie that was for that non-traditional audience that is open to a church movie. You get that audience in by mashing up gospel with Drake, and with Beyoncé, with Cardi [B]. That's how you do that, and so you come in for the music, and you stay for a powerful story; Tina understood that."
He continues, "And so when I thought about who could helm this, the project was originally pitched to me by an amazing young executive named Antoine Jenkins, and I knew I wanted to do this praise movie in this world, Tina was the right one. I was really hoping she would say yes, and when she did, we were off to the races."
Watch Will's full interview below:
Executive Producer Will Packer Shares How Film Appeals To All Walks of Life
Tina, who directed films like Little, expresses her excitement about working on the Peacock film.
"Will sent me the script, and I had been like circling doing a musical. I hadn't really done something music-driven since Drumline, and so I was excited about the idea of showing gospel choirs, praise teams, specifically 'cause I thought that it would just be a really, just new facet of our culture to show," Tina explains. "And once I kinda nailed down the personalities of the praise teams and how they would be just a little funny, a little bit of a wink and a nod to church culture, I kinda got it, and I was ready to go."
Tina hopes audiences are surprised and inspired by Praise This and wants them to walk away feeling uplifted.
Watch Tina's full interview below:
Praise This is available on Peacock.
Director Tina Gordon Wants Audiences To Be Surprised By Her New Film “Praise This”
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