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Dominate Your Decade With These Simple Mindset Shifts

Get past the empty resolutions and commit to your glow up with these tips.

Inspiration

As soon as the ball dropped at midnight, my Twitter timeline was filled with "THIS IS MY YEAR" declarations. And could I blame them? A new year always signifies a fresh start and an exciting revamp of our biggest ambitions and goals. But if you're anything like me, it can be hard to stick to the things we set out to accomplish after the clock strikes 12.

OK, let me be real. I hardly ever complete the long list of big dreams I imagine up.

I hate to admit it, but I'm the queen of abandoning those resolutions after declaring them to the world in January. New gym membership? Stopped going. Starting that business idea? Got distracted. Every time I vowed to make a huge life change, I often self-sabotaged. If everyone would be honest, we would agree that New Year goals can put on a lot of unnecessary pressure. It's stressful and so overwhelming. This year, I knew that I wanted things to be different. I wanted to see results, and push past the things that had been holding me back for the longest.

This is the year to stop dabbling in and out of consistency and finally lay a foundation for your success in the new decade. I believe that the more we work on becoming the women we dream to be through our small, everyday actions, the closer our goals and dreams will appear.

You can write goals down all day, but if you don't follow through with actions then they will always just be dreams. If you struggle to commit to yourself, maybe this is also the year for you to trade a lengthy notebook of goals for a practical vision of who you want to become.

If you are ready to level up your mindset in the new decade, here are seven simple changes to help you truly dominate your decade and transform your life:

Choose A Word For The Year

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Through life's ups and downs, it can be very easy to be distracted or discouraged from going after your dreams and leveling up. I decided that in order to keep me excited about what the new year would bring, I would choose one word that would declare how I envisioned it to unfold.

In order for this to truly work, you must get still and ask yourself what word do you want to guide how you envision this year? Reflecting on your past struggles or looking for a common theme between your new goals will help guide this. Personally, I usually pair my word with a Bible verse, song, or inspirational quote that I can post around to keep me motivated. This helps me stay grounded when I start to get distracted. Words of the year help us to speak life into who we want to become.

Face Your Fears

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A huge reason that many of us feel stuck is solely out of fear. For some, it could be fear of the unknown; for others, it could be the fear of success and losing people we love. Regardless, fear holds a lot of people back from going all in on their yearly goals.

If this is something you struggle with, try doing actionable activities that can help you work that fear muscle. For example, many people try skydiving to push past the thought of fear. For others, it could be giving a speech, taking a dance class, or even going on a date. But by doing an actionable activity that helps you to push past fear, it will help you to keep moving through your goals when you get overwhelmed, distracted, or afraid to keep going.

Honor Your Personal Space

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We've all been there, staring at piles of clothes that hold bad college memories, books that we are going to get to "someday", papers from the last decade, or old comforter sets that are cheap and worn. Our home space should be one of the most relaxing places we have in our lives but oftentimes it creates the opposite emotions. In fact, studies have revealed that when women specifically stay in a messy space, stress hormones increase, and they often feel unsettled.

The truth is, it is hard for us to get comfortable with our inner selves when our outside world is upside down with stuff or we come home to rooms that don't inspire us. We fall into mundane tasks that leave us complacent and distracted but not fulfilled. Quarterly, try decluttering your closet, looking to YouTube for design makeover ideas, or even light a candle to shift the mood.

Commit To Being In The Moment

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I began therapy last year and one thing that I learned is that I am obsessed with predictability. I will step out and try most things if I know that I will succeed at them. This mentality has created a pattern of fear-based decisions, which often leads to quitting a goal or not trying it at all. This year, I decided to challenge myself to go with the flow, only focusing on the tasks of the day.

Although extremely difficult, when you decide to live in the moment, it forces you to be present and trust that each step you take will reveal your next. Living more in the moment will allow you to connect deeper with others, enjoy experiences more intensely, keep you grateful, and invite more special moments into your life.

Revamp Your Appearance And Style

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It is hard to show up as your best self when you don't feel like your best self. Regularly, we only reserve getting dolled up for special occasions or when we know we will be seen. I realized that if I wanted to live my best and attract success into my life, I must show up as the woman that I one day want to be. Challenge yourself to put more effort into taking care of yourself and how you present yourself to others.

I've done this personally, by creating a Pinterest board with all my celeb fashion inspirations. This could also be through finding a tailor to fit your clothing, adding bolder colors into your wardrobe, scanning a thrift store for cute finds, or even trying a new hairstyle. When you show up confident like a boss, people will have no choice but to be attracted to your energy. But make sure you are also working on the inner confidence too.

Quiet The Noise With A Solocation

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Instead of listing out a bunch of popular goals that you've seen on Instagram, make it your mission to take a relaxing solocation. Solo trips are amazing to recharge and get still to listen to what your soul truly wants to say. It is often in those moments that I get a creative idea or revelation about something I have been struggling with that I didn't see before. With a crazy world of constant scrolling through social media, our lives are filled with noise that is competing for our attention. This can distract us of what we truly want to go after.

Recently, I took a quick solocation to the mountains using Getaway House, which are tiny cabins in the woods. It was totally out of my comfort zone, but I was brought to tears by all the things my soul spoke to me in the stillness of the night. Whether across the country or a simple hotel room in your own city, take some time to truly listen to who you want to become in 2020 and beyond.

Seek A Therapist

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Although therapy has become more normalized in our community, there are still so many women of color that believe something must be extremely wrong to drive them to counseling. Having a therapist has not only allowed me to go deeper in my mental blocks but has provided me with practical steps to get past the things that stop me from moving forward.

When finding a therapist, I really wanted to make sure they were female, black and Christian. Helpful sites like Psychology Today and Therapy for Black Girls helped me to narrow down my options and choose a therapist that I love. Outside counsel is amazing for helping you decide what to focus on and deal with to move forward.

In the end, a new year and a new decade is what you make it. A goal is simply a wish without the decision to see it through. Whether you choose a goal from this list or find some amazing ones of your own, decide to commit to growing deeper, loving yourself harder, and pushing yourself further past your biggest roadblocks. It's time to dominate your decade.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

10 Habits You Should Break Before The New Year Arrives

How I Stopped Talking About My Goals & Actually Started Accomplishing Them

5 Ways To Reset Yourself For The New Year

Try This New Year's Resolution Alternative

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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