Dominate Your Decade With These Simple Mindset Shifts
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.
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Alaina is a Las Vegas freelance writer and founder of the website GlowSZN, a post-grad survival blog for the lit and educated. Embracing the raggedy moments of adulthood, she is always looking to push the narrative of growth in God, becoming financially free and owning your truth in your 20's. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter at @hotlaina_.
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.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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