Blog: Heart of A Woman

Season of Preparation: Personal Commitments by Tracy Moore


“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13 -14

While shredding paperwork in my home office the other day, I came across a piece of paper which reflected New Year’s Resolutions my cousin, Lashon, and I made in 2010. Typical of resolutions, we committed to achieving several goals by the end of the year. Most memorable about the exercise was the enthusiasm generated by writing down our resolutions. To incentivize one another, we agreed the reward for achieving our goals would be a day at the spa. To solidify our resolutions, Lashon and I signed the paper which noted our resolutions to further solidify our commitment to accomplishing our goals. While several of the goals my cousin and I committed to achieving four years ago were unfulfilled, what has remained consistent over the years is our commitment to support each other in every endeavor and to continue to set goals that get us closer to our life “big picture.”

Year after year the practice of creating New Year’s Resolutions continued. These annual resolutions range from my commitment to living a healthier life (still a work in progress), learning a foreign language to identifying a hobby. As we approach the time of year when many will begin to make New Year Resolutions, this year I choose to make Personal Commitments.

How does one begin to create personal commitments? First, spend time brainstorming your life “big picture.” I suggest categorizing into focus areas. For example:

  • Career

  • Financial

  • Education

  • Family

  • Spiritual

  • Health/Physical

  • Public Service

  • Pleasure

Once focus areas are determined, establish goals for each area. If overwhelmed by the process of creating your life’s “big picture,” consider using the goal setting SMART technique to assist you to create impactful goals.

S – Significant

M – Measurable

A – Action Oriented/Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound

The SMART technique guides you in the direction of setting realistic goals. I encourage you to prioritize your goals and establish realistic completion dates. Over the years, I have come to realize there is power in the pen – write your goals down and frequently revisit your progress. Let’s be real… life happens! Derailments are bound to occur, just stay the course and alter timeframes when necessary.

What personal commitments are you willing to make today that you’ll thank yourself for in the future?

Tracy headshotTracy Moore is a certified career and life coach driven by a singular vision, to empower people to rewrite their life story and view transition as a starting point.  She is passionate about empowering others to clarify their purpose, set goals, and take action. Her daily mantra is Nothing in your past, determines your future! Tracy resides in NJ with her husband Glenn and two heartbeats Miles & Zachary. Connect with Tracy on Twitter via @Tracy_MMoore.

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Keep Calm by Zandi Mqwathi

Ready or not, the festive season is here!  While it’s a time of celebration, presents and family gatherings, it can also be a very chaotic and demanding time that forces some into a depressive state.  On the contrary, this can be a positive time of reflection for all. Truth is, the beginning of the year offers us new beginnings, an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, take on new challenges and of course to enjoy life and share it with our loved ones, new and old.

Too often, many get swept up in the stress of the holidays and miss the  opportunity for genuine and purposeful reflection–a time to look back and see how far one has come and gear up for the year to come.

Often this season of the year represents a time of outlining our list of New Year’s resolutions, but equally important is marking the endings in life.  We do this to reflect upon the year and some of the decisions that we have made that might have either positively or negatively contributed to our lives.

This 31st year of my life has been a year of change as well as sweet surprises, but I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason.  Truth is with every pain, discomfort, disappointment and uncertainty, my faith in God grew so I can sit here with a smile on my face and say that I have a lot to be grateful for.

The reality is, life happens whether we prepare for it or not, so in addition to the many goals we’ll outline for ourselves, let’s commit to keep calm and develop a grateful attitude–come what may!   Purposely choose to see the beauty in each day and the lesson in every experience.  After all,  life is but a series of experiences that are packed with lessons for us to be better people.  Enjoy the journey to becoming a better woman, a better you!

H:\2014 Blogs\BeFunky_PSM_1134.jpg.jpgZandile Mqwathi is a confident, dynamic, innovative young leader and former radio personality with passion to empower girls and young women. Zandi is currently a full time scholar at Drama for Life, Wits School of Arts in the field of Applied Theatre and Drama, where she is working towards an Advanced Diploma in Arts. She is also a blogger for the International Press Service (IPS) and a part time consultant for Soul City Institute.

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Gratitude for Grandma: “Gifted Hands” A Tribute to my Grandma Rita M. Bell by Lyn Atkins

598345_4528208516820_43862572_nHer hands were gifted hands… healing hands…to me God’s hands…

I have struggled for weeks to put into words how thankful I am for the woman that I have been privileged to call my Grandma. How do you properly say thank you to the woman that has spent her life trying to show you love, God’s love? All of my life, my grandmother’s house was the safest place in the whole wide world to me. God resided there, so there was ALWAYS enough love, joy and understanding to go around. I think so many people would agree with me when I say that a “grandmother’s love” is like no other. It’s as if God equips them with a special amount of love to shower everyone with. Well this was indeed the case when it came to my Grandma, Rita M. Bell.  All of my life I felt so loved by God because of her unconditional love for me.

The love affair between my Grandma and I has existed for as long as I can remember. She was my grandma but she was also my first best friend, my biggest cheerleader and my lifeline. We were knit together! She was a little woman in stature, but her warm spirit was so HUGE! All of my life I watched my Grandma “serve and mother” people from all walks of life. Her house was a house of prayer where people would come to spend hours on end to pray, have bible study or just sit and talk with “Mother Bell.” She absolutely loved people. God truly gifted her with the uncanny ability to make anyone that was in her presence feel so special. My Grandma was a great woman! Not because of fame or fortune, but because of how she showed people God’s love.

As a little girl, I loved being with her. Some of my fondest memories were shared at her kitchen table where we would sit and drink hot lemon together while we read the Bible and talked about life. She would often share with me what her life was like growing up in West Philadelphia and how she cared for her younger siblings. Through our conversations, I realized that my Grandma had faced some trials and struggles of her own. She had a rare disease that prevented her from walking until she was about five or six. Her natural mother passed away when she was just a young girl and she endured years of abuse from her father. She credits her “stepmother” which she never referred to as “step” but always lovingly as mother. Gran Gran as we affectionately called her was in many ways my Grandma’s saving grace just as she was mine.

In December 2012, I truly learned of God’s saving grace like never before. Only two months after my Grandpop passed away, my Grandma tragically died in a house fire. A fire that left over 70 percent of her beautiful body burned and the safe haven I was raised in destroyed. In the year that followed, I STRUGGLED with the circumstances in which she left this earth. My Grandma was gone and I felt like my breath was gone. There was a huge, huge hole in my heart and soul. I was STUCK!

I continued with my daily life all the while feeling like I was drowning. I wanted and needed my peace back.  So, I began to ask God to change my mindset and allow me to see things from His perspective. I committed myself to facing my giants. One August morning while reading my devotions, God gave me the answer that I needed. She was NOT ALONE. He was her Guide, as well as her constant Companion. He knew every step of her journey ahead of time. All the way to HEAVEN. Every day since that morning, I’ve made a conscious choice to be like my Grandma—great in my love for God and His people.

10273497_560163767433538_6014457734754900113_nLyn is a mother, educator, conference speaker and mentor to girls with a passion for reaching out to and lifting up the next generation of women.  Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

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I’m ready for a Revolution.