HELLO 3-WON: My Year of Winning and Being Intentionally SMART!​​​​​​​


This month, the lovely month of March -- Women’s History Month -- marks my one year anniversary of my blog! Likewise, on March 3, 2018, I became 31 and this year, I am celebrating my #ThirtyWON year of winning!

My 31st year of life will be fulfilling and life changing, as I claim victory in all that I desire and do. I will win, by personally implementing a “S.M.A.R.T.” strategy that I teach my graduate students at New York University (NYU). “S.M.A.R.T.,” stands for identifying Specific, Measurable, Achievable (realistic), Results-focused and Timely goals and executing each one-by-one.

1. Specific

My father always tells me, “Ma, you’re so precise!” {“Ma” is my family nickname.} When he first started telling me that, I wasn’t sure how to take it. And when my fiance joined in on the fun of calling me Precise, and encouraging me to be deliberate in life, I thought, “hey maybe this precise thing isn’t too bad.” This year, I choose to be precisely Specific, marked by accuracy, expressive, detailed and deliberate about my choices and decisions. Paying attention to detail is imperative for victory. I will be specific in clearly defining what I want in life by writing it down, telling my close loved ones, and mentors. I will outline paths and means by which to accomplish new goals, and if I don’t know how to on my own, I’ll seek guidance and support. Moreover, I will help others to do the same. Looking at my objectives at hand, this will enable me to be intentional about my decisions.

2. Measurable

I always ask my graduate students, “What’s your measurement for success?” Everyone needs personal measurements for success in order to learn and grow. I am learning how to properly measure my success by not comparing myself to others. Naturally people have competitive spirits. I honestly have to remind myself to not measure my achievements based on others, but rather to measure them based on my own personal capabilities, skills and work ethic -- all of which I must constantly strengthen.

We each can say that by this age, you expected X,Y and Z to take place or occur. This new year is a fresh start for me to do all of those things and more, while never measuring myself to someone else’s standard of success or idea of victory. I will be measurable in my actions to quantify advancement.

3. Achievable

My entire life people have told me to be realistic. Believing we each can determine what’s real and accessible for our lives, I’ve always had trouble with people telling me something that I want is not realistic.

My high school guidance teacher told me that attending college in New York, 3000 miles away from my home in Los Angeles wasn’t going to happen because I was too poor, and though it broke my heart, I knew that I alone, was able to determine where I would attend college. She was my guidance counselor, but I refused to give her authority over my life. Needless to say I’ve been in New York since the age of 17, which is 14 years post my undergrad and graduate study. I’ve proudly been a NYer for my entire adulthood.

I often ask myself, “what’s the ROI (return on investment) of my time?” I do not want to waste my energy on something that’s not going to upflight me or bring happiness -- it’s simply not worth it. So, this year, I am going to be practicable, but of course still ambitious in all that I do -- asking what’s attainable and how, is this feasible and how can it work? Never questioning faith nor God’s plan, if it doesn't’ work out, it is ok! I am becoming more sensible, grounded, reasonable and level headed while still learning to be practical and open to what I can achieve and when.

4. Results-focused

Numbers and results do not lie and no one can refute that. This year, I will be more results-driven and focused than ever before!

Results are developed from outcomes, effects, and decisions, so as long as I stay task-oriented, the end result will be great. Keeping in mind goals, objectives and focusing on actions that bring in good results and favorable outcomes is a top priority.

5. Timely

I am already dedicating additional time to storytelling -- my gift and passion. Eliminating distractions, I will continue to put allocated time on my calendar to focus on my personal and professional development. Time management is necessary in order for me to see results and achieve my goals. For a true year of winning, I must be distinctly determined and open to receive support, advice, and guidance.

I am striving to spend more time supporting my family and friends. I previously spoke to all members of my immediate family easily three times a day, that’s now moved to once a week, and I’m not happy about that. I am putting calendar reminders on all of my mobile devices to check-in with my family. This year, I lost my Godmother, and aunt, and I’ve personally learned that time waits for no one. I am present for my job, with my students, and I surely will be more present for my family.

I must admit, I am very aggressive when it comes to event planning and preparation {just ask my fiance}, but I want to have the same attitude with all that I do -- eliminating procrastination and last minute rituals from my life. I am not waiting to the last minute for anything!

Here’s to being SMART -- identifying WHO to partner or work with to learn and grow, WHAT is needed for success, WHERE I need to go and WHEN -- being at the right place, at the right time, setting realistic deadlines and meeting them, with no more procrastination!

Hello to my SMART year of WINNING! #3WON!