BLM Lancaster- Blog Feature

Hey!!

Just a short post here, I was given the chance to collaborate with The Tab- Lancaster to discuss Lancaster University’s reaction to the Black Lives Matter protests and how students, in particular black students felt about this. I am so grateful that I was able to write and interview students on their behalf- showcasing how this movement does not only affect black people, but black people of a much younger age group.

I hope this post encourages any young readers who feel they cannot speak out or actively campaign for this cause, do not let age be an obstacle to voicing your opinions out to those in authority and to those who have the means to change things for the better.

BLM SANIP

LINK TO BLOG FEATURE HERE

Thanks for reading, see you on my next post!  

Dealing With Loss and Uncertainty.

Just as the title of this post says, 2020 has been a year which has brought just that- loss and uncertainty.

The other day, in my bible studies group, we were discussing how this year has brought so much loss for many people. COVID being one factor, waking up to the same BBC news report of the number of cases going up and up, you would wonder if the next person would be a family member or your loved one.

Regardless of that, this year has not been easy. We all suffered the loss of basketball star Kobe Bryant- sitting here writing this post, I guess it still feels weird to say he has gone. I also remember the exact moment Caroline Flack sadly passed- I just began to question why we are all constantly reminded of time to grieve and mourn, whilst we are also reminded that people are loosing their lives on a daily.

Nevertheless, dealing with this period is not easy. I am very grateful that I haven’t had to experience it so deeply myself, but I know of people who have had to deal with it, and it can be tough. Whilst I went around doing my research and speaking to people, I realised that there are many ways of dealing with loss and uncertainty, it is subjective. But I hope these next three points would help anyone who would be going through a difficult time.

1. Remembering there is a time for everything

I’m a Christian, and you’ll always here about my faith on here. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about how there is a time for everything. There literally is a time for every single moment, and as unpleasant as it sounds- there is a time where we will all depart from here and from our loved ones. All good things must come to an end and it is okay to take time to adjust to good things or good people’s lives ending

One thing I also want to stress is to not live in fear- to not let our current circumstances around us drive us to insanity wondering if it’s yourself or a loved one going to pass next- I don’t believe this is God’s intention for us.

2. Dealing with it in your own way
Many people experience and handle loss or uncertainty in different ways, I believe there is no wrong or right way to do so. Finding what works best for you will likely make the process much easier and help you to get a speedy recovery. Whether that be spending some time to understand your loss by yourself- or spending it in the comfort of your friends and family. Whatever works for you well is the way you should go forward with it.

3. Looking for a positive future
We are more than halfway through the year, and whilst it hasn’t been an easy one, you have to look for a silver lining somewhere. It’s not the best to have a mindset that nothing positive could come out of this year. Whilst the grieving process can take a while to go through for people, try not to let it consume the remainder of the year. There is still hope that you will go through this tough season, and this could take the help of family and close ones to be with you through the journey.

What ways have you managed deal with loss and uncertainty? Comment below

Thanks for reading!

Essence Interviews – Magknit App

It’s been a long time since I’ve done an #ESSENCEINTERVIEW. A time where I get to speak to people who are creative, inspirational or who have made a major breakthrough in their field. If you haven’t already, you can read the last interview here.

Since I haven’t done one in a while , I knew I had to have a big comeback, somebody I found really unique and inspiring – so I decided to base this edition around tech ,we are meeting Jordan Johnson, co-founder and CEO of the new student-based app- Magknit.

Magknit | LinkedIn

The Magknit App acts as a platform to look for other students who would like to join forces on projects or similar interests. The app aims to transform the way students’ network and collaborate whilst meeting new people.

1.Tell us about yourself

My name is Jordan Johnson, I come from a Nigerian background. I’m 22 and attend Lancaster University. I am a Christian who loves drumming and singing. I am also the founder of the Magknit App

2.Where did the idea behind the Magknit come from ?

The idea behind the Magknit app started in my second year of university. I started a YouTube called SSV which allowed me to feature different perspectives of religion and have different faiths on there – similar to BKChat but more polished I guess. I had to end it as there was a lack of resources in order to continue and I wanted to focus more on uni.
I was attending a few networking parties due to this, where I could meet people and I thought why not create an app for this ? Surely there are hundreds of students here who would love to collaborate on projects or similar interests, why is there not an app that can help with this ? That’s where the idea originated from.

3. What were the steps in getting the app created ?

I first had to create the concept. This involved myself and 6 of my friends coming together and brainstorming the idea, creating features to add to the product. We then had to conduct focus groups and lots of market research to test our assumptions.  I did lots of reading ‘lean startup’ and watched lots of videos ‘Gary Vee, Steve Bartlett’ on start-ups and business. We then went to a university innovation hub who were hell bent on us filling in lots of sheets of paper in an attempt for us to further understand our goals for the business.

We then had to prove the concept of it. This involved creating  Facebook group that allowed students, societies, businesses and charities to advertise their skills or willingness to contribute to a project. Over 110+ people joined and over 12+ connections were made however it was painfully obvious that people needed a platform that allowed them to connect on their own as I had to encourage people to post. Upon market research we found that people didn’t really come to Facebook to network but just to watch meme’s, videos and see what friends are up to.

Thinking this was enough, during the summer I went around London looking for investment with my then co-founder. A ridiculous offer was made to us after consecutive meetings with a particular investor, which we decided to turn down in order to further prove our concept in order to gain more leverage in our negotiations so that we could properly convince the next investor. So we created a basic information capture website that allowed me to get a database of people who either had an idea or project, or had a skill and wanted to connect. We succeeded within a day and managed to sign up 30+ student 5+ ideas and 3+ businesses. Allowing me to cold call and connect the people who need to be connected.

Secure Investment and Find a Team – A particular angel investor finally believed I had enough to go ahead and start building the app.  It was through aforementioned website that I found my co-founder Siddharth Notani who was a computer science student and was on the database to help build a website for a Restaurant. I convinced him to join the company and with our resources we found a team to help build our platform and since then it’s been 1 year of building the product and doing research, lots of testing and ideation. We are now approaching launch.

4. What have been some difficulties with the app e.g. creating whilst being a student? Finances, getting a team?

I would say finances had to be the most difficult challenge, every other challenge I faced somehow involved finances getting in the way. Sourcing a team was also difficult as many dropped out along the way due to other workloads/projects. I also found time to be a challenge with it as at the time I was working at Sony, so I had to balance my job with trying to make the most out of the app,making it the best it could possibly be.

Other challenges that I faced which affected me personally included me learning how to humble myself, not letting myself get too involved with the hype of it all. I had also decided to leave university at this point which was a huge challenge for me! Simply because coming from an African background, education is instilled into us from the moment we are able to walk practically ! so I had to convince not only my parents I was serious about taking this step, but also my family and friends of my parents who tend to have an opinion at times.

Lastly, I would say loosing friends. Whilst I had friends that wanted to hang out or chill on a good lad’s holiday, I was dedicating my time to working on the app. This meant I lost friends along the way.

5. What have been some strengths from the app? e.g. getting new skills, networking opportunities

There have been many strengths I have gained from the app. Mainly in leadership. I have had to become very self-aware, be able to reason well and be receptive to criticism both positively and negatively. In terms of hard skills , I would definitely say admin skills is something I have gained and developed, additional skills involve accounting, managing finances and just having a priority to learn stuff that I needed to know . I learnt many things along the way.

6. What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and develop their own app?

I would say just start- there is no such thing as waiting for when you are ready otherwise you will never be. I would say this to people who are especially of a younger age, simply due to the fact that you don’t have any major responsibilities e.g. kids, spouse, house etc.
I would also encourage you to look into where there is a demand for what people need. Try and cater to people’s needs. Innovation is the child of demand.

7. What makes this app unique from other apps that students mainly use ? e.g. Instagram, twitter etc.

There are many things that that makes this app different from others. Twitter which is used a lot by students is conversational, you simply go there to voice your opinions and talk to others. LinkedIn is corporate so you tend to create a façade of yourself, whereas the Magknit app is a collaborative platform, rather than a social networking or corporate platform, the Magknit app allows you to collaborate and network with others based on your interests or projects you are working on.

8. How was your relationship with God affected by the app ? negatively/positively

Working on this app has brought me closer to God. When I go thorough hard times, troubles and doubts I look back at how far I have come and understand He will complete what he started. Being a son of Nigerians, failing university once is a curse from the devil and failing twice is an affliction. For me through business, my understanding of The Word and God has allowed me to find my own faith instead of believing in the word of God the way my parents do.

Failing first year and dropping out of my second year, working in my third year has just taught me that everyone’s journey to greatness is not supposed to be the same route or timespan and I thank him for the opportunities and lessons he has taught me along the way. I don’t demand from God; my main prayer is to ask his will to be done in my life and be humble enough to understand that I can’t understand while I’m going through it.

For more about the Magknit App:

W:
https://www.magknit.co.uk/
T: @MagknitApp
F:@magknitapp
IG: magknitapp

There’s a seat at the table for all of us.

“I don’t mind them doing good, just as long as they are not doing better than me…”

The other day, I read an article, talking about supporting each other and just how easy it is to do so. In our current age, businesses and companies all have social media as their way of promoting their brand and as a way of communicating with their customers. The article was mentioning that it really does not cost a lot to support a brand- in a non-financial way. 

Like a post. Share on your story. Give a shout out on your personal page. Sending a DM to someone. Collaborations and much more

So, what is exactly stopping us from believing that there truly is a seat at the table for everyone. For everyone to eat and benefit off of their labour? 

The community.

Now, I didn’t want to touch on this section of the overall topic, but I guess I have to briefly talk on it. Support within the black community. 

I believe there has always been an underlying hindrance in the black community when it comes to supporting each other. Whether it be with businesses, companies, freelance. I guess it’s to do with competition. Everyone’s desire to rise to the top and stay there- for nobody to claim their position

You see it even when we go into music. I find it funny how there are always battles between Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Remy Ma and so on. But at the end of the day, think of where they would be if we all just supported them equally. 

This also leads me to the topic of comparison, how it really is the thief of joy. Being and independent worker means you have to be your own critic in a way, you have to make judgment on your work and on your service – harshly
So when you see another person doing well, or even better than you, it can fuel the fire of not wanting to support- simply because you have compared yourself to them and have become affected by their growth. 

BUT you have to remember 

In this current day, support could probably be the best thing you can give to another person who is trying to get out there in the open. Whether it may be a share, a like, a promotion – all of these things help in one way or the other. 

Decided to keep this one short and sweet, just a thought to ponder on…

Thanks for reading!

Am I Being Useless ?

“In this self-isolation period I have :

Started 7 businesses

Learnt how to trade

Hosted my own masterclass/live webinar

Read 10 books

Invested in 3 start-up companies

And so on…”

Now, I have likely lost count of how many times I have seen a tweet, story, picture or post similar to the above quote. Somebody posting of what they have achieved during this lockdown period- leaving me to question as a blogger- am I utilising my time wisely ? Am I plainly being useless ?

No, and you aren’t either.

The lockdown period had brought many changes to people’s everyday livelihood. What once was a time where we could freely go out and just celebrate our freedom, is now a time of it being taken away from us. And is now suddenly a time where everyone wants to be the most “productive” “successful” and make the most money. Everyone is preaching about how this lockdown period should make you :


LEARN A NEW SKILL

That’s the phrase, that’s exactly the words that got me up thinking on my Sunday afternoon, and I have two ways of viewing this

Playing devil’s advocate:

Now for those people who are driven by success, whether that may be in financial terms or fame, then I guess I can understand why they are so adamant on possessing a new skill or thinking fast of ways to fill their bank accounts. At the end of the day, in this current season- the internet is your golden token. So that’s why you are seeing more people write E-books, do masterclasses or webinars, start YouTube channels or collaborate with brands/companies. I guess the whole obsession with learning a new “skill” is what is important to these people, so they would be set once this bondage.. I mean lockdown is over.

Here’s my take:

I’m no expert in business, or branding at that, but what I do know is that it is not easy to start up a business. AT ALL There are lots of downfalls, cash losses and pits that you fall in, therefore just because we may have all the time in the world does not mean we should be so eager in starting one. There is no harm in learning a new skill honestly. Learning skills is what pushes us in life- however learning a skill with the pure incentive of becoming rich overnight ? I don’t think that’s the best thing to do. Additionally, I think that we shouldn’t be pressuring people to learn a new skill without no drive behind it. If you want to learn a new skill, normally there has to be a genuine interest that comes from it, otherwise it just becomes a chore.

And you would be surprised, there are a lot of business owners/ or content creators out there who are even urging people to not rush into anything, to get used to the change in routine and take some time to yourself- and I would agree. I would say to anyone feeling guilty of not being useful in anyway- DON’T. Trust me we are all in the same boat, learning how to adjust to the new system.

What are your thoughts on this ? are we rushing too much into the whole phase of learning new skills ?

Thanks for reading !

Your Mental Health in this Quarantine Period.

It was after an online prayer session with my church group this week, where one of the leaders stated “ the reality of this period is that people’s mental health won’t be the same, they would come out as a different person” and I started to think of how true this statement was.

Adjusting to the WFH lifestyle was already tough. Being confined to a small desk or small space without the freedom of the commute (no matter how annoying it would be) to express your minds and have a think was really tough. Accompanied by the fact that you couldn’t separate work from home- if you had a stressful day or a heavy workload you would have to remain in the same place or environment where you dealt with it. All in all- it’s been tough.

I have compiled 5 tips together, which I think are essential with helping you with your mental health during this season. I hope these tips are useful and guide you to improving your mental health day by day.

  1. Stick with your regular routine

For many of us our regular routines of getting up and getting ready for work would have changed drastically since the lockdown period, and I’m sure this time would have had an affect on any entrepreneurs/self-employed workers too. However, this does not mean your routine needs to change. If you practiced self-care every Monday – continue ! If you went for a run every Saturday morning – continue ! (only once a day of course lol). The point is that life does not have to stop due to the pandemic, keep to your regular routine of doing what you love and make sure to stick to that routine even whilst working from home.

2. Limit your time on the news/media

As much as we want to keep up with the news surrounding the virus, keep up on any vital information the government may be providing us, it may be daunting to constantly hear negativity or hear sad news of deaths- it can increase the feelings of hopelessness and constant worry about how the virus is deteriorating. Therefore, limiting the amount of news you hear to just the morning may be best- get the negative news out of the way and then turn on a positive mindset for the remainder of the day

I would avoid listening to the news just before bed, this will prevent you from having worries during the night, it may even prevent you from getting to sleep on time for an early work start the following day.  

3. Get fresh air at least once a day

Although we are advised to stay indoors, I am so grateful that parks and large sparse areas are left open to do at least 1 form of exercise a day (and 1 form only- don’t go and sunbathe!) After watching a report on Sky News today, they  explained how they were purposely left there for exercise but also for mental health reasons. People use large spaces to free up their minds and release their thoughts- it can be your only form of escape during this time.

Several studies have confirmed that separation from nature is detrimental to human development, health and wellbeing, and that regular contact with nature is required for good mental health.

Therefore, if you feel like being in quarantine is seriously affecting your emotions then take advantage of the natural spaces around you

4. Speak to at least 1 person a day

If you are at home with family then this can help as you can talk to your siblings, partner or parents about how your day went. However, during this time where you may not see your friends or loved ones in a while- technology is your best friend. Whether it may be audio call, FaceTime, Skype, finding a way to talk to someone can distract you from the thought of being confined to one space. Having that one important phone call session can help distract you from the constant news of death or uncertainty and can help clear and free your mind.

And they always say- check up on those who appear the strongest !

5. Think Positively

This current period can bring nothing but anxiety, worry and confusion. I’m sure nobody would have imagined the sudden changes that we would have to follow due to the outbreak, and this can have an effect on people negatively- to avoid this, change the way you perceive the current situation we are in.

I think this graphic explains it best. This year would have brought many disappointments to plans such as travel plans, birthdays, social events etc. But if you learn to change your mindset from the FEAR ZONE to the GROWTH ZONE, it can improve your mindset as a whole. This is something not done overnight, and will take some time to implement

There you have it ! 5 tips to help your mental health during this period

Thanks for reading


6 Worship songs you should be listening to!

Hey guys, 

Welcome back to a new blog post.

So initially I wanted to talk about my thoughts towards the Corona virus outbreak. You know- Corona, Miss Rona, Auntie Coro,The Rona, Coro Coro, and so on…
However I decided not to, since that’s what is always showing on every news channel you may find, every social media platform and I’m sure in every group chat there is out there. Yes, it has had a massive effect on all of us, some positively, some negatively.

But whilst I’ve been stuck in the house for the past 6 days, due to- yes you guessed it – The Rona, I have been listening to a lot of worship songs lately, mainly whilst I’m working, or doing any other sort of activity. To be honest, adjusting to this new working from home lifestyle has been crazy- and it has affected my prayer routine- let’s just say it’s been hard to get into my prayer time as of late- worship has been the only escape. I talk more about my journey with God so far here.

So here I am documenting 6 worship songs I have been loving lately- and I hope you will love too!

In no particular order:  

  1. Yahweh (Spontaneous) (Live)- Campus Rush Music 

What I love most about this song is that it is live, I guess it was taken from one of their concerts and I absolutely love how it puts you in the atmosphere of worship- just as if you were in a concert yourself. It also consists of a medley of 2 songs that I love – Yahweh and Adonai. You can really feel the spirit in the song and I’m so glad my friend recommended this song to me- one of my faves!

2. Casted Crowns- Jubilee Worship

I believe this song is new as it just came out in February, but I just love how uplifting this song is. Especially at the end, it almost brings you to tears! I am a fan of Jubilee Worship and their songs, one thing I really love about them is their videos- the fact that they always show people of all ages and backgrounds in one room worshipping, is just so beautiful. This is also a live version of worship; therefore, you really hear and feel the people in the room worshipping. 

3. You Are Awesome- Deborah Darling

I can only describe this song as beautiful, from the melody of the song to the instruments and the emotion behind it. This is actually my morning commute songs- as in I normally go for this song to start my day off, it just sets my mind on God before I start my day, even if I didn’t get to do my prayer time in the morning before I leave.

4. Most Beautiful/ So In Love- Maverick City Music, Chandler Moore

So, I had heard this song at worship concerts, probably 2 times before I had discovered it on YouTube, only this year! Again, this song is done with a group of people- generating a great atmosphere to worship in. by the end of a song, you are just left in awe of how worship can be so beautiful. And oh- can we talk about Chandler Moore’s voice please!!!!

5. Yi Naye (Live) – Ntokozo Mbambo, Joe Mettle

Being a Ghanaian myself, I never realised how powerful Twi worship was, until I heard this song. I don’t know but something about it being in a different language just makes it special! Their voices together are just so strong and powerful, and the song is simply about praising and worshipping his name because of how good he is

6. The Lord’s Prayer- Jubilee Worship

This has to be one of my favourite worship songs ever. The Lord’s prayer is literally as the title states, so it is a familiar prayer that many Christians are aware of, so making it into a song is catchy and easy to learn. But once again Jubilee Worship does it again with their amazing music and video. When I say there is a song that brings me to so much emotion and tears it is probably this one here. It is my go-to song if I just want to immerse myself in God’s spirit.

So, there you have it, 6 worship songs that I am loving at the moment, I will probably do another one in a few months in case some new songs have come out that I am not aware of. In the midst of all this Corona chaos, I hope you can find solace and rest in these songs and remember that God is in control.

Thanks for reading!

Ghana : Why Everybody Ran Back !

screenshot_20200105_2145297750561452270751778-2

After seeing this pic on the gram, I knew that the Year of Return in Ghana had to be my next topic I blog about. You guessed it, over 1.5 million people took plane, ferry, catapult or whichever method of transport to get themselves from all over the world, to the sunny and vibrant lands of Ghana. From Ludacris to Cardi B and her infamous chichinga incident to even the Queen B’s mother herself spent new years in Ghana.

Of course, I was watching like a lot of my friends from my phone via SnapChat and Insta stories. Whilst I was drying my eyes of the tears due to not doing up enjoyment like everyone else, I do feel glad that I somewhat saved money. Prices skyrocketed to over 1 grand, and that’s just the tickets alone. If you didn’t get transport and accommodation sorted also, then I guess your bank accounts definitely felt the pain! Nevertheless, 2019 was the definitely the year of African awareness and self-consciousness.

The Year of Return

I actually had to find out from a colleague what it was and why it meant so many people were returning home ( they need to teach this during BHM in schools ).

The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia.”. yearofreturn.com

In hindsight, it was an invitation of all descendants from years and years of slavery to come back to their original roots, original heritages and come back to their true homes. The project has many goals and targets. One being for people to come and experience culture and enjoyment in their hometown, another to celebrate the freedom that Africans all over the world currently have and also to boost tourism as it can be a leading indicator to business and investment.

What does this mean for Ghanaians, Africans in general?

For me, I think it brings a new sense of emotion and patriotism for not only Ghana, but for Africa as a whole. If you think about it, Africa definitely wasn’t the dream spot that people wanted to spend their Christmas season at. If it wasn’t America, it was Canada. If it wasn’t the UK it was somewhere in Europe ! But the fact that thousands of people dream about going home to see the places where their parents were born and raised, really brings a sense of change and greatness.

Afro Nation, the festival which features many African and Caribbean artists sharing the beautiful and lovely music that Africa has to provide is also a massive contributor to many people going to Ghana. The festival celebrated the vibrant and emerging culture of Africa and it has definitely had an impact on the younger generation all over the world.

Overall, I am proud of where Ghana and Africa as a whole has transformed and come to be in this current year, it’s rise in popularity, public perception and view has made it a number 1 tourist destination. Who would of thought- not me ! and who knows, mabye Ghana will be seeing me this year after-all ! *crosses fingers*

Thanks for reading !

YouTube

Hey !

Now we all know and love the beautiful app and American video-sharing platform that’s known as YouTube. With approximately 1.8 billion users being pulled in every month, it is no shock that it has become a very successful platform which people have used to generate income.

I thought it would be great to put together a compilation of YouTubers that I have loved throughout the year- Note that I mainly use YouTube to watch style, beauty and fashion videos, so this may be slightly tailored towards the female side *sorry*

Without further or do, let’s begin…

The Real

The real consists of 5 ladies who sit around a table and talk about current topics from reality TV, social media and the latest gossip on all thing’s celebrities. (releases my inner Wendy Williams) there are some familiar faces on there- Tamera Housely from Sister Sister and Adrienne Houghton from 3LW. The thing that I love about this show so much is the diversity in the women, we have representation from the Latina community, African American community and the Asian community all coming together and embracing culture, with ranging personalities, I love how they express their views and opinions on current topics- definitely check them out !

Live from Layfield

The LFL girls are girls you would want as your big sisters or big cousins, they consist of three pharmacists (Oh they smart smart !) who are filled with so much wisdom and passion, give great advice videos on life experiences and also great story times. They also give biblical and religious perspectives on topics such as university, relationships and life in general

Rhea Ellen

Famous for her hilarious “Rhea’s Rants” Rhea Ellen’s videos are there for having a great laugh ! She rants on things that we can all find common ground on be it public transport, current trends, love island, customer service etc, and what makes her so funny is that she states things that we all can agree on, make sure to check her out.

Nella Rose

This should be no surprise, by far Nella Rose is one of the most popular UK YouTubers out there especially for the younger generation, from starting her videos in Uni with her friends, Nella has really risen up in the YouTube game as she currently has over 300,000 subscribers who tune in to all her videos. One word I can use to describe her videos is just ENTERTAINMENT – pure entertainment, whether it be tags or challenges

Shirley B Eniang

So, I have to give credit to my OG’s here on YouTube, the people I have been watching ever since I discovered what YouTube was. Shirley B Eniang, is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle youtuber, who comes onto her channel with nothing but class and style. Every video I watch of her, I feel inspired to just go out on a huge shopping trip and just buy everything that she shows in her video !

Peakmill

Another YouTube OG here, Peakmill is a Nigerian youtuber who focuses on makeup, style and HAIR- The ultimate hair guru out there. She is literally the person you would want as your personal hairdresser/stylist you would want for every occasion you have. Peakmill has been around for some years now, and I still watch each video she posts each time with excitement.

The Real
Live From Layfield
Rhea Ellen
Nella Rose
Shirley B Eniang
Peakmill

2020 Is That Year.

2020. The year of clear vision.

The start of a new decade. I really had to sit down and ‘deep’ it. I have lived for a decade and I’m about to enter into a new decade. As I listen and read the many phrases of “you are about to enter into your best year yet” and “2020 we’re not slacking” I start to wonder how I can make this year my best.

2019 was hard. I’m sure many people can attest to this, for me personally the combination of second year of university, working on my personal development, my blog and applying for placements (which is too complicated to go into I don’t even know how to explain) it was a tough rollercoaster. It’s weird how people can relate to the feeling of 2019 bringing nothing but disappointments, lack of achievements and hurt.

But hey- it’s 2020, if you don’t remain positive, who will ?

1. Stop saying “New Year, New Me”.

Now I’m not trying to be a negative Nancy here, but stop saying this phrase unless you are actually going to do something about this “New Me” thing. I’m sure many of us on social media have seen the various stories and posts of how 2020 is going to be better than the previous year (including the woman who is stepping up on those steps with a box named “edges” signifying she is not leaving that behind lool) and how this year is going to be the best year yet because “I am now a changed person”. But it’s easier said then done. Don’t just say the phrase for saying sake- act on it.

Yes 2020 is the beginning of a new decade and it is good to have a positive outlook of your character for the year; however, it is important to remember that come December 31st 2020, you are not going to see a change in yourself unless you have worked on it
consistently throughout the year.

2. Get an accountability partner.

So, if you are going with this “New Year, New Me” vibe, at least get someone who can be
accountable for this. My suggestion will be to write down all your goals, either financial,
spiritual or character motivated and hand it over to someone who will be willing to check you up on some of your goals you had for the year. This can be someone close to you like a sibling, parent or a good friend. Make sure they are reliable and motivational though, you wouldn’t want it to be someone who doesn’t care about your growth or wellbeing. Therefore, look for someone who is going to add to your improvement and be accountable for your goals.

3. Get a gratitude jar.

I was introduced to this idea by my friend Tisha, who suggested getting a jar and writing on a piece of paper something you are grateful for within that day. By the end of the year, you can empty the jar and read all the things that you are grateful for within that year. I think as we go through the year, we may go through struggles or difficult time that makes us forget the smaller things we can be grateful for. Just having air go in and out of our lungs each day is a blessing, that can be something you put in your gratitude jar !
If you want this year to be remembered as a year of success, this gratitude jar will help you achieve it.

4. Just live.

This point applies to my generation, the younger 20’s or the older teens. I’m sure you have heard the saying “This new decade is going to be wild- you’re going to be married, having kids and buying a house” wait up, hold on a minute ! Please we are just 6 days into 2020 !!
Yes, the next 10 years ahead of you may look like a lot in terms of life changes, and it’s
nothing to be afraid of, but I urge you to just take this year and just live.

There is nothing wrong with staying focused on your future, but also remember to take the time out and just enjoy the year that is ahead of you. My “New Years Resolution” as people would like to call it is to just branch out of my comfort zone and try out new places and new activities, travel more and just LIVE- Not be so caught up and be strict on the goals I had planned for the year.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful year, and here’s to
new posts within the new year “ *clinks glass*

Remain Blessed.