Monday, December 28, 2009

Looking Ahead to a New Decade...

As another year and decade closes, many of us will reflect on what worked for us and what didn’t. We will make declarations in January of a new start whether it is our spiritual growth, our relationships, our health, our career, or our families. I don’t know that I believe in resolutions, but I love the energy that a new year brings. Every New Year’s Day gives us the mental opportunity to start again and be better at what we do and who we are. We allow ourselves to hope and dream…

There were days in 2009 where I literally cried myself to sleep and days where anxiety kept me from eating or sleeping. There were days when I felt absolutely lost. The song this year that got me through those dark moments was Let Go, Let God. And this is what I did…I realized again, that some things are really out of my control. The only thing I have control over is the choices I make. I learned how to make better choices for myself, and boy this was and continues to be very difficult for me. The more difficult it is, the more I learn about myself, which has been an amazing awakening. So as challenging as 2009 was, I have to say it was a remarkable year of growth for me. As the year ends I can honestly say, that I like where I am and more importantly who I am, and where I am headed. I gained clarity and what a gift that has been.

My word for 2010 is commitment…to God, to family, to work, to writing, to fitness/health, and to finance...

I have never felt more grounded in God’s love, but in 2009, my husband and I stopped going to church. We began to have church in our home. The experience has been uplifting to us, but even more astonishing was that our children loved it so much that they don’t want to go back to church. What both my husband and I learned was that our lessons became more meaningful because our kids held us accountable to God’s word on a daily basis. It was truly transforming. I am not sure where we are headed, but I would ultimately like to find a church home to be a part of and have our children grow in. Until then, I would like to get back on track and have our Booker Sunday services on a regular basis. We have been on hiatus, and it is time for us to commit to our spiritual nourishment again...

I am married to my best friend and lover which is one of my greatest blessings. In 2010, I am committed to finding time to nurture our friendship and love. We both get so worn down by the daily grind that the first thing that gets put to the side is us. I am going to do something daily to show my love and appreciation for my husband. This could mean a longer embrace, a sweeter kiss, or even a small love text during the day. It only takes a few minutes, but could mean the difference in his day. He is my gift from God and I want him to always know it…My supreme miracle is that I was chosen to be the mother to three incredible little lives. We have the great responsibility of raising them to be good and caring human beings, and I hold this closest to my heart. I want to be the best mother I can be which means being a better listener, making time when I am beat down tired, and instilling confidence that they are loved unconditionally. I am devoted to continuing to make my marriage and family the top priority in my life…If all is good at home, everything else will fall into place.

Armed with the clarity of 2009, I am looking ahead to limitless opportunities in 2010. I am invested both financially and emotionally to the company that I work for. I believe in the company, and I am dedicated to doing my part in taking it to the next level not only for myself, but for all of my friends and family that invested in the company because of my recommendation. The state of the world’s economy has thrown some barriers our way in 2009, but already 2010 looks to be a ground breaking year for all of us and with commitment and hard work the possibilities are endless…Success is the only option!

Writing is my passion…it became crystal clear for me in 2009 and in 2010 I am making the choice to nurture this intense desire to put words on paper and to have my words make an impact in some way, shape, or form. I plan to be steadfast and more disciplined in my writing. Quite simply I plan to write, write, and write some more, and I pray that there will be people out there that will want to read what I write. I am encouraged to have 23 followers of this blog, and I thank each and every one of you for your support, and the sharing of your own words and journeys. Your paths have enriched my life and my writing.

Fitness has been an emotional lifesaver for me in 2009. Since April, I have been committed to running and strength training, and it has added such lucidity and well being to my life. It is what I do solely for myself…It gives me the mental and physical balance needed to do all of the other things that are required of me in my family, career, and overall life. In 2010, I embrace continued exercise, but I am going to make better choices in diet. I plan to drink more water, and eat more fruits and veggies.

In 2009, my husband and I committed to a life free of credit cards. We decided to tear down debt and live within our means…not on credit. Great decision, tough to implement, but we did it. Our debt is going down and we did not use credit for anything this year. I am committed to keeping us on track to be debt free in 5 years…we are well on our way…including paying cash for all Christmas presents in 2009. I am proud of us both for making this commitment and sticking to it.

I am excited for the next decade and the possibilities that are ahead. What’s ahead for you in 2010? I would love to hear what 2009 was like for you, and what you are looking forward to in the next year.  I challenge you to write it makes you accountable….please share!


  1. A Powell Martin28 December, 2009

    Alicia! First off, let me thank you for not using the word "resolution" in your piece! I don't know if the omission was intentional, but something about that word connotates failure may be more acceptable than it should...
    On Sunday I had lunch with an old friend. We sipped Sangria and caught up on each other's lives. By the end of the outing, I realized I had not only missed her, but I missed ME. Almost immediately I had a "revelation" (not resolution): Be a better friend in 2010!
    God has delivered me from a job that was too emotional, stressful, and contrary to my personality and path in life. As such, my new position will allow me more time for being a present friend to my husband, my community, and all who love and embrace me. Oh- and now I will have time to foster and encourage my friends talents' also. That means I will continue to encourage your literary aspirations and continue to be inspired by your words.

  2. Alicia, Thanks so much for your transparency when sharing about your 2009 experiences. I am sure a lot of people, myself included, can identify with the extreme growing pains experienced this year. We can also agree with you that they have brought us to a better place and better equipped for 2010. Again, thanks for sharing.

  3. Alicia,

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. While your musing about love, life and passion ring with a disarmingly vulnerable tone, they represent the visceral desires of so many of us…thank you for being that voice.

    2009 was an incredible year! I’m blessed with a wonderful and loving family. My wife Nicole is my #1 fan. She supports me up, down, and through every idea (and I have a TON of them). Her love and support, and risk-tolerance have allowed me to live the life of a mobile entrepreneur. I’m building a speaking and consulting business that has taken off over the last 18 months. Additionally, my belief in the power of intention has led me to resources that will help me better market my software company to potential clients.

    We’re all wired differently. While I’m keenly aware of the dawn of a new year, I work best by focusing on what Maltz refers to as ‘day-tight compartments.’ I’m working on getting a ‘running start’ into 2010 by focusing on the three things I will do tomorrow to move me toward my most compelling goals. Some do well looking forward to the next week or month. I build success momentum by concentrating on the now, and the actions I’ve taken in the direction of my dreams.

    As for accountability moving forward, I will commit to the following three overarching goals. Goal 1 is my BREAKTHROUGH Goal, the one that will represent seismic shifts in my life and work when accomplished. I will:

    1. Complete the manuscript of my first book (full authorship) by June 1, 2010
    2. Schedule and lead monthly MasterMind Alliance Meetings starting in January, 2010. The first meeting will be held by January 24, 2010. The MMA has been an invaluable source of feedback and support for me. I will facilitate the recruitment of new members get us back on track.
    3. Deliver the kind of quality work (speaking) that results in an average of 6 new speaking bookings per month as measured by the number of contracts I sign on a monthly basis.

    Wow…going from my head, to paper, to your blog does represent some accountability. I appreciate this opportunity to share and add to the building synergy you’re creating via your writing.


  4. It’s that time to reflect on the past year and possibly more put my thoughts to print. (Although this is very liberating, it is still difficult to be so truthful and put it all out there). The years were filled with great joys as any mother would know, watching my precious children grow into adulthood. No more children in my household with a 19 year old young man and a 17 year old young lady. Sitting on the sidelines as my family grew and excelled in sports and school and got their first jobs, both lifeguarding. All the time my heart ached with the possibilities that lay before them and of the opportunities I pushed aside so that they may achieve their inner best. As I dreamed for their futures I forgot about my own and yet an inner voice kept asking “this can’t possibly be all there is for me”. So as I dreamed so profoundly of all life had to offer them, I found myself reflecting on all that I may have passed up. And as moms so often times do, I put aside these feelings, sometimes of loneliness and emptiness and of times gone by and I moved forward and drove them to their next event. I watched my husband get promoted as Captain in the fire department and my heart again felt such pride and thankfulness that he has been such a good man, always putting his family first and doing the right thing and yet, here he was outside the realm of our inner walls, excelling at a part of himself that was all his own, only about him and only through him and again that inner voice asked, “is this all there is for me?” For this is the result of a choice I made so many years ago to give up my career and become a stay at home mom. And although had I had to do it over again, I would, I have to say that these were some of the best of times for me and also some of the worst of times for me. For I have done no harder work in my life than to stay at home to raise my family. In doing so, I have given up a piece of me and who I was. Was it worth it? You betcha! Was it difficult? Most of the time! But now after 20 years of giving I have decided to make the next journey of my life, the second half as you will, a little bit more about ME! Just saying it makes me excited and I can hear my inner voice yelling “YEAH, you go girl!”

    So for me 2010 is going to be a time a little bit more about me. I can’t say totally about me because I am more than ever inspired (a lot by Alicia) to be a better mom and wife and friend and to reign in my finances (we too have made a commitment to live within our means and have been doing so well reaching this goal) in 2010. I am committed to letting go of relationships that I find toxic to my well being and to nurture those that are not. To being a better listener to my family and letting go of some of my sensitivities (one of my downfalls). I am continuing to accept the different relationships in my life and realizing that not everyone can give in the same way. That although people say one thing their actions reveal something else and sometimes this is the best they can do. It may not be my way, but it is their best and learning to accept them as they are can sometimes challenge the way you were brought to believe relationships were to be. It takes time and understanding and I vow to be better at this.

  5. Previous post continues...

    2009 brought a new scare to my life with the threat of cancer and after surgery and I most grateful to be able to say that the threat has been removed for good and there was no cancer. What a glorious way to begin a new year. So I am committing 2010 to my own personal health and well being and hopefully in doing so, my family with reap the benefits as I try to include them in my being my personal best by making better food choices and keeping up with my exercise regime. 2010 is the year for me to start on a new career, maybe not as big as so many years ago, but something that it my own and can offer me my own personal achievements to work on and grow with, whether it be a full time or part time career, it will be mine.
    I too have been blessed by God with a good man and over the many years together, 25 married and 4 more added to that, we have both put aside ourselves for the benefit of our children. I believe it is now time to work on regaining that bond that started with just us. It too will require some work on both parties and I believe it is worth the extra effort. I agree with Alicia in that if all is good at home, everything else will fall into place. We have certainly lost some of “us” over the many years that we have partnered to raise our family and now that the family dependency has lessened, it is time to give back to “us”.
    We too gave up going to church years ago and yet the last decade has brought me closer to God in more ways than I can share here. I find my belief has strengthened as I watched Him guide me and protect my family and I have found ways that God has asked me to share myself. The last decade has been a time for me to cook for families in need, whether it be a parent fighting cancer or a parent losing a job. I have always been a big cook and find that this is a way for me to extend myself to them in their need and at the same time to inspire others to do the same and thus afford these people a little bit of comfort. My list of families is long and surprises me to see how many people I have helped. I commit to continue this path.
    So without making any new year’s resolutions, I am making commitments to myself, all of which will benefit those I love the most. I am committed to being thankful daily for all of my blessings and to try not to take them for granted. For I have so many……

    Sue Merc

  6. Over these past months reading about a women’s worth has been a blend of conversations, confessions, revelations and sharing. It’s has been a wonderful melody of expressions. Alicia thanks for leading us in song, it has been music to my soul.
    Wow 2010 is going to be my year of “doing” there is so much to do and I am poised and ready. Life has indeed been interesting over the last ½ of the 2000 decade for me. I’ve gotten through some health challenges and persevered through serious marriage issues and marriage is still “complicated”… but so is life! I remained faithful and trusted God, this meant letting go of many things that were beyond my ability to fix, change or control. Oh letting go is hard but I had to let go and get out of my way so that God can intervene take control of the situations I cannot handle on my own. It was and continues to be the only way for me. I have to remember that the battle is not mine it’s the Lords. Through this process of faith and introspection, I have found peace, gained strength and momentum and even some joy.
    I will meet 2010 simply by living life through “small plates” keeping it simple, staying focused, living and giving. I will meet every day with anticipation of something good God has in store for me. I will work to shun the negative and embrace the positive. When I am down or troubled (and yes I anticipate there will be some days) I will ask myself is there room on my “small plate” before I Indulge.
    I know God has some additional challenges for me to help me grow; I welcome the opportunity to serve and grow (living and giving) because I know I am exactly where I need as I continue on this Journey. Peace and joy to everyone in 2010 and beyond.

  7. Alicia,

    I came to your post via a tweet from Ken Williams.

    As I read your post, I thought "This is my can it be hers?" My world fell apart in 2009. I turned to fitness as an emotional lifesaver. I am a writer just spreading her wings to write. I have made a commitment to making wise financial decisions going forward into the future. Last, I am looking forward to 2010 as a year of tremendous opportunity. I am figuring out my passions, embracing my inner beauty, and refusing to be held back anymore.

    Thank you for your post; I took comfort in hearing about someone else who is on a similar journey.

    All the best to you,

  8. Alicia,

    Thank you for sharing your story! Your reflections on 2009 and commitments for 2010 are your testimony-your gift to others. So much of what you shared resonates with me. Like you, 2009 was a year of growth, change, and clarity.

    I am excited about the possibilities and positive new experiences that await in this new year. Each day is truly a new opportunity to set/accomplish goals, share with others, and to ultimately be our best selves.

    As I reflect on this new year I am filled with a rush of gratitude. I am so truly grateful for all of the blessings that God has placed in my life. I am thankful for who I am at this stage in my journey. I am thankful for my family. My husband and my children are such precious gifts in my life! I am thankful for my friends, my health, and the work that I do. I start 2010 mindful of these blessings. I start 2010 with a plan to keep balance in my life. I know that there is time and space to do everything that I need and want to do.

    Thank you again for sharing your insight and prompting your audience to take time to pause and relect on the year ahead. I look forward to reading more of your writing in the weeks and months to come.

    Happy New Year!

  9. Outstanding writing I truly enjoyed reading it. I am extremely proud of you as a woman, friend and soul mate.


  10. Truly great writing and inspiration for me in the new decade. Happy New Year to you and your family.