Personal Development


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Chapter XV – Getting Back on Track

I am Jude. We are only 18 days into a new year, and by now, almost 90% of people have broken their New Year’s resolutions despite the best of intentions and maybe even some planning. Many of us are barely hanging on. 

However, I strongly encourage you to stay in the game. 

Please understand that failure is a necessary part of the process. It CAN NOT be avoided.

If you have faltered, refocus and redouble your efforts. If you have fallen off completely, tighten up your action plan and start again.

Remind yourself that change is difficult, but that it is required if we are to grow and reinvent ourselves. Sometimes our setbacks provide the best opportunities for fast learning. If we are attuned, they can identify oversights, unforeseen obstacles and potential new strategies to be more successful. 

Failure in not the end. Rather it is an opportunity to ask important questions. Were your efforts aligned with your intended goals? What worked and what didn’t, and what adjustments need to be made?

Embrace the challenge of redefining failure. Consider its potential benefits and disregard any self-defeating thoughts that are associated with falling short. Failing never defines you, unless you let it. 

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If you are looking to get restarted or back on track, here are three suggestions to help you start anew:

One Small Step at a Time

If you want to pursue your dreams or manifest your goals – you must take action. But let me be clear, your efforts should be measured. Do not try to climb the whole mountain or run the whole race! It will only result in disappointment, and probably injury.

Temper your expectations and be more practical with your goal-setting and intended actions.  

Instead of going all-in, take one small step within a well considered plan. And then take another one. If increased reading is your goal, read the first page, name one thing for which you are grateful. If exercising is on your list, begin stretching in a chair.

An effective tool for developing new behaviours is to anchor desired actions to pre-existing habits. Listen to an audiobook while you are driving, practice gratitude when you are brushing your teeth or incorporate physical movements while you are on the floor playing with your children. 

Don’t forget to celebrate these small personal victories. Pat yourself on the back after every win, it builds momentum, confidence and resolve. 

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Get Up 30 Minutes Earlier

Getting up earlier allows you the chance to start the day on your terms. It creates a space that you can dedicate to self-care and your personal development. 

It provides an opportunity to develop healthy rituals such as meditation, journaling or simply devoting time to yourself before you confront the demands of your day. 

Think about it. What could be the benefits of getting up a little earlier and adopting a healthy daily practice? How could 30 minutes change your life?

Who knows, thirty minutes might not be enough….

For me, mornings have always been my favourite part of the day. It’s when I feel most alive,  when I have the most energy and when I generally get the most accomplished.

Lately however, I have been struggling with getting up at my desired time – 5:30. And to make matters worse, I have been allowing the negative feelings from waking up late to affect my whole day.

Like most other problems, I know exactly what I have to do. Go the hell to bed earlier ! However, the usual suspects of fear, self sabotage and negative thinking are hard at work. They encourage poor decision-making and convenient justifications that get in the way.

I have recently begun re-employing Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule to combat my laziness and late nights. It suggests that if you have an instinct or a thought to act on a goal, you count down from 5 to 0 and do something before your brain can get in the way. 

Now when I wake up or when I am reminded that it’s bedtime, I act before my brain has a chance to talk me out of it.

So far so good…. 


Begin capturing your thoughts, ideas, and emotions in a journal. It is a multi-purpose tool with a host of practical applications. It provides a safe space where you can doodle, create, consider and reflect. It is an effective personal development tool that has the ability to impact every aspect of your life.


By helping to organize your thoughts and your priorities. Journaling allows you to create and track tasks, action plans and goals. It’s portable and convenient and doesn’t require a filing system. All you need is a pen and the requisite interest.  

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Journaling neutralizes anxiety and provides a healthy outlet that can help process and release emotions. We are experiencing a global pandemic that has radically transformed our lives. Covid has created heightened levels of stress. 

Writing decompresses your thoughts. It’s a release that can quiet your mind, provide unexpected insights or leave you more peace.

Consistent journaling chronicles your growth and development. It reminds you how far you have actually come and documents what you have accomplished. And that is very important. 

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Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting

The more I learn about life coaching, the more I value the importance of being able to ask meaningful, thought-provoking questions. It’s not only about asking open-ended questions. A good life coach offers questions that stimulate self-reflection, challenge boundaries and encourage action oriented problem-solving.

Clients should lead the discussion through their responses and stated goals for the coaching session. Coaches should more ask questions and talk less. 

Your Next Best Read – The 10X Rule by Grant Cordone

I’m not sure if it’s your next best read, but some of the ideas espoused in the book were interesting. The author suggests that you set massive goals and take massive effort to achieve exceptional results.. 

I appreciated his emphasis on perseverance, continuous learning and creating your own reality through hard work and dedication. 

However, I resented his can-do, no nonsense, pull yourself up by your bootstraps attitude.It was off-putting. As Afrikan people and other equity-deserving groups know full well, many times hard work and big dreams just aren’t enough, despite giving 10X effort. 

Success is not something that happens to you; its something that happens because of you and because of the actions you take. 

Grant Cardone
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What’s Good?  Positive Reflections

Believe it or not, one of the highlights of my week was getting my Covid booster shot. Not only because the shot was available, but because I got it through the African Canadian Vaccination Clinic. 

The roving clinic is targeting traditional Black communities around the province and is administered by local Black volunteers and members of the Assocaition of Black Social Workers(A.B.S.W) and the Health Association of African Canadians(H.A.A.C.) 

Here’s the thing, it was the largest group of community members I have been a part of in MONTHS!!!! Covid provisions have precluded any large gatherings and people have been limited to their respective bubbles. 

So it was absolutely amazing to see familiar faces and half-hidden smiles and hear the sounds of laughter. Even though it was through a mask and at a distance, just being in the same space with ‘community’ created positive energy and connection. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my twenty minute post-needle waiting period. It felt like a mini-Apex dance. In truth, it ended far too soon. Nonetheless, it was a blessing and I’ll take those whenever I can get them.

Photo by Raja Sen on Unsplash

Public Announcement

Get Outside and Start walking! I get it. We are in the deepest part of our Canadian winter. However if you have the ability – dress appropriately, get outside and walk! 

The benefits are obvious. We know that walking outdoors is directly related to your mental, physical and emotional well-being. 

The brain is extremely sensitive to decreases in oxygen levels. Consequently, getting outside to breathe fresh air actually improves brain function, especially if you are inside all day. 

In addition to healthy brain function, Vitamin D is essential to every other system in the body. However, many people are still deficient even though our skin can synthesize small amounts of vitamin D from the sunlight when we are outside. And at no cost. 

This is especially important for Afrikan people because we have more melanin in our skin which reduces our ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun. The bottom line is that we require more Vitamin D, especially in the winter time. 

 If that’s not enough, walking outside is one of the few remaining things that you can still do without any real concern for Covid. So friends, as my mother used to lovingly say to me when I was young, “Get the hell outside, the fresh air will do you good!” I am Jude. 

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