20 Things I'm Leaving in '17

IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY (OR TOO LATE) TO START SELF CORRECTING (WHAT I CALL RI-EVALUATION).

 living my best life earlier this month, at an Indie Film festival in Hollywood.

living my best life earlier this month, at an Indie Film festival in Hollywood.

while I am in Ri-eValuation mode every day of the year, I don't shy away from mainstream "new Year, new me" opportunities like New Years' resolutions or cleanses.

WITH THAT BEING SAID, THESE MAINSTREAM FADS ARE ONLY SUCCESSFUL WHEN WE RECOGNIZE THAT CHANGES IN BEHAVIOR REQUIRE CHANGES IN ATTITUDE.

2017 has been a year of great transition for me. some things were in my control, but most weren't. regardless, I played my cards to my advantage because I have been preparing myself every day to become the me I want to be. in this year alone, I participated in three holistic cleanses, including Healthy happy us' 21 day challenge that I completed earlier this month. as I mentioned in my post-cleanse blog post, i cleanse to reflect, heal and grow, physically, mentally and spiritually - to prepare me for each next level of my life.


in preparation for all of the greatness that 2018 will bring, I have decided on 20 things I'll be leaving in 2017. at some point earlier this year, I listed these habits, behaviors and mindsets in my passion planner's "not-to-do" list. I say that to emphasize that unlearning negativity or hinder-some habits, while worthwhile, can be a long process. I think it's safe to say that I am ready to finally let these 20 things go for good, and I encourage you to set an intention to do the same: 

1- EGO/PRIDE

is it really pride if you don't trust yourself to set it aside? I've been asking myself that question for years, and i've finally decided the answer is no. i will no longer be the prideful, stubborn woman whose pride and ego (really just fear and lack of trust) rule over her interactions with others. i'm too strong for that. i will no longer behave out of fear and vanity.

2- COMPETITIVENESS

i have never been a competitive person by nature. i've always wanted to see others win, regardless how i was doing. that said, i would find myself barely resisting the urge to compete when i sensed someone was trying to compete with me first. as a part of my "i can only be Ri" movement, those urges will remain in 2017, because they are rooted in egoism. it's me VS. me. 

3- SELF DEPRECATING THOUGHTS/SPEECH

there is such a thing as being too modest. You may be thinking that this contradicts #1 but it doesn't at all. Knowing when to celebrate yourself with a pat (or several) on the shoulder doesn't mean your ego rules. as a minority woman, self-deprecating behavior was a way for me to apologize for my greatness, as if it wasn't mine to celebrate. i will no longer equate humility with apology. 

4- TOXIC AND/OR DRAINING RELATIONSHIPS

If it is not adding, it's subtracting. Period. I used to think that there were three categories of people/things in my life: the ones that add value, the ones stunting my growth, and the neutrals that did neither of the two. Guess what? Those so called neutrals aren't neutral. They take up space. They require time. They're not adding, so they're subtracting. How's that for arithmetic?

5- GOSSIP

I was never a big gossiper, but I do have the gift of gab. I'd make excuses for my gossip by saying "i'm venting," or "i would say it to their face." while both may have been true, some things are just better left unsaid. as baba would say, 7aki bala ta3mi - tasteless talk. i'll make sure that my language and contributions are all tasteful and reflective of who i am. 

6- JUDGMENT

I catch myself judging, a lot. "why would they park their car like that?" "who told her to leave the house wearing that?" "Why is he so entitled." Most times, I would self-correct shortly after and remind myself that i'm not god. but, This might be the biggest mindset shift i need in the new year. i know that if i continue approaching the world with love, the judgment will slip away. 

7- CLUTTER

clear the clutteR!!! It will change your life. During my 21 day cleanse, i went through every single item i owned and cleared at least half of my belongings. this is the first year in a while where i spent $0 on Black Friday or cyber monday. Because i've worked so hard on re-claiming my space, i don't want anything to intrude on this peaceful environment i'm in.

8- SOCIALLY UNCONSCIOUS MEDIA

this one is so challenging. trap music is one of my guilty pleasures. engaging in only socially conscious media - media that nurtures the soul - will be a process for me. but from my past experience, i know that this is a huge game-changer in being more connected and positive. so, cleanse your accounts, and fast from socially unconscious media, your soul will thank you. 

9- "FEEL GOOD" FOODS/DRINKS

in all honesty, I have NO clue why they earned this name. They really don't feel good at all. They feel horrible (because they are horrible). I take my health so seriously, and i absolutely regulate what I consume. i don't care much about weight anymore. i care about health. don't wait until you lose a loved one for you to realize that taking care of your body goes a long way.

10- ADDICTIONS

my mental/spiritual strength is what I'm most proud of. but being addicted to anything makes me feel fickle-minded. I no longer want to feel like anything or anyone has me in bondage. as menial as it may seem to avoid addictions to something like coffee, it's really about the implications that this has on my mental state and overall respect for myself. god believes in my ability to be strong-minded, so I won't insult him (or myself). 

11- EMOTIONAL DEPENDENCE

this is a spin-off of #10. My most effective character building moments were the ones where i was self-reliant. this year was truly a test. after my dad and grandma passed away, I had a multitude of crutches to lean on. as tempting as they were, i chose myself. i chose to limp and fall on my own because i knew i'd get back up. i know that i will never be emotionally dependent on anyone. 

12- UNHEALTHY SKEPTICISM

I'm learning that I'm a skeptic because of #1: my pride/ego. one of my biggest fears was always "getting played," outsmarted, or made a fool of. ironically, I became a fool by allowing this preoccupation with how i'm perceived to dictate my behavior way more than it should. I am going to stop being so skeptical of people's motives all the time. I'm going to assume the best and allow others the space to show up as their best.

13- OBSESSION WITH CONTROL

if I could scream THIS I would lol. 🗣 I'm done being a control freak. i used to clench my fists and my jaw on airplanes when there would be turbulence - i guess i thought i was accomplishing something. I'm done being obsessed with how things play out and trying to change outcomes that were already predestined. honestly, my willingness to relinquish control has made me aware of my faith in god. what's meant to be will be, and that's my truth.

14- FIXED MINDSETS

according to Carole Dweck, a fixed mindset is an assumption that our character, intelligence and creative abilities cannot be changed. as much as i believed i had a growth mindset, i realized that with things like my ability to learn math, be productive outside of a coffee shop, workout with no music, i did have a fixed mindset. i will now differentiate between ability and preference. the sky is the limit.

15- EXCUSES

i either will or i won't - no in between. if i say i'm going to do something and don't do it, i am going to stop giving excuses. i may explain where necessary, but i will recognize that there was always something i could have done to not be in that situation (even if it means not committing to things i can't do). As the book the Four Agreements recommends, i will be impeccable with my word. 

16- PROCRASTINATION

this ties directly into #14: I've developed a fixed mindset about planning/working ahead of the zero-hour. I went through all of my teenaged and early adult life truly believing that I couldn't be productive unless I was under extreme pressure. the truth is, as a procrastinator, I just got a lot of practice getting by under those conditions. i don't want to just get by anymore - i want to excel. so procrastination has to go. like i've said, i want to win the marathon, and the race. 

17- SLEEPING IN

I am waking up at 7 AM tomorrow to start my day. somehow I feel like there is not enough time in my day to do the things I want to do. this feeling was somehow heightened after I quit my job. I realize i feel this way because I'm so ambitious. i want to maximize this "off time" and experience tremendous growth in my mental, physical and spiritual health. i'm so blessed to be given this time, so i'm going to use it wisely. no more snoozing. 

18- MESSINESS

I have a habit of allowing clutter to accumulate my spaces: my car, my room, my purses and backpacks, etc. clearing the clutter (#7) requires a commitment to being organized. i live a constantly "on the go" life; i usually leave the house within an hour or two of waking up and i usually get home within an hour or two of sleeping. so to make sure i'm keeping this promise, I am going to pick one day a week (probably Sunday) for me to go through my spaces and belongings and get them in order. 

19- LAZINESS

people are always surprised by this one, but I am lazy. sure, I care about my health and fitness, so I work out consistently. but I have habits rooted in laziness: not sticking to a morning/nightly routine because I just want to sleep or lay around, letting chores or tasks pile up before i get to them. this is also a fixed mindset thing. now, i will start chipping away at chores or obligations instead of avoiding them until they're almost unbearable.

20- THE WRONG THING

are you confused? you shouldn't be. I'm learning that in 99.9% of situations, we know what "the right thing" to do is, we just allow temptation or selfishness to get the best of us and cloud our judgment. I am leaving the wrong thing in 2017 and committing to doing the right thing in that 99.9% of situations that my moral compass has made clear for me. for that remaining .01%, i'll communicate with god.  


2018 will be here before we know it. don't let the new year take you by surprise. you must plan to succeed, literally and figuratively. start setting your intentions now, so that your mind, body and soul can prepare for the lifestyle changes you wish to have. 

2018 will be our year of success 

only love,

ri