Jan 092017


Every year, I re-evaluate my life’s goals. I take into account, where I am, what I’ve done, and where I want to be in the future. I think about my health, my family, my career, and my friendships. This type of evaluation becomes more essential the older I get. If I know where I’ve been and I have goals, then I know where I’m going.

This year, there have been some losses and health scares in my family. These situations have made me realize that I must make better health choices to get my body and mind to its optimum state.

I also believe that being healthy goes beyond the physical and that I need to be as mentally healthy as possible. This is why I am learning how to take things as they come, surround myself with supportive and positive people, and think before I speak. I will also put out supportive and positive energy. I will be more appreciative of the happiness that surrounds me.

I love being able to witness the good that surrounds my family and friends. I love it when they not only what they want, but what they deserve. This year, my husband received his master’s degree, my son received an excellent report card, my sister went back to college, and my brother helped my parents move to North Carolina to be closer to him. They are all pretty happy, which makes me happy.

Watching my family succeed is motivating because if they can do it, then so can I. They make me feel invincible. I am determined to sharpen my writing, editing, marketing, and design skills. I will utilize these skills to be as successful as possible this year.

The older I get, the more I realize that time is one of the most important currencies in my life. I will not squander it away as I have done in the past. It is important to be selective about who I spend my time with and what I spend my time on. This year, I will spend more time with my family, on my work, and on myself.

I know how easy it is to lose your way. This is why it’s important to set goals with time limits and take action.

Here are some questions you may want to answer to help you with your own life evaluation:

  1. What did you want to accomplish last year?
  2. Did you accomplish what you set out to do? If not, re-evaluate if you would still like to do it this year and create a list.
  3. Think about what you wish to do this year. Where would you like to be? Create a specific to-do list with a plan of action complete with deadlines.
  4. Then take action. Like they say, there’s no time like the present.

This is your year and nothing will stop you. You can do it. Good luck with all of your goals!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” -Thoreau

Happy New Year!


Jul 162013

30. Moisturize. Enough said.

29. Recognize your part in everything and take responsibility for your action and inaction.

28. Exercise is a necessity. If you work your body, you will work your mind.

27. Fun is essential.

26. There are a lot of bullies in adulthood. Don’t let people treat and talk to you any old way and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Remember, if you don’t, who will?

25. Fresh foods are the key to healthy living.

Fruit Bowl

24. Go to the doctor and the dentist regularly.


23. Don’t say you’re sorry unless you mean it. It comes off as disingenuous and everybody knows that a phony apology is worse than no apology at all.

22. Having good friends is important.

21. ABL. Always be laughing.

20. Don’t talk to people any old way. They’ll always remember the way you made them feel – disrespected and insignificant.

19. Sometimes it’s better said with a look. Remember the folks from The Office?

18. Take a moment for yourself during the day and go to bed on time to ensure that you’ll always be and feel your best.

17. Travel and make photo books.

16. Some people will disagree with the decisions you’ve made and are making in your life. This is okay.

15. Love yourself.

14. Sometimes you’ll go through a rough patch. Just remember – it’s temporary.

13. Splurge on good coffee. Trust me, you will not regret it.


12. Believe in yourself. Now take a chance.

11. It is okay to indulge sometimes.

10. Listen to what people are saying and not what you think they are saying.

9. Your spouse/partner/significant other is one of the only people you’ve chosen to have in your life. Remember that and treat them as such.

8. Your body tells you everything. Pay attention to it when it’s shouting at you.

7. There are many young, brilliant minds. Respect the youth.

6. If somebody hurts your feelings, be confident and tell them straight away. Under no circumstances should you let those feelings fester.

5. Your tongue can be just as cutting as a knife. Choose your words wisely.

4. Always be in control of your emotions.

3. Life plans are amazing.

2. Have a running list of nouns that make you happy and refer to it often.

1. When you love the people in your life, love them hard because they won’t be around forever and chances are you’ll miss them when they’re gone.


That’s what I’ve learned in the past five years. What about you? What did you learn in your 30’s or are learning?


*Note: all images were created by me – Janina R. Williams. Please contact me for permission before using.

Nov 192012

Why does living life seem to take up so much time? There are twenty-four hours in a day to spend however we’d like, which seems like a lot, but it’s not. Not when you have to spend eight of those hours recharging. Not when you’re getting ready for work, commuting, actually working, commuting again, eating dinner, spending time with family, cleaning up, decompressing, and getting ready for bed. In that case, twenty-four hours may as well be one.

I think the lack of time is getting to people. Well, it’s getting to me. There are way too many distractions. I’ve noticed that I’m happier when I spend time doing the things I love. Don’t people seem to be happier when they’re spending time doing the things they love? It’s like a personal road map to happy.

What would happen if we took a few moments during the day for ourselves? How awesome would you feel if you did something you truly enjoyed? Now how often do you do that for yourself?

I vow to spend a few moments of each day on myself and you should too.

I made a short video about this very thing. Take a look.

Thanks for watching!

Jul 182012

Life is harsh especially when you come to the jacked-up conclusion that you no longer have anything in common with a friend. It’s not that they did anything wrong. It’s not that you did anything wrong. Time has happened. You’ve changed and they’ve changed, such is life. Nobody tells you this is how it is, but it is.

It starts off slow. They say something that doesn’t make sense to you. You say something that doesn’t make sense to them. They invite you out dancing and you decline because you are married, are in your mid-thirties, and have a child that you adore that you wish to put to bed every night. And you’re not into pretending you’re ten years younger than you really are. And you’re not into flirting with somebody to buy you a drink because by this point in your life you’re totally capable and willing to buy your own drinks because you realize that you prefer your own company to the company of others. And you’ve already found the love of your life who you are madly in love with, so there’s no need to look. And you have a lot of other things on your mind that you don’t want to get into. Things, you don’t think they can even fathom, but they haven’t changed. They’re exactly who they’ve always been. They haven’t done anything wrong. You haven’t done anything wrong. You are simply in different places, on two different paths. But the question is: can two people living completely different lifestyles really be friends?

I decided to meet up for dinner with some former friends and as we were in catch-up-speak one of my friend said, “I don’t read books. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I read a book.” And they scoffed as if books were the lowest form of entertainment, like they were meant for nerds and not for everybody. And my heart bled a little because I realized then that we don’t have much of anything in common. Sure we can gossip about people from the past, but that gets old quick. When he said he didn’t read, it was like a line being drawn in the sand and I knew that we were fundamentally different. Books are important to me. Reading is important to me. And after that, I had a hard time taking anything he said seriously. It was a blaring sign that the rekindling of this former friendship was not going to happen and it wasn’t just the reading that did it for me.

He actually rolled his eyes while I was speaking and mid-sentence too. I can’t even remember what we were talking about. All I remember is the way he made me feel when he did it; irrelevant and stupid and like crap. Maybe that wasn’t his intention, but that’s how he made me feel. I know that people often misconstrue the eye-roll because nobody is in anybody else’s head and nobody else can tell what an eye-roll means except the person doing it, but that’s the vibe I got. And I don’t remember him being that way with me in the past and to be honest, it caught me off guard. It was like I didn’t know him at all. I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to meet up. Must’ve been nostalga. There had to be a reason we hadn’t talked in over ten years, right?

The night ended and I went home. My friend went to a club.

We are just two very different people. Maybe we always were.

Okay, so maybe it’s not just the difference in lifestyle that changes friendships, but more so how we feel we are treated. If you start questioning your friendship and think you’re destined to be your own best friend, chances are your friendship has changed because you’ve already reached the point of, with friends like these… well, you know the rest.

So do I think two people living different lifestyles can be friends? Of course I do, as long as there is respect. But if there isn’t, take that as a warning. Respect and trust go hand in hand and if there’s a crack in the foundation, chances are the house is going to sink.

I’ve lived long enough to know that my time is precious. I don’t want to spend it with people I have nothing in common with. I do not feel guilty or obligated. I feel relieved that I know myself enough to let a former friendship like that go. Like I said before, he didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong. Our former friendship has simply morphed into an acquaintanceship and I’m okay with that.

 Posted by at 3:41 pm
May 172012

Whoa, it’s been a while folks. Sorry, I’ve been you know, living life. But I’m back on the regular.

Recently, one of my friends came by my house and showed me his current picture book project, which is almost complete. It was rather impressive. He’s been working on this project for a while now, so it’s great to see him progressing. Whenever a friend of mine is doing what they love, it’s easy for me to be happy for them especially when they’ve been supportive of my goals. But this visit did something else to me too. It made me want to finish all of my works in progress. It made me want to take inventory of my life.

When was the last time you took inventory of where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and where you see yourself going? You’ve never done that? Well, maybe you ought to try it. It’s a great focusing tool. I try to take inventory of my life about once a year around my birthday. This is always a good time to start anew, don’t you think?

So how do you do it? Here are some questions taken from the My Simpler Life blog to help you get started:

1. Where do I see myself in the next year?
2. What am I passionate about in my life right now?
3. Am I living by my values? Is there any place I am not in integrity?
4. Are my needs being met? Am I meeting the needs of those close to me?
5. What are my strengths? Am I using them?
6. Am I doing things to the best of my ability or is there a place I need to raise my standards?
7. How are my boundaries with others? Do I often feel taken advantage of?
8. Is my daily routine helping me or boring me? Is there anything I want to add or take away from my routine?
9. What is standing in my way of doing my dream? What can I do about it?
10. What am I tolerating in my life that is draining my energy?

Good luck with your life evaluations folks!