Monthly Archives: July 2012

I Have Yet to Succeed

I have not succeeded in my SMART weight loss goal. Although, I have become more conscious about food, my eating patterns and the emotional process that influences choices regarding my physical health, I have not succeeded. When I compare how hard I work to develop and meet goals in various aspects of my life I must admit that I do not exert the same effort toward exercise and diet.

My workout routine is inconsistent and I have yet to commit to plans for healthy eating (green foods, less sugar, adding vegetables, etc). I do sometimes keep a food journal when I’m trying to be on the right path, but usually give up when it occurs to me that my carb intake and lack of exercise will not prove rewarding.

Despite this “fail” (which it is a fail because I not only didn’t meet my SMART goal, I have gained more than 10 pounds since creating my plan), I did have one win this week. I committed to only drinking water and I did for 6 days so far. I did have milk with my breakfast but that was planned. My reasoning for water only was that I needed a flush and some cleansing.

I haven’t noticed anything big regarding weightloss, but I did notice that my teeth are much much whiter. This was something I did not expect or think about, but I am extremely happy about this. I guess no chemically flavored beverages have tainted my teeth this week and I have noticed the reward……Now, if only one week in the gym could show such promise.

How are you doing with your SMART goals?

Below is an article that provides some questions for you to ask yourself when you fail.


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Families Need to Take Accountability

There have been over 270 murders in the city of Chicago to date.  In smaller cities the numbers may not be as high, but the fear and prevalence of violence persists. Thousands of people silently suffer from mental illness and even other physical illnesses but those closest to them refuse to acknowledge the truth. Who is supposed to acknowledge the illness or the murderer? Who is to be held accountable for the actions of the young? For the apathetic attitudes of our teenagers and young adults? For the unhealthy behavior of those in need of medication?

Families need to begin to take accountability. 

If reading about our current state in a book, I would believe that the people of the world had inherited a psychotic diagnosis that was only getting worse with each birth. I would believe that there was a plague of apathy that spread across the globe. But since I am not reading about the world I live in in a book, I hear stories, experience, and listen to first hand accounts about sadness, hopelessness, and death. To clarify, not just death- murder, genocide, greed, and emotionally unstable individuals that form cliques, formed gangs, formed community, take over. On the less traumatic end of the spectrum, we have mass obesity, rampant sexually transmitted diseases, and students struggling to be labeled literate.

Families need to begin to take accountability.

Why do we ignore the unhealthy behaviors we notice in either ourselves or loved ones early on? Or the learning challenges our children and nieces and nephews struggle with when they attempt to practice what they learned in school at the kitchen table? Who is supposed to love their relative enough to say “you may need to eat healthier…”, “you have to turn yourself in”, “you will never make it if you keep that up”, and all of the dead on phrases and statements that acknowledge the need for help and healing. What do you do when your cousin is the gun man or rapist? I recently read a quote that said “blood makes us related but loyalty makes us family”. This made me think about the term loyalty. Although it is important to be loyal to people, one has to know where loyalty to self, moral and spiritual beliefs, and to the greater good outweighs loyalty to one person.

Families need to begin to take accountability.

Hypothetical scenario: two people I am loyal to get into a fight. Friend A harms friend B. What am I do to as a loyal person?…….Harm is the keyword. Not a simple argument, but damage. Hard one to answer right. Why? Because of cliche terms and phrases such as loyalty that allow us to ignore unhealthy behavior. We become proud of our families reputation for owning the block or controlling the school with bully tactics. We use loyalty to avoid truth and decision making.

Families need to begin to take accountability.

If you and your family struggle with similar issues here are some simple yet may be challenging solutions to begin your plan for accountability.

1- call a family meeting and discuss your priorities for the young people in the family, in particular high school and younger. Ask the hard questions- do we have the resources and internal mentors to help our young people? Do we need to seek out local programs to ensure our young people reach their greatest potential? Whatever you think needs to be discussed- discuss it. If the family meetings are in effective after six months you may need to reconsider.

2- go to family therapy. If you do not have insurance seek a therapist that accepts Medicare or Medicaid. Maybe your family can pitch in $5 per family meeting and once a month have a mediator attend the meeting. This will help ensure you have someone to provide resources and professional assistance.

3- be consistent. Unfortunately families respond to similar situations differently depending on who the relative is and the connection to others within the clan. This sets a competitive tone and makes it difficult for the younger generation to understand family expectations and boundaries. If the family is consistent in their response (both disapproval and reward) system, values will be embodied and passed on for generations to come.
What are some ways that you and your family take accountability?
Below is a link to an article that discusses the need for accountability in a families culture.
I would also recommend looking for a therapy company such as SoulWork LLC. A home-based private practice in Chicago that offers reputable therapy services and accepts various insurance (including medicare and medicaid) and flexible payment plans.

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Success Formula: Leading Lady Larvetta Loftin

Larvetta Loftin has made a personal and professional commitment to assure that the leadership of women does not go unnoticed. Her definition of leadership is “being able to fill in the gap for a friend or someone who needs your help.” For Larvetta, leadership ranges from buying groceries and doing laundry for an ill friend to executing marketing campaigns for large companies. Leading Ladies International is undoubtedly about celebrating women who have devoted time to lead with and for people they love.

It seems clear that being a leading lady is not a calling that allows for a tight schedule or quick fixes.  I was curious about how do leading ladies SMARTLY endure. Larvetta stated, “you have to be pressed and squeezed and put into some uncomfortable situations to elevate your game… grapes that are turned into wine, the pressure allows it to be a timeless drink.” Speaking of drinks, life is about having a glass half full for Larvetta. She also acknowledges that the glass does sometimes get half empty and that’s when you must take action. When you find yourself in neglect- lots of mistakes, not getting the proper rest, and when you are not operating in a stabilized community (i.e. daily routines), that’s when you know you’re half empty. Larvetta says this is when you have to take accountability, keep your end goals in mind, and do what is NEEDED to fill the cup back up.

To understand someone’s success, I always like to know more about their personal fiber (character in plain English but its way more than that). Our interview hit home for me when I asked, “What moral challenges do you face in your career or daily life that make you think about the phrase:“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”(Ralph Waldo Emerson)?” With no hesitation Larvetta replied, Kindness is the greatest gift you can offer to your life and to your business.” In the words of Larvetta, kindness is about listening and being present, not taking interactions with others for granted, and treating others how you want to be treated. Kindness is also a way to stand on your brand. I needed to hear that of course, and have since been working more intentionally on being kind. Another great strand of Larvetta’s core is her stance on honesty and integrity. She considers these the core competencies of her business and self.

Because so many of our interactions with people are online today we must be conscious of how we represent our brand, including our core competencies. Larvetta provided sound advice about how to manage your online reputation. Larvetta stated that, “it is important for your web presence to show that someone is present. It reminds me of a relationship, if your site is outdated, I feel like you are not investing in our interactions. I like to go to websites that help me see things different.”

My interview with Larvetta provided me with an example of a woman who is confident in the lessons of her experiences. Larvetta has found a way to validate the nature of women and our varied experiences as a valuable leadership quality. Boundaries are pushed each day because of Leading Ladies International through the vision of Larvetta as a personable, fun, and dynamic individual.

Larvetta Loftin’s Success Formula = Honesty + Kindness + Leadership that fills in the gap

More on Larvetta Loftin:

What is one of the biggest issues you see plaguing communities? What is your personal commitment to alleviating this?

Making sure that our children are exposed to the arts. The arts gave me the confidence and self-esteem to perform. In school I used my artistic acumen to really understand.

What is a good read that you would recommend to people working on personal and or community development?

“Boundaries”- as women we love to say yes. We say yes to everybody else but we sometimes do not pursue our own passion and success. Learn not to be everything to everybody.

“E-myth Revisited” – for people in business.

“Tipping Point”- helps you understand who you are. When you understand who you are it helps you be a better sound person.

What are some community assets and resources that you would recommend to others?

  • Community does not mean where you live, it is the community of people who you share interest with. It is important for you attend conferences that are about empowerment and professional development. These are the communities that you should get involved with.
  • People should also attend their local library. Look at and understand different trends and read a variety of magazines. Using the community to help to learn- the more you learn the more you earn.
  • Attend intentional networking events. If your community is small business owners you may want to attend program geared toward that. Program the dates in your phone and go every year.


  • Eliminate debt within 12-18 months in order to create wealth. List of all my bills and checking them off.
  • Come out of sole proprietorship and come into an S-Corp – by October
  • Be more smart with my time and make sure my time is being vested in my SMART goals.
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