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Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation: Sticking with a Gym Routine

Living & Giving

Taking a run outside is an easy way to get your heart going!

About three months ago, I walked into the fitness center at work, reactivated my membership, and started on a journey to a stronger and more confident me. Over the past few months, I’ve seen awesome weeks where I have gotten in five workouts and then I’ve had not-so-great weeks where I’ve clocked zero sweat sessions.

However, I never stopped. When I went in for my 90 day check-in last week, I was super happy to see that I was making progress. My body fat has dropped by seven percentage points and I lost fat and gained muscle. The overall number on the scale hasn’t changed but I’m stronger, getting leaner, and my capacity for cardio is getting better.

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Monday Motivation: Focus on Real Love

Faith & Family

Yesterday in church, my pastor started a new series focused on marriage and parenting. During the message, he walked us through several key points about marriage and shared scriptures related to love. One of those scripture passages was 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I love this scripture because it is a blueprint for how to demonstrate love through actions. As it was read in church though, all I kept hearing was “love does not keep score.” Argh. Guilty. I don’t mean to do it but I am no stranger to keeping a running list of who did what in my head. But, hearing that this isn’t love is so hard. I spent the rest of yesterday wrestling with this concept that you can’t keep score! What if the wrong was a big one? What if no one ever apologizes for the wrong? You just let it go? Argh.

To be honest, I’m still digesting this scripture. However, it made me realize that I need to ground myself more in what the Bible has to say about love and how we should be loving each other.

scriptures about love

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Monday Motivation: Encourage Someone

KB's Journey

A couple of years ago, I wrote one of my favorite “Monday Motivation” posts about the power of encouraging yourself when you are going through one of life’s many tests. In that post, I shared:

A winning mindset is the key to prospering today, tomorrow, and years from now. So, how will you speak life into your dreams and goals today? Take some time to really think about the answer. It could be one of the most important thoughts that you have today.

When it comes to speaking life, it is just as important that we also do that for the people in our circle. You never know how far a few positive words can go with someone who feels like giving up or who needs a little extra oomph to power through their day. I love these Encouragement Postcards from Lara Casey because they make it easy (and beautiful) to give a quick pick-me-up to my friends.


I received two of these cards with my Powersheets and put them in the mail this morning for a couple of my girlfriends. I wanted more so I just ordered a set! They are perfect for sending small doses of inspiration on a regular basis and that’s why I love them. The great thing is that a set of 20 postcards is only $8 and 10% of the profits will benefit Love One Another Project.

How will you encourage someone this week?




Monday Motivation: Encourage Yourself

KB's Journey

Every day, I make it a point to find something to motivate me to be better, smarter, and more productive than the day before. Whether it’s the latest Harvard Business Review blogpost or an energizing sunrise, I always manage to find something to remind me that I’m walking into a great day. Well, last night while thinking of today’s post, I asked myself, “What would I focus on today?” Ten minutes later, the answer was simple. “You.” Well, not me…But, you. Each one of us has a story that has crafted us into the person that we are today. Only you know what you’ve had to fight through and that story should propel you into each day.

Every day that we wake up is another day…another chance to do something great. One of my favorite songs is called “Encourage Yourself,” and the premise is so simple yet powerful. We need to encourage ourselves and remind ourselves that

“Sometimes you have to encourage yourself/Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test…”

A winning mindset is the key to prospering today, tomorrow, and years from now. So, how will you speak life into your dreams and goals today? Take some time to really think about the answer. It could be one of the most important thoughts that you have today.


Monday Motivation: Finish What You Start

KB's Journey

I came across the above image on Instagram awhile back and it challenged me to think about all of the projects/tasks that I have left unfinished (gulp). You see, I never have a shortage of ideas. I have an issue with completing them. As much as I would like to say that this is a recent phenemon driven by lots of life changes, that’s not true. When thinking about unfinished projects, I thought back a few years when I came across a notebook with business plans and book proposal ideas jotted down over the course of years.

*hangs head*

Thinking about my unfinished projects and tasks makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I mean, am I a quitter? What is really up with this? While trying to figure this out, I had to work hard not to let myself enter a downward spiral. So, I decided to just do like the words say and just finish things that I started.

A few things on my immediate list:

  1. Finish my July editorial calendar and posts for this blog and Real Women Give. Remember RWG? Blast from the past… I know. Sigh.
  2. Get back on track with my fitness training programs. I fell off the wagon HARD and my clothes don’t fit as well as they did two weeks ago. Besides, I have a vacation in seven weeks and a 10K in three months.
  3. Finish planning a summer outreach event for the women’s ministry at my church. This task “haunts” me the most. I’m really excited about the event, but have also overwhelmed myself trying to do it alone.
  4. Finally send out wedding announcements. It’s been two months since the big day and I’m procrastinating on this items. Don’t even ask me when I’ll get around to changing my name.

There are many reasons why I tend to leave projects unfinished, but the main ones are probably boredom and lack of discipline. SIGH. Typing that is hard but it is a necessary realization if I am going to correct this situation. I really want to be someone who follows through and completes every single thing that I put into the universe. Simply put… I gotta get my life right and now is the PERFECT time to do so.

Say a prayer for me, y’all.

Monday Motivation: ConGRADulations to Me

KB's Journey

Nine days ago, I took a BIG step towards completing a huge goal of mine. I walked in the 2013 Commencement Ceremony at my alma mater, University of Illinois, in celebration of my almost-completed* Master’s degree in Health Communication. Being down there brought a wide range emotions from joy to periodic sadness. The joy came from being back in Chambana. The sadness was a result of wishing that my Mother could’ve been there with me like she was in 2005 when I received my undergrad degree down there. Throughout all of the various emotions, the most powerful one was pride. I was am so proud of myself for really sticking with this program, even when I wanted to do everything else BUT study or read.

Class of 2013!

Completing my degree was the first thing that I’ve been able to cross off of my 30 Before 30 list and now I’m fired up to keep checking things off! A personal challenge of mine is closing the deal and following through on my brilliant ideas. Part of that has been fear, but that’s behind me. It’s all about moving forward.

With one journey wrapping up, I’m already on the prowl for a new one to begin. That’s the good thing about life. If you wait long enough, there will always be another path to create, another story to write, or another journey to begin. What are you in the process of creating? What would you like to start? There’s no time like the present to make it happen. Trust me. There’s NO greater feeling than completing a challenge.

I’m a living witness.



*Once I complete my capstone research project this summer, my graduate studies will officially be completed.

Monday Motivation: A Marathon of Support

KB's Journey

Happy Monday, folks! It’s been a minute since I’ve written one of these and I’m excited to chat about this week’s motivation. Yesterday, 26.2 miles of Chicago streets were taken over by tens of thousands of runners who decided that they were BOSS enough to run the Chicago Marathon. If you want to be motivated, go out on the race course and cheer on the runners for a solid hour. You might find yourself thinking what can I do if I set my mind to it. What seemingly impossible task can I check off my to-do list? Or maybe that’s just me.

As I stood out there for over 2 hours, I was inspired by the way that people came out to support strangers and friends alike. Personally, I cheered for everyone. The guy in the cow costume, the wheelchair racer with the black skullcap, the young man sporting a “Race to Stop MS” jersey, the lady running to support Bright Pink, and the husband who wore his kids’ well-wishes on his chest. For one reason or another, they decided that yesterday would be the day that they would run 26.2 miles. And, I saluted them for it.

After I got home, I sat around thinking “I want to be a better person. I want to realllllly push myself to do something that I’m not sure I can do.” So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not going to beat myself up about what I haven’t done so far. I’m just going to go and run (literally and figuratively) without ceasing. And, when I feel like I want to give up, I’m going to think about the husband who jumped in the race to run the last mile with his wife. As she winced with pain, he ran alongside her repeating, “You are strong. You are strong.”

Yes, yes I am.


Monday Motivation: The Power of Now

KB's Journey

Sorry to have disappeared on you guys last week! I spent the first half of the week in DC and then was trying to catch up on life during the second half. This week, I’m doubling up the post as an apology to all. Cool? Cool. Now for this week’s Monday Motivation post…

Post-protest glow!

While at the International AIDS Conference, I found extreme motivation from the speakers and the entire presence of the conference. AIDS has been around for 30 years yet the epidemic still has a stronghold on many of our communities, especially those that are brown and female. As I listened to speakers and talked with different people living with the disease or committed to the fight, the biggest lesson that I learned was that we have to seize the power of now if we really want to make change happen.

The AIDS Quilt on the National Mall

This translates to other parts of our lives as well. How many times do we fret about tomorrow, next week, or next year? I’m not knocking this behavior because I’m guilty of it myself. But, our real opportunity lies in what we are doing and will do right now. At the conference, Phill Wilson of the Black AIDS Institute mentioned that his nonprofit could close their doors tomorrow but today (and each day that they are open), they would use that day to advocate and fight the epidemic.

One of my favorite scriptures speaks to this. Regardless of your religious beliefs, Matthew 6:33 is a blueprint for how we should live our lives. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

How will you make a difference today? How will you pursue your dream today? Ask these questions each morning and live out the answer. This world is crazy and you never know what each moment will bring. Channel that anxiety into positive daily action and watch the magic happen.

In closing, check out a snippet of one of my favorite motivational reads:

You have a life in front of you that’s waiting to be filled. Whatever has happened in the past in no way prevents you from filling that life to the brim with positive goodness and joy. Right now is completely up to you. Right now is your time to make a choice. Choose to focus on your positive possibilities. Choose to look upward. Choose to look ahead. Put a smile on your face. Stand up, shake yourself off, and step confidently forward. Step forward in the direction of your dreams—yes, your dreams. You owe it to yourself, and you owe it to all the world, to bring those dreams to life. Here is your day. Here is your opportunity. Here is your life. Now, right now, fill it with meaning and purposeful energy.

Let’s make it a great day, everyone.


Monday Motivation: Write a Note

KB's Journey

The art of letter-writing is something that I wish more people (including myself) still embraced. There’s something about a handwritten message of congrats, support, or sympathy that’s hard to be replaced. I keep those, cherish them, and let them connect me to a moment in time. I know what you’re thinking… KB, why would I write when I could just call, text, or email? I hear where you’re coming from but there’s something about having a pen in your hand that helps you lose yourself in your thoughts. For me personally, I’m so much more creative and less inhibited when I write versus type. Don’t believe me? Try it this week.

Here’s my challenge to you: Write a kind note to someone that you know (and love) and then one to a stranger. You’d be surprised at how this simple gesture can totally brighten someone’s mood.

If you’re looking for ways to get started, try the topics below:

– I just want to say that you are an inspiration to me because…

– Thank you for…

– I haven’t talked to you since…

What do you think? Easy? Hard? A pain in the butt? To make things a little more fun, come back tomorrow and I’ll share my top picks for the perfect stationary. Of course, you could just use notebook paper, but that’s not really fabulous. Right?!

Who are you going to write a note to this week?


Monday Motivation: So Ambitious

KB's Journey

Happy Memorial Day! I have a busy day ahead of me with homework and such, so today’s post is pretty simple. It’s one of my favorite “You Can Do It” songs, So Ambitious by  Jay-Z ft. Pharrell.

Hey I’m on a mission
No matter what the conditions,
Forget the personal issues
When you been what I been through,
Hey if you believe it,
Then you could conceive it.

If you’re in that kind of mood today, turn your speakers up and rock out. I most certainly am…There’s so much reading in front of me that I need a reminder that I can kick butt and get this stuff done this morning, and maybe even spend a little time at the beach. Enjoy the song and your day off…Talk soon!