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About the Episode
Write the vision. Make it plain.
Dreams actualized don’t just “happen.” It takes intention, specificity, and hard work! It comes with intention and looking at where we’ve been and where we want to go next.
As we embark on a new year, I share in this episode why I don’t write resolutions and what I do instead as I share my transformative New Year ritual.
One thing I’ve learned is the times that I’ve asked for big things, God and the Universe has risen to meet me and exceeded those dreams.
About the Guest
Luvvie Ajayi Jones is a three-time New York Times bestselling author, speaker and podcast host who thrives at the intersection of humor, media, and justice. Her critically acclaimed books Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual (2021) and I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual (2016) were instant bestsellers and established her as a literary force with a powerful pen. Her newest book and first book for young adults Rising Troublemaker: A Fear-Fighter Manual for Teens (released May 17, 2022) debuted at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Creating a life that is authentic, bold and purposeful takes audacity. It takes disruption. That is what it means to be a professional troublemaker. Professional troublemaker is a book. It’s a podcast, and it’s a life habit.
I’m your host, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, best seller of books, aficionado of authenticity, and sorceress of side-eyes here to bring you conversations with world movers and change agents who have gotten where they are through their tenacity, truth telling and commitment to making good trouble. They’re disruptors. From time to time, I will even do deep dives on topics that are on my spirit. My hope is that this show compels you to do big things in a world where we have so much to fear. Let us loan you courage. Listen in.
Before we jump into today’s episode, know that this podcast is named after my second book, and second New York Times best seller, Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual, which by the way, is now out in paperback. Not only does the paperback version have a sleek new cover, and travel as well as an exclusive bonus chapter called The Guide to Truth Telling.
This chapter takes you step by step through the most common fears of speaking your truth and how to overcome it with boldness. How do you speak up in the meeting when the tough ideas come up? How do you confront a loved one who hurts you? What are the things to consider when silence is the easiest, but not the best answer. I talk about all of that in the truth telling guide. How would our lives be different if we were given permission to be disruptors for the greater good? How high can we saw if we knew fear is natural and we’re actually supposed to do the things that scare us? How audacious would we be if impostor syndrome wasn’t holding on to our ankles? I wrote this book to loan people courage in professional troublemaker. I talked about how my life has transformed because I’ve ran towards what felt bigger than me doing the things that feel scary as shit. I simply being professional troublemaker is game changing. And I know it some of the responses I’ve gotten from people who read it have just touched my heart. So if you value this show if you value the guests and their stories, the lessons and the wisdom. If you’ve ever listened to something I said and wrote it down. You will love Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual. I think courage is a habit. You can choose courage each and every day. And this book is the verbal high five to let you know, you got this. That’s also what this podcast is, you know. So go grab a copy of Professional Troublemaker wherever books are sold, or go to professionaltroublemakerbook.com. You can get the hardcover, or the paperback that has this new exclusive chapter, or the audio book which is narrated and has a new chapter included. So that’s professionaltroublemakerbook.com I’m so excited for you to read it and when you do let me know what you think!
Welcome back y’all to Professional Troublemaker. Honestly, I was going to come back in January. But see what had happened was January happened to be the longest year ever. I don’t know what happened.
But even though a month of the year has already gone by, it is not too late for this fresh start. And since we’re all about new beginnings, right now, I want to talk about why I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions and what I do instead, I do New Year truer me instead of new year new me, the latter suggests that the coming of the New Year’s magically going to transform us into someone different, it implies some massive change is going to happen when the clock strikes 12, which it doesn’t. But we all know that change is not with a calendar page. It comes with intention. And looking at where we’ve been and where we want to go next. I’m all about becoming a better version of myself. So that looks like New Year, same me but truer me Alright, become a little bit closer to the best possible version of me. And to do that I set goals.
My main goal, honestly, this year, it was to work less. I’m an aspiring lady of leisure, but I’m also a Capricorn. So you know, I’m probably lying. But when it comes to goals, I have a new year ritual that I do every year that’s been transformative for me. I shared it on Instagram. But I want to share it here on the podcast to let you know how I enter every year.
Even with all the craziness in the world in the past few years. setting these goals and intentions has shown me even more powerfully that no matter what is happening around you, if you can be clear about what you want and where you’re headed every year can be a transformative year. So let’s get into my goal setting ritual.
I started doing this in 2010. And I haven’t missed a year since. First I start by praying from the last year into the new year. I turn on some gospel because you know, good Christian girl. And I have a gospel of playlists on Spotify, by the way, it’s linked in the show notes. Then I write in my prayer journal. It’s part of my conversation with God.
My favorite verse in Proverbs is in the front of the journalist says trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. I asked for what I broadly want that year in this prayer. So once I do that and had that conversation, I put that away. And that pick up my goals notebook that I’ve been writing in since 2010. In that notebook is where I write a list of what I want each year. And then the next year, I actually review my list from the last year, I look at what I wrote, and I reflect on all that’s happened, that I hit any of those marks, are there some for me to carry over to the new year? You know, I don’t write about like, I need to gain weight, I need to lose weight, I need to change this thing about myself. I’m typically writing tangible things like what do I want to see happen for myself.
So in run that back a little bit, I write in two places. One, a prayer journal, my conversation with God, and then to my goals notebook, which is a bullet list of what I want. When the list is written. I set it aside for the year and I get to work. I don’t revisit the list until the following year. And I don’t add to it. In fact, most of the time, I forgot what I wrote. They’re usually big, lofty, and it’s not for me to stock, right? It’s kind of for me to just take it out of my brain and put it on paper. These goals could be, you know, how many more followers do I want? Or how many, how much more money do I want to make or what habits I want to put in place like I want to make sure I’m reading my Bible every day, whatever those things are bullet lists, okay, it doesn’t have to be cute. It can just be quick and dirty. All right. And one of the most amazing parts of this yearly ritual is that on the first of every year, when I look back at listen the year before, and then I go looking even further back four years before five years before I see how far I’ve come. You know, I always talk about do not despise humble beginnings, is real.
So for example, when I started doing this in 2010, my goals were small, I put in there that I wanted to have $3,000 saved. I wanted to travel to 10 Total places, not not 10 countries, total places. Okay, that was 2010. I wanted to have 10,000 followers on Twitter. I wanted to have five speaking engagements. And I look back on 2010 me in I want to tell her sis, it’s gonna blow your mind if you knew what you’ve been able to do, you will be so proud. Every year my goals get more and more ambitious. But I think starting in 2014, I started to really stretch. I went from wanting five speaking engagements in 2011. And writing that on my list to wanting 30 speaking engagements in 2014. From traveling 10 times to hit platinum status on American Airlines. In 2014. I put on my list that I wanted to write a book. So in 2015, I turned 30. And that was my year of do it. Anyway, I talked about in the TED Talk. It’s the year that I got really bold about what I wanted and how I moved. I wanted to go beyond what I typically say and do I just wanted my dreams to scare me. That year my list had that I wanted to save $30,000 I said I wanted to get a book deal. I said I wanted 20 speaking engagements, including one on the SSFS mainstage. That year I went skydiving scuba diving, I did all the things that scared me. And my goals list at the beginning of that year was the longest it had been yet. And let me tell you, my life dramatically shifted that year. Yeah, again, if you’ve seen my TED Talk, you’ve seen me talk about this, but I really reflect on 2015 as a catalyst year. That year, I did end up getting that first book deal. And I wrote that book that was I’m Judging You The Do-Better Manual, and also read several other goals that had been writing down for years. In 2014. Looking back, the biggest thing in that year, that changed really was me. I decided to no longer let fear stop me from dreaming bigger from writing goals that were bigger, even if what I wanted seemed laughable. That shift it created a ripple effect in my life, my work and my spirit. It led to 2016 been a banner year that has continued to stack from there. And let me tell you something right now my 2022 list. Well, I’m gonna tell you what’s on it. But I plan on returning to it with wonderment at all that has come to pass. And I’m excited to continue to dream audaciously, live loudly and work on purpose. I always say that I’m an 18-year overnight success who sits here today fully remembering when I was afraid of my dreams.
My journey has been littered with grace and I’m the lover you know today because my decision to stop letting fear dictate my choices changed my life. That’s why real professional troublemaker and a year later have a hit the New York Times bestseller list again, and a young readers edition coming out In May – shout out – that’s called Rising Troublemaker you can go preorder there right now. It’s just my audacious goals that I continue to write make my wildest dreams say grow what you sure what. And one thing I’ve learned is the times that I’ve asked for big things. God and the universe has risen to meet me and exceeded those dreams. Things that I didn’t even know were possible have come my way. writing them down is not a magical potion by the way, work is needed. But I do think writing them down and seeing them, which makes them more real, it makes them more tangible. It puts it in black and white, taking some of the impossibility of leaving it in our heads out of the equation, take it out of your head, put it on paper.
My challenge to you is to write your dreams down. Ask yourself what you want, and have the courage to see it down on paper. Some people do vision boards, those are good too. If you are a vision board person shout out keep doing that. It may scare you a little to see those dreams written on the page. But that’s where the action starts. It starts when the ideas that have been sitting on our shoulders take shape on a page, and then you can get to work on create their reality. So grab a notebook, any will work. I’ll link my prayer journal that I use every year in the show notes. Or you can use any journal you already have. You can gotta get a new one because I know you got a bunch of stationery we all do.
And I’m really excited about a project we have in the works later this year to help you create and plan an even stronger vision to bring your dreams to life. But first just write it down. That’s where it all starts. I think one of my purposes is to make people feel more powerful. I’m always on a mission to loan more people courage, I want you to be affirmed. I want you to do the things that are scaring you so you can inspire somebody else to do it. You know, I call that being the domino. And I want you to see my life is a testament of what’s possible. That’s what the life habit of being a professional trumpet looks like knowing that you are going to constantly do the things that scare you. So anyway, I’m excited to be bringing you back some regular episodes. We have some great guests lined up and I’m also going to be coming to you with some solo episodes and I’m just digging into some topics with some real truth and realizations that I have.
So thank you for tuning in to another episode of the Professional Troublemaker podcast. If you love what you heard, I have three asks, Have you subscribed to professional troublemaker in your favorite podcast platform Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, wherever you listen to podcasts, leave a rating with a five star review your insights and comments help us gather more professional troublemakers into our community. And it lets us know what’s working. What’s your liking what what is connecting with your spirit, and then go to text lovey.com on your phone, text podcast. That’s how you’re going to join our Text Squad. You can talk directly to me. Yes, I’m getting these text messages. Let me know who you’d like me to be in conversation with what topics you want me to deep dive on and so episode just join our Text Squad. Again go to textluvvie.com and text podcast. Until next time, make some good trouble