DID 2012 find you depending on others for your happiness, your financial security, a roof over your head and even for your next meal? Well, determine from today that tomorrow will be a fresh beginning where all of that is concerned.
Like Destiny's Child, you should be singing Independent Woman with confidence because you know you can go anywhere you want or buy anything you desire without looking for someone else to give you approval or validation. Yes, your boyfriend left you last year or you might have got a divorce, but you can still make it through 2013 without compromising your self worth, your peace of mind and your freedom.
"Concentrate on yourself, concentrate on maximising your own potential as a woman, as a mother, as a wife," encouraged Dr Sandra Knight, chair of the National Family Planning Board.
So break out the champagne and start having that mental party to celebrate a new way of thinking. Decide not to take crap from people this year, but instead set high standards for yourself and make conscious efforts to stick to them. You can be that empowered and forward thinking woman you desire to be. Just try these tips to begin that life changing process.
1. Start making your own decisions. While it's okay to consult with family and friends when you are planning to make life altering choices, you do not necessarily need the opinion of others to tell you what clothes to wear, how to style your hair and how to decorate your house. Instead, do what pleases you, and stand up to the criticism when others start lashing out that they don't like your choices.
2. Become financially stable. Experts have painted a gloomy picture for the financial sector this year, but make up your mind that you won't compromise to survive. Take on a second job if needs be to ensure that you won't have to depend on anyone else to make it through. If you have always been dependent on your parents or other family members, this year is a good year to go on your own and face life head on.
3. Set new goals. Outline some of the things you would love to achieve in the New Year and make up your mind that you are going after them. Set a realistic timeline to achieve your targets and put the necessary framework to ensure everything goes according to plan. Going after and achieving your goals is one way you can become empowered.
4. Seek higher education. Expand your thinking by signing up for courses which can either be done after work or online. Learning will open your mind to new ideas that might just help you to start a new business. Read educational books that can expand your knowledge on a wide range of subject matters and sign up for more workshops to learn new skills. If you can't go back to school during the days because of work and family commitments, you can try weekend, evening or early morning classes.
5. Give voluntary service. Doing good for others will help to improve your self-worth and make you feel good about yourself. There are so many causes in Jamaica that you can choose from. You could join a service club or you could join a church group and take part in feeding the homeless and those who are shut-in. You could even start your own charity with your friends that can improve the life of others.
6. Take responsibility for your life. Probably life has not been kind to you. You might have been abandoned by your family or might have been sexually abused or victimised in some other way. But begin on a new slate today and try to work around your past. You will probably never forget what happened, but you can decide not to live a defeated life.