20 Things to do in 2020

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We have reached the year 2020. A New Year of endless possibilities and new experiences to be had. Following are 20 things that you can do this year.

1. Visit 20 places in your city that you may have never visited or experienced before.
Is there a museum or art exhibit you always wanted to see? May there is a cultural neighborhood that you can spend a day exploring. Most cities have so many places and activities that we have never seen. Get out and explore the area right in your backyard.  Living in a big city like Chicago the possibilities are endless.  Every city has something to explore or discover.  See what your’s has to offer.

2. Try 20 new restaurants.
Many times we tend to frequent the same places. Try something new this year. Maybe there is a local restaurant you have been waiting to try and it is impossible to get a table. Plan early and make your reservations for later this year. There may also be a cuisine that you want to experience. Venture out of your comfort zone and try some new food while also visiting a new restaurant.

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3. Spend 20 minutes a day journaling or meditating.
This can bring some calm and relaxation to your year. If you cannot quite commit to making this a daily practice, try committing to 20 minutes at least one a week. Notice how much calm and peace you add to your life.

4. Donate $20 per month to a great cause or organization.
It feels good to give, and it feels even greater donating to a cause you support. With most organizations a little goes a long way. You don’t have to only donate to just one organization, you can pick several organizations and donate to a different organization each month. Also, at the end of the year you have the option to deduct your donations if the organization is a non-profit. Here are some recommendations: Operation Young Santa (Chicago), Sickle Cell Disease Association of American, and any organization focused on Autism Awareness. Knowing that you had an impact in the lives of others is a great feeling.

5. Get an envelope and save $20 per month, don’t touch the money until the end of the year and then treat yourself to something you want.
This is one that I am going to definitely work at. I have a tendency to tap into my stash at times and then commit to paying myself back (which doesn’t always happen). Commit to doing this for you and at the end of the year you can treat yourself to something you want, or something you need. Regardless of what you do with the money, you will have it on hand to do whatever it is you need to do.

6. Read 20 books.
Expand your knowledge base or take in some leisurely reading throughout the year. Expand your mind and your horizons or just escape with one of your favorite authors and favorite characters. I used to be an avid reader. I guess that all of the reading and researching I did in pursuit of my doctorate lulled that just a little. I am getting back into the habit of enjoying a good read.

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7. Throw away or purge 20 items from your closet.
We all have those items that we have never worn, or something we have been hanging on to since high school. Why are we still holding on to those things? Or maybe you have lost or gained weight, the things that no longer fit are taking up space. Make space to dress the body you have, not the one you desire. Go threw your closet and take those 20 items to a shelter or donate them to a Goodwill or Salvation Army. Let someone in need use those items.

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8. Spend 20 minutes weekly deep cleaning one room in your home.
You will benefit greatly just from this one thing. It will save you time when you don you weekly, monthly deep cleaning. I recently realized how the top of my refrigerator looked. I was devastated and disgusted. I am not sure why I thought that it would not get dusty up there, but out of sight out of mind. Choose an area a spend just 20 minutes a week giving that area a deep through cleaning.

9. Send 20 just because cards to friends and/or family.
I always say that people like to receive something in the mail other than bills. So be the person who surprises the special people in your life and send them some sunshine through the mail.

10. Delete 20 old emails a day.
I won’t admit to how many emails are in my mailbox. But there are a lot. A whole lot. It is time to get the mailbox under control. One way to get the mailbox under control is to devote a little time each day to deleting old emails. You can also use the time to unsubscribe from marketing and other emails that are sent multiple times per day.

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11. Try 20 new recipes.
If you are like me, you may get tired of cooking the same meals. This year why not make a conscious decision to spice things up in your kitchen and with your cooking. Websites like Food.com and others have hundreds, maybe thousands of recipes for you to try. One of the most creative ways to try some new things is to experiment with seasonings. You can also follow your favorite chefs on Facebook and/or Instagram and get new recipes from them. Meal delivery services also provide a way to experiment with new recipes. So commit to trying something new in the kitchen this year.

12. Work out for 20 minutes a day. If you already work out regularly, pick one day a week and add an additional 20 minutes to that workout. Maybe you don’t work out at all. Then pick at least 3 days out of the week and move for 20 minutes. You could walk up and down stairs for 20 minutes. You could take a brisk walk for 20 minutes. If you swim, you can swim for 20 minutes a few times per week. Whatever you decide to do, get your body moving. You will feel better and you will have some added health benefits.

13. Take a 20 minute walk once a week.
This is related to #12 but also related to #3. This can be a great way to break up your work day whether you work from home or work outside of the home. Many people tend to just sit at their desk for hours, maybe getting up for restroom breaks or to attend meetings. During your lunch hour take some time to go out for some fresh air and a short walk. You can also do this while you are our shopping. If you go to mall or even to Target, walk for 20 minutes before you begin your shopping trip. This is a great way to move the numbers on your pedometer and get in some extra steps. Remember a little goes a long way.

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14. Find 20 minutes a week to unplug from everything and everyone (this would be a great thing to practice daily).
The practice of unplugging should be sacred. We have become a culture tired to devices from our smartwatches, to smartphone or tablets. Put all of the devices down. Better yet silence them and place them in a different room and walk away and unplug. You could use this time to work on #3, #6, #7, #8 or #9. Or you could take a nap, a hot bubble bath or do nothing at all. How odd does that sound, doing nothing? Its possible and it can bring you piece of mind and some relaxation.

15. Find 20 items in your home that you no longer need, want or use and throw them out or donate them.
This is similar to #7 but includes other areas of your house. For instance, I had an addiction to purchasing school supplies. I had always done it for my siblings and then when they got older for church book bag drives. However, I would always have extra, a lot extra. So one day I got a box packed them up and gave all of the extra supplies that I had away. They came in handy for a family that needed them. Now the only time I purchase school; supplies is for my nephew before he goes back to school, and I don’t buy extra.

16. Make a list of 20 people you haven’t spoken to in a while and reach out to them. This can also tie in to #9.
In our overly connected life we can get disconnected from some people who mean a lot to us. Not on purpose, but because life happens. It’s really that simple. So reach out and call someone you have lost touch with and who has been on your mind or in your thoughts lately. And how cool it would be to follow that call up with #9, a card or letter in the mail, letting them know how great it felt to catch up.

17. Increase your daily water intake by 20 ounces.
We could all use a little more water. So here is to better health and glowing skin.

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18. Add 20 new words to your vocabulary.
Learning is a lifelong venture. Our parents and grandparents learned to use computers and cell phones so we can add some new words to out vocabulary right. Here’s to a year of learning.

19. Invest $20 per month.
There are a few new apps like Stash, Acorns and Robinhood that make investing easy and accessible right from your phone. Pick one, try it out and commit to building a portfolio for yourself this year.

20. Write 20 letters to yourself and mail them throughout the year.
I find that when I am having a difficult time, writing a letter to myself and mailing it with the written assurance that things will be better, serves as a great reminder. It would also be a great thing to write yourself a letter this month put it in your planner and mail it on Christmas day. In this letter talk about the things you plan to accomplish this year. Open the letter on New Year’s Eve to help with your goal setting for 2021. But also, when you open the letter you have something else to celebrate on New Year’s Eve. All the goals you accomplished. You will be surprised how you feel when you receive them.

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I hope this list inspires you to get just a little more out of your 2020 than you may have already planned.  You can always do more or less depending on your level of commitment and your desire to get the most out of this year.  There may be some things that I did not think of or add to this list.  Feel free to add yours to the comments.

Wishing you happiness, success and productivity in 2020!

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous!

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Brown Girls Do Invest Takes Over Chicago

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When a room full of smart, ambitious, intelligent and inquisitive Black women convene, nothing but greatness follows.  There was nothing but greatness present at the Brown Girls Do Invest workshop on Saturday June 8, 2019.  Hosted by Brown Girls Do Invest founder Bahiyah Shabazz, the afternoon consisted of a panel of phenomenal Power Women who imparted knowledge and offered sage advice for those of us who want to invest but may not know how to or where to start.  Thanks to Black Bloggers Chicago for the opportunity to fellowship with my fellow bloggers but to also attend the event.

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Black Bloggers Chicago

The day began with a VIP mastermind, an opportunity to have an intimate experience with the panelist to gain a little more insight than what the workshop offered.  If the Mastermind was half as great as the workshop, then be on the lookout for the next wave of Black Female Millionaires.  In a climate where Black women are the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs, possibly due to the fact that the average Black woman makes 62 cents per dollar of her white, male counterparts. this workshop was timely, relevant and a great way to gain a wealth of information from seasoned and experienced financial professionals.

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Bahiyah Shabazz, MBA Moderator BGDI Founder

In addition to BGDI founder Shabazz, the panelist and speakers included Florence Hardy, ESQ, Cimone Casson, Delta Jones-Walker, Joanna Jane, Courtney Richardson and Danielle Pierce.  Each speaker offered attendees hearty food for thought and practical tips to jump start their investment portfolios and begin their road to generational wealth.

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From L-R Cimone Casson, Florence Hardy, Delta Jones Walker, Bahiyah Shabazz

One of the repeated themes for the day was the value of ‘multiple streams of income’.  With the recent announcements of the wealth building and business acumen of celebrities such as Beyonce, Serena Williams and Rihanna, it is obvious that one of the roads to wealth and financial stability is the ability to have several streams of income and the ability to make money in more than one arena.

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Photo Courtesy of Balleralert.com

Another important topic that was addresses was the cultural relationship we have with money.  Unfortunately, for many of us in the Black community, this is not nor has it been a happy, healthy relationship.  It is time to do the work to change the dynamic of this relationship and kill those generational curses that have held many in the Black community in a culture and love relationship with poverty and struggle.  This no longer has to be the paradigm.

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One of the most powerful take-aways from the day was that there are many ways to make money.  Many people feel that the stock market or traditional savings is the only way to build wealth.  This is not the case and the speakers and panelist did an excellent job in discussing various alternatives to the two traditional methods of gaining wealth.  There are many options, the key is to work with a financial advisor that has your best financial interest at heart, do the work, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and just do it.

Another recurring theme from the workshop was the power of discipline.  Yes, we need discipline in our financial lives as well.  This can be as simple as honestly wrapping your mind around the concept of paying yourself first.  I am sure we have all heard that before, but do we do it.  I can honestly say that I don’t but it is something that I plan to put into place immediately.  Most things we do in life require hard work and discipline.  Why should our money be any different?  In the words of the late great Donna Summer, “We work hard for the money,” so why aren’t we more disciplined when it comes to what we do with the money?

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The ladies were also able to introduce complex financial terms in a manner that was easy to understand and unintimidating.  Concepts such as Financial Needs Analysis, 1031 Exchange Depreciation on Real Estate and Crowdfuding.  These were just some of the concepts that the panelists and speakers were able to discuss with the audience.

My take away from the workshop was that there is no time like the present to get started.  There are some safe and non-risky investment options out there for those (like me) who may be afraid of losing money in the stock market.  However, my truth is that I really do not understand the market, so I need to do some research and thing long term and smart about what I do with my money.  I have been working on my cultural relationship with money, and understand that there is more work for me to do in that area of my life.  I know that the saying ‘No Risk, No Reward’ is also true in the financial industry.  I left the workshop with some definite financial goals in mind, something that I cannot honestly say I was ready for Saturday morning.

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Brown Girls DO Invest is currently on tour.  I recommend if you are a Brown Girl and want to see your money work for you instead of only working for your money that you go to their Facebook page (link here) and see where they are going next.  Trust me, you will feel more inspired and ready to make some strategic changes to your financial portfolio.  And if you don’t currently have a portfolio, you will leave there with a plan to start working on yours immediately.

Until Next Time!

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous!

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