My Family Fantastic

Creating Experiences That Help Relationships Thrive

Tag: Goals (page 1 of 3)

Build A -Ship You Can Be Proud Of

All Sorts of -Ships

All Sorts of -Ships

I was listening to a sermon by Dr. Joseph Warren Walker III several years ago and he talked about building ships. Ships are our relationships, courtships, and friendships. And as we stand at the beginning of 2015, I’d like to ask that you set goals for your ships.

I did this for the first time in 2013, and one of my goals was to write two letters a week. As a result, it healed a broken relationship with my younger brother. He says that the letters were encouraging to him because sometimes he doubted if anyone ever thought of him.

The experience was eye opening for me, because I thought about my brother  twice a week… but he never knew it. It turns out; Continue reading

(Video) Howdy from Simone!

Update on the blog, the pitch competition, and thank you to a whole bunch of awesome folks. Love, Simone


How I Punched Fear In the Face

A few weeks ago, I did something super scary. I told a room of 50 strangers about my dream of starting a business. Up until this moment, the dream had been somewhat of a secret. I had a business plan, I pitched the idea to my husband, and I told a few close friends. But, the thought of telling strangers was terrifying.

What if they didn’t like my business idea? What if they laughed? What if they didn’t share my opinion or views? Aghhhh! There were just so many things that could wrong.

And, guess what? I pitched my idea at a business pitch competition AND everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

  • I fumbled.
  • My message was unclear.
  • I made dumb faces.
  • I forgot what I wanted to say.
  • And, I even cried.

It was a horrible experience. I cried whenever a nice person tried to tell me that “you did okay.” I cried when anyone tried to console me. I cried on the Metro ride home, and I cried when I told Morris about the whole debacle that night.

And, then I went to bed. But, I didn’t sleep. Because, I kept replaying the day’s events in my head.

Fear Holds Us Back 
Fear holds us back from soooo many things: mending relationships, taking new jobs, moving, etc. Fear is powerful, because we focus on everything that could go wrong. We tend to forget about the things that could go right.

The good news is that: even when everything does go wrong…we survive.

The Good News
I think that’s why the Bible talks about fear so much, because the Lord understands that it only holds us back. And, even if bad things happen we survive. He’ll be with us.

Joshua 9:1 says: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Isaiah 41:10 says: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I Bounced Back 
The crazy thing about the pitch competition is that the first time was only practice. So, I had to go back the next day and do the pitch again in front of twice as many people.

But, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning. So, I got up super early and began practicing with my webcam. It went well that time, and…I was selected as a finalist!

I’ll know in June whether or not I’m selected to enter the Count Me In/Capitol One Business Accelerator program. But, even if I’m not selected I feel like I’ve already won…because I punched my fears and I survived. By the way, check out my Hire Me! Page…it’s another step in me fighting fear.

Tell me how is fear holding you back? And, what could you do to punch it?

I look forward to hearing from you. Love, Simone


What Does Goal-Setting Have to do with Relationships?

As we approach the closing of 2013 and the opening of 2014, you may be thinking about setting goals for the upcoming year. But, I wanted to ask you…do you include goals for your ships?

I know. I know. You are saying “what on earth is a ship?”
Ships are your relationships, courtships, and friendships.

2013 is the first year that I included goals for my ships. And, I feel like God did some amazing things as a result of being intentional.

My 2013 Goals

My SHIP Goals and Why I Choose Them

I set a goal of completing a Bible Study with Morris and playing a sport with him. I wanted to do a Bible Study with Morris, because it’s important for us to continue growing in our faith together. We studied the 12 Traits of the Greats this summer and we still refer back to those lessons. I wanted to play a sport with Morris, because he likes them. I am not a huge fan of baseball, but I am a huge fan of Morris. So, we headed out to the park a couple of times to play catch. I think my wife stock rose as a result:-).

Third, I made a commitment to write two letters a week to friends and family, because I want to be a better steward of the relationships God has given me. So, often time marches on and it has been months since I’ve spoken to someone I love or care about. And, that makes me sad. So, I made it a point to write letters twice a week and to call or text friends just to say “hi” or “I was thinking about you”.

For more tips on goal-setting visit Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, over at his blog. He has written a great blog post on writing goals that are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound). I sat down and re-read it today while preparing to write my goals for 2014, and I wanted to share it with you. Just think about things and activities that are important to the people in your ships.  If you include your ships in your goal-setting for 2014, I promise you will have measurable returns.

Question: Have you set goals for your ships before? If so, how did it go? If not, will you set them in 2014?

How Can You Save the World?

Pursue your dreams.

In Britain, last year, a shortage of interpreters led to a small number of foreign suspects being released.
Now, there were some budget constraints that led to this situation. But, it got me to thinking. Perhaps someone out there hasn’t gotten around to following their dream and learning a language. If they had, would there have been fewer crimes on the streets of Britain?

And, that led to another line of thinking.

What other problems does the world have that you and I can solve if we pursue our dreams?

Are you a talented comedian? Good, because there is a lot of hurt and sadness in the world. And, there are people out here dying to laugh. Seriously, I see them everyday at work and on the bus here in D.C.

Are you a gifted filmmaker? Good, because there are millions of stories out there that need to be told. Take Charity:Water, for instance, it provides live-giving clean water to thousands of people in developing countries. You could make a film that tells the story of one person and how clean water changed the life of their village…more people would hear about this person, their village, the clean water project, and give money. As a result of your film, more people on our plant would have clean water!

Okay. Okay. I’m getting off my soap box now.

All of this is to say. We have to pursue our dreams y’all. The world needs us.

My Fantastic Family

My dream is to help make your family fantastic by strengthening bonds, eliminating squabbles, and helping you pursue your dreams. I have more than 30 years of experience living in a fantastic family. We are not perfect, but we are loving. And, I can help you and your family too.

Finding a Mentor Matters


We all know about the power of coaching for athletes. And, mentoring in professional relationships. But, have you ever thought about mentoring/coaching for all aspects of your life and family? For example, Morris and I have marriage mentors. And, when I first “went natural” I had a hair coach. I also have a blog coach.

It doesn’t take a lot to form these relationships. It is simply realizing that someone has more knowledge than you in one area of your life, and exercising a bit of intellectual humility.

Intellectual humility is the point when you realize and embrace the fact that you don’t have all the answers. When Morris and I have kids I’ve already picked out Parenting Coaches. But, I wanted to share four things that I look for in a mentor/coach.

1. A Coach/Mentor must be trustworthy – If you are going to entrust  this person with your hopes and dreams, you must be certain that they are someone that will keep your dreams safe, be excited, and help you reach them. I once told a colleague at work about my plan to grow out my relaxer and embrace my natural kinky curls, and she proceeded to list all of the reasons why I shouldn’t do it. She was not a dream keeper.

So, I came home and enlisted the help of my neighbor and friend, Jes. And, the support of Jes made all the difference. Jes has beautiful hair and has been natural for several years. Jes was excited for me. She told me everything she learned during her natural hair journey, gave me hair products to get me started, told me where to shop for hair products, and e-mailed me lots of websites with the best information available. In short, Jes armed me with the knowledge needed for a healthy transition and cheered me on toward success.

2. A Coach/Mentor must have the heart of a teacher– I made a new friend in September, her name is Ashley and she is a professional blogger. A professional blogger! I met Ashley at a wedding while waiting in line at the restroom. She asked me about my profession, and I took a deep breath and explained that I’m an energy analyst for the federal government but I really want to be writer. And, she explained that she’s been a professional blogger for 7 years and offered to help me.

Ashley is the primary reason for the improvement in this blog content over the past several weeks. She listens, asks pointed questions about my ideas and goals, and then she gives me homework and tasks to help move me toward those goals.

3. A Coach/Mentor must keep you accountable – I told my friend, Barbara, that I wanted to be leave my job as an analyst and be a writer.  Barbara is an editor for a large D.C. publication, and she reviewed my writing samples and helped me submit column ideas to newspapers. The big writing gig hasn’t come along yet, but Barbara always asks about my progress and keeps me accountable when I get discouraged.

4. A Coach/Mentor must be where you want to be  – I guess this could be applied to anything, though. If you want to be a millionaire…ask a millionaire for financial advice. But, I apply this to our marriage mentors. Our marriage mentors have been married for forty plus years.  And, they still have A LOT of fun with each other. You can’t be around Ron & Cheryl and not laugh. The finish each other’s sentences and are deeply in love. Morris and I want to be where they are in 40 years.

Now, it’s your turn. I would like to know how you are using mentoring/coaching to improve your life and family? If you don’t have a mentor, but would like one…let me know and I’ll help you find one.

A Kind Rejection

Last week, I received a kind rejection note from one of the magazines that I submitted an article to. Although, I was a wee bit disappointed that I was rejected…the editor was gracious enough to respond in three days and give me constructive criticism.(Typically, editors respond in three months…if they choose to respond.)

My previous two submissions were met with complete silence, and I am thrilled to hear back from someone. So, for me, getting a response is 1) progress and 2) encouraging.

I’ve been on a quest to escape my boring job for 18 months. And after repeating the grueling process of informational interviews, submitting applications, following up, and interviewing for umpteen times. I’ve decided to give up the non-profit job search and refocus my efforts on writing. You know that question that interviewers ask you “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

I would always think “Honey, I plan to be on a book tour for my first novel by then.”

But, I would always say “I would like to stay with the organization as long as the relationship is mutually beneficial.” Because you can’t tell an organization that counsels people or educates children that you want to write a novel that tells stories of families conquering life together. Typically, writing novels does not fit into their respective strategic plans.

So, I’ve decided to write with the same fervor that I gave the job search and we’ll see what happens. I don’t know where this writing journey will take me, but I do know one thing- persistence is the key to being successful.
Morris and I studied persistence last week in 12 Traits of the Greats, and it says that “great achievers often achieve great things simply because they refuse to give up. They don’t retreat in the face of setbacks. They don’t shirk in the face of disappointment, and they don’t quiver in the face of delay.”

In my own family, my brother, Isaac, is the model of persistence. He has been relentless in his pursuit of a degree in sociology. Despite setbacks, discouragements, and having to balance being a husband, father, and having a full-time job…he graduated this year. And now, he has been asked to present his Senior Thesis at a sociology conference. I’ll be leaning on Isaac for advice heavily as I pursue this book tour dream, and reminding myself of Winston Churchill’s speech “Never Give In“.

Photo from My Black Piano

I know that you too are pursuing goals and dreams. So, let’s stick with it and keep me updated on your progress…and I’ll write about your journey and we’ll get to the finish line together. Lauzi, a Chinese philosopher, said that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” So, we might as well get to steppin‘.

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