ENDURING PRODUCTIVITY: Accountability Check-In



When you hear the word, accountability, what do you do?

Do you cringe? Smile?  Or do you scream like a prepubescent girl?

If I was me about five years ago, I would probably scream and hide. Accountability can be a scary thing, especially when you’re holding yourself accountable.

Last month, I did an accountability check in which I focused on daily to-do list; however; this month, I wanted to do my check in a little differently and do a check-in centered around my goals for the month.

If you missed my monthly goals blog post, here is a quick run down of my three goals for the month:

  1. Develop and launch my marketing plan for The Optimist Kit
  2. Begin recording my first podcast series
  3. Outline all my book ideas

So how have I been doing this month so far?

Goal #1: Develop and launch my marketing plan for The Optimist Kit

I have been prepping for an August launch of the Optimist-Kit; however; now that I am working on my marketing plan, I am considering pushing it back just to ensure that I have the essentials of the business in place.

I have been actively researching marketing plans, taking notes on marketing and brainstorming an efficient plan for my subscription box service.

For the rest of the month, I will be drafting my marketing plan and preparing for a soft launch!

Goal #2: Begin recording my first podcast series

I have to say this…There is A LOT that goes into developing a podcast series. You have to brainstorm what you will talk about, think about additional content and of course, there is the actual recording process.

So far this month, I have finally decided on my first series (Shhh…it’s a secret…for now) I have been organizing this series as a whole and starting small.

I am in the process of drafting a recording schedule that will start next week and I hope to start posting via SoundCloud the first week in August.

For the rest of the month, I will be finalizing notes and practicing my recording voice.

Goal #3: Outline all my book ideas

I thought this was an easy goal, but it has proved itself to be a serious one.

I have been thinking about all the book ideas hat have been swimming around in my head and I sat down to write them down.  I have a total of 7 books that I want to write with two of them I plan on release within the next 6-9 months.


This week, I finally sat down to map out some release dates for the books and creating a rough writing/ editing schedule for the first two books that I want to work on.

Next week, I will start working on one of the two books and editing a new edition of my first book!

Have you been holding yourself accountable for your goals this month? Even if you have an accountability partner, we must still be able and most importantly willing to take a look at where we are with our goals, what we need work on and if a goal is close to being accomplished, what is the next step?

So how are you tackling your goals this month? Share your updates with me in the comments below.

This Friday: Enduring Ink: Insta-Prompt- Note To Self (Printable)

Until next time, stay blessed!



ENDURING MUSINGS: Dear Creatives….

Dear Creatives,

Let your creativity flow.

Grab a paintbrush, pen, car parts…Let life be your muse and motivate you to free your creativity! Do not worry about getting it right or wrong, just do something that fuels your passion- or passions and do it without second guessing your talents or yourself.

The time has come for us to utilize our creativity daily.

Make time every day to dive deep into your creativity and make it great. Paint numbers, learn a new chord on your guitar, build that shed; no matter what you do, just get innovative daily!

And while you’re letting your creativity flow, regret nothing!

Drew outside the lines? Call it abstract!

Went over your word count by 100 words? Send it to your editor and see if they really notice.

Have confidence in your works and who you are; doing so will allow you to take all the negatives with a grain of salt.

Of course if you’re utilizing your creativity every day and ignoring your naysayers, then you’re ready to share your creative works shamelessly! Post pictures, record videos, host a party! No matter what you do, just share your creativity freely and openly!

Creatives, the time has come for us to be fearless in our endeavors, dismiss the negativity and share your works with the world.

Go on, let your creativity flow, I’ll be there with a bucket!


Blessings and Love,



ENDURING INK: This Concerns Me… A Virtual Reflection


Good Morning Optimists! Happy Wednesday, I hope that your week has been productive and a blessed one.

Today, I’m getting personal as I continue with this month’s theme, Let it Flow.

Letting it flow is essentially for us to have the ability to release- or share our thoughts, emotions, loves and fears freely without worry.  Do this allows us to be honest with ourselves and coming to terms with anything and everything we are willing to reveal.

This month, I want to encourage ourselves to reflect on the good, the bad and the inbetweens of our lives freely without fear.

Last week, I took some much needed time out to reflect on one of the prompts via my newsletter (if you want to get journal prompts sent to your inbox each month, sign up here.) I decided to focus on one of the hardest prompts to answer (at least in my opinion.)


I know I have dubbed myself the Optimist but that doesn’t mean that I do not worry and I do not have concerns. Being a mother and wife first has opened an entirely new flood gate of concerns.

One of my biggest concerns now is…

Being a good example of living life for my children. I know that I am not perfect and I have some made some not so good decisions in my life; however; I have learned and I am still learning from them so I can set a good example for my kids.

Journal Session Date: 7-10-2015, my aunt Bernadine's Birthday (R.I.H.)
Journal Session Date: 7-10-2015, my aunt Bernadine’s Birthday (R.I.H.)

This matters so much to me because I believe that God has blessed me with my kids for a specific reason. I have no idea what the future holds for them but I believe that by setting good examples and living a faith based life that I help my children navigate through their lives with hard lessons and lots of love.

In addition to setting a good example for my kids, I am concerned about the progress of my business. My concern goes beyond the desire to launch a successful business, my concern lies in the fact that I have very little initial experience.

Growing up, I did not have a desire to be a business owner but as I got older that desire grew stronger especially when my passions started to emerge and I was blessed to uncover my purpose.

This matters s much to me because I believe that through my business and brand, I can inspire and motivate others to not only chase their dreams but also think positively about their lives and futures. I want to make a positive impact on the lives of others and I believe that this brand is the best way for me to do it.


My final concern goes beyond my family, my business and myself. I am greatly concerned about the state of our world, our nation and humanity today. 

I know that I cannot worry myself with the negative actions of others; however; their opposing actions impact our lives. This world is far from perfect but it concerns me that much of this world is changing and losing its faith in God.  This planet has become a giant chessboard with human lives as pawns.

My concern for this matter is so heavy because I think of the children. Not just mine but all the youth; they are sponges, soaking up information quicker than it’s being feed to them.  Be it good or bad, they internalize it and without the proper guidance, I worry for them and their impact on this world.

I closed out my session on a positive a note and a steadfast reminder.
I closed out my session on a positive a note and a steadfast reminder.

I know and understand that all things good are possible through God and I need to cast these concerns to the Most High yet, it does feels GREAT to reflect on my concerns and accept by they concern me as much as they do.

By the end of this journal session, I felt a sense of relief and acceptance. I let the things that have kept me up at night lately flow freely from my mind. Today, I look back at that entry and I can’t help feel a sense of joy.

Concerns may seem negative but when we sit down, reflect on them and why they are consuming us in such a way, we often find a positive for us to hold on to which reminds us that we are human and our concerns are normal.

I hope that you enjoyed my virtual reflection, a personal peek inside the pages of my journals.

What’s your biggest concern right now? Share your concern in the comments below.

This Friday’s Blog Post: Dear Creatives- Let Your Creativity Flow! 

Until next time, stay blessed!




JulyGoalsHey Optimists! How are we doing today?

We are officially into July, how has this summer month been treating you so far?

For me it’s been a series of improvements from going to the dentist (I was scared ya’ll), getting back on track with my monthly sickle cell check ups and working on business matters. I would say that this month has already started with a bang (no pun intended)

Before the month gets ahead of me, I had to stop and think about the goals that I want and NEED to achieve this month. Last month, I fell off on two of my goals due to my day job demanding a little more out of me as we prepare to go paperless so this month, I focusing on my goals with a little more detailed precision.

That being said I sat down, examined my mind map and my June goals to brainstorm and develop my goals for this month:

1. Develop and execute my marketing plan for The Optimist Kit 

Last month, I was sidetracked with the day job that I was not able to fully dedicate myself to developing my marketing plan, so this month, I will spend 3 days researching marketing plans, I will utilize 5 days to draft a 30 day plan and in two weeks, I will start implementing my marketing plan.

2.  Record first podcast series!

Okay, I am VERY excited about this. While talking to my mentor a view days ago (Hey Audrey!) We were thinking about something new that I can do with my blog. We discussed YouTube and Periscope; however; I enjoy speaking but I’m not one to be in front of the camera. That being said, I have decided to create a podcast station on SoundCloud!

This month, I will be outlining my first content series for 5 days, which will be followed by 2 days of developing a recording schedule and then the fun part begins RECORDING! I will be using the end of the month to record and prepare for the launch of my SoundCloud station. For updates and the official launch date, please “Like” my Facebook Page.

3. Outline ALL book ideas. 

The writing bug has been hitting me hard and I have a few projects that I am developing centered around writing, so I think that it’s time for me to start writing!

This month, I will take a day to brainstorm all my current book ideas, then 5 days will be spend outlining each book individually and finally, I will draft a writing and tentative release schedule for each book.

I have declared July the month of letting it flow. This month, I am encouraging everyone to release burdens and pains of our past in order to create and live a brighter future.  I urge you to set goals this month that are not only realistic but also connected to your purpose.

How can you set goals that are connected with your purpose? Well I have a few tips:

1.  Find your passion. 

Passion is linked to purpose. What you love to do is what you were put on this earth to do. I know you have heard this so many times but it’s true. When you’re unsure of your passion, your goals suffer. Before setting goals, answer the following questions:

  • What do I love to do day in and day out? List them all!
  • If you could achieve anything with no regard to money, what would it be?

2.  Map it out! 

Mind mapping has helped me look at all my passions on a grander scale and it’s an activity that I suggest to others who are trying to figure out what they want to do with their brand, blog and even business.

To learn more about mind mapping and try out the creative activity too, click here.

3.  Start small!

When setting goals, start small. There are only 24 hours in a day and at least 30 days in a month (I’m not counting February lol), so be sure to set goals that fit within your availability and time frames.

I have learned this the hard way. I tried to cram 10 goals into an already hectic month and the results were tragic. I became burnt out and would beat myself up for not completing ALL my goals.

Keep your goals realistic and small for greater success!

If you need more help with your goal setting,  I have a few printables available for you  (NOTE: the monthly calendar features says May 2015 but you can white it out and use for any month you like. I will have a blank month template posted by the end of the month.)

Here’s to a blessed, productive and free flowing month!

Until next time, stay blessed!


ENDURING LIFE: Taking Stock (A glimpse into my journal)- My Letters to God



Disclaimer: This blog post focuses on faith and Christianity. If you do not wish to read this post, please stop here. If you do continue to read, I ask that you respect my personal beliefs and have a blessed day!

I try to live a Christian life. I’m not perfect- I have had children out of wedlock, I have lied before, I battle depression daily, I have sinned and I have a tendency to curse, especially when angry and/or hungry.  Nonetheless, I believe in the Lord and I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

My faith is strong yet lately, I have embraced a strong desire to deepen my relationship with God. While I maintain daily prayers, I wanted to reflect with God and talk with him on various things, so I went straight to my journal.

Journaling allows me to not only connect with myself but also with God. Through journaling, I have been able to reflect on God’s word from my personal Bible studies and church sermons. I recall His blessings through my family’s lives and seek to further understand God’s purpose in life and me.

I opted to dedicate one journal specifically to God and my personal reflections with Him.

My letters to God are currently housed in my journal from Eccolo Ltd.
My letters to God are currently housed in my journal from Eccolo Ltd.

I try to write a letter every day, reflecting on my day, my struggles, successes and I always try to include a gratitude list and a prayer list.

Here's a quick gratitude list from May.
Here’s a quick gratitude list from May.

I have found that recalling the blessings of every day no matter what not only keep me grounded but they keep me going on a positive note. Be my reflective thoughts good or bad, it’s good to slow down and thank God for the day even if for fifteen minutes.

I do not set any boundaries in my letters, I talk about anything and everything with God which is how it should be. I  cry, laugh, or sing through my words, express my frustrations and most importantly give all my burdens to the Lord and pray for a new day of opportunity.

A letter to God from earlier this month.
One of my prayer lists (right side) from last month 

It’s refreshing to share my thoughts with God and end my day on the most enlightening  note.

While  I do not know your faith personally, I encourage you to try reflect on your blessings daily. Take some time out to draft a daily, or weekly prayer list. Reference it often, adjust your list as you desire and finally, keep a list of the things that you are thankful for.

Maintaining and drafting pages like this can keep you uplifted and filled with joy.

Do you reflect on your faith while writing in your journals? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time, stay blessed!




Hey Optimists!

How is your Wednesday going? We are half way through the week, can you see the weekend of the horizon? I know I can.

Today, I’m getting personal and asking for a little bit of help.

Optimists, I have been given a second chance. Last year, I applied for a complete brand and business makeover. Although I wasn’t too confident on the outcome, I was selected as one of 25 to attend this exclusive event.

I was overjoyed and ready to go but I hit a serious roadblock. The $1500 fee that I did not have readily available, nor was I sure if I would being that I had just started my job and we have a family to take care of.

So instead of stringing the creator of the event on, I immediately emailed her, told her that I appreciated the opportunity and explained that I would not be able to attend due to funding. I sent forth well wishes to the individual who would take my place and left it at that.

Man, it hurt to turn away from such a great opportunity but I did not want to go beyond my means.

One thing I did do after I sent that email off was prayed and I made a promise to myself.  I asked God for another opportunity and I promised myself that if this event happened again, I would NOT let anything stop me from going, if I was selected again.

Well, guess what? The opportunity came again, I applied and then waited with baited breath.

By March, it was official, I was selected as one of the 25 attendees for Design Your Brand!!

I feel very fortunate to be able to attend this conference and while I want to jump up and down like a little girl who just won a pony (I always wanted one by the way), I have to get very serious about this event because there is so much involved with this experience.

At the end of October, I will be spending 4 days in Chicago with some serious influencers on grand scales from health and wellness to television personalities who will be offering their tips and strategies for building a solid brand that is relatable and effective.

In addition to that, I’ll be getting a complete personal makeover as well and an exclusive photo shoot too.

It wasn’t the perks that really captured my attention (those are like icing on SEVERAL cakes), to be honest, it was all the knowledge and insight I will be gaining from this once in a lifetime experience.

As a result of this conference, I expect to come back ready to build my brand even further. I have so many ideas for TEO brand from more books, events and more that this conference will allow me to organize and plan these ideas and projects out so they can be properly executed.

And now, the million dollar question… Why do I need your help?

Even though I was selected for this experience, there did come a price. The cost to attend this event is $1500.00 Since accepting my spot, I have paid $500 towards my fee, It was rough to let that money go but I have reminded myself that I am trying to invest in myself.

It has been rough collecting the funds to pay for this, which is why I have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help me gather the rest of the funds needed for me to attend this conference.

Every little bit counts and for your generosity, I have included a few perks as my own creative way of saying thank you for your support.

If you cannot donate, I would appreciate a share or two on your various social media platforms.

Click here to donate, view my video and share my campaign.

I will keep you all updated on my journey to to DYOB at least once a month.

Until next time, stay blessed all!



Happy Friday Optimists!

Dare I say that spring has finally made its way to the Midwest and I am excited. Warm weather means more outings with the family and that means my journal and I will be traveling in style.

My journals (yeah I said JOURNALS) often never stay at home, they do where I go because you never know when inspiration will hit or when I have a thought that I just need to get down on paper before I forget it.

Of course, I don’t just lug my journals around in any old bag, I love a BIG bag. A bag with room for the basics (wallet, makeup bag and a few diapers for Mr. Gray) but it MUST have space for my journals and books:

I love my current bag by Olivia + Joy. It holds EVERYTHING!
I love my current bag by Olivia + Joy. It holds EVERYTHING!

With the changing of the seasons, I am on the hunt for a new tote bag so I thought that I would share some of my favorite internet picks with you, They are big, bright and awesome:


I have my eyes on the Hunter and Kipling tote (even though I’m not a fan of pink.)

How do you transport your journals? Tag me in a photo of your journals in transit on Instagram (@the_enduringoptimist)

Have a great weekend, all!

Until next time, stay blessed!



Hey Optimists!

Did you miss me? I sure did miss YOU!

Goodness, it feels so good to be back on my blog. I want to thank everyone who stopped by the blog during my hiatus and keeping up with me on my Facebook and Instragram too!

Everyone’s kind words, likes and support has meant to much to me.

During my break, I spent a lot of time thinking about my blog, its initial purpose and what I can offer my readers as whole content wise.

The result was a notebook filled with ideas, concepts, drafts and much more. I am pleased to return feeling renewed and ready to go!

But enough about my break, it’s a new month which means that we are ready to set some goals, draft our actions plans and make it happen!

This month is a month of SERIOUS focus because I have a variety of things that I want to accomplish; however; I narrowed it down to three goals that I want to accomplish this month:

1. Develop my marketing plan for The Optimist Kit

I am getting ready to launch my subscription service in August so I am spending the next 3 months (yikes) spreading the word and getting everyone ready for my subscription service.

2. Brainstorm The Optimist’s Guide to Journal FOR KIDS! 

THIS concept was just requested after visiting my daughter’s school for career day so I have decided to take them up on the challenge and I am teaming up with my kiddos to create a kid friendly version of my book.  Everyone is excited about this idea :)

3. Finalize The Optimist’s Notebook

Have you been following me on Instagram? If so, you may have noticed a few pictures featuring a hand designed planner. That’s right, I’m creating my own planner!!  I taking the time this month to finalize the concept, along with drafting the last of the demo pages.

Don’t fret, Optimists. I have a SPECIAL treat for you at the end of this post.

Of course, I have some tools to get me through this month as well. I have my calendar, books, organization tools and much more. Check out my arsenal for May’s creative productivity:

This month I am testing out my calendar layout for my planner, The Optimist’s notebook. This is the full month of may….All those colors lol!

A closer look at my goals and actions plans…

My current organizational obsession…EPIC BLOG!

This month’s notebook companion

My reading material for the month :)

This month, I have to buckle down, make some adjustments in order to achieve my goals and I hope that you join this month and set some goals for yourself too.

Need some help narrowing down the goals that you want to accomplish this month?

Well you are in luck, I have an activity for you to try, including the worksheet and a sample of my monthly calendar from The Optimist’s Planner.  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the layout, so feel free to email me at theenduringoptimist@gmail.com with your thoughts.

Join me on Facebook and Instagram (@the_enduringoptimist) and share your goals, progress and reflections with me.

Here’s to a productive and blessed month!

P.S. Sign for my monthly newsletter this month for a **SPECIAL OFFER** And to find out when The Optimist Kits go on sale, you can join our mailing list as well.

Until next time, Optimists!





10 Things to Journal About February 2015


Good Morning Optimists! Happy Friday.

I gotta say for this to be the first week of February, it has been dragging. Maybe it was the freak blizzard or “that” play from the Super Bowl (I’m still not over it myself.) Whatever it is, we need could all use some musing for the month, I know I sure could. So I’m here to share 10 things to journal about this month:

1. RELATIONSHIP GOALS: I gotta say that it has been hilarious to see all the memes going around featuring these “goals” but I wanted to take the idea and really reflect on it this month.


2. SEAHAWKS: Who didn’t see the Super Bowl? And who has yet to hear about that terrible play? The aftermath of that play left me wondering about some of the bad calls I have had in my life.

NFL: Super Bowl XLIX-New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks

3. SELF LOVE: February is the month of love and not just the lovey-dovey stuff, it’s also about self love. Take some time this month and reflect on you and how much you love yourself. And if you haven’t yet, join me in the Self Love Journal Challenge.


4. LAUGH: Who doesn’t love to laugh or a good joke? Enjoy and reflect on the gift of laughter this month.


5. SNOW: This snow has forced me to think about relocating. How about you?  Fill some pages with travel plans, destination ideas and even outfit inspirations.



6. PATIENCE: Despite having a name that means a form of it, I am still learning patience and with 2015 just beginning, we still have time work on our bad habits, especially patience. hourglass

7. COMFORT FOOD: Cold weather calls for great food! These cold nights have inspire me to whip up some yummy dishes. In fact, this month could be a good time to try out something new for the holidays.



8. BOOKS!!! Since the weather isn’t letting up anytime soon, books have become my getaway from the cold. This month, think about the books you’ll be reading for the rest of the year.


9. LOVE: You know I couldn’t complete this list without talking about the L-word <3 Enjoy all the benefits of love and remember to give love as often as you can.



10. ANTICIPATION: 2015 has really just begun and that means that we have so much to look forward too. This month reflect on some of the events and experiences you’re excited about in the upcoming months.

cat and fish


Happy Journaling, Optimists!

Until next time, stay blessed and inspired :)


ENDURING LIFE: Love You, February! Monthly Goals

MonthlyGoals February2015

Good Morning Optimists!

Well we are just a few days into February, so you know what that means?


Last month’s goals are in the bag but that doesn’t mean that we can’t reflect on them and use them to jump start our new goals for the next 28 days (or less).

In January, I spent time brainstorming my next book and I started the first draft. I also started working on my business plan and started saving up for my screen printing kit too.

I used the progress that I made with last month’s goals to inspire this month’s goals. Check out my goals, my current reading material and more:

This month’s goal chasing materials and motivators!
From my vision journal…. I am focusing on using creativity to chase my dreams, inspire others, live fearlessly and fully step into my role as an entrepreneur.
I'm still working on Time Management for the Creative Person. It's been inspiring and VERY helpful. In additional to that book, I just purchased Kickstarter for Dummies and it has consumed much  of my free time as I prepare for my latest project!
I’m still working on Time Management for the Creative Person. It’s been inspiring and VERY helpful. In additional to that book, I just purchased Kickstarter for Dummies and it has consumed much of my free time as I prepare for my latest project!
I love and appreciate the brainstorming  process.  Mind mapping has become my favorite brainstorming/planning technique of choice. It allows me to get every idea out and figure out the action steps I need for each goal.
I love and appreciate the brainstorming process. Mind mapping has become my favorite brainstorming/planning technique of choice. It allows me to get every idea out and figure out the action steps I need for each goal. SHOUT OUT TO MY ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER, SHONELL B!
A glimpse at this month's goals...
A glimpse at this month’s goals…

My goals for February are:

  • Launch my Kickstarter Campaign!: I am excited to launch this campaign. I will be submitted my application this month to raise funds to help me launch my brand, The Optimist Kit ! I have started the development process already and I am really learning as I go along. Making this campaign happen not only fulfills a goal but it is also me taking a HUGE step out of my comfort zone and leaving fear behind. I have also decided to document my progress from develop, launch and beyond with a vlog on my YouTube channel. You can check out my current videos and subscribe here.
  • Organize my first Google Hangout: I have been toying the idea of hosting a live stream event centered on journaling topics. I decided to ask around on a variety of social media platforms and the idea was highly suggested and recommended. So this month, I will be brainstorming and organizing my first ever hangout. I plan to host the event next month so I will keep you posted on the upcoming date and how to register soon!
  • My final goal- Finish the first draft of book #2: With the Kickstarter project consuming much of my free time and my work schedule increasing, I lost track of my progress with book #2. Writing this book is very important to me and I do not want to lose sight of completing this book. So I am getting my head back in the writing game to get  this book done! I plan on creating a writing schedule, drafting a writing contract (yep, it’s that serious) and removing various distractions during my writing time. (Sorry Instagram :()
In addition to my goals, I will also be taking part in my own Self Love Journal Challenge. Have you signed up?  You can do that here.
In addition to my goals, I will also be taking part in my own Self Love Journal Challenge. Have you signed up? You can do that here.
With all my goals set, I input them in my calendar based on the dues I have created for them.
With all my goals set, I input them in my calendar based on the dues I have created for them.

Here’s to a blessed, productive and positive month. What are your three goals for the month? Share your February goals with me in the comments below or on Instagram. Follow and tag me @the_enduringoptimist and use the hashtag #optimisticgoals in your post.

If you have yet to draft your monthly goals, print off a copy of my MonthlyGoalSetting worksheet.

Until next, stay blessed and productive!




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