Beauty Buzz & Blog Biz | 2021
Happy New Year and Welcome 2021! We are so excited to introduce you to the first of three new Bold Blind Beauty contributors. Sylvia Stinson-Perez is not only a leader within the blind/low vision community she is also one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met. Bold Blind Beauty is also extremely fortunate to have Sylvia as one of our Advisory Board Members. Welcome to our contributor team, Sylvia! ~Steph
A Dream and a Goal: 2021 Here We Are
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”~Louisa May Alcott
The new year offers a time to consider where we have been and where we would like to go. 2020 was certainly a year in which we were limited in where we were able to travel physically; however, many of us learned to be more creative and adaptable as we continued to follow our dreams and achieve our objectives—and we traveled far virtually. What were your targets for 2020? Did you accomplish them? Were they adaptable enough for you to pivot and use creativity to attain them? Have you set goals for 2021?
Before you stop reading, thinking that this is just another one of those “set your goals” messages… read on.
There is something here for everyone!
It is said that goals are dreams with deadlines. Studies have also shown that those who write down their intentions are much more likely to achieve them. I am a goal-setter. I also encourage you to be a dreamer and a goal-setter. Each year I take time to review my year to see how I did… and yes, I count those things I accomplished that were not written down. I have yet to achieve all of my ambitions, but I am convinced goal-setting has kept me from just trivial pursuits and helped me succeed in several areas.
Does sitting down and writing out your objectives seem like a waste of time or an overwhelming mission? I know for many defining specific goals annually does not seem to be a valuable activity. So, let us start small and see what happens if you just set three goals for 2021. I suspect you will realize how much it makes a difference and you will join the ranks of successful goal-setters.
Let us start with what targets you might consider. I am going to make it very simple.
- Well-being goals include physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
- Personal development goals include anything that improves your overall skills, knowledge, or abilities in life, including those related to living effectively with vision loss.
- Professional development includes all goals related to the improvement of skills, knowledge, abilities, and advancement in your career or life mission.
I am going to ask you to consider just developing one goal for each category… yes, just one. That will mean you have a list of three goals for 2021! You can do it. I want to hear about your success.
Now, how do you develop these goals? Let us use the SMART system.
Goals should always be:
It is said if you do not know where you are going, how will you get there? Our goals need to be a road map on our journey. What do we want to accomplish? What are the specific tasks, actions, or outcomes that will lead to that outcome? These specific steps need to be on our goal list. For example, if my goal is to be a motivational speaker and I know I need to work on my presentation skills, one of my goals might be to join a public speaking training program to improve my skills. This is specific.
We all want to “be happy, be successful, make more money, lose a few pounds… etc.” but none of these is actually measurable. We need to analyze what will lead to these, or how we measure these. For example, if I wanted to become a better cook, I know that like any good skill I would need to cook… and cook a lot. Therefore, my goal might be to cook a meal at least 3 times a week. I can measure at the end of the week, month, and year if I actually cooked 3 times a week… and well the taste of the food will determine if I am a better cook.
Life is certainly not predictable. We can make plans and goals, but life events will get in the way. Therefore, we need to have goals that can be easily adapted for success. For example, if one of your targets is to be more physically active and to make sure you engage in some type of physical activity at least 4 days a week, you will have a list of potential activities in case the weather, a health condition, or some other factor requires a shift in your normal routine.
Our objectives have to be something that we can accomplish ourselves. We would all like to win the lottery, but that is not in our control, so it is not realistic. In addition, there is a level of self-awareness needed here to create goals that we really want to work on. For example, there were several years in which one of my well-being targets was to exercise every day. Let me be honest here… that is never going to happen. I don’t even like to exercise, but I know how important it is for my overall health and well-being, so I make exercise an objective each year, but I make much more realistic expectations for myself.
I commit to walking at least 7500 steps a day, and I have been very successful. 10,000 steps a day is not realistic for me. Sometimes I get 10,000, but it is not feasible most days for me. I have figured out what is realistic for me. I have managed to build this habit and have kept it up for 2 years.
We need timelines and deadlines to keep us on track. For example, I want to lose 10 pounds this year. I can easily measure that by getting on the scale at the end of the year to see if I did it. Even better, as the year goes along I can get on the scale each month to ensure I am making progress. For success, I will have timelines within the time-bound goal. For I might say lose 5 pounds by the six-month mark, and 10 pounds by the end of the year.
Now that we understand how to set SMART goals, try it. I am going to put a few of mine right out here… so I will be accountable. I will report at the end of 2021, and yes, I want you to put at least one of your three goals on here and let us know at the end of the year how you did too. We are all in this together… as our goals will help us become even more bold and beautiful as we attempt to successfully navigate life with blindness.
Sylvia’s 2021 goals
Improve my physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being by doing a 30-minute yoga routine at least 3 times a week.
Personal development goal:
Achieve a higher level of skill in cooking by cooking at least three meals a week. Part of this goal is learning to use adaptive blindness strategies more effectively-which only happens with practice.
Professional development goal:
Contribute at least two blog posts a month to increase my professional writing skills, my professional presence, and make a positive difference in the lives of others.
I can’t wait to hear about your goals as we travel this bold, blind, beauty journey together!
Connecting With Sylvia On Social Media:
- Facebook: @Sylvia Stinson-Perez
- Twitter: @SylviaSPerez101
- National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision at Mississippi State University (NRTC): www.blind.msstate.edu/about
Sylvia Stinson-Perez is a leader in the blindness field helping individuals and organizations succeed through innovative strategic planning and implementation. She has Master’s degrees in Social Work, Visual Disabilities Rehabilitation, and Business Administration. Sylvia is blind as a result of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), however, she believes that everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their potential, a conviction she promotes through:
- her position at the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
- projects she leads such as Speak With Confidence public speaking training, and mentoring
- service on advisory committees and boards of directors.
- Header: Woman holding a brown wooden frame with text that says: “Dream Achieve Succeed”
- SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal setting concept presented on a chalkboard with each letter of the “SMART” acronym on multi-colored post-it notes.
- Outdoor rearview photo of a woman in a tanktop with her arms in the air giving thumbs up. In the background, the sun is setting in the distance.