Happy New Year, bellas!!

This isn’t a post about resolutions or lists or the promises we make to ourselves every year — that post will come next week, after some much needed R&R&R. That’s Rest, Relaxation, and Reflection. I need some time to think and prepare for this new year.

This is about my New Year’s attitude. It’s best expressed in this photo of me, taken in 2007. I blogged about it here, on my first bloggiversary.

I’ll explain in a bit.

My New Year’s attitude is this: 2008 wasn’t so great. But in 2009, I’m gonna shine!

Corny rhyme yes, but that reflects how I feel today. I haven’t been this excited about a new year since Y2K. And that was a different excitement, one laced with wonder and fear. (Remember how people were all like, buying extra canned food and stocking up like the apocalypse was coming?). This new year, I feel hopeful. Optimistic. And ready to take on the world. Is it the Obama factor? Maybe.

I’m sick of making resolutions I can’t stick to, and finding myself slinking back to old, bad habits by February and March. I’m sick of letting myself down. I’m sick of saying, “next year this, next year that, next year, next year, next year.”

Next year is THIS YEAR.

2009 is MINE.

My year to grab life by the reins. My year to be the change I’ve been looking for. My year to stop wishing and hoping and praying for things that are within my grasp. MY. YEAR.

I feel like a spark has been ignited in me. And I want to pass it on!

Are you looking for a new job? Are you trying to lose weight, or quit smoking? Are you trying to finish a project or achieve a goal? Do you want to see your life improve in a specific way, that you see glinting ahead of you like the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel?

I’m here to tell you — I’m right there with you. And we can do it, whatever it is. We can do it, but any goal in life that is worth achieving, is worth working hard for.

In 2007, my husband took that photo of me. It was one of those important little life experiences. What Oprah might call, an “aha” moment.

And here’s what I had to say then:

The photo at the top of the post was taken last Friday, when we were en route from Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe. It’s an eight hour drive through desolate desert, abandoned towns, and incredible mountains. We parked by the banks of a river in the mountains of California. My husband wanted to climb down a steep, rocky embankment to the water below. I didn’t. I said “I can’t.” But he climbed on down like a billy goat, and left me on the side of the road. “Come on,” he called up to me. “You can do it.” I was scared, but I tried. Slowly I made my way down the rocks, to the steep and shifting sand, down to the river with him. He took that photo of me as I climbed back up. I did it! I didn’t think I could, and I did! YAY!!! And that’s totally how it’s been with this site.

So often we limit ourselves by thinking we can’t. Sometimes all it takes is that first burst of courage, that push to try, to make you realize that you really can do anything you put your mind to. If a scaredy-cat like me can do it, so can you — whether your goal is to go natural or be fit or find a better job or take better care of yourself or do something new that you’ve been afraid to try.

That was in 2007, and I sincerely meant those words when I wrote them. Since then I’ve taken baby steps towards the kinds of changes I was hinting at. Now we’re in 2009. The time for baby steps is over.

Bellas, fellas — I’m about to embark on a journey of self-improvement, and I know the road is going to be rocky and the incline is going to be steep. It won’t be an easy road, but it’s a worthwhile one. I’m going to tell you all about it, along the way. I’d love you to come with me.

What are your goals for the New Year? What are your dreams, and are you ready to achieve them? How do you feel about 2009?

Filed Under:
Tagged With:


Dee says:
January 1, 2009, 2:22 pm
Happy New Year, Afrobella! I am so excited about 2009! This year, my keyword is "more". I am going to be more patient, more healthy, more creative, and have more faith.
Carmennc says:
January 1, 2009, 2:26 pm
I'm with you! Last year was a good year. I'm going try even harder with my goals this year one day at a time. I want to publish a book and the search for a literary agent has already begun. Happy New Year! Twitter Rocks!
Shanel - Ladivaloca says:
January 1, 2009, 2:45 pm
Awesome post - 2008 was great despite it's challenges and 2009 will be even better bc of the lessons learned in prior year - peace, health and self-confidence....and best of all, learning to be CONTENT. Happy New Year!
Renee aka @cutiebootycakes says:
January 1, 2009, 2:49 pm
Happy New Year lady. Like you I believe this is my year to shine - a New Year, a New Me! I plan on being fit and fabulous this year. Although I have been told that I am already fabulous by friends (lol) I have to feel it and know it for myself.
Rachel says:
January 1, 2009, 2:51 pm
Wow. This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read. Honestly. I love your honesty, and I related to so many things you wrote. I hope this will be. No, correction with your inspiration, this is GOING to be the year that I bring about the change I want in my own life. Loved this. I want to start a blog soon and this is exactly the depth and honesty I want to bring to it. ~ Rachel
DblDee says:
January 1, 2009, 3:10 pm
Happy New Year ALL!! This year I plan to get serious about eating healthier on a consistent basis. I usually do well until there is a family gathering or holiday, and then I fall weak to mom's good southern cooking.
Kweenie says:
January 1, 2009, 3:34 pm
I am so excited and nervous about 2009. 2009 will, if all goes well, see me moving to a new city and starting graduate school. It's a lot for a newly wed, but I have the greatest husband who is game for anything and I've been wanting to go back to school for so long that I can't wait till summer rolls around! Here's to aiming higher for 2009!
Shell says:
January 1, 2009, 3:45 pm
A cute picture of you, Bella. I wish you the best and the brightest in 2009. I'm ready for great adventures in 2009. I feel this sense of renewed optimism too. 2008 was a trying year for me. My best wish this year to is grow more creatively.
Erin says:
January 1, 2009, 5:32 pm
Happy New Year Bella! Thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm for the good things to come in 2009. You've definitely motivated me to do some more introspection about the things I want to achieve this year. So far, my must-do list for 2009 includes the usual: healthier eating habits, exercising, making sure I progress career-wise, etc. I hope all my fellow Afrobellas have a wonderful 2009!!
BK says:
January 1, 2009, 5:36 pm
Happy New Year Bella!!! I'm with you.. 08 wasn't the best for me but 09 is MINE FOR THE TAKING. I wish all your goals and beliefs to manifest and grow for this year! I look forward to a great year and lots of great info on this site!
Aisha says:
January 1, 2009, 7:14 pm
Happy New Year! Thanks for writing this post. I feel the exact same way about 2009, very hopeful and excited. I just KNOW this is going to be a great year. I wrote down my dreams/goals for this year ( I do this all the time anyway), and they are in a safe place. However, I think it's best to keep these things private so as not to fritter away the energy. Good luck to everyone in the coming year!
pets says:
January 1, 2009, 7:44 pm
Hey! We're both on the same page! In spite of what negatives the pundits say 2009 will bring I say otherwise!
Amy at Minimally Invasive says:
January 1, 2009, 8:24 pm
Happy new year, Bella! I just love this post - your honesty and optimism are so inspirational. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. This year, my goal is to break free of a job that's been a bad deal for a long time and try to establish myself as a food photographer. I have my first assignment in a couple of weeks!
Pearlsrevealed says:
January 1, 2009, 8:42 pm
Though I rarely post on this site, I read the articles all the time. Your site is FABULOUS. Yes, 2009 is yours....mine too. 2008 was the best of times and the worst of times. Higher levels, bigger devils. Mostly my own emotional demons. 2009 is my year to owe no man nothing but love. No more financial debt!
Fabulous says:
January 1, 2009, 8:47 pm
Hey Bella, Happy New Year!! I'm so happy I read your post. I have been feeling somewhat down since the early hours of New Year's Eve because I found out my grandmother passed. And it's crazy to me because at the end of every year for the last 4 or 5 years, someone that I love dies and its made me a little bitter during the holidays. I had already decided that I wasn't making a New Year's Resolution because I don't even make it to February without going back on it. I just know this year I have to make some life altering changes and decisions because I can't have another year like 08. You said it perfect, "embark on a journey of self-improvement," and I know exactly where to start. Have a great year and thank you for the motivation.
Patrick Jnr says:
January 1, 2009, 10:57 pm
I'm with you little sister! Nuff said! Keep doing what you're doing, you make me proud every day! My best to you and Steve...
Sheree' says:
January 1, 2009, 11:07 pm
I enjoy your blog very much...thank you for sharing with us. I have the exact same feeling about the new year and I wish you the very best in 09!!!
alexis b. ™ says:
January 1, 2009, 11:20 pm
FUCK 08 !!!
sandra G. says:
January 2, 2009, 12:25 am
Thank you! An inspiring post. Your 2007 post and picture is appropriate for today, as we live in the "eternal now". Things appear to be whatever we conceive. Just as you have succeeded since 2007, you will continue to succeed through infinity. It's all good and it's all one eternal length of time.
NaturalOasis says:
January 2, 2009, 1:42 am
It is quite contagous hearing about everyones plans for the new year. I personnally am looking forward to a new start in 2009. 2008 had its ups and downs, the same as every other year, but there is something about 2009 that SCREAMS...opportunity! I feel like I have a twinkle in my eye and an undeniable zest for life. Unlike most years I have decided to be proactive in accomplishing my goals. I have decided to put my smart phone to good use and schedule a day each month where I can reflect and reevaluate the things that are working for me and the things that aren't. I feel like most people sabotage there dreams of losing weight by not reevaluating where they need to make changes in order to make their goals attaniable. By being proactive I plan on setting goals for the month instead of the full year. I'm hoping that thru accomplishing smaller, more detailed, goals that it will make the following years that much easier. Happy New Year Bellas!
Sally So says:
January 2, 2009, 8:08 am
This is a great post. You never now what you can achieve if you don't push yourself to do it. I too am grateful that my husband is there to push me along. I hope 2009 brings you great success in what you've chosen to do.
Eddie says:
January 2, 2009, 9:50 am
I just want you to know that you are an inspiration. I don't generally make resolutions but around Feb I feel what most people feel in Jan; that need for change or extremely motivated (Feb is my birth month)I think I am going to get a jumpstart and get my butt on the move NOW!
amijane says:
January 2, 2009, 11:58 am
Happy New Year Bella! Wow, I never would have believed that you actually thought you couldn't do this at one point in time. Now that is inspiration:). Thank you for keeping this site up. I hope everyone remembers that we as individual human beings are not in control. All you can control are your decisions on how to act and react to circumstances, and hopefully do some preventive maitenance. However, we can not MAKE something go or way WHEN we want it to go our way... Just do your best EVERYDAY, and you will eventually see progress.
tycajam says:
January 2, 2009, 12:28 pm
Happy New Year Bella!! It’s nice to experience that energy the only you can bring with this website and your spirit once again. I just wanted to say that I feel you on the sick and tired portion of your post. I spent my old year into the new year night at church as usual and I have to say that entering into the new year on that note where I acknowledge that I couldn’t make this journey without some awesome help, takes away the pity party I always feel ready to entertain as I think about being my own worst enemy at important times in the past year. This year I just sat there and listened to everyone else’s testimony and thought I am so sick and tired of my excuses, of my fear, of my underlined inadequacies… I’m tired of knowing what is true about myself, and yet just going through the motions of life pretending at some sense of who I am. In 2009, I want to totally, actively embrace the fact that I am alive and strange and ME! For me this means: being kind to my lovely, lovely nappies, rocking the funkiest jewelry (and lots of) I can find, not worrying about whether the hat matches the socks (metaphor for my life – so sad), finding my patent red round –toe pumps to wear like everyday to work (cause I feel like it), grinding smarter for those dreams that I’ve backburnered, writing the blog for which I’ve been paying for the last year, keeping the promises I made to my inner child… Oh and I could go on, but there is time enough for that. Can I just say that I love that pic and feel like every one of us, should have that kind of moment captured somehow in some way. Happy New Year to all bellas and fellas! And I co-sign on shining in ‘09!
Christine says:
January 2, 2009, 12:59 pm
Love that photo of you! Happy New Year to you and best of luck in achieving your goals. Mine include: getting to the gym more and getting and feeling healthier; being more patient; worrying less; and being more productive all around.
SoFrolushes says:
January 2, 2009, 1:09 pm
Happy New Year Afrobella and to all your readers. 2009 is the year for blessings for all of you to shine. be happy. look forward to continue reading your beautiful blog. it inspires me all the time
Laquita says:
January 2, 2009, 1:30 pm
Happy New Year Afrobella :o) This is an inspirational post. One of my main goals for 2009 is to stop procrastinating. Instead of saying I am going to start something I am going to start just doing. I am going to 'start' on goals with the one day at a time attitude instead of always looking toward the end goal - when I get there I will get there. I pray that you achieve all of your goals for 2009.
Beth says:
January 2, 2009, 2:00 pm
Happy New Year, Bellas all! I hope 2009 is everything that you all hope it will be. In 2009, I hope to finish my dissertation, or at least figure out what to do career-wise if the academic route isn't right.
Jeanine says:
January 2, 2009, 2:46 pm
hAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!! ...'backburnered'...I love that.... I don't think there's enough room, but here I go.... (sorry....I'm a Virgo...lists are a staple) In no particular order..just as they come to mind: 1. Quit Smoking 2. Lose at least 20 pounds before June 30 3. Get Organized 4. Save $$ for a downpayment 5. Get a better attitude 6. Get further out of debt 7. Spend more time with the kids...doing more of what they want. 8. Set up a monthly date night 9. Rely more on faith 10. DRINK MORE WATER!!!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to see what's in store for 2009
Ms. Beans says:
January 2, 2009, 4:33 pm
I see everyday a chance to do something different in my life, so 2009 is another 365 days for me to make "little" changes with myself. Whether it is dropping old habits, cutting my hair, volunteering with a new charity or just living a healthier lifestyle(mind, body, and soul)..........whateva it may be....I am still game...A person only lives once...so I pray that everyone have a BLESS 2009!!!!!!!!! :)
Mae says:
January 2, 2009, 5:46 pm
It won't be an easy road, but it will be worthwhile.. Amen indeed! I also am going by the motto, 2009 is mine. And my prayer is to be self-productive in everything I put my heart and mind to. Thanks for this post, it's by far one of my faves. Also, good luck to all the other bellas who responded. We can do it. God bless
LBellatrix says:
January 2, 2009, 5:53 pm
YAY for you and YAY for that picture! I love it. :) It's ironic that I'm on your blog because one of the things I said I would do in 2009 is rediscover my inner girly-girl...specifically, start wearing perfume again, keep up with the pedicures, start doing manicures again (they never seem to last because I'm always typing...any tips?), keep up my eyebrows, etc. Keep on doing what you do because a sister like me needs help, okay? ;) My biggest New Year's resolution involves my getting moving in terms of all my life goals. I realized recently that, actuarially speaking (averaging out my four grandparents' ages of death) I have more years behind me than ahead of me and I need to get going if I want to have something to show for this life!
Naturally Leslie says:
January 2, 2009, 6:48 pm
Hi Afrobella! Happy New Year! First, I must say that I love reading your posts, they are always so inspiring and informational. I agree that 2009 is mine as well. I think of myself as opinionated but I'm shy. So today I started my own blog. GOSH is it intimidating to put yourself out there but I hope it will give me courage to be more comfortable with me in the new year and for the years to come. I'm glad to know I have people like you to look up to so please wish me luck. And if you have time stop by and critique!! Thanks and again God Bless you in this new year of 2009!
Ebonys says:
January 2, 2009, 8:24 pm
Health & happiness to you and your family in 2009! I am looking forward to this year! I hope to finish school and return to my family, friends and the status of employed! I hope to create a niche providing mental health services to families in my community...which is somewhat overwhelming to think about since I intend to start my own business. Above all else I intend to give thanks for life and love! and keep reading Afrobella of course :-)
Sumatra77 says:
January 2, 2009, 11:16 pm
Agreed! 2009 feels like my Year! 2008 was bitter sweet, got some bad news, got some good news. I'm proud about how I handled both and that I feel like I"m on my way to great things. I usually don't particularly like to write resolutions but yesterday, I did. This is my year to: Lose weight Start a blog Buy a house Earn more Make new friends Travel Laugh more Fall in love - ok that's no a resolution. ;-)
Nubeauti says:
January 2, 2009, 11:29 pm
I really just want to become a better me; spiritually, emotionally, financially, and physically. But my more concrete goals are to get my personal training certification and begin cosmetology school.
Mahoganydymond says:
January 3, 2009, 9:24 am
I really didn't make any resolutions. I just know that this year, I am taking care of ME.. I have put ME on the back burner for so long.. Happy New Year....
alicia says:
January 3, 2009, 12:29 pm
I hear you Bella. You have to claim good things and happiness. Blessing to you and hubby in 2009.
Marvalus says:
January 3, 2009, 4:36 pm
Hi Bella! I am a constant visitor, but rarely comment...it is one of my goals of this year to engage in the conversation more. I love that photo of you! I just want to continue on my journey of being better to myself, in every facet of what that means. Happy New Year and many blessings!
Niki says:
January 3, 2009, 6:50 pm
I am with ya on doing big things in 2009! I reflected on my personal 2008 and the buzzword for me was "realization"--I came to a lot of conclusions and just "woke up" to things in my life that I had just been letting go on auto-pilot. In 2009, my buzzword is "action". I will be like Nike back in the day and "Just Do It". The time for talking about what I need to do is over and I'm just gonna shut up and do it! LOL
success gal says:
January 3, 2009, 8:58 pm
Dear Afrobella, dear Afrofellas, I love your blog! It s so refreshing! As for 2009, it is ours...I agree! I am also very excited about 2009 and am pretty sure a fabulous year is awaiting us. I am personally planning on being an item with my ideal mate and on finishing writing and producing my award winning film. Yes, baby! Yes, we can! Love and lots of good good vibes to Ya'll!
Mia says:
January 4, 2009, 3:12 am
Hi Afrobella, I just found ur website while researching Dr. Miracle products. First of all, happy new year! So, I feel like my hair is a mess. A hot mess, to say the least. I wanted a change so I decided to try and go short. Problem is I have fine hair and a landing strip for a forehead and a round, tortilla face :-) Oh, and my hair is permed straight. My main hair issues are: 1. Dry hair that doesn't seem to benefit from hair moisturizers like Motions hair dressing 2. No creativity in terms of going short. I tried bangs but I still need a style that's cute and reflects how I normally feel on the inside and even project on the outside: fun and a little feisty. I know (or have heard) that short hair is lots of work but if I can find something a little low maintainance, that would be great (college student, still!) So, what d'you think? Can u help a sista out? Recommend some products, short hair do's for permed hair etc Please? I hope so! Have a fantastic New Year and may it be all that you want it to be - and more! Thanks Mia
Wes says:
January 4, 2009, 2:27 pm
I completely agree w/ you Bella- 2009 is not only a new year, but I feel like it is only the beginning of something new and great. 2008 served as a symbol of the many wonderful things to come in 09 and beyond. I'm extremely optimistic- the things I couldn't do in the years past I will be doing in these years to come- God willing.
Regina says:
January 4, 2009, 8:35 pm
Afrobella, you inspire so many and I am sure as you document your journey that other bellas will find the inspiration they need to improve themselves. I pray that all of you Bellas (including myself) get, achieve & do all you want and more in 2009! Blessings!
Y M Williams says:
January 4, 2009, 10:45 pm
For me 2008 was great! 2009 will be just fine!
Nikiya says:
January 5, 2009, 1:11 pm
This is my 1st time replying....I typically read this blog often...As with most ppl I find this one to be especially refreshing....I don't like to use the term resolution but instead I will say goals....to me I put more weight on a goal & typically avoid breaking them, even if it takes a while to accomplish them....to sum it up, my goals for this year is to be happy.... With happiness comes being more optimistic and positive....I am that way when it comes to other ppl but when it's concerning myself, I'm my worst critic and tend to have a negative outlook...I want to change that...I'm too talented to let some insecurities keep me from doing it big!!! 08 was suppose to be my year but there were some minor setbacks & wakeup calls that kept me in a negative frame of mind....Some people in my life from 08 stayed there as I refuse to surround myself with anybody other than like-minded individuals...positive individuals... 09 will be good because I graduate w/my degree in May & my car will be paid off...I plan, scratch that, I WILL find employment in my field as well... other 09 goals: ~~think positive ~~BE positive ~~save some $ for an emergency acct ~~pay down student loan debt ~~start a blog and eventually a website ~~turning my side hustle/field into income & promoting my services on said blog & website ~~becoming more active physically ~~letting go of the past...(I may not forgive/forget, but there is no reason why I should continue to harp on things)... ~~making time ONLY for those who make time for me... ~~trying more recipes out of my cookbooks ~~starting a bookclub (still debating on that cuz my friends don't read as much as I do...maybe I need to meet new friends, LOL) It's time for me to stop talking and start doing!!! wishing you Bella & all other readers success in everything they set forth...
Calming.Corners says:
January 5, 2009, 2:06 pm
Great post! What an inspiration. I have my eyes on the prize and taking it one day at a time. It is powerful when you follow your dreams reach your goals. xo, CC
Get Togetha says:
January 5, 2009, 2:52 pm
Happy New Year Bella!
sdg1844 says:
January 5, 2009, 3:44 pm
Happy New Year! No resolutions, just plans to make things happen. Not talking about much, just doing it.
Sylvie says:
January 6, 2009, 1:33 pm
This is a great post! I am with you sista SHINE IN 2009! I love it! I am inspired.
MelleMel says:
January 6, 2009, 1:45 pm
This was a fantastic post. It got me all fired up and ready to go! This year this a lot I want to accomplish and some of these goals are ones that I carry over from year to year and while you took baby steps, I just stumbled, fell down, crawled a little and finally found my footing again. For me 2009 is all about mindset. Changing my thinking. I'm a reasonably intelligent person so I know what is right and wrong, yet I find myself doing things that aren't in alignment with the life I want to live. So, this year is about working on that connection between what I think and what I do. 2009, I'm gonna shine! Love it!
Miss Journey says:
January 7, 2009, 9:05 pm
"YES WE CAN:" has certainly spilled over into the New Year and I am definitely excited about 2009. In my aha moment, I realized just how unlimited the possibilities are for this upcoming year. The opportunities may not be readily available but they are definitely out there. I for one am freaking ecstatic about the potential of what this year can bring, and I am happy to see that you are just as excited as I am. Best of luck to you afrobella and all your readers in 09!
swanee says:
January 9, 2009, 6:58 pm
Happy new year 2009 Afrobella . My key words ? Rise Run Reign


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *