Learn more about the April ATHENA Leadership Forum from ATHENA Council Member Krista Paulin, Senior Director of Development, Special Olympics Michigan.
Hello, my powerful Athena community!
Last week’s leadership forum with Tara Jones-Williamson was another successful event where we discussed finances, personal barriers, and how to overcome them. What I love about ATHENA is that it is always a safe place to authentically engage. I was able to have a wonderful and diverse discussion with women in different financial situations. Some were single and just bought their first home, others were recently married and figuring out combined financial goals, some are single mothers, and others have been married for over 20 years and getting ready to be empty nesters! Every story is different. But the connections are real, and they are vibrant. Each person in that “room” is there to learn and lift each other up. THAT is the power of ATHENA.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
Money. We all think about our desires and our future. I am always asking myself, ‘Can I really travel the world and save for retirement?’. Our speaker asked each of us what our ideal life looks like. Some attendees wonder if they can follow their dreams and pay off their student loans or credit card debt. Can you retire early on a beach somewhere AND build up an emergency fund? We even had the response, “my ideal life is one in which COVID does not exist.” Hats off to you, Ellie Wilcox!
Most of the women in that room responded that they were NOT living their dream just yet. However, we did see some inspiration pop up… I see you Veverly Austin – living the dream already! But even if your goal is to buy all the gorgeous shoes your heart desires, is it really attainable? The answer from our speaker, Tara Jones-Williamson, was a resounding YES! No matter what your dreams and aspirations are, they are yours.
But what does matter is your finances. Our dreams should not come at the expense of bills, savings, retirement, etc. You need to be mindful of those, too, in order to succeed.
“Have the mindset that you CAN do this, and you deserve this.” #chills
Here are three takeaways from Tara’s presentation that resonated with me the most:
Create your personal vision statement.
We need to align our lifestyle and finance goals, because often they are often competing.
This activity was centered around our own person Vision Statement. This is something Tara always challenges her clients with, and it made each of us think deeply about what we truly want out of life and how our financial habits intertwine with these goals.
Develop SMART goals to meet your vision that are 12 months long or under.
Set the goal and break it down to what it means on a smaller scale. This helps your goals become more attainable. When a goal is vague AF it’s not so SMART. Tara spoke to us about going back to the drawing board and that it is okay to reassess when needed. Never forget to celebrate every single victory!
Revisit this vision statement daily.
Focus on the lifestyle you will have and not the little things you will be missing.
It is all about mindset. It’s something I think a lot of us know, but we do not practice. Having this vision statement and the discipline to focus on it is key to reaching your goals!
Tara Jones-Williamson is the CEO, Content Creator and Success Coach behind Your Pretty Pennies, a digital lifestyle brand. She has dedicated her life to educating and empowering women to move from making poor financial and lifestyle choices to intentionally manifesting their best lives. Through her authentic and relatable content, she focuses on helping women level up in four key areas: faith, finances, family and femininity.
Tara, thank you for such a compelling presentation. Your story is inspiring, and your life lessons have made you an empowering influence for women.
To find out more about Tara, please visit http://yourprettypennies.com/