How to Get Your Life Together for 2016

How to get your life together for 2016
2015 has been a great year for me: I was accepted into the #1 Journalism school, purchased my domain, moved into my first house and have been selected as a speaker for a conference on women’s leadership. But, even with all of those accomplishments, there were moments were I felt lost and felt I wasn’t accomplishing the goals I set for myself. As a junior in college I often get worried that I don’t have it all (what I want to do with my life) planned out, and I know a lot of my friends do too. But luckily, we can use 2015 as a learning experience on how to make 2016 better.
If you feel like you’re in a rut or just don’t know what you want to do, here are some tips to make sure 2016 is a great year:

Get Inspired

First you have to figure out what it is that you want. It always helps be to visualize things so I like to create Pinterest boards of things I want to accomplish or goals I have. If you want to make this more hands on you can create a physical vision board and print out images or get them from magazines.

Or you can look up articles on people who are in your field or related field, or who have accomplished what you’d like to. For me, those people are Emmelie De La Cruz, Rhonesha Byng and Meagan Ward (you should look them up!). This helps you understand that your goals are tangible and you have the power to achieve them.

Create a Plan

Now that you have an idea of what you’d like for 2016 (if you don’t, leave a comment or email me, I’m happy to give you advice), it’s time to get to work! The reason so many New Year Resolutions fail is because a lack of planning.

Break your ultimate goal (or goals) into manageable chunks that you can divide into the 12 months (or whenever your deadline is). Your ultimate goal should be specific enough that the breaking down part will be easy. For example, instead of  “I want to start my own business in 2016” go for something like “I plan to open a bakery that specializes in gluten free items,” then your chunks could be getting your business license, raising money if you plan to have a physical location, and building your clients.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

None of this will work if you don’t give it 100% and that means stepping outside of your comfort zone. You can’t keep doing the same thing but expect different results. Take that leap of faith. Apply for that internship you don’t think you will get. Buy that gym membership. Talk to your teacher about starting new research. Whatever it is, I believe you can do it.

Tell me how you plan to make 2016 a great year! I’ve even made a template for you twitter users:

If you’re not on twitter, leave a post on my Facebook page 

Get to planning and keep me updated!

Surprise! New updates!


Hey hey!!!

I’m back! Over the past month, I have been getting back into the swing of things regarding school and have been working on a project that I am excited to announce. My friend Karen Spears and I have created Build, Brand & Beyond, which combines my personal branding strategies with her brand identity solutions. Basically, this is a one stop shop for your personal branding needs. If you want to find out more, visit

As far as the website, if you couldn’t tell, I bought my domain and switched everything over to here. I also plan on bringing you guys more content, including e-books and webinars.

Thanks for reading!

Tia James

A Conversation with Academy Award winner, Common

Photo taken by Dekonti Davies


Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Common visited my school (University of Missouri) and spoke about greatness. He was truly a great speaker and had the audience cheering on more than one occasion.

As a special treat, he began with a freestyle, incorporating elements of our Mizzou culture like Sandy from Plaza, College Ave and Rollins and the Berg (if you go to Mizzou you know what I’m talking about).

Then he proceeded to tell us about greatness (how to be our best selves).

Here are the five things that I took away:

1. Don’t allow others to dim your light

It’s very easy to want to please someone that you love to the point where you don’t take care of yourself. He mentions that when he was in a relationship with Erykah Badu, he would often dim his light in order to not make her mad. If we want to be the best we sometimes have to let go of those people that are holding us back.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

When Common was 12, he played basketball but he wasn’t very good. He would try to play it off by pretending he had a stomach ache, but his uncle (the coach) caught on and told him that if he wanted to be good at something he had to work hard on it.

3. Believe in Yourself

You are your biggest supporter. If you don’t believe in yourself then no one else will. Common said that once he started believing in himself, he started to have a better outlook on life, especially when he released the album Be.

4. Finding Your Path Isn’t Easy

Trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life is not easy. Common originally thought he wanted to be a basketball player, but once he was introduced to hip-hop, he knew that was his path.

5. There Will Be Haters

No matter what you do, there will always be someone doubting you. That doubt can even come from within yourself, but you have to believe in yourself and be confident in your abilities.

Seeing Common was exciting, have you met any celebrities? If so, comment below. If not, who is a celebrity that you would like to meet?