Focus

Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” —Sam Levenson

A lot of times we get overwhelmed by everything going on in our lives that sometimes we just want to give up. From experience I have learned to take things easy by slowing down a bit and living each day as it comes. Normally I’m a planner, I plan my life years ahead. It makes things easier for me most times though it doesn’t always go as expected given the time interval of planning and the actual events.

I’m presently at a point in my life where I feel I can take over the world 😂, however I have realized that I can’t do everything at the same time. Actually that has been my main problem over the years. I have too many ideas but usually get frustrated and give up during the implementation process. Especially when it’s taking longer than expected.

That being said, one must never stop trying to be better regardless of how tough the road seems. Life is never easy but with determination and perseverance many have conquered every limitation they encountered on their journey.

If you’re like me, I advise you slow down a bit. Don’t stop just ensure you have a priority list that serves as a guide so you don’t get burned out by taking on too much responsibilities. Nigerians would say ‘slow and steady wins the race’.

Have a fabulous week ahead people, keep working on that dream of yours!

Major lifestyle change

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​I stated in one of my previous posts that I was ready for a lifestyle change especially because my main goal is to lose some weight and be fit. So guys the time has finally come. I decided to do it the ketogenic way. This means that my daily meals will consist of mainly high fat, moderate protein and low carbs. A lot of people may already know about this lifestyle but for those who don’t,  normally our bodies burn carbs as its  main source of energy but a ketogenic diet helps your liver to produce ketones that burn fat as your main source of energy. 

I have done a lot of research on living the ketogenic lifestyle and I believe it’s the best for me. Hopefully I will take you all on my journey to a new improved version of myself. I say so because when you feel good on the inside and your healthy, everything about you changes positively; from your self esteem/cofidence to how you live and take decisions. 

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I started yesterday, allow me to emphasise that it’s been very challenging because I used to eat a lot of carbohydrates and sweets (I have too many guilty pleasures), but all that is about to change. I am however doing a gradual transition as opposed to suddenly switching to very low carb intake, my reason being I want to be committed this time. I don’t want to go from one extreme to another because I tried it before but couldn’t keep up, not that I wasn’t seeing results on the scale. Now its different,I saw it as a diet before but no its a lifestyle. 

I created a page where I will be posting photos of my meals at the end of each day, this is a way to keep me accountable for whatever I put in my system. I know that some days I may fall off the trail but I want to be as realistic as possible so people can know the challenges i’m facing on this journey and hopefully get inspired. 

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I didn’t weigh myself before starting because it’s not just about what the scale says, I got obsessed with my scale the last time I tried this diet I could literally weigh myself five to six times a day. I intend to weigh myself eventually but I want it to be a surprise. I know I weigh between 100kg to 105kg. So I will know how well i’m doing when I decide to check. I also have recent photographs that will serve as ‘before’ while I work on the ‘after’.

Is there anyone of you currently embarking on a journey of change you always wish you started , still hoping to pursue a dream for a while now but still procrastinating? Leave me a comment or email and let’s encourage each other and make things happen. 

The time is NOW.

Love, Valada!

Career goals; Stuck and confused!

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Recently i have been worried about the direction in which my career is going. If you have read my bio already, you would know that i am a University Lecturer, and that means studying ever ends for me if i intend to continue in this profession (i love my job and i have a passion for teaching by the way). Surprisingly i grew up to discover i enjoy being the student, it’s funny considering i hated school as a child needless to say i was an above average student. In other to grow to the peak of my career (Professor) i need to publish a lot of academic literature in reputable journals and get a PhD while i’m at it. It isn’t an easy task, it takes a lot of dedication, commitment and perseverance to achieve this. I know because my Dad is one and i have learned a lot from him over the years.

I never believed that after getting good grades while undergoing my masters from a UK university i would encounter this much problems with getting admitted as a PhD student. Well that has been my predicament for a while now. I am qualified for  most of the positions but the application process can be very daunting, especially with various schools having different requirements and admission processes. Some universities give you research topics and some do not. Others ask for a research proposal while others do not, some ask you to get a supervisor by yourself while some don’t. Some ask for GRE/GMAT test scores while other don’t. And the list goes on.

I assume you get the picture i’m trying to paint. Sometimes i get frustrated especially because i have a personal deadline to meet. I’ve set out tons of emails to various universities and prospective supervisors around the world. Sometimes you get a reply (positive or negative) but most times you don’t. Well i have decided to use this vacation wisely to continue with my search and not get discouraged regardless of the disappointments. The end result is all that matters to me for now and i’m well aware of the fact that quitters ever win (i am aware because i would have had a PhD by now had i not given up years ago). I could really use some motivation right now, seriously.

What are some of the challenges you have faced in the course of your studies/careers and how were you able to overcome them? Please share in the comments section.

Thank you for reading.

 

Counting down to 30

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Source; Google images

There is no greater feeling like looking back at your life and realizing how far you’ve come. I reminisce a lot, not because i have a lot of time on my hands but because counting my blessings gives me joy. Often times we get carried away by our troubles and frustrations which eventually lead to depression. The world is already full of sad events, let’s not make things worse. We all should take a chill pill, relax and enjoy life. Be happy regardless of our individual circumstances.

There are so many reasons to be happy, for example; the gift of life, family, friends, laughter, good health, shelter, food, water, peace, love, career, etc. they are too many to be listed here. If you are depressed, sad or going through a tough time, please drop it and look forward to brighter days ahead. No one will make that choice for you except you!

It is normal to get upset sometimes but at the end of the day we should not let that rob us of the excitements that come with being happy people. I have experienced terrible times of betrayal from people i hold dear to my heart, and i threw the longest pity party for myself till there was no strength or tears left in me. One day i asked myself if it was even worth my energy and time, as you know the answer was and still is an obvious ‘NO’. That was the moment i decided i would live a fulfilled life and keep being the cheerful happy-go-lucky girl i was when i was much younger.

So far it has paid off, i’ve lost so many friends but i gained few others that i wouldn’t trade for the world. One thing i cherish in life is loyalty and that is because i am loyal to a fault. I however, learned over the years not to expect such an expensive virtue from people who do not understand its concept. One of my aunts would always say ‘blessed are those who do not expect, for they shall not be disappointed‘.

20 days to my 30th birthday and i say ‘NO’ to every form of negative energy around me. I choose to live, love and laugh in peace like never before. It is time for me to take good care of myself for me and my family, i intend for my son to have happy memories growing up (so help me God). Memories he will take with him for life till he starts his own family.

I still have a lot  to accomplish as long as i am alive ad healthy. That is, new people to meet, new places to visit, achieving my career goals and so much more. This is just the beginning for me, i have never felt so fresh and driven to succeed like i do now. I hear 30 is the new 20 (LOL, I wish).

On this note, i wish to announce that i will be embarking on a ketogenic lifestyle journey soon. I have been overweight for so long, i feel this is the best time for a change or rather, a transformation from the inside out. I will be updating you on my progress and i will also try to post recipes alongside photos of my meals. So stay tuned for that, i will need all the encouragement and motivation i can get.

Did i also mention my son and i will be going home to hubby soon for the summer break?! We are so excited to be reunited after almost six moths of being apart (some of the sacrifices families of military personnel make, but we do it with love). Thanks for reading guys.

Until next time, stay safe and happy. Remember YOLO!

Finding my career path

Truth is I was never impressed with the idea of having a mentor when growing up. However, over the years i have realized that no one knows it all and we all could use a little bit of guidance from people who have had more experience in whatever we need help with. Some of us are either too scared, shy or proud to ask for help. Why? If you hold on to those, you will never learn.
Many young people feel that because we are in the digital age and they have access to the Internet and other media, they do not need any guidance from more experienced people. It is sad because a generation of lost and confused youth is being groomed to take over from our parents.

Working with young people as a lecturer has given me access to some of these promising young men and women, whenever I converse with them about their career path and plans for the future I discover that most of them are just waiting on what time and chance have in store for them. I remember when I was much younger I had an issue with being asked what I wanted to be in the future. Not because there is anything wrong in asking but because I had no idea what I wanted to be (surprising i know, but its true). 

I was totally confused and clueless about if I wanted to go to University or not, even though it wasn’t an option in my family but a MUST. My parents were so strict that even the thought of being a failure wasn’t an option. I desperately wanted to succeed and impress them in whatever I ended up doing with my life, so much so that I let them make most of the important decisions about my education (I don’t regret it though, considering how clueless I was back then). 

Funny enough I turned out fine and i’m loving every bit of all i’m doing at the moment. To be honest i’m still learning new things about myself, the things I have passion for and i’m descovering new talents I never even knew I had everyday. 

I never thought I had a mentor but thinking about it now, I realize my parents were and still remain my main mentors. The decisions they guided me to make helped turn me into the responsible young woman I am today and they are proud of everything I have accomplished not just career wise but also in terms of the content of my character. I couldn’t be more thankful that I was obedient and patient enough to let them guide me aright. Let me quickly add that i’m aware not everyone gets to have parents that should be looked up to as role models. I am so blessed. I try in every way possible to live responsibly so my students and other youths around see and learn from me. 

I am constantly working on being the best version of myself because as much as I want people to be inspired by the way i live my life, I most importantly want God to be pleased with me even though I am only human and can never be perfect. Secondly i want to be the kind of mother my son will forever be proud of. These are some of the things that motivate me to stay driven and focused.

Most of the new generation youth are not humble enough to even admit that they need assistance in certain aspects of their daily lives let alone take advice. I believe we have people who came to this world before us for a reason. So we can learn from them. Personally I don’t agree that I have to make every mistake in the book in order to gain experience and wisdom. I talk to a lot of people, I observe and pick attributes and words that would make me better than when I met them. That is how I have been living and will coninue to live, I am however open to new ideas. I encourage my students to listen and learn at every given opportunity from everyone they encounter on thier journey through life. One may never notice the repercussions of living a life without direction until it’s too late.

In Nigeria there is a saying that ‘words of elders are words of wisdom’. Elders here does not necessarily mean aged people, it could be a young colleague at work who got employed before you. Another saying goes “opportunity comes but once”, in other words make hay while the sun shines.

For those that are interested in hearing the actual story of how I found myself in the world of academia, let me know in the comments section or via email. It’s quite interesting I must say, considering it was one profession I disliked with a passion (LOL).

Until next time, keep living your dreams!

Life lessons

I guess we all know what a rose flower looks like. Beautiful as it is, it has thorns regardless of it’s colour and beauty. That is how life is, not everyday is going to be happy. Everyday comes with surprises, the pleasant and not so pleasant ones.
Ever wonder why people get hurt each time something doesn’t go as planned despite knowing from the beginning that there’s only a 50/50 chance of a positive outcome? One never gets used to disappointment, it’s a natural phenomenon.

The thorns on a rose doesn’t stop it from being beautiful so why let disappointment hold you back from being your best?!! I have learned some lessons from my few years of life, I hope it helps someone realize they’re not alone.

  1. People you trust will hurt you in the worst ways you can imagine, deal with it. It’s your decision to make as to wether to stay away from the negative energy, keep enduring or let them know how you feel and make peace.
  2. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Personally I believe whatever terrible experience I go thorough teaches me lessons I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. And every challenge I go through is an opportunity to learn something new. This realization helps me stay sane 😀.
  3. People tend to make promises they can’t keep when they are happy. Try not to get your hopes up, else you end up disappointed. Keep an open mind always and ensure you have a plan B just in case 👌. Remember to be as realistic with your expectations as possible while you give room for error.
  4. Never ever assume, always ask questions. Verify your facts before acting on them. Being silent about issues affecting your peace will only get you depressed. Speak up no matter how controversial the topic is and save yourself some stress. 
  5. They say forgive and forget. I say forgiving is the easy part, forgetting is where the work lies. Just try to be patient with people, you’ll get over it someday somehow but don’t lose yourself in the process.

Life is a journey we all are opportuned to go on only once. It’s important to make it count, occupy yourself with things that make you happy. Make wise decisions. Be kind, you never know when you’ll require to be treated as suçh. How we behave to others has a funny way of coming back to us when we least expect it. 

Until next time, be happy!💃💃💃

Financially responsible or just stingy??

So here’s the deal guys, I took a decision about a year ago to be more prudent in my spending after realized I was way too extravagant and had little or no savings most of the time. I had to come up with a strategy that would actually work, need I say I had tried so many times in the past to achieve this feat but failed woefully.

I weighed all the options I had  but there was only one that had the highest chance of being effective in my case (trust me guys, it was really bad).In Nigeria we deal mostly with cash but in the past five (5) years or so, the government has constituted policies that promote a cashless society in order to curb inflation.

Having lived in the UK before, I was already accustomed to using my ATM cards to pay for virtually everything. It was a struggle readjusting to the Nigerian way of making purchases with cash.

This led to my excessive spending habit, which I was not aware of by the way. I had to figure out the root of my problem, especially with a baby on the way back then. There was no way i would continue to live like that, always making purchases on impulse and looking for the slightest opportunity to spend.

The moment i realized the cause of my problem, i decided to take drastic action by not carrying more than a certain amount of cash for a period of time (mainly for emergencies). Now I only pay for what I need and mostly with my card, if there are no POS machines in the stores I want to buy things from I leave without buying and that’s it. Money saved LOL. 

People that used to know me when I  was an impulsive spender now complain that i’m stingy (not that i care anyway). Well I just feel as one grows older, priorities change and change is inevitable.

Another strategy that encourages me to save more is having a short term project that I cannot afford, once that is settled I come up with something else that I need to invest in.

To be honest i’m still struggling with this new lifestyle but I believe i’ve made significant amount of progress so far. I’m still learning to be disciplined where money is concerned. Now that i’m a wife and mother I realize it is my duty to ensure that the family’s finances are in top shape.

What methods do you use to save more money? Please kindly share in the comments section.

Supposed happily ever after

Remind me again why most single women believe once you meet a nice looking guy and get married all your problems will be washed away at the altar and from then on everything will be perfect?

Well sorry to disappoint you ladies, this is time for real talk. Honestly you need to wake up from that slumber! Do not get me wrong I was a victim of that fantasy before I met my husband and got married. I love him to death and he is the love of my life but HELLO welcome to the real world where real imperfect people live.

Growing up I thought i had it all figured out in my head that I would meet my perfect charming knight in shining armour and we would never have a single care in the world. I am a happily married military wife and mom of one son but I have to emphasise that it hasn’t been easy. I mean it’s hard enough being married to a military man especially under the circumstance my husband and I met and fell in love (story for another day). He was practically deployed to a war zone at the time, fighting terrorists in Nigeria. All my life I thought I would marry a business executive (the suit and tie kinda guy lol). It was a rude awakening for me when my then fiancé explained what our lives after marriage would be like (of course the details came after I had said YES lol), at that point I was basking in the euphoria of love and couldn’t care less about what i was geting myself into.

Having to live apart for so long was never part of the plan but ‘oh well military life chose me’ so I embraced it with faith, I mean a lot of faith. So far God has been our source of strength and it’s been almost two years since we were joined in holy matrimony (next month is our anniversary) , I say this with pride joy and  peace that I WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY if given a chance to change my mind.

I haven’t even mentioned adjusting to motherhood yet and this post is this long (haha). Well that’s something i’m still working on. From having my life all to myself and now having to tailor every bit of all I do to my son’s schedule is something I wasn’t quite prepared for. I would give my life for my son any day if need be but realistically speaking, being a mom is the most tasking challenge I’ve ever taken on. It’s rewarding to see your child smile and play with you but I believe first timers need to be more educated about what’s to come after birth. I battled with Post Partum Depression for months and no one noticed, but it was bad. I had heard about it from few friends but never took it seriously. Thank God for resources on the Internet and prayers that helped me heal. Add my job to that equation and imagine how I was feeling (in Nigeria we only get three months maternity leave beginning the day of baby’s delivery, terrible I know!).

And then there’s bills to be paid, no more shopping till you drop #sad face lol, endless planning for every dime you earn. Sleepless nights, rushed baths etc. So single ladies all I can say to you is, take time to develop yourself and start earning a living, don’t be in a hurry to get married because you may end up disappointed and eventually get divorced if you find that you cannot cope.  Above all pray for direction till you have peace with the person coming for your hand in marriage.

Thank you and God bless to all the military men and women who sacrifice their lives daily for their country. To the families of these military personnel, I know it isn’t easy but it is for a good cause and the sacrifice is more than worth it. That is our only consolation.

Until I come your way again, stay safe!

A trip to success boulevard

Why do people feel the need to succeed?

A lot of people in our society today are being judged as failures or never do wells because they aren’t living up to soceiety’s expectations. People need to realize that being happy and peaceful are important ingredients of a successful life. 

I would say this though, success means different things to different people, a Nigerian saying goes thus ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’. Personally I believe that just because something worked well for Mr A doesn’t mean it will work for me. I live my life knowing that all fingers are not and will never be equal, therefore let everyone one run his race the best way it suits him/her. Lately I have been on a journey of self discovery, I will be turning thirty years soon and it’s kind of a big deal for me (whoop whoop, i’m happy and feel blessed). I have been asking myself what I have achieved in life so far and to be honest with myself and you all, I am doing okay since I have a masters degree and I work as a university lecturer. However, you will be surprised that I don’t measure that to be success. Its important, but not the most important thing to be achieved. 

There is much more to life than just doing the regular things that are expected of you by society. We all have those secret things hiding in a tiny corner of our hearts that we wish we could do that would make us more pleased or satisfied with ourselves. I will use my beginning to blog as an example. I have been procrastinating starting a blog for only God knows how long. This is something I do because I enjoy writing and I want to be a source of inspiration to people like me. We waste so much time suppressing our talents due to societal pressure, wondering how people would view us if we did what we love.

Getting a large readership and following on my blog will not only help me network more but I will also learn from talented people that are willing to share their knowledge with the world. Furthermore, I believe as time goes on my writing skills will greatly improve whilst I find out the niche I belong to.

Conclusively, success for me is having and spending quality time with my family, having loyal friendships, pursuing a successful career I enjoy, working towards achieving my set goals, staying healthy, pray more, travel more, shop more, take more photos (another secret passion of mine), laugh more, reach out to the needy and all the good things of life (haha).

Keep living your dreams people, you only live once.

Peace!