Why I Chose Rest Over Pushing Forward & Through

why i chose rest over pushing forward and through blog post


Sometimes in life, we need to go against the norm and do what's best for us instead of what everyone else is doing. 


  • Breakdown

  • Pause, rest, and reflect

  • Keep pushing


I won’t say that one is totally worse than the other, at least in my opinion, because it truly depends on the person and their situation. I can tell you that for as long as I can remember, I have simply pushed through what felt like everything regardless of what was happening. I felt like I didn’t have have a choice. I felt as if I would fail myself. I felt as if that was the worst thing I could do. I felt as though everything would fall apart the moment I chose to “rest”. I believe that our reaction during these times, trials, and rough patches do the following:


  • Says a lot about the outcome we want

  • How we view/treat ourselves

  • How we tackle adversity and overcome obstacles

So here's where a sabbatical comes into play. What does Sabbatical mean? 


The term sabbatical actually is derived from the biblical Sabbath which serves an ancient human need to build periods of rest and rejuvenation into a lifetime. Traditionally you’ll find sabbaticals in academic careers, but they are not just for teachers anymore. Anyone can take a sabbatical and travel. A sabbatical is simply getting an extended leave from work to pursue a break. Granted, your company might not have a formal sabbatical program, but you can lead the way in requesting a sabbatical and having them start such a program. You get nothing if you don’t ask.

People traditionally take a sabbaticals to fulfill a goal, build a skill, or do research. You don’t necessarily have to stay near your home to do these things, you can easily travel the world and accomplish your goals; the key is to get away, renew, refresh. - Meet Plan Go

So with that being said, I'm taking a sabbatical off from accepting new clients, social media, and will spend this time intentionally doing activities that allow me to pause and rest. The other part of my time will be spent completing other goals that are taking priority at the moment in my life. Read more below. 

Why I’m Taking A Sabbatical: The Emotional Stuff



So when things happen in life we aren’t only affected by our jobs and families but also our businesses - whether it’s a side hustle or not. In the last couple months, I’ve dealt with some health issues, a breakup from a committed relationship, a move, and more. Is all of this the worse that could happen? Definitely not. But see …. My life has been filled with lots of transitions, tragedy, pain, and there have been blessings too. God has truly had my back all these years. What I’ve learned though is that throughout a lot of it, I simply pushed through. And though I’m not dealing with anything “tragic” so to speak right now,  I still feel the need to give myself some space to grow through this and lean on God.


Why I’m Taking A Sabbatical: The Good Stuff


Although the past couple months have been a tad bit of an emotional roller coaster, I also recognize the blessings that God is pouring into my life in very small ways. I have a great job, a business I’m scaling, a new idea, an event, and so much more happening that needs my attention. I’m usually the goal driven, work-a-holic who hardly makes time for herself and only makes time for those who matter. I’d like to say I’m really good at balancing it all and yet sometimes even I drop the ball.

With that being said, I wanted to move a few things off my plate to create more space for what matters right now to create the future I want.


Sabbatical Goals


It was really important to me that I choose goals that matter to me in a few different categories.


  1. Health/Wellness

  2. Spiritually

  3. Professional

  4. Business


I could probably add a couple more categories but these are what matters most. So these are the categories I typically use when creating goals for the year before breaking down into quarters. I love this method because I know that I am not neglecting any area of my life by doing this. So here’s what my goals will look like for this sabbatical.


  1. For health and wellness, I will be focusing on finally implementing a big goal for this year which is to start eating better and being more active. I already meal prep weekly but now I’d like to mix in some recipes from my Whole New You Cook Book by Tia Mowry. I already start this week and feel really good! :) The active portion will be consistently practicing yoga (which is already a big part of my life but I haven’t been consistent since my surgery back in April), getting a YMCA membership, and as of last weekend attending 5 cycle classes over the next 6 weeks or so.

  2. For spirituality, it’s important to me that I draw closer to God personally. That will include Bible studies, using my Write The Word Journals by Lara Casey, praying more, attending church, and tithing 10% of my income. I also would like to start back meditating before bed and throughout the day to ensure I’m always in tune with how I feel and taking a moment to myself.

  3. The professional category is really important to me. I’m in the process of going through some changes at my job that were previously quite stressful. Thankfully things are better and looking up. It’s vital to me that I finally complete my PMP, Agile-PMP, and PC classes during this break. It is truly my #2 priority during this time. This is for my 9 to 5 and my baby, Bella Creative Co. It is also my goal to attend more networking events, and build more relationships.

  4. Business is a category that is also a priority during this break for me. So it’s been my goal for the last couple months to refine and tune my business plan for Bella Creative. I wanted to spend some time brainstorming + fixing little things in the business that will prevent me from being able to scale when I am ready. I also realized I was ready to work with a business coach or strategist to accomplish this. There comes a point in business when you can no longer do it alone. So I will spend some time fine tuning Bella Creative + working on another idea and prepping for Quarter 4 of 2017 and Q1 of 2018.



The Length of My Sabbatical + The How


At first, I tossed around the idea of taking a break. In that moment of first thought I truly just wanted to drop everything and give up to some extent. Mainly? Cause I was drained. Of course, I would come back but I knew that wasn’t the way to do it. So after a conversation with a friend of mine who was considering doing the same thing … I knew this could work and I really needed it. Sabbatical comes from the term Sabbath and means rest. I needed to rest my heart, mind, body, and hands. I also had pressing items that I needed to tend to and there was no way I could do it successfully with everything else on my plate.


I decided it would be a summer sabbatical and when I realized just how long that would be - approximately 12 weeks - I just knew this was it. I prayed to God SO much about this. I brought it to him. He was moving mountains in my life in the past few months, pushing me out of my comfort zone and yet blessing me at the same time. I didn’t understand it … I had no clue what was coming next … but I knew what was happening in front of me and what was placed on my heart.  


I immediately started brainstorming goals, intentions during this time and planning out on a Trello board that I created. It was really important to me that I knew what this sabbatical would look like. This wasn’t going to be a “Tessa gets to lay around for a full 3 months” kinda sabbatical. First of all, I’d go crazy, and secondly, I wanted to accomplish things during this time while I rested and I knew it was doable. Needless to say, once I brain dumped and continued to chat with my friend and prayed, I felt like God had this all planned out before I could even think of it.


So as of June 5th, 2017, I will be on a 12-week summer sabbatical. I will document this process and journey along the way so that I can share it with you here and reflect back on it later. If you are interested in following along. Subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Instagram. Have you ever taken a sabbatical? If not, would you?    

simplify your to do list with this process

Simplify Your To-Do List With This Process

Simplifying your to-do list has got to be the most important thing that you could do right this minute - after reading this post - that would help you to gain clarity and get things done right now that you’ve been either putting off or just have no clue that you need to prioritize.  The steps I take and use are quite easy if you know what to do. And it doesn’t have to do with using all the latest productivity apps or scheduling tools, though they can help you along the way. All the ‘hacks’ to increase your productivity means nothing if you don’t know what should on your to-do list. So, the best place to start with increasing your productivity is by organizing and then simplifying your to-do list. It is about how you make your list in the first place.

Let’s take a look at the easiest method to simplify your to-do list.

1. Keep Your To-do List Minimal

A minimal lifestyle can help a lot in building an actionable to-do list. You need to create a master list that holds all of your tasks, projects, etc., in categories. Then choose 3 to 6 tasks to complete daily. When you keep your list minimal, it ensures that you only make space for the important tasks that will positively affect you. Having a long list and getting nothing done can be demotivating. A minimal list allows you to accomplish more in a bite sized way.

2. List Only Essential Tasks

Eliminate anything but essential tasks from your everyday to-do list. And make sure those tasks are items that you will definitely do and are important to your overall goals. Don’t add tasks to your list for tomorrow that you know you won’t be ready to do for at least a few days or even weeks. This is where keeping everything on a master to-do list helps because you can simply pull tasks from that list over to your daily list.

Action Step: If, for example, you have a major project to do, break it down into smaller actionable tasks. Then take these tasks and spread them out over the course of the day or a week keeping to your minimal list of 3 to 6 tasks per day.

3. Do the Most Important or Tedious Task First

Cross off the most important or tedious task first. Why? Because 9 times out of 10 that’s the task you’ll spend the most time on and it may also be your least favorite. There is nothing better than being able to check a task off your list as completed. I don’t know about you but I take the extra time once things are done - especially early - and binge watch my favorite shows :D Back to the topic at hand. It doesn’t matter if the task is not geared towards your overall development - whether professional or personal. So, prioritize your tasks in order of importance to meeting your goals. Whatever you have identified as the most important task to achieve your goals for the day or week, that is the task that should be completed first. It will give you the momentum to get the rest of the tasks completed. And if life intervenes and you are unable to complete the list, at least the most important one does not get moved down the line to another day.

With this 3-step process, you can have a successful day no matter the medium you use to keep track of your tasks.

How do you simplify your to-do list? Let me know in the comments below.

the 4 key elements your workflow needs

The 4 Key Elements Your Daily Workflow Needs

I have spent a lot of time - just like you - hitting the snooze button to my 5 alarms, starting my day being unsure of what I’m going to work on, sitting in front of the computer for hours working on a few tasks here and there - knowing I need to do more - to only not get hardly anything done. I’ve also overworked myself and burned out. Our day to day flow can easily be thrown off by “life” so it’s important as entrepreneurs that we have a system to keep up with those changes, our to-do lists, project, goals, and schedules.

The word system is seemingly becoming another trendy buzz word but as always that isn’t the case. I feel like whenever words or things become trendy it takes away from their sometimes powerful meaning. Having a system in place simply means that you have a standard step by step process that you use to get things done. It doesn’t matter if this is getting your kids ready for school, doing certain things when you travel, or completing tasks in your business. Considering entrepreneurs and small business owners juggle many hats and tasks, it’s important you implement and maximize your resources so you can get and stay efficient.

There are 4 key elements that every workflow - how you do things daily - should include. In this week’s blog post I’m going to cover those 4 things that you must have and also give you a resource to help you create your own and manage it. This is a brief look into the process I use personally and for my clients. Let’s get started!

The Four Key Elements You Need to Use

To improve your productivity, you need to set your day on the right path before your feet even hit the floor. To do this I always suggest planning your to-do lists in advance. I typically use Sundays to prep for the week ahead. Food, to-do lists, cleaning, and more all get completed on that day. Now, of course, that doesn’t mean things don’t come up but at least I have a foundation for the week, I’m not scrambling come Monday morning trying to figure what I need to get done. This also lessens my stress throughout the week.


Action Step: Pick a day to braindump all the things you need to get done right now. Choose another day or a few hours later in the same day to then categorize that list into sections and then prioritize which tasks need to get done first. Choose the most important and start knocking those out. Do not move to the next category until you have complete the priority tasks.


Strong Goals 

Purpose-driven SMART goals help you define and set the standards for the day. Set your goals and daily targets either the night before or first thing in the morning so that you are organized for the day ahead. When you know exactly what you want and need to achieve on a daily basis, you set your sights on targets that are attainable and well within your grasp. With goals that are purpose driven and written to meet your strategic focus, you are assured of one key ingredient for your daily workflow to meet your needs.

Account for Personal and Business Tasks  

Differentiate between what is necessary for the personal side of your life and what you need to get done professionally. A work-life balance that addresses both of these areas improves your daily workflow for better management. Ensure you identify who will be responsible for specific tasks that should be done, and do not feel that you must do everything yourself. Delegate or outsource where tasks would impede you doing a good job.

A Schedule That Fits Your Lifestyle 

Not because a top ten list of what the world’s most successful people do in the morning states that they exercise first thing means that you should try to fit that in at that time. Your schedule should reflect what is best for you and what your lifestyle is like. When you organize around what’s best for you, your workflow becomes more efficient.

A system to manage it all for consistency and efficiency 

When you’ve outlined your ideal daily workflow, get the tools necessary to make it flow as seamlessly as possible. A tried and proven system helps to keep consistency in your daily routines. You may have to test a few until you get the right workflow that you want and that’s okay. It took me a few years to find a process that worked best for me and even now I have some days where I still tweak it a bit. This will ensure that you get necessary tasks done, meet your goals, and streamline your processes for efficiency.  

Don’t want to wait? You could jumpstart the process with getting help to identify and outline the best system suitable for you, your lifestyle, and business to make your days lighter by working with me.