It was a Friday night when my girls and I were having a few drinks and laughing about one of our ex boyfriends making a fool of himself on social media, when the conversation went from hilarious to serious and borderline life changing in the span of 10 minutes. My drunk friend looked at me with her glossy eyes and asked “If I were to ask you what makes you a valuable woman, what sets you apart from the rest, and what do you have that other women don’t.. how would you answer? be honest. Yes you are beautiful, have a great career, your own place and pay your own bills but those are adult responsibilities that the majority of any woman over 25 most likely possess. Now don’t get me wrong, those are indeed good accomplishments however, one mistake could land you in the unemployment office or on your friends couch if you fail to show up to work or if you fail to pay your rent on time.”
My other friend and I looked at each other like, are we doing this tonight? but she had a great point. We joked around about what it meant to be a valuable woman and what women assume one is, just look at the explore page on your instagram feed but in all seriousness, it couldn’t have been asked at a better time. You see, I had been going through a break-up and was stuck between the phase of should I move on or go back? I spent a lot of time making him happy and focusing less on myself. There were goals I wanted to accomplish but always figured I had time. Once I became aware of my weakness I then vowed to leave men alone for the moment and use the rest of my 20’s to focus on something and someone way more important, myself. Yes, I love love and loving relationships. I seek to have a healthy and happy companion but this list of my dream man and all of the qualities I’m expecting him to have is simply a joke if I don’t measure up to what I’m asking for. So I knew work needed to be done. That conversation sparked just the motivation I was seeking. I
wanted needed to become a valuable woman.
So let’s talk about what it means to be a valuable woman. When I think of the word valuable, I think of an asset, worth something, adding to someone or something. By definition, valuable is a thing that is of great worth, especially a small item of personal property. So if we stripped every woman of her money and material possessions, what would she have left? What’s her mind like? What morals are instilled in her? What are her skills? Can she hold a conversation with anyone in the room? How many languages can she speak? How many Countries has she traveled to? Can she teach a class on any topic of her choice? What is her credit score? Does she have self discipline? Just a few questions to get your mind going and thinking tank filled. And let’s be clear. This isn’t a competition to become better than any other woman out there or a secret weapon to getting the best man in the world. This is simply to give you an idea of ways to become a better individual. Below is a suggested list (you do not have to copy to a T) I’ve compiled that you may add to your personal life resume’ which will add value to you as a woman. Some of these things you may already obtain, some you may not. One thing I do know is that not a soul on this earth is perfect but we can all strive to become better.
If you find yourself stressed, get into an activity that will make you laugh. Take one day at a time just make sure you are giving your all every single day.
HEALTH: In order for you to live a happy life, your health should be a priority so that you may enjoy all that you work hard for.
- Primary care doctor for your yearly check-ups, pap smears and physicals – if you are sexually active, your visits should be more frequent.
- Exercise 3-4 times per week minimum (group fitness and classes create motivation)
- Sleep a minimum of 7 hours a night
- Clean eating, less salt and sugar, more fruit, veggies and natural seasonings
- Drink WATER – your weight in half ounces of water (weight 150lbs, drink 75oz of water minimum)
- 6 month dental cleaning and check-up
- Eye exams with an Optometrist every 1-2 years
- Therapist and/or Spiritual Counselor to help in areas you may not understand
FINANCES: How comfortable are you when it comes to discussing finances? It’s not about how much you make, it’s about how much you can hold onto. When it comes to finances, this is one of the biggest disciplinary areas one can practice.
- Learn your income to debt ratio
- Do you have a debt repayment plan that you are currently using?
- 3-6 months of emergency savings: if you were to lose your job today, could you live the same lifestyle you currently have without making many adjustments? if so, for how long? Calculate how much your current lifestyle costs for one month – that will then become the amount your emergency savings goal should be x 3-6 (months). If my living expenses are 1k per month, I should have a minimum of 3k saved.
- Budgeting: bills, groceries, transportation, vacation, entertainment, travel
- Investments: Stocks, Property, Business(es)
- Savings: with a purpose. A number goal in mind and/or a big ticket item.
- Bills paid on time – keep a monthly calender and fill in the bill amount on for specified due dates. Pay early if possible and in full if possible.
- 401K / Retirement plan
- Student loan(s) repayment plan
- Find out your Credit Score and learn what’s on your Credit Report (fix any errors that may exist) CreditKarma is a great source to began and follow @MyFabFinance for great tips and strategies.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: Exercise your freedom of growth. Learn yourself so that you are more aware and confident in who you are and what you want out of life. What goals are you currently working towards?
- Take a course (one can never know too much) or learn a new trade
- Seek a therapist or Spiritual Counselor to help you get over roadblocks from the past and present
- Learn another language
- Take cooking classes and try new dishes/restaurants
- Travel to a place you have never been before and talk to strangers while you are there
- Create a bucket list
- Conquer a fear
- Become a happier person
- Develop intuition
- Effective goal setting
- Self Acceptance
- Practice the gift of giving
- Develop a spiritual relationship
- The power of saying NO and meaning it
- Clean up your online resume (get rid of images and untag yourself in images that view you in a way that you do not want to be known or remembered for)
RELATIONSHIPS: We are simply not on this earth alone. Developing and nurturing relationships measures a great portion of your happiness. The 5 people you spend the most time with will tell a lot about your future (loving, successful, productive, etc).
- Spending more time with people and less time with Social Media (unless you get paid to do so)
- Miss someone? Call them
- Meet new friends
- Spend quality time with family
- Get a mentor who is skilled in the area of your interest
- Become a mentor to a young girl who is where you once were in life
- Practice the art of forgiving (therapist may help)
- Show up in times of need
- Support your friends like you do these celebrities
- Celebrate your friends and family in their small victories as well as big
- Join an Organization or sisterhood group
CAREER: A piece of life that defines us. We spend a great deal of our time working, either for ourselves or for someone else. What is the one thing you absolutely love to do that doesn’t necessarily feel like work? Do more of it.
- Show up on time and give 100% every single day
- Go above and beyond to become better skilled in your field
- Ask for a raise or potentially a more challenging position
- Keep track of your work history and development (how have you been an asset to the company?)
- Gain respect in your field by saying no when it matters and doing the hard work
- Brand your work, become visible to the masses
- Dress for the job you want, not the job you currently have
- Intern at Companies that will help you gain leverage inside the company or with another
- Attend work related events to network with the right people
- Your network determines your net-worth
We can have it all but not at the same time. Learn to balance the key areas above without trying to be all things, to all people, all of the time. Don’t beat yourself up and spread yourself thin.
A valuable woman is so much more than getting your nails done every two weeks, keeping your hair nice and having the best body. While those are luxuries, it’s merely the icing on the cake to what you bring to the table. Becoming a valuable woman is about glowing from the inside out and inspiring others to do the same. What makes you valuable?