I was inspired to write my State of the Union address after reading Paul Jarvis’. Paul Jarvis’ website describes him as, “The hardest-working creative you’ll meet, Paul Jarvis is a designer, author, teacher, software creator, and podcaster.”

The purpose of this State of the Union address is to give you insight into what matters to me, how I make it a reality, why, and what I have planned for the future. I hope my State of the Union 2017 inspires you.

What Went Well

My Shift in Priorities

I shifted my focus and set priorities based on what is most important in my life. This was all part of my work to create a life plan that would help me make better choices and create a life with less hustle as I mature.

I created a strategic prayer life. Becoming more strategic in my prayer life opened me up to listen to God with my heart, soul, and spirit. My spiritual life created tangible and intangible fruit that I continue to nurture and harvest.

I put my family first. I spent a week in Ocean Grove with my daughter and grandson. Most noteworthy was the convenience, of being less than 3 blocks from the beach in a spacious condo. We were able to have fun and relax like nobodies business. In August my family and I took a road trip to Augusta, Georgia for a family reunion. While this trip had some minor communication bumps along the way it was by far everything I hoped it would be and more. I met new kinfolk, learned the story of my Great Great Grandmother Hester Gantt, and had an all around emotionally cleansing experience. Along the way, we hopscotched through Atlanta to visit my Great Aunt and family friends. Another family event that turned out perfect was my second annual family gathering. While It poured we still had a wonderful time.

I took on new opportunities. Just Us Women Productions had it’s most profitable year in the area of new opportunities and business relationships. By saying yes, I pushed the envelope to learn new skills, use new tools and this resulted in my adding increased financial value to my work.

State of the Union

New Mexico Rail Runner

I traveled solo to a House Alive Natural Home Builders Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Attending this workshop was something I wanted to do for a few years so I added it as a goal to my vision board. No worries that I knew no one and I’d never been camping (I’m taking compost toilet, outdoor cold showers, sleeping in a tent someone else had to pitch for me camping). As a result of my courage, this trip became one of the boldest decisions I made this year.¬†Along the way, I made a new friend DeAndra. We met on the Rail Runner Express from Albuquerque to Santa Fe.

What Didn’t Go Well

Money or getting paid was a nightmare in 2016. Despite the fact that for three separate projects I had contracts in place I either did not get paid on time, anywhere from two to six months, or my initial deposit arrived after the work had already begun.

I didn’t spend enough time growing and nurturing my personal relationships due to the new work opportunities which took so much of my time that I dropped the ball.

Lessons Learned

I can’t continue to do this alone. I need to have dedicated contractors and consultants who can help me get the work and complete the work. This year I hired someone to help with a project over the summer and it was invaluable. Even with that support, there were times I felt exhausted trying to keep all the balls juggled in the air. Whoever coined the word multi-task should be fired. When it comes to the brain a neuroscientist will tell you the brain can’t focus on multiple tasks simultaneously and produce quality outcomes.

I really don’t need much to live an exceptional life. My work with House Alive reinforced what I already know and it gave me the tools to live life on my terms.

My time is the most important commodity I have therefore I will not give it up.

Areas Worth Improving

My quality of sleep is poor. It has always been a struggle for me to go to bed at normal hours. I don’t have insomnia and burning the midnight oil might be part of my DNA, but it doesn’t serve me well. Because my health and wellness are very important to me I worry that my lack of sleep is destructive to me physiologically. The work I do is important therefore, by staying healthy I am able to serve others through my work. I owe it to the women who I have yet to serve to be in the best shape of my life emotionally, spiritually and physically.

My growth in important therefore I need to make it a higher priority on my calendar.

Coming in 2017

More Sleep. This is by far the hardest goal I have this year and I’m up for the challenge. If you see me posting on social media in the wee hours of the morning, feel free to call me out.

Family First. I have already scheduled my annual gathering for June 2017.

Connecting. I am committed to connecting with the people in my community. In 2017 I’ll be spending more purposeful time doing exactly that. It brings me joy.

Company expansion. I now have a team of consultants and advisors that I formally work with. You can read their bios at our team on the welcome page. Each woman knows me well and from a different angle. They have added and will continue to add value to my life and the company. I’m blessed to have them in my life

Consistent Writing. Taking a note from Paul Jarvis, my primary business focus this year is consistent writing. My intention is to write one blog post every week that educates and informs my readers between January 1st and November 26th.

Financial Accountability. I will implement stricter payment policies for all clients that require a signed contract and receipt of the initial deposit before work begins and I will charge interest on late payments.

Exploring Opportunities. I would love to host a podcast. This year I’m committed to exploring what I’d have to offer, how I’d make it happen, and why it would be valuable.

Growth. I am committed to growing as a person and a professional. This means investing in myself financially and setting aside me time. I look forward to getting better in Spanish, improving my natural home building skills, and completing my Confidant Family Herbalist Course.


I have enjoyed sharing my 2016 ups, downs, lessons learned, bumps and triumphs with you. I’ll see you again next year when I bring you Tamara’s State of the Union 2018.

Question: If you had to take stock of 2016 what would you say in your state of the union address?

Live with Vitalty

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