Intentional living with Justina

2017: What a year it was I’m just grateful to have experienced and survived the year that it was. It was so challenging and there were times when I just wanted to give up, but I couldn’t afford to. My motto was “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” I still have the sticky note on my fridge because I needed that reassurance every day, that I would be fine.

I was the queen procrastinator because I was too scared to do anything outside my routine, plus I spent half the time cracking jokes and keeping up appearances, so everyone would think I was okay and happy. Initially I didn’t believe in writing down my goals or plans because I’ll probably just forget I wrote it down somewhere, but I have realized the POWER in just penning your thoughts down. You give life to your words when you write it down.

My plans/goals for 2018 are as follows:

1. Overcoming my fear – I think I started out 2018 on a good note by deciding to write for this blog. I’ve always had a fear of revealing my thoughts to the world. The fear of not being good enough.

2. Leaving my comfort zone – I plan on doing things I’ve never done before and even if it doesn’t work out, I’ll know that at least I tried.

3. Professional Qualification- Last year Miss procrastinator came to town and I didn’t buy the form that would enable me take the exams to join the TRCN (Teacher’s registration council of Nigeria). I am writing this year *fingers crossed*.

4. Building long lasting relationships – Let’s just say I want to be a better friend and be more involved in the lives of people I care about.

5. Love – This is something I’m trying to be more intentional about. I hope my soulmate comes knocking soon enough. LOL.

6. Travel- I’m trying to see the world this year. Starting with certain places in Nigeria and I ready hope I can keep up with this.

7. Reading – I can’t keep making the excuse that I don’t read anymore because of twitter. I’m going to try my best to pick up a book or two (don’t judge me) this year.

8. Be a fine girl irrespective of societies definition of beauty. LOL This year, I just want to put in more effort as regards my life and hopefully God sees me through and helps me make my goals a reality. The plan is to live my best life moving forward.


Tomboxe: Check Your Energy

In years past, I’ve written this differently. I’ve spoken of things I’d like to achieve, things I’ve dreamt up in the fervent fever that creatives (rolls eyes at that most buzzy of buzzwords) tend to be possessed by in our good moments.
Last year I met around about zero of my creative targets, and I apologise. You’re meant to create and spread. Creativity is a gift, a seed. And to be fruitful, to multiply, to use those gifts to bring a little joy or thoughtfulness to the world – that is the task a creative person is set by the universe.
This year is a little different. I know what I’d like to achieve, and I’ve already started setting things in motion. I will not be making sweeping statements or asking the readers of this inspiring blog to hold me accountable. I will just move, with determination and intention, towards my targets.
There are two things I will say though. This year is a year of being intentional in as many ways as I can. I’d like to own my decisions – to be able to say “I did it with my chest,” to hold my hands up when things don’t work out. It’s not something that’s a hundred percent feasible, but we work towards the goal.
In 2018, as part of my intentionality, I’m going to be working on consistency. It’s become popular to tell people on social media to ‘keep that same energy’ when they speak on certain things. Well maintaining consistent energy requires checking your energy at regular intervals and checking yourself when you find you’re slipping. And this isn’t just a social justice thing. In friendships, at work, in career moves, and in other things, I want my energy to be consistently positive and on the side of the angels. For someone who suffers from quite bad mood swings, consistent positivity will be a monumental challenge – but we move.
And that brings me to the final, and most important word for 2018. We move. See I plan to make moves, as we all do and hope that our moves bring us great success. But I don’t just want to move. I want to move in love. I want my thoughts and actions to be guided by love. It may sound soft and counter-intuitive when you consider the cutthroat nature of society today, and it might seem impossible in a world where insularity and divisiveness often speak louder than peace and unity, but being unpopular isn’t the same as being wrong, so we move.
In 2018, we move in love.

Breaking Walls – Yinka

Just another day in the office. I just got a deposit from a customer. Before that I was in and out of my cubicle going to my laptop. I was checking my Portfolio, which only has 5 shares and I noticed the total balance wasn’t what it shouldn’t be, all because of my stupid withdrawals. Stock trading is all about accepting the small gains on a deal-by-deal basis until it all adds up but patience has never been my strong suite. I always took out cash whenever I sold shares. I knew I shouldn’t be doing it, but… but… *sigh*

My indiscipline will kill me.

*gulps down Black Tea*

Other than that, 2017 was a blast! I met so many new people, did so many new things, got out of my own solitary self a lot more and my job was … nice, fun at times but most importantly it was paying for stuff I kinda always wanted but was too broke to buy. The year was fun to the very end and I definitely left with a bunch of good memories. It was fulfilling.

What am I doing in 2018?

First my finances need to recover from the December massacre, get obese and build up for the future. I ate, drank, played, and ran around too much for my bank account to handle. I really want to stick to my savings plan this year and probably increase it when I can (unlikely but I’ll try) but I need to make more money through the NSE (Nigerian Stock Exchange) this year. I’ve done it before so I’m confident I can achieve it but this year I want to keep the focus level up so that I see the opportunities immediately they arise & can let go of stocks at the right time before I lose profit on them. As a stock market investor the worst thing you can do to yourself is to get caught off guard consistently. I have to constantly monitor the market and ensure I’m aware of events that can effect the prices negatively, but hopefully positively for the stocks I posses. I’m also going to ensure that all the stocks I have have medium to long-term growth potential so I can see the numbers of my shares in green not just days after I buy them but for weeks to come. With the stock market, if you’re just hearing about a particular stock of a company when it’s trending upward, it’s most likely going to be too late to buy it at that time you’re just finding out about it.  I don’t wanna be late to buy or sell anything.

I would really like to exercise more. I got some dumbbells I was working with in the morning before I go to work but I never followed my schedule consistently. It didn’t help that the first time I did it, my arms hurt so bad I couldn’t bend my elbows comfortably without aching and pain. Preferably I would like to get a basketball court close by but transport issues are a hindrance. I hope I can find one and play often.

I’d like to eat differently, too. I want to expand the variety. Rice everyday is something I don’t want to do anymore. I’d like more sandwiches (with both fresh and toasted bread), potatoes, stir-fries, Oats, different types of pastas and a lot more stuff. I also have a few recipes I want to establish, too. Personally I’d rather come up with food ideas through experience and questioning common rules about what complements each other. I rather create a unique way off the top of my head than researching it on google. I would like to cook with ingredients that won’t normally be combined on a particular meal. It feels more organic and self-taught for me that way. Hopefully I develop my interest in this.



So after years of teasing it in my head to myself I finally grew the balls to do it. After years of silent songwriting, random drumming on any possible surface, and singing hooks in public no one has heard before, I finally decided I want to spend my life creating music. I told myself I could do it, hit up a friend from secondary school who’s a producer, got a beat and spazzed on it. The result of that was Rebel. However, I finished making that song almost 5/6 months before I finally dropped it on Independence Day 2017, fighting the nerves, imagining the reactions and accepting whatever consequences were going to come. Upon getting over all of that, I dropped the song. So I’m a banker by day, rapper every other time. Not the easiest balance to strike, but I will do what I want to do regardless.

I hope people listen to my music but at the same time I have a lot of work to do. I performed 3 times last year and while they weren’t bad I realized I wasn’t always connecting with the audience so I need to step up. My initial trick was to lie to myself I wasn’t nervous… until I got on stage and it felt like my feet were soaked in a bucket of ice. Probably because I hadn’t performed since my AUN days but this is something I want to work on. I also need to speed up my songwriting process so I can release songs quicker. I know I’m not gonna be some overnight success so I’m taking baby steps, not rushing anything and trusting my ability to execute and murder any beat and in due time I hope to get the recognition I believe my work will deserve.

With that said, here is my first song of 2018. It’s called Break The Walls and it’s about my motivations and why I decided to rap. I hope you resonate with me and see that my love and passion for music runs very deep.


Overall, discipline is the major key for me in 2018 – making sure I always put myself in the best position to take advantage of anything that makes me a better and more successful person without taking shortcuts or losing motivation or getting lazy.

I wish you all a Happy New Year.

More Growth – Stanley


“We used to fight for building blocks. Now we fight for blocks with buildings.”
– Jay Z, D’evils, Reasonable Doubt, 1996

The greatest thing entrepreneurship has done to me is give me skills I can use to earn income outside a 9 to 5. It didn’t all happen at once; it’s been a gradual process of learning – acquire the skill, practice, acquire a new one – and they have all been business (management) related.

As the years go by, I’m more and more grateful to God for putting me in this position.

I don’t think I have ever had so many opportunities available to me in one year (than what 2018 provides) – opportunities to do great things and truly live.

But with the opportunities come expectations to achieve them, and the pressure that brings.

I did poorly in my finances in 2017, and I’ve started making better financial decisions this year. I want to do better than I’ve ever done.

It’s all about finally scaling that CIM hurdle, career-wise. It will require a good plan, time, and discipline.

2017 was weird in some ways. I fell ill towards the end of the year – I was diagnosed with respiratory infection in November, and I was ill for over 3 weeks. Then I started the new year plagued with an illness that hasn’t completely gone.

I’m really praying for good health in 2018; not just for myself, but everyone around me and everyone I know. Those weeks in November made me appreciate what being 100% healthy means. Your body can literally just shut down on you.

Achieving my goal of having an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit hasn’t gotten off to a good start. I keep telling myself that it’s just 16th January, but like a football match, having a fast start helps.

This year, I want to go farther than I’ve ever gone. I want to start fulfilling the enormous potential I know I have. It’s all about experiencing more growth.

I wish you the same.

Stanley Oyovota is a salesman, marketer, entrepreneur and management consultant.

Justin: It’s the year of KPIs

All protocols duly observed; all enthusiasms at ‘making it’ into a new year perfunctorily ejaculated; all telegraphings of a different mindset towards 2018 convincingly telegraphed, let us begin.


In 2015, I, in a sort of clandestine, hush-hush way, fondled (with attendant turgidity) the idea of running my life like a company, you know: fiscal budgets, big goals, 10X growth projections, early hires and fires, expansions and, yes, KPIs. That sort of thing — applying several tedious mental models to capture, and ensure the longevity and growth goals of the extant organization.

What if I ran my life like that, I wondered? Like a company — with targets and goals, quasi-arbitrary numbers which, depending on if I hit, surpass, or fail them — would determine, in quantifiable terms, if I have had a successful year?

Out with the vague New Year Resolutions. In with KPIs!

It is now 2018, and for the first time, I am going forward with the very idea: a KPI system. First, of course, I have to define the aspects of my life I wish to see growth in.

Join me:


Instead of reading ‘as the spirit leads’ and deciding afterwards that it was a ‘good year for my reading palate,’ I have decided to curate first — before consuming — the ponderous tomes I shall be dedicating my time to this year.

To that end, I shall be reading 50 books this year (already read two, so yay good start!). They shall span the interest areas of design, illustration, animation, speculative fiction, storytelling and Nigerian history.


(At least 20 comics on Obaranda)

Illustrations worthy of a portfolio

Thirty of those things!

Obaranda animated video webisodes

At least five this year, depending on how quickly I get the hang of full production of animations.

My graphic novel

At least 100 pages this year.

Spiritual life

As part of my aspirations for 2018, I want to become more active in the church. This means, for starters, attending church every Sunday (that’s 52 weeks, one of which I already missed — SAD!).

Two more KPIs which I am not sharing here because of their, ah, delicate nature: charity and investments. I have a figure, scribbled after much thought, in the back of my sketchbook.

There. Bare KPIs. Might add more to this list, but I’m definitely not taking anything out.

I am posting this here in the hope that knowing a number of people have seen this will (somehow) hold me accountable.

Happy New Year everyone!


Chuma: What’s in a Wish list?

I went back to my post in this series last year at the end of the year and I performed badly at everything I was hopeful for: I’m still a competent procrastinator, haven’t filed a patent, did not travel to any new countries and my relationship came to an end. But I still had a very good year, and I improved in areas that I did not envisage at the beginning of it.

The very idea that we know how we would like our lives to proceed in the next 365 days is quite audacious, but necessary. In my personal experience writing down hopes and goals help, and I know that I will eventually get around to doing all of those things, it may not just happen in that timeframe.

I think a big lesson for me here is understanding that my frame of mind as I write this sentence will change and that that’s a good thing. In growing older, we tend to fall into routine or develop plans to fun things we love. One of the two most important things I learnt last year is that spontaneity is a gift and those moments when you feel driven to do something different should be harnessed (sensibly).

I would like to be a little more spontaneous this year, and do more ‘fun’ stuff:

Photography: I worked on my hobby photography a bit last year and took refuge in VSCO, in fact at the end of the year I sent postcards to some of my Instagram followers. I would like to work on two concept projects and design a (spread) photobook.

Design: There are too many design ideas sketched on my wall that deserve to see the light of day. With a little bit of extra money, thanks to having a job, I would like see four projects through to different degrees of completion. I would like to try a Kickstarter campaign this year.

Writing: Medium has been a good testing ground for my writing on hardware design and manufacturing. I would like to write a bit more and submit to online publications, particularly as I am reading a little bit more innovation management literature these days.

Community: Somehow, my friends and I managed to organize four events last year and I started a monthly newsletter, all with Hardware Lagos. It’s time to open the planning and organizing to more people who have more experience particularly with PR and focus on generating focused content. We would like to have a tour of Shenzhen, which alone would make my year.

Travel: Only place I want to go is Nigeria, it’s been nearly two years and I just need to sleep in my bed for a couple of days.

There’s an opportunity to surprise myself this year: I have not been in employment at any time for more than a nine month period and I’ve been at my job for four and a half months now. It gets particularly confusing as traditional mechanical engineering (which is my background) no longer interests me and my current role has no relation with engineering whatsoever. It’s this healthy dose of uncertainty that makes life interesting.

More Rooms – Laji


Kunle’s Uncle was loaded. Rumour had it that he was actually number 24 on the Forbes Top 100 list but discreetly paid to ensure that his name never made it to any of the published versions. His romance with his wealth was cut short by a heart attack.

Kunle couldn’t care less what his Uncle did, his mind was consumed by the 10-room mansion he had inherited from him. For all his wealth “Uncle Remi” was childless making Kunle his only heir.

It took 6 months to sort out the paperwork but now Kunle had been living in his new home for about a year and a half and was loving it.

Muna met Kunle on Twitter and had been attracted to his bants. She replied to a few of his Tweets and he slid into her DMs. They had convos every day for the last 2 months and Kunle invited her to come and check out his new house. Having nothing better to do she decided to go.

The house was magnificent. Muna tried to hide her amazement but Kunle could see behind the facade.

“Wait till you see inside…” Kunle said immodestly.

 Muna stepped into the most amazing sitting room she had seen in her life. The decor made a suite in the Burj Al Arab look like a Unilag BQ. At the very end of the room was an 88-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV with picture quality so “real” you could smell Idris Elba’s cologne as he walked towards the screen.

 Muna couldn’t “form” anymore.

Muna: “Kunle this house is lit!!!!!! I can’t wait to see the rest of the house!”

Kunle: You won’t be seeing the rest of the house though. Kunle replied.

Muna: “Ahn, Ahn, Why nooooowww???!!!” Muna protested.

Kunle: “Because this is the only room I’ve been to in the whole house.”

Muna: “What??? I don’t understand?”

Kunle: “I was so satisfied with the sitting room that I never bothered to check the rest of the house.”

Muna: You mean you’ve been living in this 10-room mansion and this is the only room you’ve gone to????

Kunle: Yeah, I mean have you seen the finishing in this room? That TV is to die for. Why would I need to see any of the other rooms???


A lesson I learnt in 2017 is that one of the biggest hindrances to my progress is my own ignorance. Very much like Kunle, I have a huge opportunity to open myself up to fresh perspectives and new people but I’ve chosen to “stay in one room”.

A lot of times I had been so focused on who I am than rather than who I could be. I can’t afford to be ignorant in 2018, this is the best time to be alive. There’s so much relevant information at the tip of my fingers.

I have come to believe that every situation in our lives that we don’t like is a function of our level of thinking.

If we elevate our thoughts we improve our circumstances.

I’m very excited about this year and see lots of opportunities to “explore” the rooms in my “mansion”.

I could use some company so let’s do it together.

Juachi’s Realistic Dreams


‘Waves’ – Mural Competition entry 2017, didn’t win but still, strangely, a big highlight of my year.

2017 was just crazy. Batshit crazy.

Like I want to just throw it away and pretend it never happened.

Thing is though, I had some great things happen in 2017 – professional qualification finally done (like omg finnnaalllyyyy, ugh!!!!), participated in an art exhibition (and sold some paintings thank you Lord), finished up some courses on Coursera including a specialization with certificates to show, did more work as atelierNOYAKA (not the best pay but watevs) and entered two art competitions.

All in all, not bad. I wish it went better but I’m grateful.

This year though I want to:

  • Build a residential design that’s totally mine.
  • Build prototypes for some products I’ve been developing
  • Maybe 2 art exhibitions
  • Collaborate on 2 design projects
  • Take two holidays somewhere, anywhere (that my piggybank will allow)
  • Take my first trip to somewhere in Asia
  • Improve my graphic and product design portfolios
  • Write more fiction
  • Take better care of myself on this long road to the baby girl life

I’m trying to be realistic about my dreams/goals and pay more attention to my friends as well. I’m not sure how well this is going to go but ‘we move’ and whatnot.

Have a wonderful year everyone – send me cake and ice cream when you can (or not depending on how my 2018 diet is going).

Meenah: Strength in numbers

Dear 2018,

What do you have in store for me? We really need to sit down and talk about these things because honestly, I don’t exactly want a 2017 kind of year.

2017 was that ‘almost there’ year. Did he tell you about it? Did he tell you how everything was looking beautiful for a while? Did he tell you that I somehow got to see three African places that are not Ife and Ibadan and even though I really just passed through Togo and Benin Republic, I chose to add them to Ghana as ‘the countries I’ve been in’? Don’t judge me. It’s too early to start that nonsense.

I wonder though, did 2017 tell you the story of how I almost loved but even that was ripped away because ‘genotype and we can’t afford to go down that road’? The good thing, though, is I did feel a little something finally. One whose after effect should last a while because really, not all of us would get to live happily ever after in love at the end of the day. Happily ever after is just some nonsense these writers have coined so we can still be hopeful.

These writers. Haha. I’m supposed to be one of ‘these writers’. But somehow between procrastination and the feeling of not being good enough, I’m still not quite there yet. Missed deadlines. Unfinished work. Unsubmittted pieces. These are only some of the blankets I wrapped myself in to hide one truth; I don’t think I’m good enough.

Oh and how could I not ask if 2017 gave you the gist of that last stunt it pulled two days before mum’s memorial? That hard, tiny little lump I felt in my breast that reminded me of what took mum. And my aunt. And my grandma. That tiny lump I still haven’t figured what to do about because what’s the use, really?

Listen to me 2018, if you have unwanted bad surprises lying in wait for me, you better fix up. These eyes have cried all they can and I doubt there’s still a tear left. And no matter what it is you plan to throw at me, be rest assured I will rise.

2018, you know what they say about collaborations? How they work to make achieving things easier? That’s what I’m throwing at you. I’m using the strength in numbers to fine tune you, sir.

I want to help my friends with their goals this year. It might not be much but even if it’s just collating these goals and constantly reminding them to push for them, then by all means I will. At least I’d know I’ve help someone do something useful with you, 2018. And maybe in helping them, I’d be helping myself achieve my own goals, however little.

2018, you will be the year of actual self-development, not pretend self-development. That means volunteering more, learning French, learning everything. Work might interfere. Cash flow might want to disrupt our plan but by the time you are packing your bags to leave I will be able to say more than ‘C’est le moment. Le moment du faire La fete’ I want to have read at least 80 books this year. The Read Club helped out with reading last year as well as meeting amazing people. So 2018, get ready for more with TRC.

When you rolled your bags in, Femi asked if I knew what I was going to do first quarter of this year. And then like he knew I’d say something silly, he added,“You will get another job. The kind that you deserve right?” That’s all the wake-up call I need. So yeah, we’re doing that too. Getting the job I deserve, which is really one of three things; a book editor job, a writing job that allows me more creative freedom and/or a radio gig.

So here’s the plan;

  • Find a job as an editorial assistant in a book publishing company and start from there.
  • Get training in radio presenting and voice over artistry and start looking for internships at least.
  • Continue recording audiobooks

Please, 2018, let’s write more. Let’s enter for these writing contests. It doesn’t really matter if we win right now. All that would matter is that we took the first step in submitting. We can battle winning later. Because I know we might drag each other behind a little, I’m engaging friends in this thing. Friends I’ll write with. Friends that will push me to write. Friends that will fight me if I don’t enter for contests. Oh and we’re creating a Medium account, sir.

I’m moving to a 10 dress-size whether you like it or not. I’m starting a weight loss challenge this month. Here’s how it works; interested people holla at me (for free of course), we start motivating each to lose the holiday weight (and some), we keep doing this at regular intervals throughout the year. United we get shredded.

And finally, 2018, I will go out more. With people. Without people. To parties. To exhibitions. To whatever. My social life is non-existent. We need to fix that. And we need to live a more YOLO life.

Ready to go on this journey with me? Hey, it’s not like either of us has got that much of a choice. We’re kicking it together.



Captain of her soul.

p.s. If you’re interested in figuring out this weight loss thing together, holla at me or @09_Eleven on twitter.

2018: A Toxic Timeline

I feel like I’m bungling this thing every year and I’m becoming a little skeptical of the process. I’d probably score myself somewhere around 50% with attaining the goals I set for last year and while that is far better than I’ve done in previous years, I managed that without consciously trying to. I never even referred back to the goals after I wrote them. Terrible. I clearly need to be doing this very differently for it to matter.

So this time around, I’m going to be a lot more structured in my approach and the first step in that direction is to set monthly milestones and come up with a system that forces me to refer back to my spelt out goals and take stock on a monthly basis. However, to do even that, I need to first figure out all the things I need to achieve before I section them out into a timeline.

So here goes:

  • Revisit this post monthly
  • Write 6 new short stories. (Every other month)
  • Rebuild/repurpose this blog and website by April 1
  • Make 5 new wristbands by May 1
  • Finish painting three more murals in my apartment by July 1
  • The 30 Days Purposeful project. July 1 – 30.
  • Upload monthly (at the barest minimum) to my Youtube channel in Q1. Twice monthly in Q2 and at least thrice monthly till the end of the year.
  • Shoot a photography project by October 1
  • Travel to at least 5 new cities/countries

I guess to take this more seriously than I have in the past, I have to put this up somewhere I can see it on a daily basis. So I’m going to find a whiteboard and install it in my bedroom/studio with all these and a few more private goals spelt out on one side. Also, within the next 24hrs, I’m going to set up reminders using my google calendar, so I’ll receive the updates across all my devices.

And that’s pretty much it. I’ve never been good at working with structure the way I’ve outlined above but that’s probably because I’ve never given it a proper try. Making checklists and to-do lists have brought order and sense into areas where there was none before and I guess this is the point where I just have to scale that system up and apply it to the bigger picture. Maybe soon I’ll be making actual 5-year-plans and what not. Just maybe.


Fly-kicking my targets for 2018