This public service announcement is sponsored by the letter “R” and the good folks at “Rest, Reflect, Revise, and Rebirth.” Two thousand and twenty-four is the year of RENAISSANCE and now is the perfect time to pause temporarily to rest and recharge. Rebirthing greatness in 2024 will require you to strategically consider how to recharge physically, psychologically, spiritually, financially, and interpersonally for the journey. REST is essential to wellness and high-quality productivity. The erroneous belief that “powering through” equals productiveness and a strong work ethic remains counterproductive to wellness. Powering through leads to exhaustion, ineffectiveness, and over-functioning. How long have you been pregnant with possibilities but too exhausted to birth what you have nurtured in your spirit? Prioritizing rest gives the mind and body time to refuel and devise a plan of action. 

After resting, it is time to REFLECT. Reflection is essential for a successful rebirthing season. Reflecting allows you to travel back in time to review what went well, what did not go well, and how you might consider doing things differently in the future. Reflecting is often seen as irrelevant and, therefore, overlooked. However, reflection gives way to revising. In an ideal world, no one experiences rebirth difficulties. But, come on, life isn’t perfect and revising is par for the course when building or nurturing greatness. How will you know what or how to REVISE if you have not taken a moment to reflect? 

While revising, you might notice the presence of discomfort. This discomfort is understandable. Too often, revision is associated with failure instead of an opportunity to reimagine what could be or what more you could experience. When we befriend and embrace the practice of revising, the initial discomfort decreases. The awareness of the benefits of revising increases and we begin to view revising as a positive and purposeful stretching of the mind and body. Stretching is good. Stretching means growth. Stretching is an opportunity to receive more. 

The step after revising will involve a great PUSH because it will be time to deliver. When you are ready to REBIRTH your vision, allow the practice of SMART thinking and SMART goal-setting to guide you the rest of the way. SMART, as an acronym, can serve as a reminder to think specifically about the life you want to live and develop meaningful and achievable goals that will move you in the direction of the life you want to live. 

S STOP talking yourself out of doing what you desire to do.  What is the SPECIFIC life you desire to live?
M Decide what you want to do and then MAKE a plan to fulfill your desire.  How will you MEASURE your success? How will you know you’re progressing?
A ASK yourself, “What sacrifices am I willing to make to experience the life I desire?  Is your goal ACHIEVABLE or do you need to reflect and revise to make your goal attainable vs. aspirational?
R RESIST the urge to lean into perfection, listen to judgment, or expedite this birthing process. What’s the RELEVANCE of this goal? How will this goal improve the quality of your life or get you closer to the life you want?
T THANK yourself for your bravery and willingness to pursue the life you desire. When do you want to accomplish this goal? What is your TIMELINE or fulfillment date?


Before you begin your birthing (or rebirthing) journey, ask yourself the following:

  1. REST. How can I use rest to my advantage? What does rest look like in this season of my life? What barriers could get in the way of resting? Can I (and how might I) proactively minimize these barriers?  
  2. REFLECT. What worked? What did not work? What areas of my life require change? What (or who) am I afraid to release? Why am I holding on to the person, place, or thing that may not benefit me? What will I gain if I let go of the NOUN impeding my progress? What sacrifices am I willing to make to achieve my goal? How will my life change when I take the courageous step to prioritize myself?
  3. REVISE. What are my SMART goals? What am I willing to do differently to produce the outcome I want? Who will I allow on this journey with me? Who are my support and accountability partners? 
  4. REBIRTH. How do I want to reintroduce myself, my brand, and my purpose to the world?Dr. Umieca Hankton (Dr. U.)

Once you have taken the time to rest, reflect, revise, and rebirth your vision, you will only have one thing left in the immediate moment to do. It will be time to re-PRESENT yourself to the world. Look at folks, and in your best Jay Z voice, say, “Allow me to re-introduce myself; my name is REFRESHED, RENEWED, and READY to show out all of 2024 and beyond!”

Dr. Umieca Hankton (Dr. U.) is a licensed clinical psychologist with over a decade of mental health treatment experience across multiple treatment settings. She founded UNH Counseling Services, a behavioral health agency that deliberately focuses on the psychological health and wellness of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, college students, and clergy. Dr. Hankton has authored two self-help journals, “Thriving on Purpose: Reflect. Meditate. Plan. Implement” and “B.R.A.V.I.N.G. the Grief.” To learn about treatment options and services, please visit or call 901-300-9082.