It felt so good when the election was finally called for now-President Biden, in large part, because we had also just elected the first Black female Vice President, Kamala Harris. And finally, we can say to our daughters and nieces, without a trace of doubt, "That could be you one day."

But while Kamala Harris' election win is a historical moment, it is not enough. Black women still face significant disparities in practically every facet of American life. From the gender wage gap, with Black women earning 0.62 cents for every dollar that white men earn, to the maternal mortality rates that are 3 to 4 times higher for Black women than for white women, Black women still face significant challenges.

Representation is important. But representation is not enough. Actions and outcomes matter too. And in this new year, it's more important than ever that we take the steps we need to secure the lives we want. Vice President Harris is not just a symbol of how far we've come. She's also a symbol of the relentless pursuit of one's dreams. Right now, she's fighting to achieve the goals she laid out on the campaign trail. We must follow her example by pursuing our own goals to build a better life.

Securing our financial future

Despite the gender wage gap, we must pursue all options available to increase our income and grow our wealth. That may mean investing in our education to land a higher-paying job. It may mean taking on a part-time job and putting those proceeds towards savings and investments. It might even mean starting our own businesses. However, we go about it; we cannot wait for politicians to close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act or for our bosses to pay us what we are worth. We've got to secure the bag on our own to better our family's financial future.

Getting healthy

Many of us engage in poor health habits, from overeating to neglecting exercise. And these health habits increase our risk of developing severe and chronic illnesses that can shorten our lives. We can change these habits by swapping out comfort foods for fruits and vegetables and also ensuring that our bodies receive full nights of quality sleep! This should definitely be at the top of our weekly priority lists. 

Caring for ourselves

We have a rightly deserved reputation for doing it all. We work. We go to school. We bear the lion's share of responsibility for childcare as well as care for ailing relatives. We strive to be great wives and committed partners. And through all of that, too often, we neglect ourselves. 

We have to take time for ourselves, not just to keep ourselves physically fit but also emotionally and spiritually healthy as well. We should budget time to pursue hobbies that make us happy. When we refresh ourselves in this manner, we find ourselves both less stressed and more productive.