Here’s what you probably know: I am slightly obsessed with getting you to embrace the idea that financial success isn’t just about the dollars and cents. It’s a message that is imbued in everything I do!
What you probably don’t know is the back-story of my obsession.
On October 19, 1987, the stock market crashed. I was still a newbie and green behind the ears, just a year out of undergrad working at an investment bank. I can still vividly recall the frenzy of that day as if it were yesterday. Some people were absolutely beside themselves, freaking out. While others were moving about in a rattled, but calm, way. I was completely fascinated by this disparity…
This is when I really fell in love with Wall Street. This is the day that planted the seed for my ongoing quest to discover the dynamic relationship you and I have with money. Questions like – What role do emotions and psychology play in how you make financial decisions? and How do the consequences of your past money decisions impact your future decisions? – became an integral part of my working parlance and framework.
Clearly, I’m not the only beset with this fascination of human behavior and money. There’s an entire academic field of study (behaviorial economics or behaviorial finance) dedicated it; there’s even an index for measuring how you feel about your money and the economy – The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index.
If that isn’t enough, there’s a study by the Carnegie Institute of Technology, which found that “85% of your financial success is due to your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15% is due to technical knowledge.”
And yet, when it comes to meeting your money goals and addressing your financial challenges, what’s the first thing you typically do?
If you’re like most people, you aim to increase your technical knowledge – rationalizing that if you learn a particular how-to all will be fine.
The problem with most how-tos is that they tend to be far too generic to be of much value.
Create a budget. Spend less than you earn. Get out of debt. In other words, blah, blah, blah…
When a how-to doesn’t work the way you envisioned (or how it promised), you don’t question the how-to or your approach, you search for another one – hoping that THAT will be the answer you sorely seek.
Aren’t you tired of the roller coaster?
I know I am tired of it for you because I know there’s a better way.
I SO want you to be in the 85% club. I want you to value your personality, distinct way of communicating, negotiating and leading; I want you to see what makes you you as an asset to the way in which you manage your money – not as a liability.
Can you imagine what it would look and feel like for you if you framed each and every financial choice through the lens of your money strengths, money style, and money personality?
I think it’d be pretty hot!
And, I believe if you made the choice to focus on being in the 85% club, you’d have more control over how money impacted your life. You’d meet your money goals with more ease than ever before. How you experience money would be drastically different…and it certainly wouldn’t be boring!
You can work on being in the 85% club on your own. Or, we can chat and explore the possibility of working together. You can tap into my insight and get my directed but unbiased advice tailored to you and your money. Click here to schedule a complimentary Office Hour meeting.
p.s. If you are in Brooklyn, NY, come to the Brooklyn Public Library (at Grand Army Plaza) tomorrow – Saturday, April 18th. I’m the keynote speaker kicking off the library’s Financial Empowerment Fair. I speak at 11:30am and would be oh so thrilled to see/meet you!! Open to all; no RSVP required.
Asking about a financial tantrum isn’t as bizarre as it may seem. But let me provide some context.
Many years ago, a friend recounted a story of what happened when, as a toddler, she had a tantrum in the grocery store: In the middle of the aisle, she collapsed to the floor and started screaming and flailing about. Why? Because her father said, “no.”
To her horror, instead of him giving her what she wanted or even chastising her, he joined her on the floor and started mimicking her behavior. Stunned, she looked at her father and got up – bringing her tantrum to an immediate halt. His unexpected reaction not only foiled her plan for attention, but it still left her without the treat she wanted.
Each time I think of this story, I chuckle at what a sight it must have been to see a six foot, plus sized man on the floor along side his toddler daughter whom is in the midst of a tantrum.
I also chuckle at the truth of that moment…
We don’t like being told, “no.”
When it comes to your money, do you ever feel like “it” is the parent telling you what you can and cannot do or have? Do you feel like you’re flailing about – having an adult-version of a tantrum when money doesn’t bring you the results you want?
I know I feel this way sometimes when it comes to my business. When I want a particular outcome and it doesn’t materialize, I get frustrated and mad; I pout; and I have a mini self-pity party. Eventually, I snap out of it. Emphasis on “eventually.”
Sometimes, I am able to snap out of it on my own; other times, I need help from my coach (@TaraGentile), members of my mastermind groups, and/or a few friends. But whether on my own or with my “team,” snapping out of it is a process.
In no particular order, here’s what that looks like. Feel free to adopt some or all of the steps that will help you recalibrate when one of your biggest wishes is that your money would just act like an obedient, well-behaved child:
- Remember who is the boss
You are the boss…not your money. But your money needs you to take the lead and be the navigator – it needs you to provide direction.
- Remember your vision
Be clear about what you want money to do for you – even if the path to the end result still looks fuzzy.
- Revisit your boundaries
To achieve anything, you need a) structure, b) guidelines that frame what you will do and won’t do – most of the time, and c) discipline. Make sure the commitments you’re making are helping you rather than hindering you.
- Be consistent
After revisiting your boundaries, revise or create the systems that will help you remain consistent with your follow-thru – but with little thought.
If you take a walk down memory lane, I bet you’ll discover that a lot of jockeying goes on between you and your money. At times, it may feel like money has a mind of its own – that it can just hop out of your wallet and make choices all by itself. (Are you smiling right now because as far-fetched as this may seem, you can relate?)
I may not be a parent, but I suspect that the seeds for most tantrums can be found in the need for attention, feeling frustrated, and wanting to be in control. And, children aren’t the only ones familiar with these feelings – especially when they go unmet.
When money has you feeling frustrated and anything but in control; when the things you want money to do for you don’t materialize, get mad. It doesn’t help to suppress your feelings. But don’t stay mad when money doesn’t behave the way you want. Get a financial plan of action instead.
That’s what you do when you’re being the financial leader of your life.
p.s. Want to join me on a new financial adventure? Find Your Financial Sweet Spot launches soon. It is an invitation-only program designed to help you feel in control of your money under all circumstances, and I am now accepting applications! To learn more about why discovering your money strengths, money style and money personality are critical for being an effective leader, click here.
Where do you spend more mental energy: focusing on your money faults or your money strengths?
That is the question I posed on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. And guess what? Not one person said, “I focus on my money strengths.” Not. one.
Lately, I’ve been fascinated with our cultural tendency to focus on our weaknesses. So, I’ve been paying a little more attention to the choices you and I make and the “whys” behind those choices.
Specifically, I’m curious to know: Is the motivation to fix a weakness or strengthen a strength?
Yes, we each are good at some things and not so much at others. Yet as another one of my unscientific research exercises proves, you and I tend to err on the side of being preoccupied with our faults. Heck, people invest a lot of time perfecting the answer to – “What are your weaknesses?” – the penultimate litmus test for HR and hiring managers. And a lot of money is spent in hopes of fixing what is wrong with us.
This despite a growing body of research from scientists at the Gallup organization and research from strengths-advocate, Marcus Buckingham, which suggests it’s far easier to reach your goals when you focus on improving your strengths.
According to the book, Strengths Based Leadership, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, “the most effective leaders are always investing in strengths.”
Naturally, I began to wonder if the same applied when it came to your money.
Would your financial results improve if you focused more on what you do well when it comes to your money and less on what you do wrong with it?
Are the most financially successful that way because while they are aware of their financial weaknesses, they don’t invest a great deal of energy trying to turn those faults into a financial strength?
If an unhealthy preoccupation with your weaknesses doesn’t propel you to success when it comes to your career, it seems logical then that the same relational dynamic would apply to your money, right?
Stay tuned because this is something I’m going to continue to explore.
But in the meantime, I thought it’d be fun (yes, fun!) to apply the good ole SWOT analysis technique to your money. It is a tool you can utilize to jump start the habit of strengthening your strengths. If you are unfamiliar, SWOT analysis is a framework typically used by businesses to assess the viability of a project or new business venture. Spelled out, the acronym means…
“S” = Strengths
“W” = Weaknesses
“O” = Opportunities
“T” = Threats
This one-pager is a useful financial planning tool, too. It can quickly give you an overview of your financial situation.
As a lover of graphics, I prefer to do my SWOT like this: a) draw a rectangle, b) divide the inside into four sections by drawing a vertical line and horizontal line, c) label the upper left quadrant “Strengths;” the upper right “Weaknesses;” the lower right “Threats;” and the lower left “Opportunities.”
You can brainstorm questions for each section other than what is noted below, but these will help you get started…
- what are your good money habits
- what money and money-based choices make you feel most proud
- are you operating at a profit (meaning your income exceeds your expenses)
- are you saving consistently each month and if you have investments, do you know what you own
- do you have a low debt:equity ratio (excluding your mortgage)
- what are your “poor” money habits (just because you shouldn’t focus on what you do wrong with money doesn’t mean your head should be in the sand…)
- what’s causing you to stress out about money
- if you don’t have at least six- to nine-months of living expenses saved
- if you aren’t investing in a retirement account (and if it’s employer-sponsored, if you aren’t contributing at least up to the matching percentage)
- if you don’t have a Will, Health Proxy, insurance and other estate planning documents
- what career plans are on the horizon in the next 12-24 months
- what would it take to increase your salary (or business revenue) between 10-15% in the next twelve months
- how would refinancing your mortgage, if you have one, affect your cashflow and what would you do with those funds
- when did you last request a decrease in your APR if you’re carrying credit card debt
- do you have investments, but don’t have an investment strategy
- do you have mounting debt but not viable exit strategy
- what would happen if you lost your job or most lucrative client within the next twelve months
- how prepared are you for the next bear market and the ripple effect it may have on your career and financial stability + security
By doing a SWOT analysis on your financial life, you are able to increase your self-awareness and get in touch with your money faults AND your money strengths. But, instead of spinning your wheels improving your weaknesses (which drains you of vital energy), you can redirect your efforts to improving your strengths. And I bet you’ll have a better financial life!
I couldn’t get to JackRabbit, the running store in my neighborhood, fast enough…
Me: I am in so much pain, and I’m told you have what I need.
Salesperson #1: What kind of pain? Emotional? (We all laugh.)
Me: No, I’m good there. It hurts here (me pointing to where on my body I hurt).
Salesperson #2: Have you been increasing your miles? Are you training for a race?
Me: Yes, and yes. How did you know?
Salesperson #2: What you’re experiencing is normal.
Since January 17th, I’ve logged 62.98 miles. I am training for my first half-marathon. And because I’ve been running for years, and have been running consistently for the last 15, some of my friends have wondered what took me so long.
Last Sunday, I was about to run nine miles and I couldn’t. I was in too much pain.
I first noticed the pain when I ran the previous Thursday; I felt it more acutely on Friday. But it didn’t interfere with either run so I just chalked my discomfort up to needing to take a day off from running and to stretch a bit more.
Turns out, I was partially right.
Being partially right has its limits, though.
Have you set a big, audacious goal? How are you preparing for it? Are you doing (more of) what you already know to do?
My big, audacious personal goal is to run four (4) half-marathons in 2015. And, weather-be-damned, I’ve been following a training schedule that increases my long-runs each week by a mile. I’ve been doing the exact same yoga stretches before each run – just as I’ve always done.
It took a friend with marathon experience and a salesperson at a running store (an expert) to point out that my pain was normal; it happens when you’re training and increasing your mileage each week. They also knew what I needed, and highlighted the difference between stretching and knowing which stretches to do and how!
Actually, I marveled at how quickly and easily they were each able to diagnosis my problem and what would fix it – simply by me pointing to what was hurting.
My relief came in the form of the GRID Foam Roller, which I now roll on every day. My hip flexor and glutes have never felt better — or as loose. By Tuesday, I was back to running! Within less than a week, it’s as if the pain wasn’t even there!!
Upon reflection, here’s what I find fascinating about my situation: It never occurred to me that I would experience a different type of muscle tightness and that the stretches that have served me well to date would no longer be enough.
Yes, I’m talking about running. But you could easily swap out “running” for managing your money, managing your career or business, or cultivating your relationships.
I am reminded of the disclaimer often stated in the financial services industry, especially when referring to mutual funds: past performance is not indicative of future results (or some variation thereof). Turns out, this applies to life, too.
You and I make goals. You take steps to achieve them. But, you are often blinded by what worked in the past. You have no clue that what you’re doing currently based upon how it worked in the past may actually hurt you more than help you. Sometimes, it’s hard to fathom that the behavior that successfully propelled you to this point isn’t sufficient to take you forward to the next level.
Sweet spots – that special combination of factors that contribute to your success – shift.
I needed a new stretching technique if I wanted to stay healthy as I train. But it took an expert and someone with more experience than me to point out what I was missing.
What I discovered on Sunday was that my sweet spot changed. Turns out, this isn’t so unusual.
Does your sweet spot need to evolve, too?
Tomorrow (Sunday) morning, I will be on HOT 97FM with host, Lisa Evers, and others talking about money.
On Tuesday, I have one of the coolest speaking gigs to-date for a major insurance company.
On Wednesday, I’m hosting the first Financial Intimacy Hour segment of 2015.
Each of these are examples of the Relationship Economy at work in my life.
What are recent examples at work in yours?
Your examples and mine are reminders that not only is business done between people, but business comes through people.
It’s no mystery that you and I don’t achieve success on our efforts alone. After all, we know success is all about relationships.
The mystery is the fact that you rarely know who holds the key to what’s next for you – who will be that person to unlock the door that makes room for your next opportunity be it promotion, job, client or something else you desire!
It’s a mystery that some (maybe even you) don’t manage well. In part, because you’ve fallen for the myth. The myth that says the key to growth and advancement is “keep your head down” and work – and don’t forget to work hard, too. And so you do and you end up working harder on the work than you do on what leads to the work in the first place.
The other reason is that embracing the mystery feels a little bit like leaving too much to chance, which is totally counter to your nature to want to be in control.
Even though you may feel stagnant in your career or business, you either network ineffectively or with a “me-focused” mentality. Or, just as unfortunate, you only network when you need something – like a new job or new client.
You confuse having an extensive contact list or thousands of friends on Facebook or many followers on Twitter or 500+ connections on LinkedIn as having cultivated relationships with all these people.
You don’t recognize your emotional intelligence as the intangible currency that can help you connect to the human being beneath the persona we all have.
Yes, relationships have been the cornerstone of business since, well, forever. But in the new economy of the 21st century when even employees are a “brand,” relationship management skills aren’t a nice-to-have. They are required.
How well you manage the relationships in your life are your personal currency. Because…
…rarely are you in the room (or at the table) when important decisions about YOU are being made.
So when you don’t manage the mystery of relationships well, you miss out on the inside-scoop; you don’t have someone advocating for you over other options; and you potentially elongate your path to even greater success.
When you don’t manage the mystery of relationships, you end up sacrificing the very key to your success!
On the other hand, when you tap into the mystery of relationships:
- You realize that having a relationship-building strategy isn’t sleazy and manipulative. When done with a “win-win” intent, it’s smart.
- You learn how to genuinely build rapport and trust while being sensitive to other people’s boundaries AND without stretching yourself too thin.
- You realize that sometimes your best opportunities actually come through people who aren’t the closest to you. Ironic, right?
Relationship building is both art + science. It’s also a skill.
If you’d like to refine your relationship management skills…
If you’d like more success at work…
If you’d like to experience deeper personal connections at home (because what creates a great business life can also create a great personal life)…
I invite you to this month’s Financial Intimacy Hour this coming Wednesday, 25 February at 8pm ET. My guest, Michelle Y. Talbert, Esq. will share how to use curiosity, the art of conversation, and the skill of making connections to experience more success at work and more meaning at home.
Hope you can join us! Click here to register; it’s FREE.
p.s. if you can, tune into HOT 97FM at 9am on Sunday, February 22nd! Click here to stream the station from your computer.
How often do you ask that question?
More often, I bet your focus is on when you take a chance and what you thought would happen (or planned on happening) doesn’t quite pan out.
You take a leap, but the net you prepared for doesn’t appear!
Want to leave your job – without a job.
No problem, you’ve saved enough money.
Want to finally start an entrepreneurial venture.
Not only have you saved, but you researched and tested your product or service idea. Success is most certain!
Want to start a new relationship. Or, maybe leave one.
Either is a choice that involves welcoming in new love, and you’re ready.
These are all common examples of the usual leaps you and I take.
They are also examples of leaps you may think about or talk about taking but never really act on because of the “net.” The three-letter word that means different things to each of us and looks differently for each of us, too – but that symbolizes safety in having made the right choice and assurance that you can handle the consequences.
Lately, I’ve been wondering: What if the real risk is the leap you and I don’t take?
What would you say…
What would you do…
What might you discover if the net you needed to feel confident enough to take a leap was there?
What sparked this inquiry was a blog post written by and about one of my favorite people in the personal finance journalism space, Tess Vigeland. For background, Tess was, for many years, the host of Marketplace Money (one of my favorite NPR programs). She leapt, leaving the show two years ago without a plan B and her post was an update on the lessons she learned and the opportunities that have unfolded because of her taking the leap.
As she recounted her story, I wondered…
What assumptions do we make about what’s “safe” and “secure?”
When is a leap a wee-bit insane rather than a brave + bold move?
If all leaps, to some extent, are steps into the unknown, why are some considered conventional and others unconventional?
And then in an exchange with a friend on LinkedIn, I wondered: What gets left unsaid, undone, and undiscovered, because our fear about the net (would it break, shift, or disappear) prevented us from taking a leap?
And so I ask you: What’s stopping you from taking the leap – that thing which was the first thought that popped to mind as you’ve read this thus far?
More than likely, it’s a concern…
- about money;
- or time;
- or the gulf between the perception you have of yourself and the perception others have of you;
- or the tricky balance of conforming yet doing it your way (let’s face it, we all conform to something to some degree).
Since everyone’s net is different, perhaps the first place to start is with making sure you’re really making decisions based on what your net needs to look like – and not based upon someone else’s definition. Avoid the trap of doing with the risks and nets what is commonly done regarding money – viewing it monolithically.
Maybe it requires a reexamination of what you’re labeling as a safe bet.
Maybe it requires remembering that your leap into the unknown isn’t one big, gigantic step made spontaneously, but a series of small, measured and thoughtful steps.
Maybe reflecting on the wise words of Henry David Thoreau can help:
“We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.”
Leap responsibly. Leap thoughtfully. Leap deliberately. Leap with creative caution. But stop procrastinating and take that leap you’ve been contemplating!
There is a silent epidemic afflicting approximately 30 million U.S. workers. You very well may be one of them – if you worry about money.
Sometimes that looks like stress over your day-to-day finances.
Other times, it’s concern over your future financial goals. Or, having apprehension around whom to trust with helping you to make financial decisions.
At even other times, it’s a more abstract fear about something that certainly impacts you but that you have little control over: the economy.
Whatever the trigger, you don’t leave your financial stress at home.
So, when you walk through the proverbial office door (even if it’s your home office), your financial stress tags along with you. As a result, it impacts your productivity, focus and creativity.
I am not so naive to suggest that any one of us can eliminate financial stress entirely. There’s likely to always be a little tension between where you are and where you want to be — that’s healthy stress.
But here are a few recommendations on how to take control of the financial stress that is unhealthy, all-consuming and blocking you from experiencing more (and costing your employer approximately $7,000 in lost productivity each year!):
- Come clean – worry about money is called a silent epidemic because most people keep their financial problems close to the vest. Or worst yet, they bury their head in the sand believing when they come up for air the problem will be smaller or non-existent. Admit something is amiss, even if it’s just to yourself.
- Define the nature of your financial stress – addressing your day-to-day concerns about money the same way you would your fears about the economy will only add to your stress levels! Make sure your stress management approach matches they type of stress (or stresses) you have.
- Create a plan of action – emphasis on action! Don’t just lay out what you’re going to do, but also note when, how and what tool/resources you’ll tap into.
- Don’t wait – “when/then” thinking will jeopardize your efforts to reduce your stress,
- Ask for help – it can be in the form of professional help or by enlisting a family member/friend to be your accountability partner. You don’t have to tackle your financial stress alone…unless you want to.
- Give yourself credit – take the time to acknowledge your financial strengths and figure out how you can do more of what you do well.
- Be humble enough to recognize that financial stress isn’t just about financial dysfunction.
One of the biggest problems with financial stress is how the circumstances of it force you to be a lopsided thinker. You’re so preoccupied with identifying a short-term solution, you don’t have the capacity to think long-term…to operate at your highest level of being and be the strategic, tactical, productive, engaged and creative person that you are!
Reducing your financial stress means increasing your financial peace of mind, which will make you happier and more productive (and potentially make you and your employer more profitable). Suhweet, right?!
So, let’s do this together.
I invite you to join me on Thursday, 29 January at 8pm ET for our annual Financial Open House. You come with questions; I show up with answers; and, we’ll have a good time!
I am very much interested in your financial well-being.
More than anything, I want your financial life and choices to reflect the successes you experience in other spheres of your life.
I want you to feel confident, powerful and validated. Yet, this is not necessarily how some of my clients feel when we begin to work together.
Instead, they are hiding in the financial closet embarrassed because their financial condition doesn’t reflect what they project or want. Or, they feel guilty about past choices unable to forgive themselves, let go and move on. Or, they are ashamed by what they don’t have, don’t know or don’t have control over like they expected.
For my clients whom are educated, work in diverse professions and industries, live creatively, often quirky and successful at charting their own path, this is unsettling. Because it’s out of sync with everything else about their lives.
Lots of people (I know very scientific, right?) are in the financial closet about their money situation for any number of personal and societal reasons ranging from shame to acceptance to control to validation to power. The result: They think they’re the only one!
- Are the financial goals and resolutions you have for 2015 the same as what you had last year and the year before that and the year before that?
- Has the same financial demon (however you define that) reared its head, again?
- Do you have a financial regret you simply haven’t been able to shake?
- Does that big, audacious goal feel oh so close, yet so far from your grasp…again?
Do you feel financially alone – like this is only happening to you? Do you keep it to yourself because you feel embarrassed or ashamed or guilty or confounded? Do you believe that to disclose the aspects of your money situation you’ve been hiding will minimize the accomplishments in other areas of your life?
Well, let me tell you: From my work with hundreds of coaching clients and thousands of workshop attendees, I can assure you YOU are not alone. Everyone struggles with something when it comes to money. (And by the way, don’t fall into the trap of limiting the meaning of the word struggle to survival.)
The key is to not let your financial struggles sabotage your financial well-being.
Now, to be clear, there’s a difference between “secret” and “private” and I’m NOT recommending that you broadcast the details of your money situation to everyone, everywhere. Unless sharing like that is something you do naturally. Personally, I can’t imagine that; I’m open, but reserved. Professionally, my private banking training can’t fathom it.
But if I may, I’d like to add another goal or resolution to your list — come out of financial hiding. Especially if you think you’re the only one dealing with whatever is tripping you up. This way of thinking is costly – both financially and emotionally – and can negatively impact your financial well-being.
So as you settle a little more into 2015 remember – you’re not alone. And if you are ready to come out of the closet about your financial situation, I can help. Click here to learn how.
It’s here! That time of year when you and I are inundated with messages about how to make this year our best year yet. According to the University of Scranton-Journal of Clinical Psychology, 45% of Americans will do this by making New Years resolutions.
Some will tell you that making resolutions is the key to your transformation; others will tell you resolutions are hogwash and instead you should focus on goals.
At the end of the day, I think it boils down to semantics. You can call it making resolutions or goal-setting – either way, both reflect that there is something about your current reality or experience that you want to change.
With all the emphasis on the actions you need to take to achieve your resolution or goal (i.e., avoid junk food; exercise more; spend less; save more; etc.), which indeed is important, I wish more people focused on the mindset needed to change their reality.
To truly succeed at keeping your resolutions or with meeting your goals, you need to change your mind, too!
Do you know why? Because most of the obstacles you’ll face as you work on your resolution or goal are internal…not external.
I encountered this this morning. One of my personal goals for 2015 is to run four (4) half-marathons. The first one I’m targeting is March 15th, not that far away. So that means I need to run! But I run outside, and when I saw the air temperature was 16 degrees with the wind chill making it even colder, I was NOT too enthusiastic about today’s run and almost talked myself out of it.
But I reminded myself that while I can’t control the weather, I can choose how many layers to put on. Plus, I play this game with myself where, daily, I can ask, “If I do nothing else today, what would make me feel successful – like I accomplished something?” Whatever that is, I do. Today, that was running regardless of how cold it is.
So, a full week into 2015, if you need help with your resolutions or goals, consider this:
- It’s not enough to have a plan. You’ll be better served if your plan addresses not just the actions you need to take, but also the mindset you need to have to keep your resolutions or meet your goals.
- Think about your resolutions/goals through the prism of the habits or rituals you need to foster to set yourself up for success, as well as those you need to discontinue.
- Don’t just focus on the large, sweeping resolution/goal you have. Also visualize the smaller ones that need to happen along the way that ultimately make the big one possible. (For example, today’s 3.3 mile run helps me get ready for March’s 13.2 mile run.)
- Go beyond the surface reason for your resolution/goal. Invest the time to tap into the real motivation; here’s a good time to ask, “What else?“
- Write down (preferably on paper) the one thing you can do daily and weekly to set yourself up for success.
- Then, write down what you’ll do to re-group when you falter. (ALERT! We all falter from time to time. Having a lapse or relapse isn’t the issue – it’s what you do to get back into the groove that matters.)
- Know the tools and the people you’ll need to support you…and then diligently use them!
In truth, this time of year really isn’t that different than any other month or day. It’s just that it is a universal marker for us all to collectively start over or do something we’ve never done before – together.
So whether you prefer to make resolutions or make goals, I wish you the happiest, healthiest, and most successful year to date. I hope your challenges and disappointments are not too great. And, I hope your good experiences surpass your wildest dreams and expectations.
Happy, Happy New Year!
Each year, I share the above quote. And, each year it takes on a different meaning to and for me.
As 2014 draws to a close and I reflect on Rainer Maria Rilke’s quote, what keeps coming up for me is this:
Life is full of mystery and unexpected twists and turns. And blessings, well they frequently (and seemingly) come from and through the unlikeliest of channels.
This is how I experienced transformation this year.
And during this holiday season and on this Christmas Day, it is my hope that you’ll pause to take stock of what has transformed you, as well as what has been transformed by you.
It is also my hope that as one year comes to an end and another begins, you are surrounded by those you know and love deeply; you are resting and nurturing your body and your spirit; and that with an open heart and mind you are getting ready to embrace the mystery that awaits us all — filled with even more transformative experiences.
Wishing you and yours all the best as you continue to celebrate the holiday season and get ready to welcome 2015.
May the New Year be filled with just enough challenges to help you grow, blessings beyond measure, and more than a few surprises that bring a smile to your face and your heart!
Thank you so much for being part of my world, and for giving me the privilege to be part of yours!