Focused, On Purpose, But a Little Lopsided?

Focused, On Purpose, But a Little Lopsided?

Did you start the year full of energy, raring to go? Now that we are six weeks in, how is it going? Have you settled into a groove that has you on pace to achieve the goals you declared at the top of the year? Or, has the euphoria subsided a bit and with it your tempo and effort – thus taking you out of your groove? If you said a little of both because you are feeling focused, on purpose, yet slightly lopsided, you are not alone. This idea of being lopsided came to me during a recent financial coaching session. What I noticed with my clients is a pattern I recognize with others, and it’s not just confined to money. But, I’m going to use money and the visual aspect of an exercise to illustrate my point. I use this all the time with my coaching clients and workshop participants, and it will be familiar to readers of my book as well. It’s called the “Financial Wheel:” Draw or envision a circle; divide the circle into four sections by drawing a horizontal and vertical line; label the upper-left-hand quadrant “Earn,” the upper-right-hand quadrant “Save,” the lower-right-hand quadrant “Invest,” and the lower left-hand quadrant “Spend.” Earn, save, invest, and spend represent the four things, very broadly, that any of us regardless of income level or asset wealth can do with our money. However, when most people make financial goals they concentrate on the right side of the wheel – save and invest. But they don’t hone in on and create goals for the left side of the wheel...

It’s Time to Protect Your Time

It’s November, and all hell is about to break loose. Unlike any other time of the year, the last eight (8) weeks of the year seem to wreck havoc on our calendars. Now is when life, in general, becomes more hectic as we move deeper into the holiday season and social and family commitments increase. Similarly, work becomes crazier as we rev up efforts to close-out the year with more of our goals accomplished than not. The countdown to the end of the year and the beginning of the new can be both celebratory and depleting! Can you relate? If so, here’s a single suggestion on how this holiday season can be festive without the usual fatigue: PROTECT YOUR TIME! Here’s how you can do it? Take a month-at-a-glance look at November and December noting the appointments you already have; Designate one day of each week as “open.” On these days, make a commitment not to put anything on your calendar that isn’t already there; Add to your calendar any annual events/gatherings you plan to attend but for which you’ve yet to receive an invitation; If you are hosting any holiday events, carve out more prep time than you think you really need; If you and your family/friends are exchanging gifts, identify your shopping days and times and try to spread them out over several weeks. This is also a good time to set an overall and per person budget; Say, “no,” to any invitation that immediately causes you to feel stressed out and offer a counter-invitation for a date/time in the New Year if it’s something you really,...

Does a Financial Plan Make Your Cringe? – Part 2

If financial planning is a cumbersome exercise, here are six (6) steps you can take to make the process a more fun & engaging experience: 1. Schedule time to plan >> Really. One of the biggest challenges to planning (financial or otherwise) is setting aside a block of time to do it. Accordingly, don’t operate with the expectation that you will complete your plan in one sitting. A better approach is to give yourself thirty-days to create your plan, and within that period of time complete the next five steps. 2. Have a brainstorming session (or two, three) >> During this time, simply have an uncensored brain dump of your goals. Rather than listing your goals using a vertical approach, try documenting your goals using an approach called mind mapping. I love mind mapping because I believe it is a more expansive way to think about what you want to have, do and be.  The picture above is an example. Place your name in the center and note all of your goals as extensions or spokes from the middle. IMPORTANT: Don’t worry just yet about categorizing them as financial vs. non-financial or ranking them by time (short, medium, or long-term) or identifying the goals that are connected. That happens next! For now, just think and write!! 3. Create a to-do list of habits >> For each goal listed in step #2, specify details such as the financial component, if any; your target “Achieve By” date;  the dependent relationship that may exist between goals; and what habit you will need to consistently do and how often in order to contribute...