A Money Coach in Canada

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If you have a moment, listen to my personal story with money. You can watch the vid either on the sidebar of my blog or here. Watch for my goals, about 1.40 minutes into the video.

What I didn’t mention is that I wrote those goals down one Sunday afternoon after listening with a Tony Robins tape (ha! it was a cassette which tells you how long ago that was) with a roomate.

I am convinced that the very first step in moving a hope or dream out of our heads and into the real world is to write it down. Something about the act of writing a goal seems to trigger its fruition. There’s a reason its a timeless and classic method for achieving what you want.

Here’s my money-coach’s simple twist. Include the price-tag when writing the goal. It doesn’t have to be exact, but include a reasonable approximation.

A couple personal Examples:

  • My dream is to go to NYC every couple years on holiday:  $2,000 / trip
  • I want to own several properties when I retire, including one in Detroit.   Down payment for Detroit:  $10K
  • I would love to slim down again over the summer by doing the c25K program. I’ll need some good new runners: $120

If you like, write your goals in my comments section – I’d love to hear! And maybe we can even encourage each other along the way.

If you’re more private than that, write your goals wherever you like, but do write them and include an approximate pricetag.

In either case, pop back here on Wednesdays and weekends during April for more simple but effective tips on translating your hopes and dreams into reality.

Photo Credit: DFBiz

Any Gen-X or Gen Y readers among you? I’m personally glad to see attention being paid to the implications of our demographics – ie., baby boomer cohort retiring, living longer, with high expectations (esp. re: healthcare) and a shrinking workforce. Here’s an eye-popping article from the Financial Post on the topic.

Ever heard of the Grameen Bank, the “bank for the poor”? Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus who really gave lift-off to microcredit? I heard him speak once at UBC. *Amazing* to say the least (speaking of big dreams). Well on Tuesday, at age 70, he got ousted from the Bank he founded. This is utterly baffling!

Google is going to overhaul YouTube to the tune of $100M+ in response to more TV available via the net, and Netflix shares tumbled after they poured money into the rights to stream Mad Men.

Photo Credit: Ex-In Transit

I have a confession to make. For several months (and by that I mean 24+) I’d stopped hoping and dreaming. Having had a couple shattering experiences, I think life just got the best of me for a bit. Life got reduced to making tough decisions, putting one foot in front of the other and then a series of accomplishments. Not particularly joyous accomplishments mind, just, getting stuff done. Making a move up north. Navigating my way through an unexpectedly tumultuous employment experience (I’ll have had 7 managers in 26 months! – and only twice because of a change I made!). Adjusting to life in general in a very different environment. It has not been easy.

And in the mix, I’d stopped hoping or visioning or setting goals and making plans – activities that have characterized me for most of my life. My core values, my respect and appreciation of life and my compassion for this global village of ours remained intact but a lot about life became: Meh.

What about you? Do you aspire? Do you reach and strive for your desires? Do you know what you desire?

If money – and managing it well- is about creating security for ourselves (inasmuch as is possible) and about doing right by the planet and people by donating or thoughtful consumption, surely it is also about giving expression to our inner longings and cherished dreams.

In January I stepped outside my comfort zone and joined Jamie in her DreamBoard teleseminar. For three full hours I gave myself over to re-exploring what makes life lovely for me. It was water on dry ground and I need much more.

But friends, I moved forward on my discovery. I re-jigged some of my finances, I re-prioritized, and by next week this time I should be able to show you one result.

So my invitation to you is this: in this month of April, join me in letting the genie out of the bottle. Join me in dreaming and hoping and planning on good things for ourselves, and in managing our money effectively in part to that end. Wednesday and Weekend posts will give tips, ideas and with any luck a measure of inspiration to do just that.

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want; Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.” -rumi

Photo Credit: Our Enchanted Garden

It’s a grim time of year where I live, I’ll tell ‘ya, GRIM. The snow is melting away which is not as romantic as it sounds: The accumulated dirt and gravel spread on the streets over the winter is now exposed and worse, gets blown around by the still cold wind. I always feel gritty. There won’t be new spring growth for a number of weeks yet, so it’s mostly grays and browns wherever I look. The melted snow pools into icy puddles everywhere then freezes overnight. Told ya. Grim.Grim.Grim.

It’s not an easy time of year to be … content.

Ah, but for the radio. Or more specifically, but for This American Life, a nifty radio show / podcast out of Chicago. It’s a recent discovery and Saturday night, fatigued from a long week, I thought I’d pull the drapes, and settle into the sofa with my trusty daschunds in 1940s style to give it a listen.

Listening to radio was wonderful! I wondered if my mind would wander off (no visuals?) and it did a wee bit but on the whole the show was entirely engrossing. Paradoxically, although this week’s topic matter was highly galvanizing, I felt myself unwind in a way that I don’t unwind when I’m watching a show.

In our era of zillion channels digital TV and downloading what we want when we want and surfing the web, something about settling in and just *listening* was blissful.

Have you ever tried it?

I have about 5 weeks to go yet before I’ll want to be outside so if you have any radio shows you can recommend, I’d love to know!

photo credit: Unhindered by Talent

Sorry, Secret fans, but I think a lot of The Secret is a form of distorted thinking called Personalization. Personalization is the tendency to relate all events around you back to yourself, taking excessive responsibility for those events. There is a lot of messaging out there that our thoughts can create events. While I’m all for decluttering beliefs that limit us or hold us back, and I’m all for embedding hope and vision and self-confidence into the core of our being, I’m also all for a realistic acknowledgement of our context and its ability to have its way with us from time to time.

Here’s an incisive (and somewhat humourous in a dark sort of way) vid that says it so much better than I can. And I hope I haven’t driven half my readership away.

photo credit: Gee01

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