Freedom: Tips and Life Hacks…

When it comes to planning out our lives there are a couple of tips and hacks that may assist you a great deal…

(Read to the end and find additional resources to assist you)

Here is an extract from the Day Designer blog with some of these tips and hacks…

Work backwards to prep for the day.

Wake up 15 minutes earlier. What can you do that will help you do that? Go to bed earlier. Prepare for your day the night before by deciding what’s for breakfast, setting out your clothes, and knowing what’s on the agenda. You’ll feel more eager to start your day!

Get started with the small stuff to gain momentum.

When you’re ready to start your day, check a few quick five-minute tasks off your list. This feeling of accomplishment will set you up for a more productive day!

Touch your planner before you touch your phone.

We always love this tip! Leave that phone on the charger until you’ve had some time to yourself and thought through the day ahead.

Review what matters most.

Write down your values, strengths, goals, priorities, and big projects. Review them on regular basis to keep them at the forefront of your brain!

Take breaks.

Taking a break will increase your focus and creativity! Get outside. Go for a walk. Call a friend. Enjoy your coffee without a screen in front of you. Refill your water. Or find something fun on your to-do list, such as shopping for a gift, and build that into your break!

Change your mindset to get back on track.

When you feel defeated, think of something you’re grateful for. When you feel overwhelmed, plan tomorrow. When you feel like quitting, think of the feeling you’re trying to achieve.

You can do this!

  • Original post published by Day Designer

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A Big Picture Blueprint to Master Inspired Living

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S.A. Quote: Decisions

“To make decisions without thought is like participating in a steeplechase with bandaged eyes.”

Jack Penn (Surgeon, Philosopher, Artist)

Would it surprise you to know that approximately only 3% of the global population do actually do proper planning? Making decisions without thinking about it properly.  Impulsive and uncalculated decisions. Almost just living on instinct…

I do not just mean financial planning, but life planning in general…

Disagree? Okay, let me ask you the following questions:

  1. Do you have a goal, vision, mission, purpose for your life written down? A legacy you wish to leave behind? A dream life you want to achieve?
  2. Do you have a clearly written out list of top three (3) goals for the next 369 days? Not just in the form of business planning but personal planning.
  3. Do you have a clearly written out plan/strategy to achieve these goals within the next 369 days?
  4.  Have you done any research, recording of data, data tracking and analysis in accordance with the goals you want to achieve?
  5. Have you reflected and improved on previously gathered data to realistically plan or strategies your next week, month, quarter or year?
  6. Have you spent time inwardly reflecting on your choices, experiences, lessons learned and the reasons why it could have been prevented?

And with these questions, I am not referring to your list of new years resolutions that fell by the wayside somewhere between then and now…

I am talking about goals which are congruent to your true authentic natural self,  true to your values, true to your talents and skills…?

Would it surprise you to know that only the top 3% for Financial Independent Individuals that have perfected this to an art… only because they invested in themselves by working with coaches and mentors – following a basic outline formula?

Interested in more information, view our Products, Services and Free Resources.

Alternatively, if and only if you are ready to be unschooled, have an open mind and are willing to start your process of discovery and achievement of your own determined success … start here

Author:

Yvonne E. Venter-Louw

YEVL (Pty) Ltd. Director & Principal

Researcher, Advisor, Educator, Coach, Mentor and Speaker

– The Psychological impact  and rehabilitation of past experiences on daily driven Financial decisions

[Cert. Financial Planning + GIBS MLOLP  + RE5 + Cert. Financial Coaching + Dip. Psychology + Hypnosis + NLP + Subliminal Therapy + Numerology + Energy Healing]

Naturally creating Freedom, Meaning & Wealth!

 

Meaning: What is a Life Coach?

A life coach is much like it sounds, someone who helps a person with their life and tough situations that they may be encountering. A life coach can effectively help you get your life into order and create the organization as well as a great outlook on life in general. Many people don’t realize how much of a help a life coach can be for someone who is trying to get their life together. Life coaches are trained solely for the purpose of helping others, which is why it is very important to consult with a life coach that has had such training.

Although many people feel that it isn’t hard to become a life coach, those that are life coaches beg to differ. Becoming a life coach is much more than just listening to someone else’s problems or allowing them to cry on their shoulder, which is what many people don’t understand. A life coach has to know what questions to ask an individual as well as what tough questions to ask. Not only that but they also have to have certain tactics and methods to aiding the person and fixing their problems within their life.

It is very important that when you are searching for a life coach that you pick very carefully. Many people will claim to be a life coach but won’t carry out the true duties involved in being a life coach to someone. You want to make sure that you are choosing a person that has had experience in the field of fixing problems and tough life situations. It also helps out if a person has reliable sources from past clients that can vouch that the life coach did indeed help them organize their life and also helped them fix tough problems that they went through in their life.

A life coach’s main goal is to help with the motivation of a client. In a sense, a life coach can become your own personal cheerleader when you accomplish the goals that your life coach has set for you. Realize that your life coach wants to see your life changed in a positive way and this means listening, motivating, and guiding their clients in the right direction so that this can be accomplished.

Although there are many different reasons why a person would choose to incorporate a life coach in their lives, as long as you follow the strategies and help given by your life coach, you are sure to get your life back on track… the right way! So if you yourself are having troubles in your life and feel like your life is incomplete shambles and disorganization, then hiring your very own personal life coach may just be your ticket to having the structured and organized life you have always dreamed of.

For more information in regards to our coaching and mentoring service… contact us directly – Click Here

With Love, Gratitude and Grace,

  • Yvonne E. Venter-Louw
  • YEVL (Pty) Ltd.: Founding Director & Principal
  • Researcher, Advisor, Educator, Coach, Mentor, Keynote Speaker & Host of the Financial Independent Coach show on YouTube
  • Personal Thesis: The Psychological impact of past experiences (and the rehabilitation thereof) on daily driven financial decisions.
  • Naturally creating and experiencing Freedom, Meaning & Wealth!

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Personality and what’s the Real You?

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“Personality” – like many things in life is sort of concrete and can be difficult to define at times. The basic definition is the relatively stable characteristics that are enduring and distinctive which means it separates people from the crowd.

Psychologists that study personalities try to analyse why people act differently to different situations such as why one person acts shy when they first meet a stranger or while some people are just natural and funny and be themselves.  Some scientists believe that this is genetically engraved and that people don’t have much control over this. Other psychologists believe that it’s the environment has a significant say in the way people act.

The truth is that personality is a multi-dimensional topic and requires pieces from various theories because everyone is unique. One theory is the psychodynamic perspective which was discovered by Sigmund Freud. This theory basically states that personality merely exists on the surface and to find someone true personality you have to dig deep in mind. Psychologists who favour this approach believe that personality is an unconscious process, or that the individuals are not aware that they are conceited or confident. He was known for his controversial theory that young boys have a sexual attraction to their mother, maybe he was referring to himself with his romantic relationship with his mother who was 20 years younger than his father.

A theory of the unconscious mind that makes somewhat sense is when people are having a conversation and calls someone they know a different name. For example, if a woman broke up with her boyfriend and got a new boyfriend and calls her current boyfriend her ex-boyfriend name it could mean that he is still in her thoughts.

Freud also believes that dreams hold important motifs in behaviour.  He also believed that personality can be constructed into layers like an iceberg. The part that is buried far below the water is the id or the unconscious aspect. A good example will be children because a lot of time they will act on pleasure without thinking about the end result much. If people would have a strong id personality then this would be a very scary place to live.  People would act on natural impulses rather than conforming to social norms.  The ego is nice to have because it helps people realise reality and help conform to social norms. For example, a lot of people realise that they can’t have their sex and aggression levels high and unmanaged and when they let it go then it usually leads to crimes like rape for one.  Last, the superego also referred to as the conscious aspect is the moral decider.  It decided what is right and what is wrong.  A lot of psychologists didn’t follow Freud’s unconscious theory and a psychologist that was heavily against it was Alfred Adler.  He believed that people were motivated by purposes and goals to achieve something in life.  He also believes that people had the ability to be aware of what’s going on in their life and to consciously monitor their day to day events.  He also believed that people try to compensate for things they don’t have. For example, a person that tries to be superior may be doing it for their own insecurities because they will feel better about themselves by bringing other people down. This theory was known as individual psychology, which states that people are motivated by purposes and to attain goals.  When people attempt to overcome their insecurities this is known as compensation.  When psychologists ignore the unconscious mind they tend to look at the environment more when determining personality, and this is known as the behaviour approach. They believe that you can only determine personality by what you see on the outside surface.  For example, if someone is shy, work hard, and are motivated to achieve something, this is a part of their personality. This theory was founded by an early psychologist named BF Skinner. He also believed that a person personality can change due to the stress in the environment, so he believed that personality was never consistent.  So a person that is shy can be shifted to someone that is aggressive and outgoing, and a person that is outgoing can be shifted into a shy personality all due to their environment. If a person is giving positive reinforcement for a particular behaviour, then it is more likely that it will come up again in the future. A different approach from Freud and Skinner’s theory is the humanist approach discovered by Carl Roger. This approach is a less pessimistic view, and finds the good in humans and believes that humans have the freedom to choose their own destiny.  The central theme in Roger’s approach is the

If people would have a strong id personality then this would be a very scary place to live.  People would act on natural impulses rather than conforming to social norms.  The ego is nice to have because it helps people realise reality and help conform to social norms. For example, a lot of people realise that they can’t have their sex and aggression levels high and unmanaged and when they let it go then it usually leads to crimes like rape for one.  Last, the superego also referred as the conscious aspect is the moral decider.  It decided what is right and what is wrong.  A lot of psychologists didn’t follow Freud’s unconscious theory and a psychologist that was heavily against it was Alfred Adler.  He believed that people were motivated by purposes and goals to achieve something in life.  He also believes that people had the ability to be aware of what’s going on in their life and to consciously monitor their day to day events.  He also believed that people try to compensate for things they don’t have. For example, a person that tries to be superior may be doing it for their own insecurities because they will feel better about themselves by bringing other people down. This theory was known as individual psychology, in which states that people are motivated by purposes and to attain goals.  When people attempt to overcome their insecurities this is known as compensation.  When psychologists ignore the unconscious mind they tend to look at the environment more when determining personality, and this is known as the behaviour approach. They believe that you can only determine personality by what you see on the outside surface.  For example, if someone is shy, work hard, and are motivated to achieve something, this is a part of their personality. This theory was founded by an early psychologist named BF Skinner. He also believed that a person personality can change due to the stress in the environment, so he believed that personality was never consistent.  So a person that is shy can be shifted to someone that is aggressive and outgoing, and a person that is outgoing can be shifted into a shy personality all due to their environment. If a person is giving positive reinforcement for a particular behaviour, then it is more likely that it will come up again in the future. A different approach from Freud and Skinner’s theory is the humanist approach discovered by Carl Roger. This approach is a less pessimistic view, and finds the good in humans and believes that humans have the freedom to choose their own destiny.  The central theme in Roger’s approach is the

Last, the superego also referred to as the conscious aspect is the moral decider.  It decided what is right and what is wrong.  A lot of psychologists didn’t follow Freud’s unconscious theory and a psychologist that was heavily against it was Alfred Adler.  He believed that people were motivated by purposes and goals to achieve something in life.  He also believes that people had the ability to be aware of what’s going on in their life and to consciously monitor their day to day events.  He also believed that people try to compensate for things they don’t have. For example, a person that tries to be superior may be doing it for their own insecurities because they will feel better about themselves by bringing other people down. This theory was known as individual psychology, which states that people are motivated by purposes and to attain goals.  When people attempt to overcome their insecurities this is known as compensation.  When psychologists ignore the unconscious mind they tend to look at the environment more when determining personality, and this is known as the behaviour approach. They believe that you can only determine personality by what you see on the outside surface.  For example, if someone is shy, work hard, and are motivated to achieve something, this is a part of their personality. This theory was founded by an early psychologist named BF Skinner. He also believed that a person personality can change due to the stress in the environment, so he believed that personality was never consistent.  So a person that is shy can be shifted to someone that is aggressive and outgoing, and a person that is outgoing can be shifted into a shy personality all due to their environment. If a person is giving positive reinforcement for a particular behaviour, then it is more likely that it will come up again in the future. A different approach from Freud and Skinner’s theory is the humanist approach discovered by Carl Roger. This approach is a less pessimistic view, and finds the good in humans and believes that humans have the freedom to choose their own destiny.  The central theme in Roger’s approach is the

A lot of psychologists didn’t follow Freud’s unconscious theory and a psychologist that was heavily against it was Alfred Adler.  He believed that people were motivated by purposes and goals to achieve something in life.  He also believes that people had the ability to be aware of what’s going on in their life and to consciously monitor their day to day events.  He also believed that people try to compensate for things they don’t have. For example, a person that tries to be superior may be doing it for their own insecurities because they will feel better about themselves by bringing other people down. This theory was known as individual psychology, in which states that people are motivated by purposes and to attain goals.  When people attempt to overcome their insecurities this is known as compensation.  When psychologists ignore the unconscious mind they tend to look at the environment more when determining personality, and this is known as the behaviour approach. They believe that you can only determine personality by what you see on the outside surface.  For example, if someone is shy, work hard, and are motivated to achieve something, this is  a part of their personality. This theory was founded by an early psychologist named BF Skinner. He also believed that a person personality can change due to the stress in the environment, so he believed that personality was never consistent.  So a person that is shy can be shifted to someone that is aggressive and outgoing, and a person that is outgoing can be shifted into a shy personality all due to their environment. If a person is giving positive reinforcement for a particular behaviour, then it is more likely that it will come up again in the future. A different approach from Freud and Skinner’s theory is the humanist approach discovered by Carl Roger. This approach is a less pessimistic view, and finds the good in humans and believes that humans have the freedom to choose their own destiny.  The central theme in Roger’s approach is the

For example, a person that tries to be superior may be doing it for their own insecurities because they will feel better about themselves by bringing other people down. This theory was known as individual psychology, in which states that people are motivated by purposes and to attain goals.  When people attempt to overcome their insecurities this is known as compensation.  When psychologists ignore the unconscious mind they tend to look at the environment more when determining personality, and this is known as the behaviour approach. They believe that you can only determine personality by what you see on the outside surface.  For example, if someone is shy, work hard, and are motivated to achieve something, this is  a part of their personality. This theory was founded by an early psychologist named BF Skinner. He also believed that a person personality can change due to the stress in the environment, so he believed that personality was never consistent.  So a person that is shy can be shifted to someone that is aggressive and outgoing, and a person that is outgoing can be shifted into a shy personality all due to their environment. If a person is giving a positive reinforcement for a particular behaviour, then it is more likely that it will come up again in the future. A different approach from Freud and Skinner’s theory is the humanist approach discovered by Carl Roger. This approach is a less pessimistic view, and finds the good in humans and believes that humans have the freedom to choose their own destiny.  The central theme in Roger’s approach is the

When psychologists ignore the unconscious mind they tend to look at the environment more when determining personality, and this is known as the behaviour approach. They believe that you can only determine personality by what you see on the outside surface.  For an example, if someone is shy, work hard, and are motivated to achieve something, this is  a part of their personality. This theory was founded by an early psychologist named BF Skinner. He also believed that a person personality can change due to the stress in the environment, so he believed that personality was never consistent.  So a person that is shy can be shifted to someone that is aggressive and outgoing, and a person that is outgoing can be shifted into a shy personality all due to their environment. If a person is giving a positive reinforcement for a particular behaviour, then it is more likely that it will come up again in the future. A different approach from Freud and Skinner’s theory is the humanist approach discovered by Carl Roger. This approach is a less pessimistic view, and finds the good in humans and believes that humans have the freedom to choose their own destiny.  The central theme in Roger’s approach is the

He also believed that a person personality can change due to the stress in the environment, so he believed that personality was never consistent.  So a person that is shy can be shifted to someone that is aggressive and outgoing, and a person that is outgoing can be shifted into a shy personality all due to their environment. If a person is giving positive reinforcement for a particular behaviour, then it is more likely that it will come up again in the future. A different approach from Freud and Skinner’s theory is the humanist approach discovered by Carl Roger. This approach is a less pessimistic view, and finds the good in humans and believes that humans have the freedom to choose their own destiny.  The central theme in Roger’s approach is the

A different approach from Freud and Skinner’s theory is the humanist approach discovered by Carl Roger. This approach is a less pessimistic view, and finds the good in humans and believes that humans have the freedom to choose their own destiny.  The central theme in Roger’s approach is the self-concept which is an individual’s view of their own abilities, behaviour, traits, and personality. If a person has a distorted self-concept than most likely they will be awkward to hang around and associate with.  When analysing self-concept Rogers talked about distinguishing yourself between the real self and the ideal self. The ideal self is the type of person that we would like to be. If a person has a large conflict between their real self and the type of person that they would like to be then the more awkward or maladjusted they will act. To correct this we should try to focus more on our real self and develop a positive view on it and stop caring about what other people want or expect of us and try to have more positive experiences in our everyday lives.  Another way we can help develop a more positive view of our real self is a concept known as unconditional positive regard.  This term can be defined by being accepting of different individuals regardless of their behaviour which is kind of hard to do.  When a person is being rude, aggressive, or disrespectful, as weird as this sounds they still need support and to be loved.  This doesn’t mean to hug someone after they punch you, but more like “I don’t like the way you are acting but I still care about you and respect you as a person.”

When analysing self-concept Rogers talked about distinguishing yourself between the real self and the ideal self. The ideal self is the type of person that we would like to be. If a person has a large conflict between their real self and the type of person that they would like to be then the more awkward or maladjusted they will act. To correct this we should try to focus more on our real self and develop a positive view of it and stop caring about what other people want or expect of us and try to have more positive experiences in our everyday lives.  Another way we can help develop a more positive view of our real self is a concept known as unconditional positive regard.  This term can be defined by being accepting of different individuals regardless of their behaviour which is kind of hard to do.  When a person is being rude, aggressive, or disrespectful, as weird as this sounds they still need support and to be loved.  This doesn’t mean to hug someone after hey punch you, but more like “I don’t like the way you are acting but I still care about you and respect you as a person.”

Another way we can help develop a more positive view of our real self is a concept known as unconditional positive regard.  This term can be defined by being accepting of different individuals regardless of their behaviour which is kind of hard to do.  When a person is being rude, aggressive, or disrespectful, as weird as this sounds they still need support and to be loved.  This doesn’t mean to hug someone after they punch you, but more like “I don’t like the way you are acting but I still care about you and respect you as a person.”

Closing note:

We as a society should take all the above mentioned into consideration when dealing with our own self-development and dealing with others. Only once we can understand ourselves, we will be able to better understand those around us… For not just our own self, but for those we are directly and indirectly affected by our behaviour.

For Additional Resources: CLICK HERE

To your continued success,

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$86,400.00 in your bank account!

This Is not a Scam …. This is a lesson which I have learned the hardway!

Imagine you had won the following price:

  • Every morning the amount of $86,400-00 is deposited into your personal bank account

But the rules of the game is as follows:

  1. Everything that you do not spend on that specific day is withdrawn from your account, thus no roll over funds.
  2. The game can end at any time, without warning – GAME OVER! You cannot open a new account
time

What would YOU do?

Will you buy everything possible for yourself and everyone that matters to you?

Even for some people, you do not even know, because you cannot spend this amount of money on yourself every single day… would you?

To be honest – this is not a game: It’s called REALITY!

Every one of us owns a bank account like this one – we just do not see it.

The account’s name is TIME!

Every morning you when wake up, there you have already been given 86,400 seconds in your account.

Life is a GIFT! That is why we call it the PRESENT!

When you go to bed every second you have not used is removed from your life.

Gone forever – Yesterday is gone

Your account can be closed at any time, without warning.

So what are you going to do with your 86,400 seconds?

Or is it more worth to you in a Dollar value?

Enjoy every second of your life because:

  • BEWARE: Time passes by quicker than you think; and when you do realise this it might just be too late.

Be Grateful for every second of life that you have!

It is a Blessing!

Given to you by the Grace of a Higher Power!

But how do I manage my time better?

I rather prefer to manage my energy better – what do I mean by this statement?

Considering we all only receive 86,400 seconds a day to manage this can only go so far, but to manage my energy to effectively use my 86,400 seconds generates more productivity from my side. I am even able to productively ‘Procrastinate‘!

How?

Purely through Planning! The 6 P’s

Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Preformance

Here are some of the tools I have implemented to assist me.

  • Day-to-Day planning template
  • Weekly planning template
  • Monthly planning template
  • Year on view

Just to name a few.

Should you be interested – join my mailing list for step by step implementation of my complete system, free resources, templates and so much more.

CLICK HERE

To my exciting subscribers – keep an eye on you’re email. I am sending you the resources.

To your continued success,

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A Self Portrait… Painting Paint the man by Alex Alemany

Painting Paint the man by Alex Alemany
Painting Paint the man by Alex Alemany

“Personally, I choose to believe this resembles life… you are so busy planning and ‘painting’ your life while your life is ‘painting’ who you are. It is not a mirror reflection, and it is not following your moves… In a matter of fact, it is your character – which will determine what your next move will be before you make it. A self-image is viewed from a different view. The third view… the soul’s view of the heart and mind” – YEVL

A Better You!

I seem to have lost count on how many times I’ve read and heard of celebrity marriages failing almost left and right. Not that I care (and personally I don’t), it seems strange that we often see movie and TV stars as flawless people, living the fairy-tale life of riches and glamour. I suppose we all have to stop sticking our heads in the clouds and face reality.

There are many ways to lose your sense of self-esteem regardless of how trivial it could get. But whatever happens, we should all try not to lose our own sense of self.

So what does it take to be a cut above the rest? Here are some of the things you can think and improve on that should be enough for a week.

“New Strength:

There can be no growth without acceptance, understanding and letting go.

For in moving away, we allow ourselves to heal and gain new strength…”

1. Know your purpose

Are you wandering through life with little direction – hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time.

This may seem tricky at first when you see yourself be in a tight or even dead end. But there’s always that little loophole to turn things around and you can make a big difference to yourself.

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2. Know your values

What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. As you set your goals for 2005 – check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn’t align with any of your top five values – you may want to reconsider it or revise it.

The number shouldn’t discourage you, instead, it should motivate you to do more than you can ever dream of.

3. Know your needs

Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? There are so many people who lived their lives without realising their dreams and most of them end up being stressed or even depressed for that matter. List your top four needs and get them met before it’s too late!

4. Know your passions

You know who you are and what you truly enjoy in life. Obstacles like doubt and lack of enthusiasm will only hinder you, but will not derail your chance to become the person you ought to be. Express yourself and honour the people who have inspired you to become the very person you wanted to be.

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5. Live from the inside out

Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Communicate with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind. For most of us city slickers, it’s hard to even find the peace and quiet we want even in our own home. In my case, I often just sit in a dimly lit room and play some classical music. There’s sound, yes, but music does soothe the savage beast.

6. Honour your strengths

What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three – if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you can share what you know to others.

Meet and greet

7. Serve others

When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others -your spirit – your essence. The rewards for sharing your gift with those close to you is indeed rewarding, much more if it were to be the eyes of a stranger who can appreciate what you have done to them.

Self-improvement is indeed one type of work that is worth it. It shouldn’t always be within the confines of an office building, or maybe in the four corners of your own room. The difference lies within ourselves and how much we want to change for the better.

“An easy life doesn’t teach us anything. In the end, it’s learning that matters what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown” – Richard Bach

Dwight Eisenhower’s speech from 1953:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again…

Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spend himself in a worthy course; who at the best knows in the end triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat…”

To your continued success

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Plan, Track, Measure and Improve = Success!

Naturally experiencing Freedom, Meaning & Wealth
  • Guest Post DayDesigner.com

Yearly Goals + Monthly Actions + Weekly Routines + Daily Habits = Well-Designed Life.

Today, we’re sharing our top tips on how to break down your yearly goals into monthly actions!

1. Plan to plan.

Set aside time to design your month. (We all know how fast the next one seems to roll around!) Whether you choose the last Sunday, the first weekend, or somewhere in between—find a time that works best to review your goals and define monthly actions that will help you move forward in life.

Making time to map out the month ahead will ensure that you’re being intentional with your goals and your time.

2. Get it on paper.

Detail out special occasions and important dates from all the schedules you’re juggling: trips, guests in town, appointments, all-day meetings, events, birthdays, etc. The monthly overview in the Day Designer is an excellent place to see how everything lays out.

Other actions to consider: taking care of finances, submitting your expense report, and accomplishing home maintenance tasks.

Get it all out of your brain and onto your calendar where you can “set it and forget it.”

3. Push forward.

We all have projects: work projects, home projects, personal projects. Those “if I can just make some progress, I will feel so much better” projects. The notes column on the monthly overview is an ideal place to keep a list of your current projects.

Think about the next steps and sprinkle action items throughout your month.

4. Serve your year.

Review your goals and ask yourself: What can I do THIS MONTH to make progress on the goals I’ve set for this year? How do I want to feel at the end of this month, and what are the actions that will get me there?

Remember your key focus—your all-encompassing “Word for the Year”—as you design your month.

5. Track it.

Goals are just lofty dreams until you put action into motion. The first step is writing them down!

How can you track your goals best, so you don’t fall off track? Here are just a few of our favourite tips for tracking your own journey toward reaching those resolutions:

Find an Accountability Partner

It always helps to have an outside source of encouragement and accountability when working toward new goals. Find someone with who you can share your resolutions—and together, decide on a timeline and a marker of progress. Maybe you want to meet with a running group or personal trainer twice a week. Perhaps you want to write 500 words before you check email every morning? You might want to go to one new networking event to make new connections every month. Whatever your goal and however you want to track your progress toward it, share it with someone who can check in with you, motivate you, and keep you accountable to the guidelines you’ve set.

Schedule Regular Personal Check-ins

It’s also helpful to set aside time to review your goals on a regular basis. Pick a schedule that works for you—you might go over your goals every Sunday night or at the end of every month. The frequency or day doesn’t matter so much as the commitment to keeping your goals top of mind and tracking the progress you’ve made in the time that’s passed. By pre-scheduling dates with yourself (or your accountability partner!), you’re more likely to want to get a “good review” when you know check-in is coming up. (Funny how our minds work, isn’t it?)

You can also use the free Monthly Goal Tracker printable from Day Designer as a written, tangible plan to come back to each month and measure your progress on three specific goals. Re-visit this sheet at monthly check-ins to note your progress and how you might maintain or improve in the next month!

Try Not to Break the Chain

There’s a reason we recommend using our Monthly Goal Tracker printable—it makes your progress visual! It can be hard to stay motivated when you don’t have a tangible reminder of how far you’ve come—and how close you are to reaching the important goals you’ve set for yourself!

Another motivating way to keep track is to pick a spot in your planner to track your progress every day—then, try not to break the chain. Here’s how it works: For every day that you make progress toward your goal or goals, mark an “X” on your calendar. There’s interesting psychology behind the fact that we are motivated not to “break the chain” of X’s—in other words, you are motivated to continue making progress, simply because you can see how far you’ve come (and can’t stand the thought of “starting over”). It’s simple but effective. Try it and see how long your chain becomes!

Original Article: http://www.blog.daydesigner.com/track-goals-so-you-actually-reach-them/

P.S.: Start building your own diary/ planner/ journay – #FromZero2Hero (Free downloads available)

Yesterbox – Email Management … Guest Post

For over a decade now, my email inbox has been my to-do list… so the longer it gets, the more stressed I feel. But the problem is that it’s a never-ending treadmill, there’s never a sense of completion, and it’s virtually impossible to get to the elusive goal of “inbox zero” because as soon as I start sending emails, replies start coming back to me. And even if I do get to inbox zero (which has happened less than 10 times in the past decade for me), it lasts only a few hours.

In 2012, I felt like my email had gotten out of control. I felt like it was a never-ending treadmill, and a lot of important emails I would actually end up never getting to because they would take a long time to respond to and I would just end up procrastinating… and several months later, they were still unanswered.

At the end of 2012, I started experimenting with an email management technique which has actually worked out surprisingly well for me, and I’d love for more people to try it out and share it with others. I call my technique “Yesterbox” because the basic premise is that each day your to-do list is yesterday’s inbox instead of today’s inbox.

Here are the details behind the Yesterbox technique:

  1. Your “to do” list each day is simply yesterday’s email inbox (hence, “Yesterbox”). The great thing about this is when you get up in the morning, you know exactly how many emails you have to get through, there’s a sense of progress as you process each email from yesterday and remove it from your inbox, and there’s actually a point when you have zero emails left to process from yesterday. There is actually a sense of completion when you’re done, which is amazing. I would say that on half the days, I’m actually completely done with all my email obligations by NOON, which has been an incredibly freeing feeling. Even though my responses to most emails are not the same day, I actually end up being MORE responsive than I have been in the past, because most people will get a response the day after (as opposed to a week after, a month after, or several months after which used to happen all the time because I would always procrastinate on the hard emails).
  2. If it can wait 48 hours without causing harm, then you are not allowed to respond to any emails that come in today, even if it’s a simple one-word reply. This is the part that really takes a lot of discipline for the first week or so, because it is really really tempting to respond to emails that come in. Basically, you need to psychologically train yourself to not worry about emails that are coming in… don’t think of them as being in your inbox, that’s tomorrow’s to do list… unless it can’t wait 48 hours, they are not your problem today. Your focus today is just on clearing out yesterday’s inbox.
  3. When processing yesterday’s inbox, you must process 10 of yesterday’s emails before you’re allowed to look at any emails that are coming in today. After you’ve processed 10 (meaning removed them from yesterday’s inbox either by replying, filing, deleting, or calendaring them (more on that below), then your “reward” is that you get to read the new emails that have come in. (Generally, I’ve found that it takes me about 30 minutes to process 10 emails.) We’re all guilty of procrastinating and looking for the easy emails to respond to first. By forcing yourself to do 10 at a time of yesterday’s emails (and not allowing yourself to read any new emails that come in today until you do 10 from yesterday), it’s a lot easier to power through the annoying or harder ones… and as you make progress towards the finish line of zero emails from yesterday, you see the finish line getting closer and closer… and when you’re done processing all of yesterday’s emails, you’re done for the day. If you’re using Outlook, one tip to avoid cheating and reading today’s emails prematurely is to simply collapse your “Today” group of emails by clicking on the arrow in the header (to the left of the word “TODAY”).
  4. Calendaring: For any email from yesterday that takes more than 10 minutes to respond, or requires additional research, etc., you should simply file it away into a folder and then schedule a time on your calendar in the future to respond, as if it were a meeting. On my calendar appointments, I just put the name of the folder I filed it away in, as well as the subject line of the email I filed away. So if you have an email that will take an hour to respond to, just set it up as a 1-hour meeting at some point in the future. This will make sure that you always have enough time to respond to that email in the future. The act of filing that email away in a folder means it’s out of your inbox so it’s not stressing you out anymore… You know it will be responded to properly because you’ve set an appointment for it.
  5. You also need to set a recurring appointment to go through yesterday’s inbox every day. For me, getting through the previous day’s email takes about 3 hours, so I simply schedule a 3-hour meeting at the beginning of each day for Yesterbox. My assistant knows that if I need to take a morning meeting, that the email time can’t go away — it needs to be rescheduled for later in the day. Or on the rare occasion there isn’t enough time in the day, then my assistant knows that there needs to be makeup time scheduled the next day for time lost on the current day.
  6. When in your “reward” phase of reading the latest emails from today, you’re only allowed to do the following with today’s emails: delete, file, or forward. You are not allowed to reply unless it can’t wait 48 hours. The one exception to that rule is if there’s an email chain from yesterday but the chain is continuing through today, it’s okay to respond to one of today’s emails in that chain if doing so means you get to delete or file yesterday’s email in that chain (in other words, it’s allowing you to make progress on yesterday’s inbox).
  7. If you need to refer to an email later (for example, to follow up and make sure something didn’t slip through the cracks when you asked someone else to follow up), schedule a meeting on your calendar and file the email into another folder, with a reminder in the calendar appointment to refer back to that folder and what the name of the folder is.
  8. If you fall behind and have emails that are older than yesterday’s inbox (yes, it still happens), schedule additional time on your calendar to catch up to emails older than yesterday’s inbox. However, each day you should start with yesterday’s inbox as your “to do” list FIRST… this means you get a fresh start each morning and can be done with yesterday’s inbox by noon just like you would be if you hadn’t fallen behind. If you go on vacation and aren’t planning on keeping up with emails, then be sure to schedule enough email catchup time in your calendar for when you get back from vacation.
  9. For emails that can wait (such as videos, non-urgent articles, etc.) and have no real deadline, send those emails to another email address (such as your personal email address — for me, I send them to my me.com email address) and just go through that other email inbox when you’re trying to kill time, like on a plane, at the gym, waiting in line, etc. When people send me a video link, I just respond with something along the lines of “Thanks! I’ve put it on my treadmill video playlist!” There’s also a product called Pocket that is a good “save to read later” app and browser plugin.
  10. Put emails that are notes into Evernote and remove them from your inbox.

So I encourage you to try out the Yesterbox technique and share it with friends. For me, it took about a week to psychologically get used to it, and I feel a lot less stressed about my email nowadays.

(The other great thing about this is that it actually has beneficial network effects… the more people that adopt the Yesterbox technique, the more in control of their inbox everyone will feel!)

-Tony Hsieh

CEO – Zappos.com

DowntownProject.com

Yesterbox.com

Copyright © 2013.

– See more at: http://www.yesterbox.com/#sthash.cGEp6v3Y.dpuf

From <http://www.yesterbox.com/>

To invest or to Insure… That is the question?

This morning started the same as most other mornings in the office, assisting clients, making calls and sending documentation out. A normal morning until…

We receive a phone call from one of our clients, let’s say her name is Ms G.

Now Ms G is a widow for a few years now and she has been able to adjust to a lifestyle of receiving just her income. When her husband passed away she did receive lump-sum payouts of death cover, but she used this money to her own discretion. Resulting in the fact that these days she only receives her own working income. We have had several discussions and several times we have advised her to re-look at her budget and the spending of money on certain policies.

YEVL Financial Advice & Services (Pty) Ltd.
YEVL Financial Advice & Services (Pty) Ltd.

Like any client, she has the right to choose if she is going to follow the advice or not. These discussions have stretched over the past three to four years and every time Ms G decided to keep what she has and continue the same way forward…

The situation:

This morning, though – we received a phone call from her and we are going to quote some of the content of this call…

“I am just calling to inform you that I have now cancelled all those **** Bank policies”

We could at first not understand why she called to inform us of this action and proceeded to inquire what happened.

“Well it is just like you said – Yvonne – I was wasting my money”

It turns out that the **** Bank has phoned her this morning, trying to sell her on additional benefits to the one policy. The sale was accepted by Ms G and they proceeded to the “Underwriting”  of the policy, which in effect is the medical questions…

Halfway down the list of questions, the sales agent, ask her if she had previous heart problems… to which Ms G answered  – YES.

The sales agent continued with a few more questions, one of which was ‘are you a diabetic?’. Again Ms G answered – YES.

Apparently, after a few seconds of silence, the agent asks her how did she obtain the original policy. To which Ms G answered – **** Bank sales agent phoned and sold her the cover over the phone…

And right here dear readers is where the proverbial hit the fan…..

Let us explain…..

  • Ms G has more than one medical condition, present and in her past history.
  • These conditions include, but are not limited to cancer, low blood sugar and now high blood sugar, life-long heart condition and so forth
  • Further,  Ms G has had a couple of operation in her life of over 55 years

Taking all these factors into account, she cannot just obtain any type of insurance; she has to look very carefully at the detailed cover limitations and exclusions of any policy. She needs to ensure that whichever cover she decides to implement does cover these conditions past history, present existence and possible future complications… IF NOT – she will be wasting her money!

Wasting her money is exactly what has happened – our words rang true in her ears when the sales agent stated…

“But Ms G – they should not have sold you this cover, as this cover will not pay out in any event to you due to …”

We hate to be the messengers delivering the bad news newsflash –  but this is how these small policies work! These Bank policies that are sold to any Bank client are not always the best choice for any client. The structure of the cover against the applicable premium is constructed to fund a pool of “Potential Healthy Clients” that might one day claim – if they have not cancelled the cover beforehand. And R50 to R100 a month is not a lot, these premiums mostly go un-noticed by clients for years.

BUT these policies have very specific claim clauses, to the extent of which is sometimes remarkable that the use of the policy could be questioned… And so it was with all these policies that Ms G had from the bank.

The problem:

Ms G has spent on average R300 a month on these policies – which now she has lost all those contributions due to the platform of the policies being short and long term insurance. A total contribution of  R10,800-00 over  3 years… GONE! And as MsG rightfully said:

“I could have used that for my vehicle exspenses this year… which as you know I had to borrow”

Readers this is what we would call ‘flushing your money down the drain’ and not making your money work for you…

The solution:

Read more

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