How to Improve Your Relationship With Money

 “How to Improve Your Relationship with Money”

 

Just like you have relationships with other people, you have a relationship with money. First, decide that your money is important to you and worth spending time with. If you’re in a relationship with someone and you tell them “you’re just not that important to me,” how long do you think they’re going to stick around?

Do you keep your cash organized in your wallet or crumpled up in wads around the house with piles of loose change? I encourage you to treat your money with respect.

When money is important to you, you are willing to spend quality time with it, just like with someone you’re dating. Schedule a regular time to give your money your full attention.

 

MoneyDate

During your “Money Date,” you can find out how your money is doing by reviewing your financial statements, balancing your checkbook, or reconciling your accounts.

In the past, when I didn’t have a regular “Money Date,” I handled my finances randomly. I would balance my checkbook and pay bills when I got around to it, which meant that sometimes I was organized and sometimes my finances were in total chaos. I wasted hundreds of dollars in fees that could have been avoided if I was monitoring my finances more closely.

Now that I have regular and consistent “Money Dates,” I have clarity around my finances, and I make better decisions. I love it, and I believe that you will, too.

Please comment on this post and let me know how this experience is for you.

*****

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Dealing with Denying Force

 “Dealing with Denying Force”

 
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My momma never told me “Life is like a box of chocolates,” but she has told me repeatedly that when you want to make a postive change in your life, it’s very common to hit some kind of resistance or “denying force,” as if the Universe is saying “Really? Are you sure you want that?”

Wherever you want to go next, there’s a process for getting there, and that process includes moving through challenges:

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1. Affirming “This is what I want!”

2. Denying “Here’s what’s in the way.”

3. Achieving “I got what I want, now what’s next?”

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Here’s an example from my own life…

It started out with celebrating how I was having the most relaxed and pleasurable launch ever.

That was the affirming phase, “This is what I want… to inspire thousands of entrepreneurs all over the world through this launch while still taking amazing care of myself and having a a fabulous life outside of work.”

Then came the denying force…

Shortly after the launch started, I was hit with a ridiculous number of tech issues:

• My website crashing… repeatedly

• My e-mail addresses randomly not working all of a sudden

• People getting two confirmation e-mails when they sign up for my paid offer… one of them wrong

• My video player malfunctioning and getting a gazillion e-mails about how my videos weren’t working

• Having the wrong webform on one of my sites so people were getting the wrong information

For one of my training calls, we ran into a scheduling challenge and had to pre-record the training. Then we ran into a tech challenge… Instant Teleseminar didn’t let you broadcast pre-recorded presentations that had slides, which this one did.

Here’s the good news… while I did feel irritated at times, I didn’t freak out. I didn’t abandoned my self-care practices. I just kept moving forward. And I was really proud of myself for that.

I wanted to share this with you because this is the kind of stuff that other experts don’t often talk about.

If you’ve hit denying force (and if you’ve run into challenges with technology), you are not alone. And you haven’t failed or done anything wrong. This is just part of the growth process. So take a deep breath and keep moving forward.

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Expanding Your Prosperity Consciousness

 “Expanding Your Prosperity Consciousness”

 
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Most people don’t use the word “prosperity” in conversation. You probably hear people talking about wanting to make more money, wanting to get out of debt, or wanting to attract more clients.

However, when people think they want more money, what they actually want is the experience that they think more money will give them, whether that’s happiness, peace of mind, or freedom. That experience is the experience of prosperity.

The first step in expanding your prosperity consciousness is to realize that if you are reading this article, you are already wealthy, at least wealthier than 95% of the world’s population.

Think about it. Would you trade financial lives without someone else on the planet at random? If you’re lucky, you could end up with the finances of someone extremely wealthy like Bill Gates or Richard Branson. However, the odds are against you. You would probably end up with a far lower standard of living than what you have now.

Take time into the equation. Would you trade places with a king or a queen 300 years ago? To “live like a king” sounds great. That was the most lavish possible lifestyle at the time. You would have feasts and servants. On the other hand, you wouldn’t have running water, electricity, phones, antibiotics, internet, airplanes, or any of the other modern conveniences that we tend to take for granted.

You’re already beginning to feel more prosperous, aren’t you?

The next step is to define what prosperity means to you so that you know what you’re going for and so that you’ll know when you get it. Otherwise, it’s like playing a game with no rules. How do you know when you’re winning?

According to popular minister and author Eric Butterworth:
 

Prosperity is a way of living and thinking,
and not just money or things.
 

Poverty is a way of living and thinking,
and not just a lack of money or things.”
 

As for the dictionary definition: prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, success, or good fortune. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes others factors that are independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health.

It’s also important to ask yourself:

Do you want to be wealthy?

If so, what is “Wealth?”

How much money would you need to have to consider yourself wealthy? $100,000 per year in income? $5,000,000 net worth? It’s completely subjective, different for everybody, and it probably even changes for you over time.

The word “wealth” comes from the old English word “weal”, which means “well-being.”

When you say you want to be wealthy, you are really saying that you want to live in the experience of well-being. It’s not the actual dollars (or euros or yen, etc.) that you want. It’s the experience that you believe those dollars will bring you.

Here’s my definition, that you’re welcome to adopt for yourself… prosperity is the experience of feeling grateful for the abundance that’s in your life right now AND looking forward to even more.

When you cultivate that way of thinking and living, can you see how it’s easier to attract more wealth than when you’re living in scarcity and fear?

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The Fastest and Easiest Path to Prosperity

 “The Fastest and Easiest Path to Prosperity”

 
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The dictionary definition of “Prosperity” is: the state of flourishing, thriving, success, or good fortune. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes others factors that are independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health.

Unity minister Eric Butterworth said, “Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things.”

The fastest and easiest way to tune into prosperity is to get into an emotional state of GRATITUDE.

Gratitude is an extremely powerful emotion. Robert A. Emmons from the University of California Davis and Micheal E. McCullogh from the University of Miami conducted a long-term research project designed to study the effects of gratitude. Here are some of their findings:

  • In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.

  • Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.

  • In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in greater amounts of high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to a control group.

  • Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.

  • People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathic and to take the perspective of others.  They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks.

The simplest and fastest way to tap into your feelings of gratitude is a process to make a list of people, pets, places, things, and experiences that you are grateful for. You can do this mentally or out loud. I’ve found that it’s most effective for me when I write it down.

A highly beneficial practice is to keep a gratitude journal and every night before you go to bed, write down 5 things that you’re grateful for.

In fact, I invite you to leave a comment here and let me know 5 things that you’re grateful for.   Thanks!

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A New Approach to Self-Care

 “A New Approach to Self-Care”

 
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Lately, it seems like we live in a culture in which we equate our value as human beings with how busy we are and how many items we check off our “to-do” list each day.

And when our “to-do” lists spiral out of control, it’s tempting to carve out more time by neglecting our own needs (not getting enough sleep, eating fast food, skipping a trip to the gym, etc.)

But actually, when you feel really busy or stressed is the WORST possible time to abandon your self-care because studies have shown that neglecting your own self-care makes you LESS productive and efficient overall.

Self-Care Is Not a Luxury.

Self-care is an investment in the maintenance and rejuvenation of your body, mind and spirit. It’s absolutely necessary to help you be able to take on the stress and challenges that are constantly coming at you in our fast-paced world.

Self-Care Is Not Being Selfish.

You may have been taught that it’s noble and good to put the needs of others before your own. But actually, when you’re exhausted and stressed and cranky, how available are you really to support your loved ones?

When your needs are met, you can show up for others as the best version of yourself. You’ll be happier, healthier, and have considerably more “bandwidth” to help other people.

Taking care of yourself is one of the best possible things you can do for the people you love.

Treat Yourself Like a Ferrari.

What would happen if you were to care for your body as if it were a high-performance vehicle?

When you’re diligent about caring for your Ferrari properly (providing high-quality fuel, keeping up with regular oil changes, etc.), it can operate at its best for you.

Likewise, when you’re diligent about caring for yourself properly, you’ll be able to operate at your best for your business and for the people you love.

Discover Which Practices Work Best For You.

My sweetheart goes to the gym for two hours a day, five days a week. While I admire his consistency and discipline, I can’t find it in myself to commit to that. However, walking or getting on the elliptical runner for twenty minutes is something that I can get myself to do that boosts my energy significantly. And once I get started, I often exercise much more than that.

Personally, I need my self-care practices to be QUICK, or I won’t do them consistently. Taking a moment to set my intention for the day or stretch my calves, or write down five things I’m grateful for before going to sleep… these are all things I can accomplish. 30 minutes of meditation? Not happening.

The point is, find what works for YOU so that you’ll actually do it and get to enjoy the benefits.

Here’s a great place to start… determine what optimum health looks like for you in these key areas:

• Getting Enough Sleep

• Eating Well

• Exercising

• Drinking Enough Water

“Gamify” Your Self-Care.

Gamification is “the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.”

Just knowing that certain self-care practices are good for me are not enough.

I need the serotonin rush of checking something off my list. I need credit. I need accountability.

That’s why I created my Self-Care Score Card. This is a score card that I fill out throughout the week, earning points for completing specific self-care practices. At the end of the week, I send my score card to my accountability buddy.

I’m calling this a new approach to self-care because I’ve never heard of anyone else doing this.

If you’re curious, you can download a copy of my Self-Care Score Card here as well as a blank template to create your own:
 

Sample Self-Care Score Card
 

Blank Self-Care Score Card Template
 

*****

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The Power of Your Permanent Wealth Account

 

“The Power of Your Permanent Wealth Account”

 

How much money has flowed through your life? How much have you kept? If you haven’t kept very much money, that’s because you didn’t have a structure – until now.

In his Prosperity Consciousness course, Fredric Lehrman invites you to imagine living in a time before bank accounts and finance on paper. See yourself carrying around a leather pouch and receiving your income in the form of 10 gold coins. You buy shoes. You eat. Eventually your pouch is empty and you do work to go get 10 more gold coins. Your pouch fills and empties and fills and empties – a natural ebb and flow. Most people spend as much as they make. When their income goes up, so do their expenses.

Now, imagine that you have a SECOND POUCH. And every time you put 10 gold coins in the first pouch, you immediately take one of those coins and move it to the second pouch. You continue to add and subtract from the first pouch, but the second pouch, you NEVER spend those coins. Eventually that second pouch would grow until it’s too heavy to carry around anymore.

This is the idea of the permanent wealth account.

Open a bank account that is completely separate from all your other accounts with the sole intention of putting money in there and never ever touching the principle.

Remember the story of the goose that laid the golden eggs? You wouldn’t ever kill the golden goose, would you? You’d want to live off of the eggs. The permanent wealth account is your Golden Goose.

Having this account reinforces two very important beliefs:

 

Belief #1

 

“I have money.”

 

 

What you focus on expands. If you’re always complaining about how you’re broke and have no money, it’s hard for money to come to you.

It’s easy to receive more of what you already have. So if you already have money, it’s easy to attract more.
 

Belief #2

 

“I have more money than I’ll ever need.”

 

 

What an abundant belief! You’ll never touch the principal, which means that you have more money than you’ll ever need.

In my experience, the amount of money in my permanent wealth account is the amount of money that moves easily in my life. It’s like a magnet for more money. When I got to $10,000, I found it easier to attract another $10,000.

It’s easy to calculate 10% of your income. And it’s easy to live off of 90% of your income. You won’t even notice it’s gone, as long as you pay yourself first.

You MUST pay yourself first!!! Otherwise, that 10% will get spent.  Every time you receive a check, automatically transfer 10% into your permanent wealth account. Do this until it becomes a habit and is automatic for you.

If you don’t have any income, start by contributing whatever you can. The practice of managing your money is more important than the amount.

You’ll have so much fun with this account that you’ll want to put more money in. Having fun is important! You’ll start by putting aside 10% of your income, and soon you’ll find that you can contribute even more.

Please post a comment below and let me know how this is going for you!  Your Permanent Wealth Account is a powerful tool.
 

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10 Unconventional Ways to Love Yourself

 “10 Unconventional Ways to Love Yourself”

 

When most people talk about love, it’s either a noun that means “a profoundly tender, passionate affection,” or a verb that means “to have love or affection for.”

But what does that look like specifically?  How is that love expressed?

Here are 10 ways that I express my love for myself.

I invite you to make your own list, and feel free to swipe some of mine, if they work for you.

#1 Vacuum

Vacuuming is one of the quickest and easiest ways to shift the energy in a room, and your energy, too.  I hated doing it until I realized that having the room freshly vacuumed had such a huge impact on my mood & productivity.  And while I do my best to have my assistant do most of the vacuuming, when the timing doesn’t work out that way, I’ll do it myself as a profound act of self-love.

#2 Light Candles

This is an easy way to shift energy, too.  There’s something about lighting a candle that creates a sacred & special feeling for me.  I love having one going while I work, and sometimes even when I work out.

#3 Get a Massage

A good massage can make me feel like a whole new person!  I recommend going for at least 90 minutes if possible.  If money is tight, you can go to a massage school and have students practice on you for a fraction of the price.  Some reflexology places are great.  Also, you can keep an eye out for special deals on sites like Groupon.

#4 Lay on Tennis Balls

Tennis balls are great self-massage tools.  Start by placing one on your lower back on either side of your spine and then lay on your back.  Breathe and relax for 2 minutes and then move the tennis balls up a bit.  Repeat this process for a total of 10 minutes.

#5 Take a Long, Luxurious Shower

Some of my friends make fun of me for showering twice a day, but it feels so good!  I can go in feeling tired and cranky and come out feeling refreshed & energized.

#6 Get Super Soft Sheets

This is one area in life where I believe in investing in the best.  Life is too short for scratchy sheets!  In my experience, a higher thread count doesn’t always equal a more snuggly and wonderful sheet… so test the different sheets by feel until you find some that you love having against your skin.

#7 Give Yourself Time for Slugga-Bedding

Have you spent a lazy Sunday morning waking up, laying around in bed, and falling back asleep?  That is the lazy and delicious experience of slugga-bedding.  Once in a while, I like curling up with a good book and my kitties and allowing myself to drift in and out of consciousness all morning.

#8 Get Your Eyebrows Done

I feel SO MUCH prettier and sexier when my eyebrows look good.  Every time I look in the mirror, I think, “Wow!  I look great!”  It’s totally worth the pain, expense, time and hassle.

#9 Watch Funny Movies

When I watch funny movies, I feel my heart open, which makes me feel more loving towards everyone in my life, including myself.

#10 Make a Gratitude List

When I get in touch with everything in my life that I’m grateful for, this opens my heart and makes me feel more loving, too.

Have fun discovering your own ways to love yourself, and feel free to share in a comment here!
 

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Accessing the Power of Gratitude

 “Accessing the Power of Gratitude”

 

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The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for… here are a few off the top of my head: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, the ability to read, roses, our health, kittens. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude:

* Keep a Gratitude Journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way. I’ve made a habit of writing down at least 5 things I’m grateful for every night before I go to sleep.

* Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

* Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

* Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

* When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

* Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.
 
 

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Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

Don’t Miss a Step: Take Time to Celebrate!

 “Don’t Miss a Step: Take Time to Celebrate!”

 
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The path of a goal, whether a goal set for your personal life or in the course of business, is generally seen as having four steps:
 
1) Assess the situation
2) Set goals for how you want it to be
3) Take steps to achieve the goals and
4) Achieve the goals (completion)
 
After Step 4, many people return to Step 1 with the question: “OK, what’s next?” And then it’s on to Step 2 and 3 and 4 again.
 
Hold on. Stop right there.
 
There is actually a very important fifth step that many of us leave out.
 
Step 5 is where we celebrate our achievements!
 
After working hard to reach our goals, taking time to celebrate gives us the opportunity to:
 
• Capture the Learning
 
When we take stock of what we’ve learned along the way to our goals, we can consciously incorporate those lessons in the future.
 
• Acknowledge Our Internal Resources
 
In achieving goals, we bring forth various internal resources, such as courage and persistence, to meet the challenges. To have others acknowledge us—and to give ourselves credit, as well—is deeply satisfying. Too often, we miss seeing these qualities in ourselves and others. Acknowledging our strengths has the power to call us forth to use them even more.

 
• Build a Sense of Unity
 
Nothing can bond people more than striving toward a common goal and then sharing in the joy of the achievement. However, if you don’t stop to appreciate the people who helped make it happen, connection and goodwill can break down. Your team will feel more inclined to go the extra mile if you give them the appreciation they deserve.
 
• Send a Message to the Universe
 
Stopping to savor and celebrate your successes sends the message out into the Universe that you know how to appreciate this success and that you are ready for more!
 
• Have fun!
 
Knowing that you get to celebrate in a fun way after your goal is achieved is a great motivator. You’ve done a fantastic job—of course you want to be rewarded with some fun and enjoyment. You deserve it!
 
There are countless ways to celebrate and savor your successes. Whatever brings you a sense of joyous completion is the ticket.
 
What’s one success want to celebrate? Post a comment below!
 
 
 

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Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications