Keep going, you are so close!



Dear Readers, When was the last time you took stock of the things you have accomplished?

I have to admit it’s been a while for us, and today I got a really nice reminder of how important it is to look back at where you were so you can focus on where you want to go.

This picture is of me coloring our debt free scale- we colored up as you can see, since the goal was 0.00.  At this point in time, we still owed 7,985.33. It was important to us to mark the occasion and so we did on this scale we had. It was one of the milestones and we chose to mark that with a nice dinner.

It can be tiresome to work towards a goal, you need rewards to keep you motivated and on the path.

For example, I had to stop working out for a while as our entire family was sick and as we recovered, I needed to give my body a full rest so I am starting over on the workouts, the swimming and the running. This hurts because I was well on my way to a half marathon when the plague hit our household.

Then again, when viewed through the look back lens, I see the progress I have made and the things that I have already accomplished and I am certain that I did myself a LOT more good by taking that two month break from the gym so I did not relapse or hurt myself by working out before I was ready.

So my message today is simple, take stock and look back at the things that you have accomplished and take a moment and feel proud of what you did then but even prouder of what lies ahead.

What if you give up JUST as you are about to accomplish your goal?

You would never know how close you came because you gave up.

Think About It.

Do you spend time or kill time?

Dear Readers,

I hate the phrase killing time. It’s the only commodity that is not recoverable or renewable or reproducible.

I think that when people say “killing time” they are not thinking about the consequence of killing time means you are quite likely wasting it.

I was thinking about this over cocktails and scones with my good friend as we watched the royal wedding which took place real-time some months ago. LondoninGeorgetown

However, we both wanted to watch it together so we made a plan that we would watch it on OUR time, and when we were both “free”. It was lovely catching up and oohing over the glorious chapeau we saw onscreen. The experience was no less diminished because it was not live or the events had transpired earlier.

I think it really comes down to intention. If your intention is to “kill time” what are you doing? If your intent is to “spend time” what are you doing? I am pretty sure the answers vary widely and you will find a lot more value when you choose to “spend” time.

Think about it this way. Why would you choose to “kill time” when you can invest your time or spend your time wisely.  “Quality Time” is considered a love language – (for more on that- see here)

Would you ever choose to “kill your money” ????????

You can earn more money, you can lose or gain weight but there is no such thing as getting back time.  Unless you are in a certain movie from the 1980’s.

Think About It.

Trial and Error

Dear Readers,

I know it sounds like a really bad prequel to “Law and Order” but it’s not.

It’s actually a reference to what we do in life, from the moment we are born.

We try to walk, we fall. We try again and again and again until we do it.

We try to talk, we make a lot of unintelligible sounds and then all of a sudden we sound intelligent.

We attempt something, we fail. We attempt something else.

It takes a lot of courage to do this day and day out and it’s an act of courage to live a life out loud and full of purpose. I don’t know if you have experienced this but when you are enthusiastic and shall we say, loud, it makes waves. People notice.

My advice to you? Be you and do the things that matter to you.

The world is not served by you playing small, or thinking you are less than what you are a beautiful and unique creature designed with a wonderful spark that makes you you.

Sometimes the flame can be snuffed out but if you look for it, it can always come back.

Get off the bench, go make BIG plays. The world truly is yours for the taking.

Be bold, and ask for EXACTLY what you want and if you stumble, try again.

Along the way, if you are disappointed in what happens to you, be disappointed, feel it to the core of your being and really acknowledge the upset and sadness.

As my mother of choice says, “have a pity party, go there, and be there when you are, just don’t stay”- Wise words.

My focus tends to be on the pushing through, the next step, so I invite you to fully explore your feelings about something before “moving on” no matter how much the “world” wants to tell you. “Get over it”

Trial and Error, my friend. It’s a real thing, you live it and do it, every single day.

Think About It. imagejfminc

Good things come to those who wait…

Dear Readers,

I have oft maligned the internet on this blog and the way it distracts us from being “here” now, however, it definitely has it’s benefits.

You never know who might be watching you and inspired by your journey.

You never know who could be listening to you when you give a speech. Your words, your story may be the difference between them fighting another day or giving up completely.

We are so powerful and we don’t begin to grasp how powerful.

You also don’t need to be physically there to inspire or motivate others. GazellesUniteAugust2018

What am I talking about? Well, take this picture for instance, It’s a picture of 4 women who supported each other on the road to debt-freedom. When we “met” some in person and some via the internet, each one of us was in debt and working hard to unshackle the chains of debt that were strangling each of us.

Slowly but surely (like the tortoise winning the race) we all became debt-free.

Let’s take a minute and just breathe that in. WE ARE DEBT FREE!

These women are incredibly inspiring and passionate and have their own story to share, but I will hit a few highlights for you.

Juante is a dear friend who I “met” via the internet and supported her and she supported me as we walked down this road together. She is a soon to be published author and a life coach who inspires other people for a living. She is a ray of sunshine and just having her around enriches your space.

Chrishawn – my sweet friend who is a fashion plate and I always want to wear her clothes. She is a dedicated and passionate paralegal who worked diligently with her husband to get out of debt, and she was ruthlessly organized about it, her spreadsheets and countdowns are a thing of beauty, trust me! She also has a wonderful laugh and tells great stories.

Erin- my lovely friend who home schools her kids and is a passionate crusader against debt, she and her husband also worked their bahookies off to get out of debt. They worked extra jobs and got their kids involved too! Erin teaches a financial class about every quarter to help inspire others. She isn’t naming names but recently some of her students told her that they were so inspired that they were teaching their own class!

All three of these women at one point or another lifted me up or encouraged me as we walked down this road together. One sent me a locket with the date we became debt free on it 11/16/15 to commemorate the milestone. One of them met me for for coffee so we could catch up and she could meet my little girl. One of them sent me a some text messages when we hit a setback. Yes, I am praising a text message, sometimes it can be EXACTLY what you need.

My preference will ALWAYS be a face to face meeting (see picture above for proof)

However, when there is a gap of distance between you that requires an airplane or train or a pretty long drive, a text message, or a well placed message on social media can do wonders for your heart and your soul.

Thanks for pointing that out, Alexandra – “A text message is also a connection”

Well said, friend.

So good things come to those who wait, this picture took 4 years to happen, and it finally did, It makes my heart sing to look at it and see what it represents.

A very public thank you to all three of you amazing, wonderful and supportive women!

Remember, you never know who might be watching your struggle and gaining strength from your successes and failures.

Think About It.

Feedback – Taking it and Giving it!

feedbackDear Readers,

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “feedback” I cringe inwardly and usually brace myself to receive the (surely negative) words coming my way.

However, like so many things, it seems to me that it’s all in how you frame it.

If you are expecting negativity, you will likely hear whatever someone says as negativity even if they are pouring sunshine and rainbows your way.

If you are expecting to hear positive things you will tend to frame it that way, even if someone is saying fairly harsh things.

If you are asking someone you trust and admire for feedback and choose to get defensive, you miss a great opportunity to gain something important amidst your own inability to listen openly or your own attachment to your work.

Conversely, if someone gives you feedback that you aren’t welcoming or expecting it can really affect your ability to take it in.

I think there is a very large gap between when you ask someone for feedback and when they just offer it. It’s all about asking for the permission.

Feedback typically means you can’t change the outcome, it’s already happened and that can tend to make you feel pretty defeated. Feedforward has such a proactive stance and it’s absolutely something you can apply.

I can definitely say I feel better about the phrasing, “Something I would try…” or “Based on what I see, I suggest” because it leaves the control in the hands of the person you are advising.

I am in the process of asking for a LOT of feedback on a personal project and it’s a humbling experience to be open and asking people for it continuously, taking the feedback and then applying it, and then asking for more feedforward.

This process is growing me and teaching me things about how and when and in what fashion to give my own dose of feeedback/feedforward when I next get the permission and opportunity.

What do you do with feedback? Take it? Reject it? A mix of both?

Think About It….