Moving home can be a good way to get your feet under you. Just make sure you move home like a grown-ass adult.

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Show Notes

Does it really mean you’re a failure if you’re moving home? The good news is that it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. In fact, you can still be an adult and move back with your parents. But that doesn’t give you a pass to be lazy. Connie Albers joins us to talk about her experience living with her adult children.

Moving home can be a good way to get your feet under you when you’re in a tough spot. Today’s adults face many challenges not experienced by previous generations. We take a look at what it means to be an adult moving home, and how parents and grownup children can make the experience a good one that doesn’t keep you from developing as an adult.

Website: http://conniealbers.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/connielalbers

Hosted byHarlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

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Life’s too short to always feel shafted. If you’re not getting what you want out of your life, it’s time to change things! Let’s put your effort where it matters.

Is your life a profitable business or a non-profit? In business, everything requires a return on investment (ROI). Unless they’re required otherwise by law, companies don’t do anything without the intention of making money. Companies hire a person in so much as that person can complete a task that pays for their salary and makes the company a profit.

I know! Some jobs subsidize others, but this isn’t ECON101. We’re in Adulting701, and we’re talking about life.

Why is it that we don’t apply a similar philosophy of an ROI on our personal lives? We keep people around who suck our souls. We repeat bad habits that harm our health. We avoid opportunities to challenge ourselves and grow. We stay with the same, old tried and true to the detriment of our dreams.

That is not a business or personal model for success.

Spend time with other awesome people.

As we age, we collect people in our lives and keep them at all cost. We’re loyal and faithful and sometimes caring to a fault. Everyone has their down days and who doesn’t want to live up to Bill Withers’ standard when he sang, “Lean on me when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.” Aside from ending in a preposition, those are noble words by which to live.

See what I did there?

In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talked about emotional bank accounts. Everyone has an emotional bank account, and the people in our lives are either making a deposit or making a withdrawal from our emotional bank account.

The more people withdraw from our emotional bank account, the lower our ROI. If they deduct or even deplete our emotional bank account, our ROI can be negative. That’s not okay. We want people who add more than they take so that we can be all or more than we can be. It’s fair to remember, that we’re either adding to or taking from others’ emotional bank accounts, too.

Keep people around you who make you better and whom you can help be better.

Risk living for your dream or stay stuck in a nightmare.

Les Brown said, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled.” Will you take your biggest and best asset to the grave with you?

Are you staying with a job because you have family responsibilities? Are you not stretching towards your dream because you think you’re too old, too young, not the right gender, don’t have enough experience, blah, blah, blah?

You know what they say about excuses, right?

For the longest time, I wanted to be financially and geographically independent by helping people with their money. That’s making a long story short. However, one of my mental hurdles was thinking that I was too young. Who would listen to me in my 20s? Who would listen to me in my 30s? Even when I started this venture, I wondered who would listen to me in my 40s?

When I started doing what I wanted, I began networking with others who were doing the same. Many of them were younger than me. Because I’m a master of self-doubt, I started to think I’m too old. If I listened to my internal dialogue, I had one year in which I was the optimal age to do what I wanted to do.

Mel Robbins says we’d be committed to an institution if other people could hear our internal dialogue. So, I stopped listening to my fears and insecurities and started listening to my faith and possibilities. While nothing is inevitable, I’m happier than ever and can’t wait to wake up every day to continue working on my dream.

If you aren’t excited to wake up more days than not, is it because you’re living a nightmare? If you’re living a nightmare or even a drama, what value are you getting from it?

Don’t love the one you’re with, rather be with the one you love.

“Love the One You’re With” is a badass tune, but it’s bad advice. There’s a good chance we get one life and, as we’ve learned over the last couple of decades, we can have full and happy lives alone. We don’t need someone else to make us happy and, if we think we do, there’s a problem.

If we “need” someone in our lives to make us happy, then we have more needs than love. Plus, it’s not fair to put that kind of responsibility on someone.

Only when we can love ourselves fully, completely alone, and for who we are can we receive true love. It feels unfair, but it’s true, and any relationship we stay in because we need to will be mediocre at best and, in economic terms, that’s stagnation.

Our resources are limited. We only have so much time. We only have so much energy. We can only give so much without getting something in return. What is your ROI in every area of your life and how can you get a better return?

When you figure out that formula, you’ll have more abundance than you thought possible.

We would love to hear your thoughts about your personal ROI in the #Adulting Facebook community! Hope to see you there!

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A 5-year plan doesn’t have to be a boring cliche. Instead, create a kick-ass plan that adds meaning and purpose to your life.

It’s one of the most common questions in a job interview: what is your 5-year plan?

While you might have the right answer to give to the HR rep interviewing you, you might not know what you actually want to accomplish in your life.

Do you want to stay on the trajectory your career is on? Or do you dream about switching fields?

Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can use to make significant changes in your life and to fulfill your dreams. Read below to find out how to create a 5-year plan that gives you purpose.

Make a list of your dreams.

The key to creating a plan that will add value, purpose, and meaning to your life is to determine what the end goal is.

Do you dream about starting your own business or switching to a new industry? Or do you want to leave home and travel the world?

Before you can hammer out the details of a plan, you need to start with the end goal.

“Once you have an idea of what you truly want, it gets easier to work backward on the milestones you need to hit to get there,” said Elle Martinez of Couple Money.

So think of what your end goal is. Is it to stay home with your kids and not have to worry about money? Is it being able to take care of your parents full-time? Or do you want to devote yourself to the nonprofit you care so passionately about?

The idea here isn’t to reach your goals next week. You create a 5-year plan so that you can make reasonable, achievable steps. It’s about progress.

Once you know what your ultimate passion is, you can start to work backward to determine what your next steps are.

Talk to an expert.

Sometimes you need help if you’re trying to figure out what to do with the next five years of your life. After you’ve exhausted your significant other, your best friends, and your family, it’s time to find someone who knows what’s up.

Try to find an expert in the field that you’re interested in. This can be someone who graduated from the same college as you, someone active in the community, or even a person you admire that you found on Twitter.

Don’t limit yourself to local people, if you can’t find anyone who fits your description. You can contact people via Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform they might have. If you know where they work, you can reach out there.

Before you meet up, bring a list of questions with you. Nothing annoys a busy person more than someone who’s asked for a favor and who’s not prepared for it. You can create a 5-year plan that is reasonable after talking with someone who’s been there. You can create meaning and be realistic about where you’re headed with a little outside perspective.

Always send a thank-you note afterward, either by email or the traditional snail mail route. Keep in touch with that person and don’t always be asking them for a favor. You want the relationship to be reciprocal.

Follow what interests you.

For most of my high school and entire college career, I dreamed of becoming a newspaper reporter. I read the best writers, wrote as much as I could and shadowed reporters I admired. But then I got my first real reporting job at a small newspaper in Northwest Indiana and hated it.

I worked evenings and covered fires, robberies, and car accidents. In a town of 30,000, the topics we covered sometimes felt trivial.

It was then that I started blogging about living frugally. I had decided I wanted to pay off my student loans early and was trying to learn all I could about personal finance. I started reading books and blogs and finally asked my boss if I could start a blog at work about living frugally.

That’s how I discovered I loved writing about money, especially from my own point of view. I found myself focusing more on the blog than on my other assignments, and people noticed. When I left that gig to work at a nonprofit, I started my own blog. That led to the freelance writing career I have now.

If you’re not happy with where your life is going, you need to figure out where your passion truly lies. Sometimes you can only do that by giving something a trial run. There’s nothing wrong with including stepping-stone jobs and trial runs as you create a 5-year plan.

Make it real.

Sometimes it’s not enough to keep a dream in your head. You have to visualize and make it real. Try creating a vision board with images that reflect your dream and the path you’ve chosen to follow. Include quotes and inspirational figures of people you admire. You can also use a life map to set your course.

Don’t be afraid to share your dream with other people. You never know who will have the right connection or give you the best piece of advice. Plus, when people hear your dreams, they might be inspired to give their own a test drive.

The more comfortable you are with expressing your true desires, the less afraid you’ll be to really take on a new challenge.

As you create a 5-year plan meant to give the next few years of your life purpose, keep in mind that you will need to figure out the next years after that. Keep revising and updating as your purpose changes. As long as you are moving forward, and you are able to take steps to reach your goals, your life will have purpose.

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Carpe diem. Or whatever. It sounds cheesy, but you really might be able to change things up when you decide to get up a little earlier.

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Could you change your life by becoming an early riser?

While getting up early isn’t for everyone, there’s certainly a lot written about why it’s a good idea. And if you think you could benefit from changing things up, it’s not a bad idea to try and shift your habits so you get up earlier.

This we talk about how being an early riser can benefit you — and how you can change your habits to make the most of your day.

 

Concepts

  • What are some of the advantages of being an early riser?
  • How to take charge of your day by getting up earlier.
  • You don’t have to be an early riser to be successful.
  • A look at night owls and how they can make the best of it.
  • Tips for shifting to an earlier schedule.
  • The importance of good sleep hygiene and what you can do to get better sleep.
  • How to take advantage of your own traits to be more productive and successful.

In our DO NOWs include helping you decide if you want to become an early riser. Start by figuring out your chronotype. We also look at setting a target wake-up time and working backward so your bed time matches.

This week’s listener question is all about trying to avoid hitting the snooze button. We offer a few tried and true strategies for getting out of bed in the morning — even if you don’t want to.

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Join the Friends of Adulting! Please leave an honest review on iTunes. We would really appreciate the feedback!

Resources

Things entrepreneurs do before 7 a.m.
Successful late risers

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Yeah, it’s crazy to get up at 4:35 am. But it can work. You might be surprised at how much you can get down with just a couple extra hours in the morning.

Dear ‘The Early Bird Catches the Worm,’
The early worm gets eaten.
Sincerely, Sleeping In

My husband posted on Facebook the other day about some successes we’ve had recently. In posting his gratitude, he acknowledged that our rewards justified waking up at 4:35 a.m. most days of the week.

The point on which most people fixated was not the successes but his admission that we wake up so damn early.

You don’t need to wake up early to be successful. Legendary night owls include Leonardo Da Vinci and Bob Dylan.

For us, though, it works to wake up early. Someone asked why, on earth, we do this. So, here you go.

We’re in control of how our days start.

We began this hairy scary schedule when we were both employed by a W-2 and decided we wanted to start a business. Between the commute and the workday, we were always preoccupied from what we really wanted to do. The only way to squeeze more time into the day was to wake up early.

To be sure, we could’ve stayed up later, but by the time we were done with the bullshit of a day’s worth of work for someone else, we simply wanted a bottle of wine, dark chocolate, and Netflix. We don’t crave mimosas until 10 am, so even on weekends waking up at 4:35 gave us five and a half hours’ worth of work.

We’re in sync with New York City.

Both of our careers have been in financial service. We were both traders once and our personal business is personal finance. It’s not a big deal, but for us, we feel like we miss the day if we wake up two or three hours after the stock market does.

Plus, more than half the country is in the eastern time zone and it feels easier to sync up with them.

Idle hands and all.

Waking early means we have more work hours available to us because we have fewer play hours. Knowing that the alarm will go off early tomorrow ensures better decisions early tonight.

We typically eat less junk food and dessert at night. That way, we fall asleep more quickly and we won’t have a glass or two of wine.

On the flip side, we’re not above partying until the wee hours of the morning. When we did, though, we were less productive. Sticking with an early wake-up call helps us avoid the late-night bender.

We have time to take care of ourselves.

Now that our side gig became my main gig and my main man still works for The Man, we don’t wake up at 4:35 am anymore to work. We wake up at 4:30 am to workout.

Working out and staying in shape is important to us. Even just working one full-time job makes working out hard. Add to that more work and our brains can easily talk us out of hitting the gym.

Plus, see above our evening craving for wine, chocolate, and Netflix. Working out towards the end of the day would require a violation of physical law.

We have time to take care of our spirits.

We didn’t fully integrate this practice, too, until I quit my W-2 and we had more bandwidth. Until then, this was a weekend luxury. Now, this is a daily practice before the sun rises in most parts of the United States.

While we’re the most refreshed and rejuvenated, we do our morning ritual of meditation, journaling, and affirmations. Busting these out first thing in the morning ensures that we do them and we feel all the better for it. If we waited until later in the day, we’d skip them.

Now, when we wake up, they’re the very first things we do. So, even while we’re waking, we’re getting ready for our daily practice that keeps us centered and grounded throughout the day.

We avoid the crowds.

Especially when we were both working a W-2, being efficient with our time was a necessity. Only a few crazies are at the gym before 5:30 am. We happily admit we’re two of them.

We’re at the gym when fewer people are, and we bust out a duo superset of weights and cardio all within an hour. We leave before most people arrive. And, my husband still has time to get to work, which is the other benefit.

Rush hour traffic where we live anyway starts about 7 am. If the husband can get on the road by 6:45, he misses most or all the traffic to start his workday early and end his work day earlier.

Our best sleep is the sleep we get before midnight.

Studies show the sleep we get before midnight is more valuable than the sleep we get after midnight.

As we get older, this seems truer. Therefore, we strive to have “heads on pillows” by 9 pm. It doesn’t always happen and whether it does or it doesn’t we can tell the next day.

Everyone else is doing it.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

However, many successful people do it. An amazing boss of mine said to me once, “Find out what successful people do and do that.”

There are many people, such as the Da Vincis and Dylans of the world who rock it late at night. They seem to follow in the sleep cycle of the more creative types.

There’s certainly a strain of creativity in what we do for our side business, but there’s a lot of business, as well as critical and strategic thinking required. For this reason, we’ll follow in the footsteps of Mrs. Obama and Richard Branson.

For us for now, the early schedule works. Very soon the S.O. will quit his J.O.B. (just over broke). After that, we may wake up later, like 5:30 am.

Or, maybe not.

If it’s ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.

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Feeling trapped in our own life? You can get out of that rut. Here’s how to add a little more kick-ass to your life.

Just after college I found myself in a deep, deep rut.

I lived in a small midwestern town where I had no friends and worked a job that bored me. I struggled to find anything to feel passionate about. Every day felt the same, and my outlook on the future was pretty bleak.

Being in a rut changes the way you think. It catches you in a loop, blinding you to the endless options and divergent paths a life can take. You may know deep down that there’s another way, but realizing that change is harder than it sounds.

If you’re ready to make some alterations in your stagnant routine, here are some strategies to help you out of that life rut.

Make small changes.

Some people are tempted to drop everything “Eat Pray Love”-style to get out of their rut. While that kind of extreme experience works for some people, you really don’t need to leave the continent to fix your mood and get out of your life rut (although a real vacation can help).

Small changes add up to a big difference, and they’re much easier to implement. The idea of having a life-changing adventure might appeal to some, but plenty would be intimidated by the idea. Thinking small allows you to make incremental change without taking a big, scary leap.

For example, if you’re sick of your 30-minute drive to work, find a podcast or an audiobook to spice up the commute. I used to drive three hours one way to visit my then-boyfriend, and I’d load up my iPod with new music and “Fresh Air” interviews. The drive was still dull, but at least I loved one aspect of it.

If you’re eating the same meals for dinner every week, try adding in one new recipe from your favorite food blogger or from an ethnic cuisine you love. You’ll be surprised how far a little extra flavor goes, inside the kitchen and out.

Small changes, from adding a 10-minute walk in the morning to learning a new language, can help you feel a little more invigorated by life.

Invest in an experience.

The quickest way I’ve found to freshen my routine is by taking a class. Learning something new is challenging, uncomfortable and exciting – exactly what someone in a life rut needs.

Local community centers, colleges, and businesses offer classes on any topic. I’ve taken cooking, sewing, and financial planning classes. Right now, I’m signed up for improv and drawing. These courses make me feel like I can do anything – like I’m capable of more than I realize.

Studies also confirm that spending money on experiences instead of material goods makes people happier. The joy from a vacation or museum trip lasts longer than the thrill of a new purse or piece of furniture, no matter how tempting it might be to choose the latter.

Recognize your power.

Being in a life rut feels like you have no control over your life.

Instead of dwelling on your helplessness, make a list of things you can change. You can find a new workout, reconnect with old friends, set new goals at work, foster an animal, or change your hairstyle.

Your list can help you realize how much you can change by yourself. Sure, you might not be able to quit your job right away or move to a new city, but there’s nothing stopping you from salsa dancing every weekend or eating brunch at your favorite diner.

Here are some other suggestions transforming your life in ways you can change today:

  • Be grateful. Cultivating gratitude can perk up anyone who thinks their life is dull and pointless. Keep a journal where you list three things you’re grateful for, or recall the good things that happened that day before you go to bed. Soon you’ll learn how to do this throughout the day and make it a regular habit.
  • Enjoy the little things. During my senior year of college, I struggled with depression and anxiety. I remember complaining to my mom about how every day felt like the same routine. Her suggestion? “Drink a cup of tea and have a piece of chocolate.” I begrudgingly tried it, and was shocked at how much better I felt. It’s not a permanent fix, but small luxuries can break up a humdrum day quickly and cheaply.
  • Talk to a therapist. Sometimes a life rut can be fixed by a fun weekend or change in routine. Other times, it’s a symptom of depression that needs a professional’s help. A licensed counselor or therapist can identify exactly what’s bothering you. It might take a few sessions, so don’t expect overnight results.
  • Perform service. Helping someone else is one of the best ways to feel better. Researchers say volunteering boost happiness levels. You can find a regular volunteer position or a sporadic one, depending on your schedule. Sites like VolunteerMatch.org or Idealist list positions, or you can contact organizations individually.
  • Do something hard or new. At work, ask for more challenging assignments or collaborate on a new project. When I’ve found myself in a career rut, doing work outside of my job description let me expand my skills and try something new.
  • Talk to friends. Your friends might understand or feel the same way, so talk aloud about what you’re going through. They could have their own ideas on how to help, and sometimes just sharing your struggle with someone else is enough to make things seem a little more hopeful.

There are things we can’t control. But when you recognize your power and acknowledge the things you can change, you feel better at life. And you can see some of the ways to get out of your life rut and move forward with greater purpose.

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It sounds hokey, but you really can change your destiny. Be real about why your life sucks, and then take steps to make positive change.

One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul:

“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about.”

I like this quote because it makes you the master of your destiny, the author of your own story.

It often feels like we’re at the mercy of a million external forces. The boss has unreasonable expectations. Children and spouses have needs. Mom and dad think we should do this. The neighbor is upset about that.

Have you ever wondered, “How did I get here?” or “This isn’t the way it was supposed to be.”

Life took over and suddenly we’re living up to everyone’s expectations but our own.

But you can change your destiny. It takes some effort, but it’s possible if you take the right steps.

We made our today.

If we’re the masters of our tomorrow, then we were the masters of the yesterday that produced our today.

Today is the future yesterday. Today didn’t happen by accident. Whether you realize it or not, you consciously or unconsciously led yourself to this moment.

Our decisions, thoughts, and actions yesterday resulted in what we see, live, and feel today.

Do you like the results around you?

At this point, most people deflect to their perceived circumstances. Rather than take responsibility, it’s often easier to blame someone or something else for today’s results.

“He did this to me” or “She made me do that.” Blame your family’s social or financial status. Blame your place of birth, the economy, or politicians.

Blame any and everything you can except yourself. In the litany of blame, you’re innocent.

While it can make you feel better to approach things this way, it won’t help you change your destiny.

Gary Vaynerchuk points out that if anyone else with our perceived limitation has achieved success, then there’s no reason we can’t achieve success.

If anyone else with our perceived limitation has achieved success, then “the problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem” (Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean).

It’s a harsh truth: if we’re not happy with our reality, we’re responsible for it.

It’s also a refreshing truth because as much as we made our today, we can change our tomorrow. Instead of placing blame, we should change what we believe. Earl Nightingale said, “What we think about we become.”

What are you thinking? The answer is all around you, and it can change your destiny.

For the Bible says so.

If we don’t like what we see around us, we must change what’s inside us. We must change our beliefs about who we are, what we’re worth, and what we can be. We can be anything we want to be, we just have to believe. This may sound like another Disney quote, but it’s a truth that goes back to history’s oldest texts.

We can be anything we want to be, we just have to believe. This may sound like another Disney quote, but it’s a truth that goes back to history’s oldest texts.

Mark 11:23 says, “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”

Changing beliefs is easier said than done, but it is doable.

Many of our beliefs are etched into our subconscious. Because they’re buried so deep inside us, we often don’t know why we believe them. We dismiss them as “it’s just who I am” or “it’s just what I believe,” as if they’re inherent truths. If our inherent truths aren’t serving us, we would do well to change them.

We can change our subconscious programming, otherwise known as our neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). This is the script we tell ourselves. It’s the voice we hear inside our head.

Did you ever wonder why you say the things to yourself that you do? That’s your NLP.

Changing your NLP is the key that will help you change your destiny.

Changing your texts.

There are two exercises that can help change your NLP. I notice as soon I stop doing them. The first action is repeating affirmations. The second action is keeping a gratitude journal.

It sounds a little hokey, but these two actions really can help you change your destiny.

Draft a script you can memorize. It should describe the best version of you and what you want to achieve.

Be specific and include deadlines. For five minutes each day, in the morning or before bed, close your eyes and recite your affirmations out loud.

Picture in your mind’s eye what you say. Feel the emotions of achieving your goals and being who you know you can be. Imagine what it will feel like, smell like, and sound like. Involved all your senses.

This will feel like a strange at first, but it’s a repetitive exercise that, over time, will change your NLP. When you change your NLP, you change your beliefs, change your behavior, and change your results. You change your destiny.

Next, while you practice affirmations, keep a gratitude journal, even on days when it feels like you have nothing for which to be grateful. Focus on the positive. As you focus more on expanding the positive, you’ll see more positive results.

It’s easy for our thoughts to drift into negative territory because we’re surrounded by negative stimuli. Plus, misery does love company.

If your coworkers aren’t getting you down about work, your boss is on you about your job. If you’re not depressed about the weather, the news does it’s best to make you blue.

A daily exercise that fights negativity will change your outlook and, therefore, your beliefs, your behavior, and your results.

The truth is that we’re all responsible for our results. The sooner you acknowledge that and manage your beliefs, the sooner you can change your destiny.

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You don’t need to be an obnoxious braggart to get ahead. In fact, you might be better off cultivating a little humility. Don’t be a jerk.

The best way to support Adulting.tv is to subscribe and leave us an honest review. Thank you!

We all hope to successful in life. There’s nothing wrong with that.

However, your success can be problematic if you’re arrogant about it.

Remember: even though you might be the hardest working person you know, chances are that someone has helped you along the way.

It helps to cultivate humility in your life. You’ll be a better person for it, and the people around you will be grateful as well.

Concepts

  • Reasons for a lack of humility in today’s culture.
  • Why humility is an important characteristic to develop.
  • The importance of acknowledging your own weaknesses.
  • Relationship between humility and gratitude.
  • Is it possible to be humble while still being engaged in personal branding?
  • Strategies for building your brand without being obnoxious.
  • Leadership strategies that are compatible with being humble.
  • The relationship between confidence and humility.
  • How to avoid falling into the trap of humble bragging.

This week’s “do nows” focus on ways you can cultivate gratitude in your life in order to avoid the pitfalls of arrogance. We include ideas for being grateful, as well as helping others. Our listener question addresses how it’s possible to grow your business without being a complete jerk.

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Resources

Developing humility as a leader
Importance of humility in democracy
Humility and the workplace
Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

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Don’t just make a list of goals. Make resolutions that actually matter and will truly change your life.

Every year people set New Year’s resolutions.

Feeling that this year will be different, they choose a few goals, announce them on social media and get ready to feel accomplished.

Then, before Valentine’s Day hits, they’ve forgotten whatever it is they promised to do.

New Year’s resolutions are a good idea, only if you can make resolutions that matter and keep them. Here’s how to find and reach the goals that can truly change your life.

What do you get jealous of?

I’ve often found that the things I’m most envious of in other people are things I really want for myself.

For example, I’m not jealous of someone having a baby because I don’t really want kids. But I’m jealous of someone who’s making a living with their blog because that’s my biggest goal.

Think about when you’re jealous of other people. Is it when you see a friend who’s lost a lot of weight? Or is it someone who got back from a month-long trip around Asia?

What’s your biggest priority?

Some people treat new year’s resolutions with the same ferocity they approach an all-you-can-eat buffet. Then they wonder why they’re burnt out and exhausted after a few weeks.

Narrow your list of resolutions to what you really care about. Maybe you want to run a marathon and grow your side business. Trying to achieve both goals might drive you crazy to the point that you quit working on both.

Maybe you want to run a marathon and grow your side business. Trying to achieve both goals might drive you crazy to the point that you quit working on both.

Pick a goal that matters the most to you. It doesn’t mean you can’t work on the other, but choose one as your priority and give it your all.

If you’re not sure how to pick a goal here are some questions to ask:

  • What will have the biggest impact on my life
  • What will make me most fulfilled?
  • What have I always dreamed of doing?
  • What have I been too scared to try or afraid to fail?

Everyone’s resolutions are personal. What works for your best friends might not be good for you. Don’t feel pressured to choose a resolution because it’s what you think you should do.

How to keep those resolutions.

The hard part is keeping the resolutions you make. If you’re looking for a little help in that area, here are some of my favorite ways to stay on track:

Remember your why.

Every resolution comes from a starting point that many people seem to forget once January ends.

Keep a reminder of why you chose your resolution. For example, you can use a vision board, post-it note on your bathroom mirror, or a picture on your phone background to remind you of your reason.

For example, if you want to prepare for a hiking trip in September, an image of where you’re going might motivate you to hit the gym every week.

Set rewards.

Many resolutions have few rewards or incentives until you reach the end.

If you want to write a novel, you won’t feel truly satisfied until you finish it. That can slow you down and make you feel discouraged.

Allow yourself to celebrate the milestones you reach along the way. For example, for every 50 pages you write, treat yourself to a new book from your favorite writer or a night out at a beloved restaurant. Acknowledging how far you’ve come can keep you motivated when the end seems far away.

Find an accountability partner.

Studies show that people who exercised with a buddy had greater success than those who did their workouts alone.

No matter your resolution, an accountability partner can help you. You can ask a friend or find one online in a forum related to your goal. Schedule regular check-in sessions and set concrete goals with deadlines.

Choose SMART goals.

A resolution that’s more likely to succeed needs to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. For example, wanting to lose weight is too vague. Here’s an example: I will lose 50 pounds by working out twice a week with a trainer at my local gym.

Keep your goal to yourself.

Research shows that people who share goals before reaching them feel the same sense of accomplishment we those who complete them. Why try to accomplish your goal if you’ve already gotten the emotional satisfaction? Also, if you reveal a personal goal and someone criticizes it, you might get disenchanted. work on your resolution privately. It’ll also teach you to not seek validation from others and instead find it in yourself.

Why try to accomplish your goal if you’ve already gotten the emotional satisfaction? Also, if you reveal a personal goal and someone criticizes it, you might get disenchanted.

Work on your resolution privately. It’ll also teach you to not seek validation from others and instead find it in yourself.

Keep a journal.

For goals that aren’t based on numbers or dollar figures, it can be harder to keep track of your progress. That’s why I recommend keeping a journal or blog where you write down how your resolution is going.

If you’re trying to be less judgmental, writing down your thoughts about being judgmental can help you gain more understanding on how to achieve that.

Anytime I journal regularly, I feel more connected to my feelings and thoughts.

Pay attention to what matters to you, and work to make and keep resolutions that will enhance your life.

What are your favorite resolutions? How do you plan to achieve them?

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Stop following the resolution cycle of setting goals, slipping up, and feeling like a failure for the rest of the year. Here’s how to live a fulfilling life year-round.

After a meeting at a Denver breakfast house earlier this month, I took Lyft home. The driver and I had an inspiring chat.

She asked me if I had any New Year’s Resolutions. I said, “No. I’m not opposed to making New Year’s Resolutions, but I try to improve every day.”

She said, “Oh, that’s nice! I already broke my New Year’s Resolutions with a chocolate muffin this morning.” She wasn’t trying to lose weight. She was trying to “be healthier.”

It was January 3rd.

Are you caught up in the resolution cycle?

It’s true: I’m not opposed to New Year’s Resolutions. I think a new year is a great time to commit to self-improvement.

Even though January 1st only has the meaning we give it and “the first day of the year” was chosen by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 to save Easter, it’s an opportunity for a new beginning. It’s a clear and decisive split between the past and the future.

It’s logical that people want to improve. It’s logical to commit to better behaviors when the calendar offers a convenient new beginning.

Other logical times to make improvements are birthdays and anniversaries. Spring, a time of rebirth that both the Gregorian Reforms and pagans honor, is another good time to review and recommit to better living.

Additionally, when you reach a point of catalyst in your life, it can make sense to resolve to change. By catalyst, I mean when you’ve reached a tipping point, are maxed out, or are fed up with how things are.

Unfortunately, these types of markers also lead to difficulty in sticking with the changes. You set goals at that time, slip up, and feel like a failure. But you don’t do anything until the next calendar marker. It’s the resolution cycle.

Fed up with life.

After spending a weekend in Winter Park, Colorado with a college friend of mine, my husband and I looked at property to buy.

We love Winter Park and this weekend trip reaffirmed our love for Winter Park. We thought it would be great to have a vacation home not far from our main residence for long weekends and quick getaways.

On our way out of town that Sunday, we fantasized about buying land and building our vacation home. As we headed out of town, we saw a sign that read “Winter Park: Elevation 9,121 feet.” We were immersed in our fantasy as we crested the top of the pass.

And then, the descent.

As we drove through Estes Park, elevation 7,500 feet, our conversation went from buying land and building a house to just buying a house or condo. We realized buying land and building was a bit out of our ability.

We passed through Boulder, elevation 5,430 feet, and our conversation went from not being able to buy a house or condo to probably not being able to rent a place. We reached Denver, elevation 5,130 feet, and we finally admitted to ourselves that we were financial messes.

We pulled up to our home, opened the door and walked down the flight of steps into our basement apartment. Our apartment was so dark in the winter that you couldn’t tell what time of day it was by looking out the window. We were physically, financially, and emotionally in a hole.

Our combined credit card debt was $51,000. That’s a 20% down payment on a $255,000 house, or the cost of a nice car. We were paying $10,000 a year in credit card interest charges. That’s a few nice vacations every year.

This was our catalyst. We were fed up with life. We didn’t know how or when, but we decided then and there to become debt free.

Time to make a change.

This catalyst didn’t happen on New Year’s Day, on either of our birthdays, our anniversary, the first day of spring or Easter Sunday. It was a random fall Sunday. There were leaves on trees and a dusting of snow on the ground.

It was no beginning or end, but it was what we needed to make a change we never achieved with the resolution cycle associated with the “new year, new year” strategy.

By then, I had my credit card debt for seven years. My husband had his for 17 years. Not until we were fed up – had our catalyst – did we take the necessary measures to become debt free.

Over the course of the next few months, we did some soul-searching to learn how we got ourselves into that mess and how we would get out.

Two-and-a-half years later we were debt free. Within the next year, we were the owners of a condo in a high-rise that overlooks the city of Denver and the Rocky Mountains.

We’re two of the last people in Denver to see the sunset every day.

There were many steps we had to take to pay off our debt. We implemented all the traditional advice:

  • Budget
  • Create a debt payment plan
  • Cut back our spending

There was one critical step that helped us more than anything else, though. It was the only step that let us to achieve what, to that point, had been unachievable as part of the resolution cycle.

We figured out what we wanted and why we wanted it.

The power is in your want.

Jim Rohn said, “When you know what you want, and want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.” Up until this point, we were spending and living unconsciously. Even though we were two thirty-something financial services professionals helping other people with their money, we weren’t living authentically.

Up until this point, we were spending and living unconsciously. Even though we were two thirty-something financial services professionals helping other people with their money, we weren’t living authentically.

We couldn’t explain why we ate out several times a week, despite several unconscious trips to the grocery store each week. We didn’t see the contradiction in wearing $600 jeans and missing credit card payments.

It didn’t strike us as ironic or stupid that we wanted to buy land and build a vacation home when we were living paycheck to paycheck in a friend’s basement apartment.

Only when we were clear about what we really wanted in life and why we wanted those things did we get our lives in order.

It’s wasn’t enough to know what we wanted. We had to know the why as well.

When we’re clear with what we want, we have focus. And it has nothing to do with the resolution cycle. It’s knowing why we want it that inspires us. Your want is the match. Your why is the spark.

During those times when it felt like we’d never see a “$0” on our credit card statements or when we had pent up demand to splurge, it was our wants and whys that helped us persevere.

How to break the resolution cycle.

My advice for breaking the resolution cycle and improving year-round, no matter your goal, is to know what you truly want and why you want it.

Only when you’ve peeled back the layers of your desires to their deepest core can you stop worrying about the cycle of setting resolutions and failing. Once you can answer your whys and wants, you can make improvements all year round, without worrying about setting resolutions at an arbitrary time of year.

No fad, gimmick, or date will help you until you know your why.

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