Saturday, April 30, 2011

Breaking Down A Goal Into Micro-Goals

I’m a big fan of creating personal finance goals.  I like to create a goal and then break that goal down into manageable micro-goals.  As an example, let’s say that I wanted to save $12,000 (a rather large sum of money) next year.  My initial goal would look like this:
In 2008 I will save $12,000.
I don’t know about you, but saving $12,000 sounds like a pretty big deal to me.  Emotionally, we cannot help but “react” to a big number like $12,000.  You might even say to me, “NCN, I’m BARELY making it, how in the world do you expect me to save $12,000 in a single year?  That’s crazy!”  And, until about 2 years ago, I would have heartily agreed with you.  I would have joined the chorus of people who were “barely making it,” living paycheck-to-paycheck.  But, I found a “secret” way of tricking my “emotions” so that I am PSYCHOLOGICALLY motivated to save money.  In fact, I have found that saving money is simple once you get the hang of it.  Instead of trying to save $12,000 in one year, I try to save $250 per week for 48 weeks.  Now, mathematically, these goals are “equal” but emotionally (psychologically) these goals are worlds apart.  Why?  I have no idea, other than the fact that I can “wrap my mind around” the idea of saving $250 dollars.
Now, let’s take this one step further.  I divide $250 by 5 and create my micro-goal.  My new goal would look like this:
I want to save $50 per day, 5 days a week, for 48 weeks.
See how that works?  I’ve broken down my original goal ($12,000) into a manageable goal ($250 a week) and then into a micro-goal ($50 a day).  As I go through my day, I’m always thinking “How can I save money TODAY, how can I cut costs TODAY, how can I save $50 TODAY?”  My goal has gone from the “abstract” to the “practical”.  The total amount is the same but the thought process is COMPLETELY different.
(This technique works with almost any goal.  Personally, I’m trying to save $48,000 this year.  You may be in the position to save $6000 or $600, depending on your income, family obligations, etc.  The amounts might vary, but the technique is the same.)
Now that I have my micro-goal ($50 per day) I have to figure out ways to actually save $50 per day.  I’ve written several posts about how to save money including:
Saving Money On Groceries and 10 Things That I Do To Save Money.
As for actually depositing the money into my savings account, I schedule weekly withdrawals from my primary checking to my ING Direct savings account.  In stead of spacing my withdrawals out a month at a time, I schedule them weekly.  This helps to keep me accountable and focused on my daily and weekly goals.
Source: No Credit Needed blog

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eight ways to tap into the power of intention and feel great every day:

  1. Make meditation a regular practice in your life. You need to take time to get quiet, to go within, and from this silence make conscious contact with the source of intention. You’re already connected to everything that you perceive as missing from your life; go with a realign.
  2. Become conscious of the foods you eat. Foods high in alkalinity such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, soy, nonyeast breads and virgin olive oil are high-energy foods and will strengthen you, while highly acidic foods such as flour-based cereals, meats, dairy and sugars lower energy and will weaken you.
  3. Retreat from low-energy substance. Alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, sugar and virtually all artificial drugs, legal or otherwise, lower your body’s energy level and weaken you.
  4. Become aware of the energy level of the music you listen to. Some rap music—filled with profanity and messages about killing, for example—is an energy drain, while music that has a more soothing impact on the soul has been proven to be beneficial.
  5. Become aware of the energy levels of your home environment. Make your home a nurturing, cheerful and peaceful environment.
  6. Reduce your exposure to low-energy commercial television. Children see 12,000 simulated murders on TV before their 14th birthday! Television news puts a heavy emphasis on the bad and the ugly, leaving out the good.
  7. Enhance your energy field with photographs. Every photograph contains energy. Carry and display photos taken in moments of happiness, love and receptivity.
  8. Become conscious of the energy levels of your acquaintances, friends and extended family. Choose to be in close proximity to those who are empowering, who see the greatness in you, who feel connected to spirit. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Theory of Non-Possession

Yesterday, returning to my room, I was all wet and drowned. My soul was grasping for some fresh air to fill its lungs with - my soul was drowning. Already tired I couldn't pin point on intending what to do next - I slumped back on my bed. I could only think and think harder on the very subject of life. Will I ever be able to live a much better, joyful life? Will I ever be able to get those I always wanted for?
For the moment, I never thought I had been asking the wrong questions to get the right answer.
Then it happened - I had to come across this thickly bounded book called 'The Mind of the Mahatma'. Never to mention - you might have guessed what the book is about. I scrambled through pages and hit upon the most diametrically opposite theme on which I had been so long pondering upon - the subject was Non-possession.
Here I was thinking of how to get those things that I wanted, while trying to read the words of Mahatma Gandhi on his experience of 'non-possession'. I should have been kidding myself. Not really.
"Though I embrace poverty, nevertheless I should say that I am the richest man on this earth!"
That struck me - struck me really hard!
This wisdom that I was lacking was the very answer to the question I was searching for.
What if I could embrace poverty, non-possession? What if I could want nothing? What if I could be freed of expectations and subsequent drudgery to claim it over?