Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
I am a big reader overall of everything from Toni Morrison and Charles Dickens to Twilight and the Power of Positive Thinking. For quite some time, I've had an interest in books that focus on self-improvement and goal-reaching. In reading books from those genres, I came across Jack Canfield (co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series) who mentions in some of his books, the concept of obtaining a life coach to actualize goals. Since Jack Canfield does offer life coaching through his company, he does have a personal interest in pushing the concept, but he’s not the only one that encourages the idea of having assistance to actualize goals. I guess in theory, life coaching is a good idea. But I can’t help thinking, shouldn’t I be able to coach myself to reach goals? Since my goals for the immediate future lie in paying off debt, increasing my income and becoming a social entrepreneur among other things, life coaching doesn’t exactly fit in my budget. But honestly, if I had the extra money, I’d seriously consider getting a life coach, here are a few reasons why:
- A life coach can help you sort out the things that matter to you. I know certain things matter to me in abstract ways like equal opportunity in education for all children regardless of socieo-economic background and lessening my negative impact on the environment, but it would be nice to have an objective person help me sort out things that really matter to me, so I can do something about these things at least in some small way. This could also help me evaluate how much time I am spending on things that don't matter to me very much at all.
- A life coach can help you come up with or refine a plan to achieve personal and professional goals. I could fill several pages or make 10 vision board of different goals and aspirations I have for the present and the future, but narrowing these down and making a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) plan to achieve these goals is another story. A coach would enable me to do this in a more strategic manner.
- A life coach can hold you accountable for progress made on reaching goals at specific intervals. I am a daydreamer, and without a deadline for things, I could let my mind wander on tasks and goals indefinitely, so being held accountable through regular check-in’s with a life coach would be good for me. I go in between being highly productive and a huge procrastinator, I’m sure I’m not the only one like this.
- A life coach may be able to align you with other like-minded people out of their network to reach a specific goal. Most people don’t reach goals in a vacuum, and in most cases, reaching certain goals is about who you know, or who someone you know, knows. Read books like Never Eat Alone and The Tipping Point to see the value in your network of personal relationships. I think a life coach who I assume would be a natural “connector” would be able to align me with others that could help my progress on professional goals like starting a non profit, or getting a book published.
- If nothing else, fear of wasting money (and time) will motivate you. I hate to waste money, and I also hate to waste the time of others. Not doing either of these things would keep me on task if I was working with a life coach.
In this difficult economy with so many people facing or living through job loss, reevaluation and reinvention are ideas that can jump start a stale career, or open the door to another one. A life coach may be the first step in doing these things. But I think, if funds don’t allow, we all might have to start serving as our own life coaches.
Any body else have any views on if life coaching really helps you to reach goals?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Spa Treatment - $100
Food - $60
Hotel - $150
Misc. - $40
TOTAL - $350
I think I can stick to it. If I go over by a few dollars, it's okay, I just don't want to spend more than $400. Any ideas on sights I should see and inexpensive but good restaurants?
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
"Many of the star basketball players descending on Phoenix today for the NBA All-Star Weekend will be calling a sitter -- and not for their kids. In a world that's become increasingly fraught with danger for superstar athletes as potential predators wield cellphone cameras at every turn, Julian Jones has carved out an unusual -- some might say enviable -- niche for himself. The lanky 27-year-old is the world's most sought-after athlete wingman.
Part companion, part publicist, part chaperone and part guardian angel, Mr. Jones, who lives in Las Vegas and works for a pair of casino owners, specializes in setting up elaborately arranged outings for athletes where every detail from transportation and tickets to the members of the entourage is premeditated...
Using a combination of street smarts, tips from veteran superstars like Shaquille O'Neal and ancient Chinese military tactics gleaned from reading Sun Tzu's "Art of War," Mr. Jones has become so adept at protecting his charges from ugly situations and nightclub mayhem that he's become a trusted ally of athletes across all sports leagues. NBA stars from Kobe Bryant to Amare Stoudemire have joined his entourage in Las Vegas. He rang in the New Year with Michael Phelps, escorted New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and his son to a fight this month, and in January accompanied Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens to a party."
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I decided to pull both my credit scores and credit reports this week after hearing through the personal finance blogosphere and regular news outlets that beginning February 14th Experian; one of the three major credit bureaus will no longer offer FICO scores based on its data through Fair Issac Corp.'s myFICO.com. FICO scores based on data from two other credit bureaus, Equifax Inc. and TransUnion LLC, will still be available through the Web site. This is very disappointing information and I wonder if this is a permanent situation or will be resolved in the future.
My credit scores are higher than they were when I checked them last year, and if I had to use credit, for a car loan for example, I would be able to get a reasonable rate. Though I have credit card balances and student loans, I always pay on time. I am sure as I continue to pay my credit cards down (and have a lower utilization of available credit), my credit card score will be impacted and rise a little more.
Have you pulled your credit reports or scores recently?
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
- File taxes. There is no reason to procrastinate on doing this since I got already have my paperwork together.
- Apply for one freelance job. I will start searching freelance job sites for writing opportunities. I need to start generating alternate streams of income.
- Make one new dish. I am very good at bringing leftovers for lunch everyday and my Starbucks trips are less frequent than last year, but I am tired of eating the same dishes. It's time to crack open a cook book and try to make something new.
- Go to the gym more often. I don't want to set myself up to fail so I won't set how many times to go, just as long as I go more often than I did last month.
- Stay on top of my reading for class. My eyes tend to glaze over when I crack open my Managerial Economics textbook, but I need to make myself do all of the reading before class each week.
Monday, February 2, 2009
If you are a young budding entrepreneur, check out this recent WSJ article:
I don't think being young should stop anyone for going for their entrepreneurial dreams.
Finding a job in this economy -- even keeping one -- is tough. Tired of the uncertainty, some twentysomethings are going from job hunting to job creating by starting their own businesses.
Generation Y entrepreneurs have a few advantages here: They're seen as tech-savvy, enthusiastic risk takers with fresh perspectives. But they also tend to lack money, credit histories and managerial experience.
According to a recent AP article:
Americans are hunkering down and saving more. For a recession-battered economy, it couldn't be happening at a worse time.
Economists call it the "paradox of thrift." What's good for individuals — spending less, saving more — is bad for the economy when everyone does it.
On Friday, the government reported Americans' savings rate, as a percentage of after-tax incomes, rose to 2.9 percent in the last three months of 2008. That's up sharply from 1.2 percent in the third quarter and less than 1 percent a year ago.
Like a teeter-totter, when the savings rate rises, spending falls. The latter accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity. When consumers refuse to spend, companies cut back, layoffs rise, people pinch pennies even more and the recession deepens.
This economy has definitely made me anxious to build up my emergency fund because as it stands now, it wouldn't last me very long. I am also trying to pay off my credit card debt as soon as possible. These are things that I would do regardless of the economy but I know I'm not the only one out there who is hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. Coming up with alternate streams of income has also been on my mind alot these days. It's just hard to carve out time to work on things like that. Man, I could get so much more done if I didn't require sleep :- )
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I like shows like House Hunters, My First Place and Property Virgins. But something annoys me about these shows. Every so often whether the show I am watching focuses on a single person, a couple, or a family with children, they inevitably choose a home that completely falls outside of the budget they set. And sometimes, according to the shows, these people actually buy homes that fall outside of what they can comfortably afford. Depending on the show, you get more or less info on the prospective homeowner's finances.
I understand that some of these shows may be reruns that were shot before the economic turbulence the American economy has been experiencing due in part to mortgage loans, but some of them are fresh episodes. I know people have certain expectations in mind when they take the major step to purchase property, but what is so hard about staying within budget to avoid financial drama down the line? Seems pretty simple to me, but then again, I am not ready to be a homeowner yet.