How To Keep That Happy New Year Feeling


IMG_3861 Poster sketch by Rocky Moody

Here we are in a new year. How can we make the newness and cheerfulness last? Try this:

Unplug. Talk in person. Hang up. Make eye contact. Walk. Meditate, pray, be kind. Whisper, laugh, sing. Smile. Smile more. Hold the door for someone. Say, “Bless you” when someone sneezes. Yield to pedestrians. Breathe. Slow down. Light a candle, watch it burn. Read a book. Make a date, keep it. Invite someone over for dinner. Bring flowers to someone “Just because”. Plan a mini getaway. See your town through tourist-eyes. Buy the next person in line a coffee. Feed an expired parking meter. Hand out lotto scratcher tickets to strangers. Give compliments freely. Say “Thank you.” Say “You’re welcome.” Wave to your neighbors. Give a genuine complement.

Every moment can be a new start. If you wake up grumpy, you can change it. If you go to bed upset, get out of bed until you find your peace. Don’t wait a year to start over. Happy New Here! Celebrate the newness and cheerfulness right now. (I love confetti!)

Ways to be a better saver of money


save money

Image Credit: Google

According to Rand Corp. economists, in a study on money saving behavior from August 2012 to March 2013, people who wrote their money saving goals down saved 64%. People who did not write down their goals saved 53%. In this study, savers were given money and some of the savers were asked to write the following: “I am a good saver. I will commit myself to achieving my savings goals.” A third group in the study were those assigned to an account where they could not withdrawal any money over the next six months. That group saved even more than the other two.

If you want to save more, write it down, or share it with a trusted friend or family member. It seems to be the act of pledging to be a better saver that makes a person better at saving. People want to have their words and deeds match, especially if others know about a goal. Another sure way to set you up for success is to have some of your savings hard to get to.

Savings? Words matching deeds? Accountability? There’s an app for that! Yep. If you can’t come up with your own motivation to save, there’s an app and website Stickk.com by Yale behavioral-finance experts. With this app you can create a contract and share it with others. You can even include a penalty if you slack off. The penalty can be something like authorizing a credit card payment to a charity. Stickk.com has found that users who do share their goal with supportive people and chose to elect the penalty, have a success rate of 80%, while those who keep their goal of savings private succeed nearly 40% of the time.

How to Visualize


visualize-square image credit: Good Search

If you want something, you’ve got to experience it in your mind’s eye before you can have it. It’s not, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” It’s “I’ll see it when I believe it!” Visualization is different than daydreaming. Daydreaming is just out there. In a daydream, you imagine without structure. You might even talk to a flying squirrel in your daydream. With visualizing, you’ll want structure. It’s not pondering what could happen, but what you want to happen. If you want a better job, say working in nature, you visualize yourself happily doing the job, wearing the uniform, and if you “see” a flying squirrel in your mind’s eye, it’s part of the job’s joy, not a random thought, or concern of the squirrel being a pest to plants and eroding the hillside.

Let’s say you want to pass your driver’s test, or get a promotion at work. Whatever you want, decide on it first. Then, lower your shoulders, and unwind from any anticipation or pressure to get what you want. Next, make sure you have five minutes uninterrupted to visualize what you want as if you’ve just gotten it. See yourself being acknowledged with words and actions, “You passed your driver’s test. Congratulations!” See people at work smiling, congratulation cards and e-mails, and things on your desk being packed up to move to the big office down the hall. Hear your friends and family say things like, “Good for you!” “Well done!” Feel the hugs, hand shakes or high fives. Take in the atmosphere. What does it feel like? Your body should feel the excitement of your accomplishment. It’s just happened! Jump! Shout! Feel the glory!

The feeling part of visualization is called seeding. Your thoughts create feelings, and your feelings create a corresponding vibration (high or low) in your body. All thought creates form, the form it takes depends on the vibration connected with it.

There are two types of visualization. One is having a precise idea of what you want before you begin visualizing it. With this type of visualization, you know what you want, and repeat that same vision every day. The other type of visualization is to just let positive thoughts of the outcome of your desire flow.

Keys to visualization: 

  • Keep it positive.
  • Keep it about the end result—as if you’ve just achieved it!
  • Visualize at least once a day for five minutes. It’s better to visualize 5 minutes 1x/day than 1 hour 1x/week.

Budgeting Goals for 2013


piggy bank Image Credit: Good Search

Happy new year! Now, stop eating, go to the gym and make a budget. Hello? Hey! Come on back here!

It doesn’t have to be hard or boring. None of it. It’s about allowing you to do the things you want to do. It’s about giving yourself permission, freedom—not limiting you.

Making a budget should be personal. It’s called Personal Finance. Personal comes first. You set the rules/goals. Having a budget and goals helps you reach your desired outcome. If all you do it put numbers on a piece of paper and you’re not a numbers person, you’ll find a budget boring and won’t be motivated to work it. For what are you saving? Is it a trip? Cut out some pictures of the place and include the experiences you want to have. Include photos of you smiling, money and symbols of a Higher Power —be it a sunset, dove, Krishna—something to remind you of hope and Infinite good available to you.

If you want a buddy to help keep you on track, agree to be accountability partners. Then do the numbers. You know what your rent/mortgage cost, and if you owe on your car. If your insurance is semiannually, divide by six and put it into your monthly expenses. Go through your expenses, even if you’re not positive what they run exactly. This is when an accountably partner is great. They can say, “Oh, I forgot to allow for vet bill expenses. Thanks for reminding me.” Don’t panic. It may take time before you have the unexpected aspects of your budget are covered, but do begin to think of your expenses and having the money for them. Build in a buffer zone for each category. Some months we eat more. We entertain, or splurge on special types of food. Other months, we may have car, child or vet expenses. Nothing gives peace of mind like knowing you’ve got the money in the bank account for the expense.

Do you go to the movies, shop or go out for lunch? Add up approximately how many times you go out and spend money, then add a “fun” column into your budget. This is a guilt-free amount from where you can take money for the fun.

If the budget you set up isn’t working for you in a few months, change it. Check in with your accountability partner and budget weekly or monthly until you get a feel for it. Then you can advance to a quick look monthly, and go into depth a few times a year unless there are big changes in your spending, then check more often, making adjustments. You can do this! Reaching your dreams and goals takes commitment, trade-offs and being aware of you want versus what’s become habit. Allow your budget to become this year’s habit.

So, Now, stop eating, go to the gym and make a budget.

 

How to Manifest


fern3.jpg

Sometimes we fall into the trap of telling God how our manifestation will look in the end. “I’ll meet a single man/woman, who’s a certain age and drives a certain make of car.

Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I trust God?
  • What do I want in a relationship? (Or whatever you want to manifest)
  • What do I contribute to a relationship? (Or whatever you want to manifest)

Another trap we get pretty close to outlining, but remain vague. “A cute, unconditionally loving blonde who’s happy to see me when I come home, and likes to cuddle in the evenings.” Then, we complain when we’re at home with a golden cocker spaniel in our lap on Friday nights! (cute, unconditionally loving…) Leave the details to God. Stay open,knowing if what you’re heart desires is for your highest good, it’s on its way. It’s God pleasure to please you! The Universe only says, “Yes!” and the happier you are every time It says, “Yes!” The more experiences It will bring you that make you happy – because It’s responding to your energy filed with a “Yes!”

Rather than telling God, I want to work at XYZ, doing ABC, feel the attributes of the company and job you want to experience. Do you want to be respected in your line of work? Do you want to be the one they call when they need a certain job done? Put it all out there—and know that this or something better can come your way. It can happen instantly, and it can take what seems forever.

If you’re consistent with your desire and stating your claim, your good will come your way. It’s up to you to recognize it. The “No” from a top employer in L.A. was hard to take—until I got a job in a like-minded environment in a far more fun, supportive, company culture. During my job search if I’d start to feel sad over not getting “the one” I’d give thanks for not getting it, knowing something even better was on its way—and I could hardly wait to find out what it was! I’d remind myself I was open and receptive to my highest good. This scene has played over and over in several areas of my life. When the dust settles, I’m doing the happy dance! Even if it took me two years to heal a broken heart. . .  Shazam! Oh, it is so worth believing in your dream, yourself, and a power for Good—greater than you.

Go ahead, tell God your plans. Keep some wiggle room for even grander ideas!

New Year’s Peace Meditation


Deepak Chopra begins this 14 minute video talking about meditation, then it goes into music and visuals to watch if you choose to meditate with your eyes open

Happy New Year! Or, is it Happy new here! If you’re tired of loud holiday parties with way too much food and alcohol, maybe you’d like to consider ringing in the new year in a quiet way, full of intention.

There may be a world peace meditation going on near you. It’s set at Greenwich, England meantime 12:00 noon on Jan 1. If you’re on the west cost in the states, it’s true commitment: 4:00 a.m. on Dec 31. You go to bed Dec 30, and wake up super early on Dec 31. If you still want to see in the new year, it’s possible if you take a nap after meditation.

New thought churches are where I’ve always found world peace meditations. If you decide to do it on your own, and perhaps at a different time, you could invite a few friends over who understand the intention you’re setting. It’s a bit of a game changer when someone thinks party, and gets quiet meditation. You can always have breakfast and conversation afterwards!

Whenever and however you do this, don’t get stressed out. Even if you don’t do a full hour. Maybe you can read something peaceful, sing your favorite peaceful song, or put together a vision board with the focus being peace.

If your intention is peace, you can’t go wrong. One new year’s at midnight in New Zealand I lead a small group of us at WWOOF (willing workers on organic farms). Their English was limited—but not as much as my Korean. The lights on the Christmas tree were beautiful—in any language. Somehow we figured it out: I found a globe, and we sat there in quiet, bathing the globe in white light and peace.

Below are some more meditation links:

Too Many Goals; Not Meeting Any of Them


 

Thanks to Google for the image

Some people set goals. Lots of them. It’s important to set goals, but when we don’t have laser-focus on the end result, we’re the ping-pong ball in the ocean. It’s better to have fewer, related goals. For instance, if you have financial goals that aren’t related, you may have too many thing you feel you need to save for, and may end up taking no action, or feeling you’ve lost the battle already, so why bother?

Set up to three goals in each area of life. Write them down and the theme of the three goals. A theme for instance, “My trip to Africa.” Write down what that means to you. Who, What, When, Where, Why, How. Who’s going – especially if you’re paying for them. What’s your plan – even if you’re a spontaneous backpacker, you’ve got to have enough put aside to allow you to keep back packing – do you plan to start in Africa, then travel around the world for a year? When’s the trip/event? – when’s the money going to be pulled? Where will you be traveling, moving, paying for a family member going to school, etc.? How will you save for the trip?

Describe it. Bring it alive to you. Have a picture of the item, experience, or someone you’re saving for in your wallet, or at your desk to remind you why you’re working the job you are, or not spending your money on something spontaneous. The picture will perk you up, and get you back into the mindset of your goal.

Thanks to Google for the image