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Where is happiness?

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Our family spent a few days in Colorado recently and it was wonderful to soak in the cool mountain air and view the beauty that can only be found in the great American west. I have kiddingly said many times that my happy place is on a mountain rock contemplating life. On this trip however, I took time to realize that my happy place is really not a place at all. It is a moment.
It is a simple time on the couch with my wife talking about our whacky dog. It is the conversation with our college age son about his current success and plans for the future. It is that moment on the bike side by side with others striving for personal fitness while enjoying some great comradery. It is at work when a new employee shares excitement about starting a job here and what it means for their life.
Happy is not a place. It is an ability to recognize the small moments that really make this life worth living and taking time to smile in the moment. As a new week begins, I am challenging myself (and you) to …

Life after 50

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There are many men that when they pass a certain age lose their way. Statistics show that divorce rates and depression for men after 50 are growing with male suicide rates now peaking after 50. Little is known as to the reason why but my best guess is that many men turn to this decade of life, join the empty nest then look around and say, “now what?”.

Looking back there were once dreams of big jobs, big houses, big bank accounts, and small waistlines. Instead for many men we look around and find life has not quite turned out as expected.

We think

“Retirement is coming but I have no plan”
“Our child-centered marriage has changed and left my wife and me with little in common”
“Our friends were based on our child circle and they have moved on”
“The job of my dreams is now just a grind”
“The body I see in the mirror is of an old man. The athlete in me is gone”

“Now what?”  “Now what?”

Most men by nature keep these deep fears to ourselves and avoid sharing. If not addressed properly these …

10 Tips for Getting Debt Free--like me!

“If you want to live like no one else tomorrow, you have to live like no one else today” -Dave Ramsey

A saw a statistic the other day that said the average American consumer is carrying over $7,000 in credit card debt. The skyrocketing cost of college has also resulted in student loan debt at 44 trillion dollars with an average debt load of $37,172 for each person. These numbers do not include other debt “normal” people carry including a mortgage and a car. Add all of these elements together and you can understand the pressure people are feeling regarding their finances.

It seems most folks see debt as just a part of life. “You will always have a car, credit card, and a house payment”

Really?

Is this statement true? Why!

Having been 100% debt free now for four years and I can without a doubt say it does not have to be that way. It is possible to get out of debt and to stay that way.

Really, since being out of debt I find it very hard to imagine digging a new hole for my future. Lord w…

Chasing Success

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Many years ago when I was a young man new in the corporate world met a fellow that was just about to retire. I remember he was super old like 55 or something (I am 50 now) and had a plan to hike the Appalachian trail. I do not recall his position with the company but I am sure it was not an executive level or anything like that. 
Learning that I was a new parent, he decided to give me some advice on how to have a happy career and retire early. He told me a story about a highschool friend of his at a recent reunion that had given him a hard time about not having climbed higher on the corporate ladder. 
“I congratulated him on his career success and then asked him a few questions” 
“How many times have you been married?”
The answer was 2
“How many kids do you have?” 
The answer was 3 with two from the first marriage and 1 from the current
“Do you pay alimony and child support”
"Yes"
“Do you see your kids every day?” 
"No, my first wife has remarried and lives in a different city&qu…

How Diet Coke almost stole my retirement dreams

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I still remember the day I realized that my daily diet coke habit was stealing my retirement dreams.
At the time, Coke was running a promotion using a code from a bottle cap to get prizes. You would save your cap, enter the number on a website and points would add up for something fabulous. I kept these caps in a desk drawer and it did not take long for these to really pile up since I had a long time frequent habit of visiting the machine at work several times a day. There was the before work Coke,mid-morning Coke, lunch Coke, mid-afternoon Coke and usually something towards the end of the day.
One afternoon I looked at the pile of caps wondered how much in cost that represented. Next, I began to think about cost over time and if I continued this pattern what it would mean in the long term. The final kicker was when I plugged in my average monthly diet coke spending into a savings calculator and considered how much $5 a day applied to retirement could mean if saved for the next 20 yea…

How to write goals for success

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If you read my previous post you understand the importance of goal setting to reach success. You must also be committed to joining the 9% club by following through with what you want to achieve.



Everyone is different and how you organize your goals need to be your own but I thought I would share what has worked for me over the years.
A Key thing to know is that goal setting is not a one-time event. Goals are to be in progress at all times and there is nothing wrong at all with having things that will take years to accomplish. This is why having them in writing and updated regularly will help you.
If you need a model for structuring your goal there is always the classic SMART format.
Specific--What do you want? Measurable--How will you know you have achieved it? Attainable--Is this goal even possible? Relevant--Will the goal make a positive difference for you and/or others? Time--when will you start, what are milestones along the way and when will you finish? (this is important)
I go a litt…

Stop Resolution Failure and have a breakout 2018

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“The person without goals will end up working for someone that does” Yes, it is that time of year again. As we near the flip of the calendar many people get excited about the psychological turn to a New Year and set goals. I think we have all been there with plans to lose weight or to finally make that life-changing career move. It is reported that 41% of us “usually” set New Year's Resolutions and 42% of us never set make a resolution.
Sadly of the those that do set goals, only 9.2% feel they have experienced success in achieving them. Given this very poor result, it is no wonder so many do not bother and it shows the power of optimism that so many keep trying. I am a goal setter. It is not something I do as much as it is part of who I am. Going back over 15 years I have my goals and result of these goals documented. It is interesting each year to reflect on some of my older objectives as they provide insight into points of time in my life. Some success highlights looking back a…