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5 Quick & Easy Ways to Change Your Life

5 Quick and Easy Ways to Change Your Life

© Xaviermarchant | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

In less than five minutes I’m going to give you 5 quick and easy ways to change your life. Do any one of these 5 things and I guarantee you’ll see your life improve fast. Let’s get started. But first, let’s enjoy these 5 dolphins. Nice. 

1. On a 3×5 card, write down one goal for each of these three areas: Relational, Physical, and Financial. That’s it, only three goals, no more (if you want to go deeper on goals, read this post on smart goals). Here’s some examples to get you started:

  • Relational: Have a date night with my spouse every Thursday night.
  • Physical: Jog 30 minutes three times a week.
  • Financial: Set a budget for this month.

Keep that card with you at all times.

(Estimated time: 5 minutes, 4 of which are spent trying to find a 3×5 card)

2. Every morning, rewrite your goals on a new 3×5 card. Most people fail to reach their goals, but it’s not because they don’t set them, it’s because they forget them.

(Estimated time: 1 minute)

3. Read a chapter in the book of Proverbs every day. It’s called the Book of Wisdom for a reason. If we all lived by principles in this one simple book we’d quickly eradicate debt, adultery, corruption, gossip, and a host of other crap. And with 31 chapters it’s like God designed it to be read daily. Hmm…

(Estimated time: 5 minutes)

4. Plan what TV shows you will watch each week. Oh the hours we’ve wasted in front of that stupid box. I was going to say don’t watch it at all but that would be hypocritical as Beth & I look forward to episodes of The Office and Shark Tank. But instead of mindlessly wasting time, all I’m saying is be intentional about it, so at least you know how much time you’re actually wasting.

(Estimated time: 2 minutes to decide your top 2-3 shows you’re going to watch. Estimated time saved: 8-10 hours a week)

5. Be Your Best Friend. Every time you catch yourself going negative (about anything, but especially about yourself), find something to be thankful for. So often we’re our worst critics. God calls us magnificent and we call ourselves worthless…that must break his heart. If you could only see how incredible you are. Yes YOU! Overweight, broke, insecure little you…you are a masterpiece….it’s time to start treating yourself as one.

(Estimated time: 30 seconds to make the decision to be your best friend…a lifetime of implementing)

There you go folks. A little shot of personal development espresso to get your week started off right.

-Wesley

In the comments, I’d love to hear ONE quick and easy thing you’ve done in your own life that has had a huge payoff for you!

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Three Keys to Survive the Storms of Life

How to survive the storms of life

Have you ever had one of those seasons where life just knocks you around? Where you completely lose sight of your vision, your goals are all but forgotten, and you’re doing your best just to get through each day? How do you survive the storms of life? I just got through one. Let me explain.

How to survive the storms of life

Merry Christmas Baby!

My career is in insurance, and when hurricane Sandy pummeled the northeast I suddenly found myself in New Jersey for several weeks. Then in December, our son was born (Say hello to Hudson!). Both my professional and my personal life were demanding insane amounts of time and energy.

Chaos ruled the day.  For two months I didn’t exercise, didn’t listen to podcasts, didn’t read, didn’t post, didn’t stay connected on Facebook…you get the picture. (Speaking of picture…how cute is this!)

How to Survive the Storms of Life

1. Drop All Extra Cargo

Remember the story of Paul’s shipwreck in the book of Acts? Here he is in the middle of a huge storm and how did the keep afloat? By throwing all of the non-essential cargo overboard.

When chaos reigns, you stay grounded by focusing on only your top priorities and nothing else. Forget about any secondary goals and desires. Just throw them off for a season knowing you can get to them later when the storm subsides. And forget about balance. This is all about focusing only on what matters most and not even worrying about anything else.

2. Set Your Anchor

If your soul isn’t anchored in God you’re going to get blown all over, especially in the storms of life. Even though my time in New Jersey was chaotic, I managed to carve out a little time on most mornings to grab my bible and some coffee and spend time with God.

I can’t tell you how refreshing this is. There is a rest that is deeper than sleep, and you can only find it in God. Despite several nights of just a few hours of sleep I was able to smile through the chaos because I was tapping into an endless source of joy and peace that wasn’t dependent on my circumstances. The harder the winds blow the more secure your anchor needs to be.

My storm was caused by incredible busyness. But you may be experiencing a storm of great sorrow or loss. The principles here are still the same, but I’d say the greater the pain, the deeper your anchor needs to be.

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
3. Enjoy the Journey

I have two babies now…one beautiful 15 month old girl and a handsome 3 week old boy. Oh…and I work from home. Oh and I’m still slammed with work thanks to Hurricane Sandy. So life for me is still very chaotic. But it’s my life and I embrace it.

Despite all the poopy diapers, sleepless nights, long days of work interrupted by children crying, I know that I only get one shot at this. I only get one January 7th, 2013 to hold Hudson or play on the floor with Macey. So instead of cursing this season I bless it. I live in it rather than wishing it were over. Before I know it I’ll be sending these kids off to college.

Life is too fast, so learn to enjoy the journey, even with its twists and turns.

You have to keep perspective. Realize it’s just a season. And don’t forget you have an enemy (see 1 Peter 5:8)…God is on your side through this so work together with him.

If this has helped you, or if you have other tips you’d like to share on how to survive the storms of life, please leave us a comment!

-Wesley

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What is the Real Key to Success?

What's the Real Key To Success?

How Many Keys To Success Can There Be?

I get so tired sometimes of hearing about success.

Almost every blog I read can be boiled down to how to be successful in one area or another. The problem isn’t the issue of success. Success is awesome. The problem is that I’m always being sold to. Everyone is trying to sell their version of success (influence, money, etc), or their method of obtaining success.

What is the real key to success?

Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

So instead of (here comes a deep thought), actually doing what we know we should to reach our goals, we get distracted by a dozen other programs and systems that promise what we want.

The result? We jump all over the place in search of the right formula for success. After several years of this we realize we’ve zigzagged ourselves nowhere.

Lately, I keep hearing the same message from people I would call successful. It’s odd frankly. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a book I’m reading, on a podcast, or meeting with fellow entrepreneurs. The message has been the same across the board. If you want to be successful, pick a path and stick with it. This is water to my soul…here’s why. […]

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What To Do When You Hate Your Job

Raise your hands if you hate your job.

A Gallup survey from 2011 showed that 71% of employees are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” from their work. My wife and I got “engaged” because we loved each other. If we were “actively disengaged” then it would be safe to say that we didn’t love each other. So if 7 out of 10 people are not engaged at work then the obvious conclusion is that most people can’t stand their jobs.

There’s a reason we did not name ourselves Debt To Wealth (although I like that name too). We all know money cannot buy the things your heart truly desires. You can have tremendous wealth and still be completely empty of Life. But what money can buy is freedom. People with wealth have more options than people who do not have wealth.

That’s why I love talking about creating wealth – in my mind it’s the same as creating freedom for people. Freedom to do the things you love. And mostly, freedom to be the person you were created to be.

When we were buried in debt it was the lack of freedom that hurt us the most. I was stuck in a job that I didn’t like because that paycheck was a necessity. Knowing that I had to make a certain amount every month just to pay the minimums, I had very few options. I looked at other jobs from time to time, but starting a new career at the bottom of the ladder would have killed us financially. Because I couldn’t afford a pay cut, I was a slave to a job I couldn’t stand.

Diligence: a Principle and a Promise

So how about you? Hate your job? Burnt out? Feel like the clock is ticking and your true giftings and calling are wasting away?

The Bible says that “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4).

In this simple verse God is declaring both a principle for success (diligent hands = wealth) and making you a promise (if you’re diligent you will have wealth). I know there are poor people who work hard, so I’m not saying I understand every dynamic at work here. But you have to admit that you don’t find many lazy people who are wealthy.

Be Thankful For Your Job or Break Out Of It

If you can’t stand your job, the worst thing you can do is to be part of the 71% who disengage.

Jesus taught that those who can be faithful in the small things can be trusted with more. Some of you just need to be faithful with the job you have and trust God for more. My encouragement to you is to develop a heart of gratitude for your job. Put a filter on your mouth and commit to not saying anything negative about your job (easier said than done).

But for some of you, your job is a prison and the warden’s name is Fear. Even though you hate it you stay…rationalizing that you need the money. But deep down you know you’re really too afraid to make the change. My encouragement to you is to write yourself a letter from the future.  Three years from now what are you going to wish you had done? Write a letter to yourself explaining how it feels three years later since making a change. Likewise, write a letter telling yourself about how you would feel in three years if you don’t change.

It has been said that everything we do is either motivated by love or by fear, and we tend to regret any decisions we make out of fear. If you want a life marked by greatness, embrace the discipline of diligence, and pursue only the things that make your heart come alive. Success lives at the crossroads of passion and diligence.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

Let’s dialogue – what changes do you need to make in response to this post?

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Confidence: The Key to Accomplishment

Helen Keller said, “Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

If you think getting out of debt is difficult, try earning a college degree, writing several books, and being a political activist, all while being deaf and blind.  The 2003 edition of the Alabama quarter has Helen’s image on it with the words “Spirit of Courage.” Undoubtedly, there’s a huge connection between confidence and accomplishment.

If you’re deeply in debt, you have surely faced those moments where giving up feels like the only option. I can remember in 2004 going to the local Bank of America branch to ask them if they could cancel several overdraft fees I had received (you have not because you ask not…I had 9 overdraft fees over one weekend, and I was able to get 8 of them cancelled).

After stating how stressed I was about my debt (only $8,000 at the time, mostly school loans), the bank associate reassured me that it really wasn’t that bad and that I was going to make it. It’s amazing how words like that can help you keep going. I still remembered what she said even after Beth & I had accumulated over six figures of unsecured debt.

Confidence = Accomplishment

 I’m convinced that no great accomplishments in life have been achieved without an equal amount of confidence. Your level of confidence literally affects everything you do, from huge decisions like getting married, changing careers, and starting a family, to negotiating a purchase or simply choosing what to wear today. Confidence affects everything.

Confidence equates to emotional stability. Studies have shown that people out-of-whack emotionally spend way more than people who are emotionally on-center (aka, retail therapy).

When you lack confidence in a certain area, it means that you don’t believe in yourself in that area (could be due to lack of experience, fear, past failure in that area, etc). So if you set a goal to be debt free but lack confidence in the area of finances, you will not have the self-discipline needed to reach your goal. You’ll either sabotage yourself somehow or find a way to quit.

So how are YOU doing? On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your confidence level? If it’s low, here’s how to improve it.

Confidence is an Inside Job

The Bible teaches that transformation takes place when you renew your mind. (Romans 12:2). If you want to grow in confidence, you have to start with your thinking. Here’s three ways of doing this:

1. Guard Your Thoughts:  Do you just let yourself think on whatever thoughts enter your brain? Paul stated that “we take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). In Philippians 4, Paul lists several worthy values and then admonishes us to “think on these things.” God would not command this if it were impossible. Clearly we have control over our thoughts and need to take captive negative and defeating thoughts and replace them with truth.

2. Speak Life: If my daughter walked around all day saying “I’m ugly, worthless, and have no future” do you think as a loving father that I would let her continue to say those things? Of course not! Yet how often do we do that to ourselves? At a recent conference I attended, John Maxwell made the statement “the most important person you ever listen to is yourself.” If that’s true, what are you hearing yourself say? Is it uplifting or does it tear you down? If you want to change your life, change the words you say.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

3. Control Your Input: Zig Ziglar says “when you change your input, you change your outlook.” So let me ask you, what are you reading? What are you watching? Who are you spending time with? If you want to grow in confidence in any area, read everything you can on that topic. Spend time with people who are uplifting and positive. Turn off the TV for a while. Read biographies of people who have overcome tremendous odds in life; it will build you up to realize that if they can do it, so can you.

“You are the same today that you’ll be five years from now except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” Mac McMillan

If you want to make your life count, you have to get serious about this stuff. It matters, and it will make a difference in your life. You were born with a purpose. Don’t waste your life watching sitcoms.

On a surface level this post is about confidence, but to be honest, it’s really about identity, about how you see yourself and who you really believe that you are. 1st John 3:1 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” You are a child of God. Stop playing small and insignificant and become who you already are.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

Comments: We respond to 100% of our comments. Which of the three points listed above do you need to focus on right now?

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Me Inc. – Run Your Life Like A Business

Is it possible to be wildly successful in business yet be a personal failure? Of course it is. Sadly, most people don’t realize that many of the same qualities which make a person successful in the marketplace are absolutely neccessary to be successful at home.

John Maxwell wrote a book titled “Make Today Count.” The subtitle of the book contains an incredibly powerful truth regarding success: “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”

For years I lived with the mindset that success was just around the corner. I worked diligently at my profession, but in my personal life I lacked self-discipline. I failed to take the things that brought me success in the marketplace into my own personal life. In short, I had a daily agenda for my work life, but failed to have a daily agenda for my personal life.

Too often we show up to work focused, but waste our time at home. We work with discipline but live with slothfulness. We work as if our jobs depend on it (because they do), but live as if our lives don’t depend on it. Failure to perform at work comes with immediate consequences. But in our personal lives, we push things off into the future (“I’ll start this tomorrow”), not realizing the consequences of this until it’s too late.

If you want to be successful at home and in your personal life, then you have to run your life like a business. Do you have an agenda for how you’re going to spend your time today? Do you have a plan for you family? Is your marriage on mission? Do you set goals together with your family? Do you have a spending plan? Have you identified your competition – those unhealthy things vying for your attention or that of your family?

Or do you just let life happen?

The old proverb is true: failure to plan is planning to fail. You will fall short of your potential until you learn to run your life like a business. This isn’t a nice and cozy message, especially to those who have an aversion to the business world. However, if you truly desire to get the most out of life you have to come at it with a plan or it will pass you by.

Committed to your success,

-Wesley

P.S. What is one “business” skill you need to develop in your personal life? We respond to 100% of our comments!

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