Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is Your Financial House in Order?

Thanks so much for being patient while I've been away this week. I've been spring cleaning...and when I get started, I build up steam and keep rolling, whether it is the yard, the garage, closets, or the whole house. Everything just feels new again and I feel like I can breathe a bit easier. During the last week, I've been getting my financial house in order. Gathering business information, medical bills, charitable donations, investment statements and all of the other information that goes along with filing income taxes. While I was at it, I reviewed my overall financial plan to ensure I was on track to fulfill my goals.

I am pretty good at staying on top of things and knowing where I am financially, however it is always a good idea to make sure that your plans fit your current situation and to incorporate any changes that may have occurred over the last year. Personal financial experts have been shouting from the rooftops to make sure that Americans are paying off debt and are saving for a rainy day as well as building a nest egg for retirement.

Like most of you, we have a host of things we want to use our money for in the coming years. We have 74 acres of creek front property in Upstate New York that we want to build a second home on. In addition, we love traveling and have a list of places around the globe we would like to visit. Some of my bigger dreams include buying or building a sanctuary retreat center either in the mountains or at the beach. I get excited just thinking about them and that keeps me motivated to keep my plan in order.

What are some of your big dreams? Are you on track for making them happen?

Monday, February 14, 2011

♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥

Wishing you a happy, light-hearted and fun filled 


♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February is Heart Health Month ~ Do we really need to be reminded?

We do! On your next outing just check out the number of people who are carrying around some extra weight. Too many of us are busy leading our lives, going to work, taking care of house and home, and all at the expense of our own health. So here I am jumping on the bandwagon, giving you (and myself) a loving little nudge. Take care of your self and your heart. Instead of reaching for a doughnut or candy bar next break, give yourself a little time to breath and make yourself a pretty little snack. Slice an apple (or if time is short, spend a little more and buy some pre-sliced apples), pair it with a serving of delicious almond butter and a glass of orange infused water. Imagine you are at a four star (maybe five star resort, it's your fantasy).☺
You deserve a healthy, delicious and beautiful snack
Now, close your eyes...and take in a nice, deep breath...think about something that makes you feel relaxed or joyful...and when you are your eyes. Feeling good, right? ☺ I thought so...Have a beautiful day. ~Blessings, Janet

Don't forget to check out Angie's sweet blog, Living Aloha. She's giving away a very special gift as her Day 29 Challenge and today is the last day to enter!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Opportunity Cost ~ This Starbucks Cost Me What??????

During my nieces visit this weekend, I had the opportunity to talk about "Opportunity Costs." My niece was purchasing a gift for a birthday party she was attending and the jersey she was looking at cost $60. Did I mention the birthday was for a 5 year old who would likely grow out of the jersey next month? :-) Anyway, she seemed to be agonizing a bit over the price so I jumped up on my soapbox and talked to her about whether she wanted to make a contribution to Cardinal football player Tim Hightower's child's college education, or would she rather send her own son. She chose a $20 t-shirt.

What does that have to do with Starbucks? Nothing :-) Unless you are like my daughter and millions of others who love their daily latte. Financial expert David Bach calls it the latte factor. A couple of years ago, Brandi decided to add up the cost of her monthly Starbucks habit and was appalled to learn that it was $160 that month. She quickly cut back realizing that she could have purchased airfare for a California beach vacation.  She had mindlessly made it a habit to run through Starbucks on her way to work every day and hadn't realized what the cost was adding up to.

We tend to do that with a lot of things, don't we? Magazines, books, food, shoes, etc., fill our homes and our tummies, and give us a short term fix, or instant gratification which quickly fades and needs to be filled again. When we are patient, hold a vision for something greater and save for it, the reward is often much longer lasting. What could you be saving for now? What is your latte factor?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thank You my New Friends

My husband sent me this photo from the courtyard at work yesterday. While temperatures here in the Valley of the Sun are not nearly as extreme as temperatures in so many areas of the country, it is cold for here.

Chandler, AZ
I've taken out my leather winter jacket, scarves, and gloves during the past few days. What I am struck by, is the gratitude I feel for our usually warm winters. It just made me stop and reflect on all of the blessings in my life. I have "met" so many wonderful women as I've browsed and hopped through blogland and I am continually amazed at the powerful connections we make. So, this morning, I just want to say thank you for stopping by. Thank you for following. Thank you for writing your wonderful blogs and for opening your heart to all of us. Have a wonderful weekend. ~Blessings, Janet

And a special Thank You goes out to Angie who I have shared before authors Living Aloha. Angie inspired me to take the 29 Day Gifts challenge and now for her 29th Gift is giving away a very special gift. Please take a moment to visit her blog, you will be so happy you did. As well as being an inspiring author, Angie is also a very talented artist.

Isn't she adorable? :-)
And she's got great taste! :-)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Makin' Tracks ~ Using Tools to Track Progress

Here we are on the second day of February and don't you think January seemed to fly right by? How are you doing on the goals you set for yourself for the New Year? I have to admit it has been a bit of a slow start for me but I am definitely gaining momentum. Do you set New Year's Resolutions? I used to and realized, after several years, that all I was doing was making a list of things I wanted to accomplish during the year. I neglected to create a plan or to even think about why I wanted to accomplish these things. I never asked myself how my life would change upon completion of certain projects. After realizing that setting New Year's Resolutions did not work for me, I started reflecting on what was important in different areas of my life. For example, how did I feel about the current state of my health, relationships, career, or finances. Was I happy with the balance of work and fun in my life? After deciding that I wanted to focus on health and wellness goals, I developed a program for tracking my progress.


It consists of four forms where you can journal your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual states. There are sections for recording nutrition, exercise and spiritual practices. I included space for recording weight and even weather. Tracking headaches was one of my goals and I found that the weather (cloudy days) would often trigger a headache. Sometimes, certain foods may have an effect on mood, or physical symptoms, such as bloating or inflammation. You are what you eat has become a commonly accepted fact and is the reason I included a nutrition log. There is also a weekly and monthly summary that makes it easier to make connections between what may be going on emotionally, nutritionally etc. and symptoms you may be experiencing. I have offered it to many clients who have found it to be very useful.

I am in the process of creating a pdf file that I can upload and have available online (free) but if in the meantime, you feel this could help you in reaching your goals, please email me and I will be happy to email the forms to you.

Do you have personal goals you would like to share? If so, what method do you use for staying motivated and tracking your progress?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011