All the Financial Planners tell you to have at least 6-12 months of liquid emergency money stashed aside to take care of life’s little moments that sneak up on you such as car repairs or the furnace giving up its last breath during a polar vortex. In addition to that advice; I’d like to offer up another form of stash called the Fun Fund to use any way you wish as long as it’s fun. In the Millionaire Mindset book and in his workshops; T. Harv Eker suggests 10% of your income should be stashed away to use any way you wish so you feel like you have control over your money and you’re using it to enjoy your life.
Enter the Fun Fund. After my BFF and I returned from one of the millionaire bootcamps over a decade ago; we took that advice and have been stashing away a percentage of earnings into our Fun Funds ever since so that we have a pot of money with no particular plan, but the plan is to use it when the mood or a great adventure strikes. With our financial foundation in check and our Fun Fund fully stocked; we are ready to pounce when something so juicy comes along that we just can’t resist.
I’ve learned from my guides and coaches throughout the years and from my personal experience that I need to fully trust my intuition and just flow with it. As a very old soul who has been around many lifetimes; I’m told that my intuition has a very clear path showing me my path; so I usually go with it when I feel the strong urge. My BFF is the same way and when both of us have the gut feeling; we are helpless to defend against it. We just have to go with it and that’s how our latest adventure came about one low-key, loungey kind of Saturday.
I was in the middle of trying out a new lunch recipe when I got the call with Barb on the other end saying “Now don’t say no right away, just hear me out. I have an idea for a cruise into Canada during peak leaf peeping season. I know you will have just returned from your trip to Cuba, but this is a great deal.” As she was explaining the trip complete with sailing on a vintage four-masted schooner and high tea at the Chateau Fontenac in Quebec City – one of my to-do lists for 20 years; I knew I was a gonner.
Two days later I get a text from Barb in the middle of doing a seminar which said we have to “Do the Dragon”. What the hell did that mean. She texted “google it”. I did and I’m in. So in a matter of a few days, we have a few vacations already planned, booked and paid for. Something I never imagined the week prior. It seems that the Dragon’s Tail is one of the most notorious roads in America with 318 curves in 11 miles of mountain road and there was going to be a car rally with all kinds of festivities focused on the “Doing the Dragon”. With my father being a former race car driver, he also raced boats and motorcycle side cars. It’s in my blood. I love cars, boats and planes. Once again I was sucked into the thrill of the adventure and the unknown. Toss in an amazing log cabin with phenomenal mountain views and I can’t say no.
When it comes to people waiving great travel deals and amazing adventures in front of my face, I’m very weak. I cannot say no to such temptation. Try as I might to be prudent and rational; I just lose my mind thinking that an opportunity of a lifetime may pass me by and I might miss out on some life-altering experience, discovery, and good times. I’m a sucker for a good adventure with good friends. I caved.
Luckily, we both plan for such spontaneous times by continually adding to our Fun Funds. By planning for something we don’t know about in our futures, we can take advantage of an opportunity when it does come our way and be ready to pounce. Of course, we also sock away and invest much more into our Retirement Fund than our Fun Fund; but having a fund for frivolity feels good and brings out the kid in us after our adult has already set aside something for our retirement, our emergencies, our heirs, and other adult stuff.
What can you set aside for yourself, just yourself to do whatever you want that is meaningful and memorable to you. Vacations don’t just last a week or two, or three or whatever. They last a lifetime in our memory and our beings. It fulfills us and refuels us to keep going at a higher vibrational level than before we left. How can you better plan for spontaneity so that you can strike when the opportunity presents itself? What can you stash away and invest each month or week? What can you cut out of your life in order to have something more meaningful? What are you frittering away on a daily or weekly basis that could go into your Fun Fund for something more fabulous? I’ll be sure to report on our fabulous Canadian adventure later this fall and how we fared on the Dragon later in the Spring upon our return from our adventures.
Set high standards for yourself and stretch your limits. Set short term and easy peaks as well as long term and higher peaks to build on your successes, build your self confidence and build your energy to gain momentum for the big stuff. Reach for the outer limits and rejoice when you accomplish what you formerly thought impossible.
Author and artist Susan Kennedy, a.k.a. SARK, says “impossible” means “I’m possible!”. Peak performers take care of themselves through body, mind, and spirit to ensure they can meet their challenges. Acquire solid, healthy habits to help you attain your peak: restful sleep, nutritionally balanced eating, exercise, emotionally stable relationships, and following your passion.
If you do not have a healthy balance in your personal life, there is no way to be a peak performer in your professional life. Get organized, get your act together, get goals, get support, and get going to reach your peak.
In making out your life plan as with planning a trip – know first where you are going, plot the best route to get there, then figure out what you will need along the way to make your journey successful. Take the time to figure out how you will know when you have “arrived” at your goal and celebrate your achievement. Avoid the syndrome of always striving and never arriving. Take time to bask in your arrival.
Think of how your energy rises as your draw nearer to a trip. Just imagine what will happen if you have your whole life to look forward to. When we set milestones for ourselves, we are much more likely to meet and surpass them than if we never had any point of focus. When you know your destination, you arrive sooner and are less distracted by obstacles and detours. If you do come across a detour, when you know where you want to end up, it’s much easier to stay on track and get back to your pathway to the end state.
It’s less stressful when we have our directions to safely guide us. Try scheduling something enjoyable on weekends to raise your energy for the week and plan something equally as fun on Mondays to start your week out on an upbeat note. Start making your plan now for how you want to live in the next year, five years, 10 years, and into retirement. What do you have to do now to ensure your end you have in mind is the end that you’re aiming for by your actions today?
By making a life plan and being open to changing our route, we gain clarity and personal energy in our abilities to help shape our future and bounce back when life sends us on an unplanned pathway.
Be in the small percentage who has written goals as their road map. Buck the percentages and be one of the elite few who write down their long-term and short-term goals, and review them regularly. List-makers know the thrill of crossing items off their lists.
Written goals keep you focused and remind you of the big picture. FOCUS = Follow One Course Until Successful. Maintain bursts of energy while working on different goals by savoring the rewards and feeling successful while mixing long and short-term goals. When you prioritize your goals, remember people first, then things. . . people first, then things.
Don’t ask how, manifest now. A catchy tune to live by and grow by. We tend to get so caught up in HOW instead of trusting in the process and going to work on ourselves and our mission, that it stops people in their tracks who would otherwise be basking in what they could be manifesting. To be a master manifester, you’ve got to trust and believe in the process first and foremost and follow some intuition while you take action. Sitting on the couch eating bon-bons wishing for something different than what you have doesn’t cut it and isn’t deserving of great things.
Creating the life you’re meant to live takes concentration and thoughtfulness and harftullness. It takes the power of the pause to be hartful in your thinking and manifesting. Maria Shriver talked about The Power of the Pause at her daughter’s graduation. Take a pause to re-group and reconnect with yourself and your conscience decisions on which way you want to go and what you want to do and who you want to do it for and of course, WHY you want to do it. Take a pause for the cause and give this some thought every so often. Especially when things are getting hectic or seem out of control, that’s when you REALLY need to stop and take stock about what you’re manifesting. What we manifest on the outside is coming from our inside. What is going on in your inside?
- Is your big, hairy, audacious goal big enough to get your attention or is it just something on your to-do list. Is it on YOUR list, or is it really just a part of somebody else’s list for you? Is it in alignment with your values and your purpose?
- You must be fully committed to the cause. You can entertain a hint of caution or doubt, but don’t invite it to stay. As the book title from the 90’s states “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” Kind of like I felt the first time I went bungee jumping. Even seeing the video of it 20 years later, I still get the chills and relive the fear, excitement and exhilaration all over again.
- Maintain an attitude of gratitude, appreciation, acceptance and graciousness for all that comes because your gift may not come in the exact same package you were envisioning. Notice what comes to you and be grateful for it. It may come disguised as something else to surprise you. Things are not done TO you, they’re done FOR you.
- Pause for more meditation, prayer, visioning, journaling, creating collages of vision boards and getting very, very clear on what you want and making your order specific. Get quiet and get going in the right direction of your dreams and allow yourself to dream. Allow your mind to wander and ruminate on “what if” and dare to make your dreams come true. Double dog dare yourself to make it happen. Sometimes a little friendly competition doesn’t hurt move things along.
- Have fun manifesting, dreaming, visioning and creating the life you love. My first company was FUNcilitators – we facilitated fun and effectiveness. I made a living for many years teaching others how to have fun. I studied how to create fun and leisure activities in college and grad school and how to help people actualize themselves through the outdoors, and fun leisure time activities and challenge sports. It was a blast. I’m a great believer in fun in whatever I do. If I’m not having fun, then it’s time to rethink what I’m doing and change it up a bit.
What are you doing to put some fun into your process of living and leading a Hartful life? What are you doing now so that you can sail (or kayak) off into the sunset happy that you experienced a life well-lived?
It seems we’re being pulled in many directions by our personal and professional responsibilities. Leaders at work are answering to the front office and to their teams. Leaders at home are answering to friends, kids, spouses, faith, school, volunteer and sports groups. It’s a difficult challenge to honor free time spontaneously any more, so need to schedule some time for re-assessing our choices, reaffirming our paths, reconnecting with others who are like-minded, or not who have your best interest at heart.
I suggest planning a weekend getaway, or Energy Escape, to connect with close confidantes for brainstorming, master-minding and recharging your batteries. We tend to be in high gear producing and implementing and reacting to life at work and at home. Leaders sometimes have nobody to turn to at work to bounce ideas off of and discuss vulerabilities, possibilities and question their choices. Creating time and creating space with supportive friends and colleagues can help catapult you in the right direction and affirm what you are thinking is your direction, or help guide you down another path.
These gatherings can be weekly Success Teams or Mastermind Circles or quarterly gatherings or even larger annual affairs in person with emails and calls in between the weekend soiree. Hiring a coach to bounce things off of is another option. I find my clients and myself included tend to talk our way through situations better than if we just think it through in our heads on our own. The synergy of the group and the energy it brings to the issue results in a much better and clearer outcome. We tend to question ourselves and when we have the confirmation of a group of knowledgeable and respected professionals and friends; we get it faster and it sticks. There’s something about accountability and knowing others are believing in you and counting on you to do what you say that helps propel us forward in the right direction.
I’ve experienced a few of those weekend gatherings recently which I call Energy Escapes, and have another planned in the near future. They are uplifting, energizing, refreshing and rejuvenating. There’s something about being together in a different setting without distractions to sit and be and talk and set imaginations free for coming up with solutions to professional and personal issues. A nice number is 5-7 attendees coming together with their ideas for others and asking for what support and resources from the group they want as well. Being focused on each person at a time and coming together to pool resources generates incredible outcomes in these synergy sessions. It also helps each participant live and lead more Hartfully, staying closer to their truth, their heart, their centered way of moving through the world. It keeps us focused on the right path and gives us the courage to choose that path.
Why not plan for a solo getaway to get refocused on your personal goals and then plan several more with your pals to help each other achieve their goals as well. I generally use the holidays and the new year change-over to reassess what I’ve accomplished the past year and what lies ahead – calling it my year in review and year in preview. See earlier blog posts about that and the Hot 100 List. I see these gatherings as my 10,000 mile check-up and continual tune-ups for a life well lived in a very Hartful way. Try it yourself and see how much further along the right path you go with the help of others (pals, coaches, colleagues, other professionals) who are conspiring in your favor vs. doing it on your own. I bet you’ll see a vast difference. Facilitating Energy Escapes is something you do for yourself so you can do more for others. It’s a way of giving back to the world your best self with your highest goals in mind.
Daydreaming is a good thing, bigger dreams bring on a bigger life. . . but only if you are doing something to achieve those dreams. What you want doesn’t just, POOF, appear while you’re sitting on the couch. As one saying goes, “as you pray, move your feet”. That means make a plan and do something about achieving what you want.
Your desires are your homing device signaling your conscious self from your subconscious self about what you truly want in your life. If you have the desire for it, you have the resources for it, period. Thos with bigger dreams attract others into their lives who also have big dreams. I know I’ve posted previously about DECIDING to take action, DECIDING what you want as the indeispendible first step to getting the things you want in your life. You first become aware of what you want and bring it into your conscious sphere, then you decide if it’s something you want to work for or take action towards.
The Universe takes orders and your thoughts, dreams and desires are your order for the Universe. Fries, baked potato or mashed? Make your decision and step forward in faith in that direction to take action towards what you desire. Without faith in the Universal law and without faith in the process, you keep one foot behind (just in case it doesn’t work like you’ve heard it does) and only one foot forward, and then you’re stuck. Ever feel stuck? Perhaps it’s because you don’t have faith in the process, faith in the Universe and you get stuck stepping out of your comfort zone. More on comfort zones in future posts. You must decide and then jump in with both feet to move you towards your desires and the Universe will conspire in your favor to make it happen. People and opportunties will be brought into your path that you never noticed before once you’re on your true path of your dreams and desires.
You must believe it is possible, because you get what you expect. You must be committed to staying in the positive when you think about and speak about your “I am” statements because anything you say after “I am” will come looking for you. Avoid the negative in any of your statements that concern you or what you want so you don’t mix up your order with the Universe. Be very clear with your orders to the Universe so there is no question about what you want.
Setting big goals to move you towards your big dreams is the first step in creating momentum and acting on your desires. If you’re ever bored or don’t wake up with a burning desire, then you don’t have a big enough goal. Take stock of your dreams and desires and take 100% accountability for what results from your actions. We create our world around us from what we thought about, did and created in the past. Our choices of yesterday created our today.
We created it – not the economy, not your mother, not the job, not your family, not any other misfortune. We did. We create our reality – 100% accountability. Sometimes it sucks to be respsonsible for all that. It sure is easier to blame the economy or where you live or your boss, or colleagues or kids or whatever, but the buck really stops with us. We must take 100% accountability for our choices, our outcomes, our dreams, desires and what we do about them. You know you’re on the right path towards your true true purpose and the big dreams when your joy is bursting out of you. Your inner guidance system is your joy. Things that bring the biggest joy are in alignment with your purpose and the right dreams and desires in alignment with your purpose – that’s how you know you’re on the right path.
When your dreams and desires and your doing are in alignment with your true life purpose, then all of your actions automatically serve others. It’s when your actions, thoughts, desires and wants are not serving others and only serving you that you should know you are out of alignment. AND it may all fall away because the Universe likes us to serve others and improve the world and expand, not contract and be selfish. Just sayin…..
What are your dreams and desires? Are they big enough to fill your heart? Are they serving others? Or are they only serving you? When we have a goal big enough, that in the process of achieving it, we become someone worth becoming too. It may be scary big – why not think BIG to create the momentum and get you unstuck? What are you DOING to move you towards your dreams and desires? It helps to write things down. We have too much swimming in our heads to remember it all. Write down your dreams, who they serve, write down everything you want.
Sometimes it helps to write down everything you DON’T want on one side of a paper and then write the opposite on the other side. Sometimes it’s easier for know what you don’t want than what you do want because society conditions us that way. THEN, what are you doing to get there? What is the gap analysis? What are your goals and objectives to move you in the direction of your dreams and desires? Do you have a plan of action? What is your order to the Universe and do you have faith that it will be delivered and the resources will be made available to you as you need them to make it happen?
It’s that time of year when I look back and look forward and do a gap analysis. I look at my past rear in review and match it to my former Hot 100 List, my list of at least 100 things that I wanted to accomplish in my life. Being a card-carrying member of the over-achiever’s club, I always have more than 100 just to stretch my thinking and look forward to past the current year. Resolutions, schmesolutions. These aren’t your grandma’s New Year’s list. This is a lifeforce all it’s own. Your compass for living and leading the life you love.
I’ve been doing this list and this exercise officially since 1984 with a written list and a purposeful time set aside to create it, dream and renew my goals and desires for the big plans I have for me. I take thoughtful time to reflect on the past year, lessons learned, what don’t I want any more, what do I want to start doing and stop doing and keep the same or pump up the volume.
It’s not necessarily a bucket list, although you can incorporate items that may be on your bucket list. It can be simpler lifestyle goals, health benchmarks, financial goals or personal achievements. I had one item that was on my list before I even had a written list. It was on my list for 27 years. And you can imagine the celebration I had when it finally came true. Some of my items are only on for a year or a few weeks before I get to cross them off. Some items I find I don’t want any more – life changes. It’s not about necessarily reaching those specific goals, it’s about creating them and allowing yourself to dream big dreams for your life.
To make sure I cover my bases on the left brain and right brain and all senses side; I not only write down in numbered style in long hand, pen to paper, but I also create a vison board with photos and phrases. I used to cut and paste magazine photos onto posterboard. Now I do my collage digitally so I can make a custom greeting card using a simple software and send myself the card with my vision board as well as my affirmations and life purpose on it. I have one at my desk and one in my purse at all times to keep me reminded of why I do what I do and what I want for my life. It comes in very handy during wait times in airports and waiting rooms.
Along with your Hot 100 List, I suggest you write out your ideal day putting pen to paper – no typing any of this out. Your heart and your body hear it better and internalize hand-written things over the typed word. Make the head and heart connection by writing out in long hand how you want your ideal day to go in excruciating detail. Give yourself time and permission to take this very seriously. Most people spend more time writing up their holiday gift list than doing this special gift list for themselves.
Stay tuned for our upcoming free teleclass on cracking the code to your life purpose. Doing your Hot 100 List and your Ideal Day exercise will help you clarify your path and prepare for our call. Be looking for our special offer to those who want to work with us and discover your own life purpose which is in your DNA. You have it at your fingertips. Let us help you understand how you’re supposed to move through this world. Looking forward to seeing you on the call on 2 February.