Monthly Archives: February 2011

If it Matters, Write it Down


by Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

We know from a study from Yale in 1953 that the 3% of Yale graduates who had written goals had more wealth years later than the other 97% of the class combined. Also, in 1964, Harvard Business School did a similar study on the financial status of its students 10 years after graduation and found that:

  • 27% of them needed financial assistance
  • 60% of them were living paycheck to paycheck
  • 10% of them were living comfortably
  • 3% of them were financially independent.

The study also looked at goal setting and found these interesting correlations.

  • The 27% that needed financial assistance had absolutely no goal setting process in their lives
  • The 60% that were living paycheck to paycheck had basic survival goals;such as managing to live paycheck to paycheck
  • The 10% that were living comfortably had general goals. They thought they knew where they were going to be in the next five years
  • The 3% that were financially independent had written out their goals and the steps required to reach them.

What’s your goal setting process, and how does it work for you?  Leave your reply and let us know.

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Filed under Coaching, Personal Transitions

Bare Branches

by Gail Z. Martin

We don’t get a lot of snow here in the Carolinas, but we can get ice.  I love it when I can see every bare twig and branch glittering with ice or dusted with snow.  All of a sudden, the dry, bare, leafless branches don’t look dead or sad.  They’re alive with light, glittering like diamonds.  Until the temperature rises, all those bare trees that wouldn’t have gotten my attention are suddenly miraculous.  I’m suddenly aware of the stark beauty, the symmetry, the complexity.  Something ordinary and unremarkable is breathtaking because the ice makes me see it as if for the first time.

There are some things in my work and life that I need to re-imagine this year.  Right now, those areas seem as bare and fruitless as the branches of the winter trees.  It’s easy to look right past them.  But the ice reminds me that there is hope and beauty in waiting, and that even things that haven’t blossomed yet are worthy of appreciation for their complexity and promise.  So I will try to take a lesson from the ice and apply it to the “bare branches” in my life.

What “bare branches” do you need to re-imagine this year?

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Inspiration, Intentions, Motivation

On becoming an advocate!

by Meredith K. Bromfield, M.A. Ed

Wow as life seems to hand many women life-changing challenges my job has changed. I am an author, an investment advisor, a counselor and now an advocate. I have taken all these skills and put them together to be that person in a women’s life to help her navigate the challenges she will face when an event occurs that rocks her world. The event may be a divorce, a death of a spouse, a retirement or becoming a caregiver. These events in of themselves are very overwhelming but then to have to navigate through the fields of paperwork and dealing with attorneys, CPA’s, life insurance companies, and human resource departments and all that they are requiring can be overwhelming to say the least. My company, Crossing Your Bridge, is here to help. With a network of resources and personal one-on-one treatment, unlimited phone and email contact you never need to face this situation alone.

You can listen to the audio from when Meredith was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here:

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Filed under Business Planning, Image & Identity, Inspiration

Freebie Friday – Gifts from Sandy Dumont

Sandy Dumont, The Image Architect, our guest blogger from this week is kind enough to share the following gifts:

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Filed under Freebie Friday, Guest Blogger

Determination and Creativity

by Gail Z. Martin

I happen to love the squirrels in our backyard.  I wish I could bend like that in my Yoga class!  We have several bird feeders right outside the kitchen window, and I love to take a break with a cup of tea and watch the squirrels perform acrobatics to get to the suet cakes and bird seed.

I hope I can have the determination and creativity of the average gray squirrel this year.  Mr. Squirrel lets nothing get in his way!  If he has to hang upside-down by one toe to get a bite of corn, he does it.  Perch on a thin, wobbly garden stake?  Fearlessly.  Leap from the bird feeder to the window screen?  Without a second thought.  Wow, I need some of that moxie.  I want to be just as quick on my feet as the squirrel is (especially when he knows the dog is heading out the screen door).  I want the confidence to navigate business tightropes as gracefully as the squirrels run along the back of the fence.  I want to make leaps of intuition and take leaps of faith with the perfect balance that the average squirrel uses to jump from one flimsy branch to another.  And I want to store up enough of a cushion with my investments so I can hibernate during retirement if it’s cold outside.  Add that to my New Year’s resolutions—I want to be a squirrel!

Have you ever gotten a business or personal insight from something in nature?  Please share!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Inspiration