Why do people post about their running on social media ?

Here is a free gift – 3 minutes of your time – We simply don’t know the answer to the question of ‘why people post sporting activity on Facebook’.  So now you can stop reading and carry on with your day.

I suspect however, that you are interested, so do carry on.

How do you feel when you read posts on social media?

So, its first thing in the morning, and you read on Facebook that someone has just been out for a run. How do you feel? What do you think? What thoughts do you harbour towards them?

This parody may seem humorous, yet would it be an acceptable approach if someone morbidly overweight was trying to lose weight and stay on track by posting updates on FB? How about someone recovering from a physical or mental illness and posting updates to not only keep their social group involved, but also, to be accountable?

What’s it like trying to start? It’s no joke

At a funeral of a friend (aged 43) recently, someone came up to me who I hadn’t seen for about 10 years, and said ‘my wife showed me a post on Facebook years ago when you said you were going for a run – we thought it was a huge joke’. 6 years later, 6 inches less around the waistline and almost 50 pounds lighter, he could see that there was no joking – but rather a huge change, mocking had turned to admiration and praise for me.

What about these constant updates?

For me, from going from a sedentary couch potato, to someone who exercises at 4:30am is an ongoing journey, not a flick of a switch, no set goals or targets, just a sustained change of behaviour.  Yes, I could have switched the Facebook and Twitter updates off, but we have a saying in Life Planning – ‘to be a life planner, you need to live your own life plan.’

Walk the walk and talk the talk

How hypocritical would I be if I was coaching and working with my clients to improve their health if I led an unhealthy lifestyle? How much credibility would I lose if, when working with people to create more time, space and help prioritise their days, my day was lazy, lethargic, and detrimental to progress?

If you saw a dentist with bad teeth, what would you think? It is the same in all walks of life.  Doctors who smoke! – surely that is one of the biggest levels of hypocrisy there is!

We are not health freaks at Serenity, but we do all take care of ourselves (and support each other), with a firm view on moving forward in our own life-plans.

Is social media about bragging rights or looking for support?

People post their activity on Facebook etc. for reasons best known to them – the truth is, you really do not know why they do it (you may think you know, but actually, you don’t truly know all about their journey to this point in life). For some, it may be for irritation, bragging and boasting (which may originate from insecurity – so go easy on them), however, for many it is for reassurance, support, energy, the will to keep going, accountability.  For others, it may be to offer a glimpse of inspiration to give others the belief that they too can make a huge change in their lives.

A runner never laughs at a fat or slow runner, you do not know how far they have come, or how far they have to go – but they are out there, working at it, one step at a time.

Don’t shift your own guilt by mocking others. The reality probably is, that you are simply angry and frustrated with yourself.

Together we can bring some Serenity to your life

Are you a role model for your child – or trying to mould them ?

Is it good to shape a child on your own dreams?

It’s all too tempting to channel your children into a mini-me.  Yes they look up to their parents as super heroes who can do marvellous things, and there is a likelihood, that what ever example you set as a parent, they will follow.

How do your habits rub off onto your children?

If you munch on pizza and burgers in front of the TV each night, that precedent is set for eating unhealthily (both in manner and content).  If however you exercise, that too may rub off, and they will most likely follow our example to some degree, which in turn brings you great joy.  The obvious exception to this, is when you work for months to refine a yoga pose, and your 4 year old daughter walks straight in, does it, and goes on her way as if nothing ever happened (the experience of a face-planted crow!).

Is there a better way than forcing our children to follow

Rather than forcing our children to follow in our footsteps, making them have ballet lessons, toughening up the son with a good dose of winter rugby in the wind and hail and so on,  there are 4 clear stages in which we can help them build up ‘grit’ – a form of determination which will help them through life.

Four ways to help children through life

An Interest (and this needs to be encouraged rather than focusing on their weaknesses);

Deliberate and regular practise (to refine the skills);

A purpose (the long term reasoning about what it brings to others) and

Hope (that resilience that they will keep trying and moving forwards despite what comes their way).

You can read more in this article from Success magazine

Funnily enough, it is not just children who this applies to, it is us as well – especially when your 4 year old contortionist leaves the room with you in a twisted crumpled heap!

Together we can bring some Serenity to your life

 

5 Holes in your Bucket list? – Here’s why…

Do I need a bucket list?

There is far more to life than just having the traditional ‘bucket list’  – here is why…

Don’t just have a tick list of things to do 

Take running a marathon, once that is done, do you stop running?  Once you have had the holiday of a lifetime, do you stop holidaying, once you have built or developed the ideal house, do you become complacent about it?  If you were to become a senior manager of where you worked, would the name badge be your goal?  Look beyond the tangible things in life. 

There are always reasons why you want to do things

Take running a marathon again, is it bragging rights you are after and to get a medal?  To have a focus to keep you training to improve your overall fitness, or to push yourself to the max?  Similarly, with travel, is visiting places just an opportunity to say ‘cross that one off your list Margaret’ or are the deeper experiences, memories, understanding and experiences to have?  What would that ideal house give you, more than a big house to look at, but perhaps a haven a home, the space for your family to just be. Finally, achievement at work – is the name badge and title really all that matters, or is it that you inspire and lead continually, rather than just puff your chest out feeling important all of a sudden. Once you know the WHAT you want to do, ask yourself WHY you want to do it, and what if you didn’t do it.

The people in your life are also part of this 

Your plan, your goals, your vision.  That’s all great, focus is a wonderful thing, but not to the detriment of all of those around you. Training for a marathon requires a lot of compromise and balance with your family.  The ideal holiday, has to be agreeable with everyone else, and then the key is not to lose sight that it is also their trip and experience as well. Just because it was on your list, does not mean that your view on what should happen is the only one which counts. The house – it’s again key to allow everyone to enjoy it, to find their own spaces, enjoyment, way of living.  Overall it is a home, and one for people to feel safe and loved in, not just a pile of building materials.  Pursuit of a career without recognition of everyone else leads to huge unhappiness in many families.  Leaving home at 7am, returning at 6pm – really, what quality of life is that, and sometimes, it is easy to kid ourselves that we are doing it for everyone else.  If you died today, guess what, your boss would replace you tomorrow! Always remember who will be by your bedside when you die.

The experience is fluid 

It is great to have an idea, a vision of what it may be like, but remember, that is in your head – it is your reality, but not anyone else’s.  A sub 4 hour marathon may need to become a 5 hour one,  the holiday may be slightly, or even very different from what you had imagined, the house may not be a new one, but a renovations, a different location, anything could change – what if it is a red door instead of the blue one you had dreamed of?  It’s just the portal to your haven – not the end of the world! What if you don’t become a director or senior manager of where you used to work, but rather found something very different elsewhere?  Not the pin-striped suited meeting in a glass clad office, full of ego and materialism, but a real influencer, someone who made a difference – to others not just the owners bank balances? Go with the flow, like a river, the twists and turns often bring the most unexpected joy and happiness.

Ultimately, life, and your plan is an ongoing journey

Life is an ongoing development, change, adaption, and experience.  Yes, of course it ends one day, but life as it is, is ongoing journey, something constantly changing. Take the marathon, maybe it is a shift to a healthier lifestyle which is the key, yes, the desire of a medal or running for 5 hours is the catalyst, but it is the shift which is the deeper aim. The travel may be to enjoy experiences, to enhance our understanding of the world, to create memories and to have happy times.  Picking destinations is the catalyst.  The house may be to create a safe haven a family hub, a place where you can all be together, and the career may well be to make a difference to others, which once we understand is not necessarily done with name badges, starts to release that attachment and ego. Life is not a list of achievements, it is a sense of feelings, of messages.

Life  is who you are being along the way. So when you compile your bucket list, 101 places etc, start to look examine the reasons and feelings – that’s and is why working with a professional financial life planner is very different from just saying  ‘cross that off your list Margaret’.

 

Is my ideal retirement possible?

Is there a chance my retirement may be different?

Many people find that their view and experience of their retirement may be very different from what they expect. Reality can be a pretty harsh awakener (especially if it’s your own retirement).

How do I get a picture of my income in retirement?

In the financial part of the equation, you can of course model, plan and adjust assumptions and figures as you head towards the big day and the rest of your life.  Of course it takes a high degree of  knowledge and skill to get the figures absolutely correct, and with the aid of technology, it is easier to get pretty close, even building in re-runs of the 2008 credit crunch (remember that?).

What if things don’t turn out like I thought?

Even if you have the financial plan in place, it may be that the other side of retirement – LIFE – can all of a sudden, not unfold quite as you had imagined.

What do I want from retirement?

Will your retirement be all holidays and lunches at garden centres? Will it be just looking forward to watching your favourite TV show with an eccles cake and a cup of tea at 3.30pm ?  Or, could it be full of purpose, full of fun, a brand new start?

What do I want to achieve when I finish work?

Frequently people who had such high expectations for their retirement, find that a year or two in, they have managed to find themselves in a rut of mundaneness (they may even be fulfilling their spouses retirement and not even thinking about their own). They may even look back and wish that they had stayed working and be paid to be bored, rather than sacrifice an income and lack little social interaction.

Should I start to plan my life and money?

People just like you are quickly realising that they need to plan their retirement just as they plan their future.  That planning is not just about scheduling in a month-long break to Malta each October, but figuring out how each day and week may look for you.  What will you do to happily fill the time, and regain your purpose and passions which may well have been put on hold for 50 years (whilst ‘grown up life’ for in the way).

Is there more to retirement than just money?

Finding your happy retirement is not just going to be attached to a number – a certain amount of income, especially if all those years lack fun, freedom and a real purpose. You will probably find that the things which bring you the most joy, may not even cost much at all, you just need to find them and not be trapped in a retirement bucket.

Together we can bring some Serenity to your life

 

How to keep your routine going when travelling

How do I stop travel distorting my daily routine

It’s not easy building and developing a regular daily routine of eating well, caring for the body and mind, and generally looking after yourself.

Once you have established one however, travel, holidays or being in a different environment seem to take a swipe from the side, pushing you off track. Be it travelling to a different city for work (which if you do often enough, can then develop its own routine – such as finding a yoga session in a sleeper compartment on a train), a two week holiday, or a visit to friends or family, this disruption or disturbance can dramatically cause you to go off track, and potentially jeopardise the regular routine when you return to your normal environment.

How do I keep my routine when others don’t embrace it?

Perhaps the greatest challenge is staying with others who are not aligned with your own routine.

Does it appear unsociable to head off for a run, to lock yourself away to meditate, or to spend that 30 minutes a day focussing on the project you have committed to? Maybe in your own mind it does, but just think about the last time you had a guest to stay, and they took time out to spend some time on a task they are dedicated to (or turned down a slice of chocolate cake). How did that seem to you?

Will people be upset if I do my own thing?

Rather than being offended at your guest’s need for time, it is more likely that you admired their dedication, commitment and desire to move forward, and at the same time, opened up a great discussion about their routine.

Can I inspire others with my routine?

Rather than feel ashamed or uneasy of your regular routine when travelling, embrace the adapted version, be proud of it, explain it to others, and act as their inspiration to move themselves forwards.

 

Why just goals or objective based planning is selling the client short

Pure goals and objective based planning is far better than the greedy pursuit of ‘more’ which has been the bedrock of financial advice for many a year.  Look at it, once we have more, we want some more of that more – it is a never satisfying cycle. Continue reading “Why just goals or objective based planning is selling the client short”

What is a financial life plan ?

Here is a questions often asked – what is a financial life plan, and why would I need that as opposed to a financial plan?  

More and more consumers are understanding that there is a difference between the old way of financial advice (selling as many products as possible) and financial planning (where recommendations are able to demonstrate that they are relevant and appropriate for the long term).

So where is Financial Life Planning different? Continue reading “What is a financial life plan ?”