What We are Reading for Halloween 2021

Halloween is almost here!! We will be celebrating our third Halloween with our two year old and I have a feeling this will be the first one where she takes an interest in the holiday. She has already made it clear that she will destroy anything in her path that comes between her and some M&M’s. To introduce her the idea of Halloween and it’s activities we picked out a couple books from the library to share.

Clifford’s First Halloween
by Norman Bridwell (Scholastic, 1995)

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Everybody’s favorite bestfriend celebrates his first Halloween. In this book he is a long way from becoming the Big Red Dog and appears as the Small Red Puppy. The Clifford franchise is timeless, and my Mom probably read it in the 60’s when they were little kids. My wife and I loved Clifford as children, and we clearly have turned our two year daughter into a fan. Although, Clifford’s First Halloween isn’t my favorite story, it was available as a board book which is necessary to keep my two year old from taking her occasional anger out on the pages. When she gets older we will definitely add classic Clifford’s Halloween to our bookshelf:

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DC’s Super Hero Halloween (DC’s Justice League)
(Random House, 2021)

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My daughter has become a fan of Spiderman and Batman, and is even dressing up as Supergirl for Halloween. So of course I had to pick up this book to share with my daughter. If you like DC character’s then you will enjoy this book with your toddler. The art is appealing to kids and not boring to parents. It’s a cute book but there isn’t much of story, there’s a little humor that our two year old is too young for and most adults are too old for. But it has great message about true heroes sharing with their friends.

If You’re Scary and You Know it!
Carole Gerber, Noel Ill (Familius LLC., 2019)

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By far my favorite book on this list. I am sure this will become a holiday staple and an instant hit with Dad’s who are looking for books to read to their children. The art is colorful and interesting but reading it to our daughter is the most fun part!! It follows the tune of If You are Happy and You Know it (see below) and is a real tongue twister to read. The writing is clever and cute. I enjoy practicing reading the book and seeing how fast I can sing the song without getting tripped up.

Pumpkin Baby!
Elias Barks, Meg Hunt (Hazy Dell Press, 2020)

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I picked up Pumpkin Baby! because it is a flap book. Our two year old enjoys turning the pages when we read to her, sometimes before we are ready to go to the next page, and the flap books are always good at keeping her attention as we read through the book. The illustrator, Meg Hunt did an awesome job with the artwork and the story has a nice cadence to it that is fun to read. I go back and forth from a limerick like reading to imitating early rap (think Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC).

Hopefully, you and your toddler will enjoy these books too! If you have any favorites to share please do so in the comments!!

Busy Doing Nothing

I find it very strange that I have more ‘free’ time but often feel busier than ever before. I have my projects like every one else. Some of the items are quickly crossed off the to do list, others ongoing and neglected. Kind of like this blog. Thing is, I just haven’t felt like I’m winning at dadding. Some days I wonder if I am even surviving at life.

Of course the areas we are most productive in life are the ones that seem so effortless. They are habitual. We get the job done without putting much thought into it. At least that is how most of my paying jobs felt. How about you? Are you on auto-pilot? It’s okay to be okay with being on auto-pilot. We can’t all be Marcus Aurelius.

Creating productive habits is something I have struggled with since I lost my job last year. I found self-employment and a work at home job, so I do get to spend more time with my family. I am rarely working on something so important that I cannot take a minute to give my daughter attention. I’m not making much money either and that’s a big trade off. What is my purpose as a father and husband besides providing for them financially?

I know this thinking is mostly the product of cultural expectations and clichés. I know I have a lot more to offer than sustenance and shelter. I know I carry my own delusions. I used to think being the stay at home dad would lead to the ideal life where I would blog about it and I would become an inspiration to millions of stay at home dads.

But the truth is I need to do this blog to remind myself of the father I want to be. The only difference between this and a private journal is that hopefully someone reading this will leave a comment that starts a conversation I never knew I needed. Or that someone else stumbles onto it and hears something they needed to hear. That’s what I really hope for.

Dad’s helping each other be better dad’s.

Happy Father’s Day (2021)

This is my second Father’s Day as a Dad. Hopefully I am doing a better job as a father than I am as a blogger. If you are a Dad you know how time consuming Dad Life can be. My wife and I recently re-watched the movie Parenthood (1989). I have seen this movie several times; the first time was in the movie theater when I was eight years old. I always enjoy seeing how my own understanding of things changes depending on what ‘stage of life’ I find myself. One scene stood out this time around was when Gil (Steve Martin) and Karen (Mary Steenburgen) are having an argument. As Gil is about to leave Karen says “Do you really have to go?” to which Gil replies, “My whole life is have to!”

Ouch!

What Dad can’t relate to the frustration of being a responsible adult? It is almost as if responsibility means doing anything other than what you want to do with your life!! And now I have to feel even more guilty for being such a selfish person!! I’m laughing as I write this and you should know I am mocking such an attitude. It is an easy attitude to adopt as a parent, but didn’t we know going into this that we would need to put aside our selfish aspirations and do everything we can to set our children up for success? Or at least that we would need to make better use of our time to accomplish both?

Some Dad’s can’t do it. They go to the store to buy a pack of smokes and never come back. But what do they do with that newfound freedom from responsibility? Do they become super successful at something and return to take care of the children they abandoned? No. I have a feeling that if I cannot handle the responsibility of being a father AND being successful at other things, I probably have a mindset that prevents me from being responsible or successful at anything.

I don’t have to do anything.

I get to be a father.

So this Father’s Day I woke up at five in the morning, although I intended to sleep in, and put my Dad Pants on. I made some blueberry pancakes for my wife and daughter and took a minute to remember how grateful I am to be a Dad! I didn’t do it because I had to, I did it because I want to. And I am so grateful that I get to! And I suddenly realized that Father’s Day is another day for me to show my appreciation for my family.

A while back a mentor taught me something about birthdays. I used to get a little depressed in the days leading up to my birthday. I felt that I usually didn’t get what I wanted, or what I expected. I was prepared every year to be disappointed on my birthday. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Who would want to be around miserable ol’ me on my birthday with an attitude like that? That mentor taught me how to change my mindset about my birthday and turn it into something that hasn’t been disappointing since! I take my wife out to dinner for my birthday! And I intend to treat my daughter and wife just the same on Father’s Day. When I make it about me, my expectations, and what I think I deserve I will always be disappointed.

When I clear away the clutter of a world that is always trying to sell desire and convince me I deserve this or that, I can focus on what is in front of me and what really matters. The greatest gift I can receive is to be with my family eating blueberry pancakes on Father’s Day. That Attitude of Gratitude helps to ensure that I’ll get to celebrate Father’s Day with my family again next year.

It’s been a while!!

2020 was a tough year, for my family as I am certain it was for everyone else!! Things are starting to open back up, the weather is getting nicer and I’m finally feeling motivated enough and hopefully enough to pick up the pieces and move forward. We recently were able to get set up at the library in our new neighborhood so I thought this will make for a nice re-entry into the blog and get back into the habit of regularly posting again. Here are three books we picked up that I am certain your family will enjoy!!

Little Blue Truck
This is a great book with a message about humility and compassion. The story teaches us that being kind to others is more rewarding than being selfish, but the Little Blue Truck shows the greatest character by helping another in need even if others think he was too selfish to deserve it!! Great cadence to the reading which my daughter loves and the illustrations are beautiful and fun!!

Little Blue Truck
by Alice Schertle, Jill McElmurry (Illustrator)

If You Happen To Have a Dinosaur
This whacky exercise in imagination and colorful illustrations is a winner! Even the text is playful. Imagine the possibilities if you had a dinosaur around. What could you do? A lot! But just don’t ask your dinosaur to carry your picnic basket!!

If you Happen to Have a Dinosaur
by Linda Bailey, Colin Jack (Illustrator)

Littles and How They Grow
This book is beautifully illustrated and very fun to read. By far my daughters favorite book on this list! Parents will find this book very relatable and your kids will enjoy hearing you read it to them. But beware, that last page brings a little tear to my eye as I’m reminded how quickly my little girl is growing up. Cherish these moments with your little one!!

Littles And How They Grow
by Kelly DiPucchio, AG Ford (Illustrator)

Posting From an Undisclosed Location

Hey, Dads (and WordPress readers)!

Sorry for the lack of updates, but as you can imagine things are crazy right now.

I, like many of you, am feeling the effects of the corona virus in my life. These last few weeks were already going to be difficult-new job, fixing up our house to sell it, finding a new place to live-but I never expected the anxiety levels to be this high!

For starters, our daughter is a premature baby under the age of 12 months. Covid-19 could be devastating if she were to be exposed to it. I would be devastated as a parent if I knew I was the one who exposed her! So my wife and I have taken the precautions we can to try to protect her, but with something this serious and unknown there’s no guarantee that we can prevent it.

There are also the economic consequences. This may the worst time to try to sell a house or buy one, and we cannot afford to pay two mortgages. Up until this week I wasn’t certain that I would actually have a job to pay for anything! Thankfully, my start date has not changed. What has changed is that from day one I will be working from home, on-boarding and all, which comes with a variety of other anxieties.

Social distancing is another matter entirely. The country has never seemed more divided at a time when we really need to come together, spiritually not physically. Physical distancing is what we should really call it. There are many great ideas on how to stay connected. But I worry that in a time when we are already suffering from a pandemic of misinformation that we’re licked when it comes to doing what we need to do slow the spread of Covid-19. It’s one thing to disagree on policy, it’s another to disagree on facts.

WHYY Radio Times – Connection and kindness during the pandemic

So what have I been doing to cope with all of this? Let’s start with the simplest thing, knowing what I have control over and what I do not. Simple but not always easy. For one, I can make sure I wash my hands, I cannot make other people wash theirs. There is not point at being angry at other people for how they choose to deal or not deal with this pandemic. It’s out of my control, and it’s out of your control. The sooner you accept that the sooner you can focus your time and energy on what you can do.

I have tried to maintain a schedule, minus a few late hours trying to finish working on our house to get it ready to list, by going to bed and waking up at my regular times. Sleep is essential to good mental and physical health.

It has been difficult to unplug, but if the news or social media is stressing you out, turn it off, put it away and spend some quality time with your family. Play a board game. Cook together. Learn to tie knots! Anything is better than obsessing over something that is out of your control. Staying glued to your news feed may seem comforting, because we all thirst for information when facing an unknown situation, but drinking from a fire hose is a bad idea.

Know that this is temporary. It doesn’t mean things will go back to the way they were, but chances are we will have different things to worry about a year from now. In the meantime, I am trying to do today the things I need to do to set myself up for success in the future. Work out more if you have the free time. Learn how to cook and eat healthy, it’s not like we’re going out to eat all the time right now. Keep saving money and investing for retirement if you are fortunate enough to have a job today. Teach yourself something new if you suddenly find yourself with a lot of free time. And most importantly, hang out with your family. Take care of them. They need you right now and you, as a Dad, are the person who can comfort them in scary times.

I see a lot of jokes about being stuck at home with the family, but trust me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in your children’s lives. Don’t waste it worrying about things that in the end will not be as important. No man says, “I wish I had worked more hours” on his death bed!

Meditate. Pray. Take a nap. Do whatever it is you need to unwind (just a heads up, drinking increases anxiety) that improves your mental health. Write, even if you have never written before. Sit in a quiet place and record voice notes on what you are thinking and feeling. As soon as you bring it to the surface, you have a chance to identify what you are afraid of, whether it is worth fearing, and if there is anything you can do about it. Reflect on the moment. Step back and then you can calmly take action to resolve it. If you can do anything, then know that! The best thing one can do when it is raining is to let it rain.

This is going to be a trying time for all of us. I know that it has been for me, but I also believe that we will come out stronger on the other end of it. This is a time to practice humility, compassion, and gratitude. Everyday is a gift, don’t waste it.

Now listen to this great song by Toad the Wet Sprocket and relax.

Top Books for Better Dadding

How early should you start reading to your baby? You can start the same day they are born if you are so inclined. The psychologist in the NICU told us reading to our baby is one of the most important things we can do for her cognitive development. Newborns are taking in a lot of information so read to them and let your baby hear your voice and the variety of sounds that it produces. If you are running out of things to say to your baby (after all it is a one sided conversation for many months) and find your vocabulary is limited to few sentences repeated over and over you can just read books you enjoy outloud to your baby. It’s a win-win situation!

What to Expect: The First Year

Heidi Murkoff; Sharon Hazel

My wife and I read this book together while she was pregnant. There are a lot of myths and other misinformation that we pick up through life about being a parent and how to take care of our children. For example, I always thought you had to pat your baby on the back to make them burp after eating. Not so at all. Most of the time babies burp on their own, just make sure you are holding them upright should more than air come up with that burp! This book is a great starting point for knowing what to expect when you are a first time parent and how to just about any situation that you can think of during your first year as a parent.

The New Dad’s Survival Guide: What to Expect in the First Year and Beyond

Rob Kemp

The New Dad’s Survival Guide was one of the first books I picked up while getting ready for our daughter to arrive. If I were going to write about book about what you need to know as a first time, I wouldn’t, because Rob Kemp already wrote an excellent book to cover what you need to know. It’s about more than how to change diapers and burp your baby, but also covers things to like how to communicate with your partner and a heads up for some of the mistakes we make when trying to adjust to this new way of life.

The Gardener and The Carpenter

Alison Gopnik

What is your approach to parenting? Are you trying to shape your child into a specific person following strict guidelines or do you allow your child to come into the would and learn to flourish on their own? I think Dadding teaches me as much about myself as I can teach my daughter Parenting is a fairly new term. In the past thirty years, the concept of parenting and the multibillion dollar industry surrounding it have transformed child care into obsessive, controlling, and goal-oriented labor intended to create a particular kind of child and therefore a particular kind of adult. Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. Children are messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world.

The Consolations of Philosophy

Alain De Botton

I read this book to my daughter in the NICU. There was a local bookstore down the street from the hospital and this book was mentioned in an finance book I was reading at the time (Hagstrom). The book is an insightful look into how philosophy helps us to understand ourselves and the world around us. I read his book The Architecture of Happiness while I was in college and it completely changed the way I felt about what I could accomplish as an architect. Consolations changed the way I felt about what I could accomplish as a human being by changing my perspective.

Investing: The Last Liberal Art

Robert G. Hagstrom

In the year leading up to our daughter’s birth I was trying to learn as much as I could about personal finance and investing. I knew enough to know that the more money I invested the greater my annual income would become. I didn’t expect this book to be such a paradigm shift in the way I thought not just about investing, but innovation and insight. Hagstrom uses Charlie Munger’s ‘Latticework of Mental Models’ as a basis for understanding business models and how we can take the principles from one discipline and apply them to others. Depth of knowledge is great, but breadth of knowledge is where true innovation comes from.


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Baby’s First Trip to the Emergency Room

We knew our daughter would get sick at some point, I just really hoped it would be much later. My wife caught a cold with a fever on Wednesday, and by Friday she was texting me at work, “Don’t be alarmed but Veda is sick now.” Our daughter had a temperature of 102° F. My wife called the nurse hotline provided to us by the NICU and they said at this age we didn’t need to be as concerned about her temperature but to keep a close eye on her respiration. Before three months of age any temp over 100.4° is of serious concern.

Our daughter is coming up on six months (three months adjusted for prematurity) and might have been eligible for a flu shot at her next appointment. She already receives the RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) vaccine. The Coronavirus is all over the news, but we seriously doubted that was the problem. I have heard the stories about new parents rushing their baby to the ER at the first sign of a cough and didn’t want to be that kind of parent. So we kept a close eye on her breathing and reluctantly gave her infant Tylenol to reduce her fever.

Friday night she slept on my chest, skin to skin, and my wife and I got up to feed her every few hours. We wanted to make sure she was staying well hydrated as her immune system battled it out with the illness. Fortunately, I was able to spend all day Saturday with her. My wife had a previously scheduled appointment she wanted to cancel, but I assured her we’d be okay. I looked forward to some father-daughter time and put Star Wars on the PlayStation and held her all morning.

Saturday evening I met up with my friends Bob and Tyler for coffee and we got to talking about my daughter being sick. When my daughter was born I found out Bob had also been born premature. That’s the way men console each other. I went through a difficult time, but you can’t even tell. So he mentioned he got pneumonia when he was a few months old too. “I got sick at that age but it was okay. I’m still alive, right?”

Unfortunately, in this new Dad’s mind, that meant “Holy shit! My daughter might have pneumonia!” I was also thinking about the days before our daughter’s birth where my wife’s condition continued to worsen and we thought it was just a normal part of being pregnant. I didn’t want to repeat that mistake.

I was worried that I might be overreacting as a new parent. I didn’t want to be the kind of parent that rushes to the ER every time my daughter coughs, but when I got home, our daughters temperature was still high and the Tylenol didn’t seem to help break the fever. She was starting to cough more and I was starting to worry more. “Babe, let’s call the nurse hotline again,” I said to my wife. The nurse helped us get a rough count of our daughters respirations per minute and said it seemed a little high. She recommended we take our daughter to the ER so at 10:30 pm Saturday night off we went.

At the ER they ran a test for RSV and Influenza, checked our daughters breathing and x-rayed her chest. Everything came back good except for influenza. Now everything that I have seen on the news makes it sound like you should panic when the elderly and infants get the flu, but the RN acted like it was no big deal. “We’ve seen a lot of kids for influenza right now. She’s going to be just fine.” The pediatrician prescribed Tamiflu, gave our daughter more Tylenol and discharged us. So at 1:30 am these very tired parents were back at home. This was the latest we stayed up since our daughter was born, I didn’t make it passed 11:20 pm on New Years Eve!

I’m glad that we did go to the ER as soon as we did, because if we had waited it out our daughter would have missed the window for any kind of treatment. And that is when complications can occur. Thankfully she is getting better now and I am reminded that as a parent I have to trust my instincts, and ignore my pride. The flu can progress into something more serious so it is best to err on the side of caution.

For more information on how you can protect your children from Influenza check out the following sites:

March of Dimes – Influenza and Your Baby

CDC – Protect Against Flu: Caregivers of Infants and Young Children

What Matters?

I recently rejoined Twitter to try and promote this blog and follow a few traders I like from Options Action. I recently shared that I left social media altogether and life has never been better for me. Less distraction, more progress toward my goals. But I bit the bullet and signed up, because that’s how this machine works.

Everyday we encounter the world outside of us and respond to what we sense (sound, sight, smell, taste, temperature, texture, etc.). We are struck with emotion every step of the way, sometimes intense, sometimes subtle. Emotions are involuntary, no matter how much you believe you are a rational person. Emotions are precognitive, like reflexes. If you are in sound health they work, if not you should see a doctor.

Feelings are different, and typically confused with emotion. Feelings are just your opinion of the emotions you are experiencing. You can call them thoughts if you do not like to consider yourself a ‘feely’ kind of person. How you feel about your emotions determines how you will act upon them. For those that insist upon arguing you are not driven by emotion, let us just say it this way-Your opinion about your emotions determines how you will react to them. Opinions are not facts.

We live in a world with more stimuli than ever before, with each stimulus encountered comes an emotional response. Those emotions tell us what is going on in the world around us. You cannot make decisions without emotion (read Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio for more information.)

Social media and our smart phones act like a sixth sense, alerting us to something happening outside of us. The emotional responses come and go so quickly we don’t even have time to ‘feel’ them until we have already reacted. A tweet about a new venture by someone I follow was attacked by other twits about an unrelated subject and as an expression of schadenfreude. I, of course, wanted to jump in and defend them. But do they need me to defend them? Does it matter anyway?

I put down the phone and went to check on my daughter, still soundly sleeping. As I stood there at her crib feeling a great sense of love and compassion (and a little bit of fear as I leaned in closer to see if I could hear her breathing!) I was reminded of what really matters in life.

Cracks in the Sidewalk

As a father we have an idealized expectation to be a good caretaker of our family. We may fancy ourselves a teacher and a leader to our children. How many times have you heard that with age comes wisdom? And have you ever questioned it?

As I have grown older I can assure you I did not reflect upon each birthday and say to myself, “I feel wiser now!” In fact, I wondered why I continued to make the same mistakes again and again, if I reflected at all. Wisdom comes from making mistakes and learning from them. Some people grow old and die before they ever realize it. They are same as a man who lived his whole life without ever making a mistake.

If you want to be a leader that means you have to make the first mistake. You have to walk ahead and trip on the cracks in the sidewalk. You have to learn how to avoid those cracks and then you can teach others to do the same. But you cannot make anyone learn, you have to let them learn. We like to think that we are the smartest animal on the planet, but humans default to trial and error which most intelligent creatures on this earth are capable of doing.

Our advantage is that we do not always have to make those mistakes ourselves in order to learn from them. We can also learn from other people’s mistakes. In college, I would rarely ask a professor for help because I thought I was smarter if I could figure everything out on my own. I missed the opportunity to learn from the experience of others. Experience defined as the mistakes made by others and how they learned overcome those mistakes.

My father rarely talked to me about the mistakes he made as a young man. I certainly felt I could point out all the mistakes he made as a father while I was growing up. But if I am honest with myself, like with my professors in college, I never asked him for help. I believed I could figure it out on my own.

As you walk down the sidewalk of life with your children, point out the cracks in the sidewalk and humbly admit when you tripped on one. Simply dictating that a crack must be avoided is the equivalent of posting a street sign saying, “Sidewalk Cracked Ahead.” The sign doesn’t teach anything, it only expects a reaction of avoidance.

I can only teach my daughter from my own experience and the experience others have shared with me. ‘Because I said so!’ never worked on me and if my daughter is as recalcitrant as her father, she’ll ask why a lot. Hiding behind my pride would be a great disservice.

What’s your experience?

Resolutions for 2020

Most often we think of resolutions as declaration to stop doing some bad habit and after few months of trying to stop that habit we go right back to doing what we have been doing for many years. It’s not long before we just resolve to not make New Year Resolutions and that ends up being the only one we keep. I’m going to assume you haven’t totally given up on making resolutions if you still reading this paragraph and I’m going to show you how I make resolutions and keep them.

Take a quick look at the definition of ‘resolution’ and see that maybe making a new year resolution isn’t quite the way we have always understood it. The first definition fits our common understanding best. A firm decision to do or not to do something. In others words, set a goal. Setting a goal is just a decision. Goals are typically something we set out to do, not something we set out to stop doing. Setting goals means living life with intention.

The second definition defines a quality of being. I want to be a person who sets goals and achieves these goals. I want to live my life with intention and determination. Doing so helps me find my purpose in life. Many of us think of purpose as some specific destiny given to us like curing cancer, ending world hunger, being the hot dog eating champion of the world or whatever grand thing we can think of. If you are reading this blog I can already think of one of the greatest purposes in life that we share – being a father.

And third definition from this quick Google search relates to what we really desire. I have discovered a problem and I want to solve it. We started with a decision to do something and then we followed through with action to resolve the problem. Men by their very nature are problem solvers. Problem solving is so great a desire that we try to solve problems even when there is nothing to solve! Ask your partner if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

I make resolutions almost daily. I’m somewhere in that second definition trying to make resoluteness a quality of my being. It’s like the old GPS devices that used to try to get us back on track when we missed a turn – recalculating… recalculating… I get off track sometimes and I need that GPS device to let me know. Here are two ways you can make that GPS device a part of your resolutions:

  1. Write down your goals on a piece of paper and put that piece of paper in your wallet. Revisit it from time to time and assess what you have done to achieve that goal. Or just rediscover it when you’re trying to find that receipt you need but misplaced. Add that goal to the calendar on your phone and set it to remind you about your goal every couple of weeks or months.
  2. Tell your friends, make a declaration on social media and to your best friends so that you can be held accountable. This works mostly because you want to look good to other people, but it also works because you might find other people who have already set the same goals and achieved them. Ask them for pointers. How did they do it?

Check out the Hidden Brain podcast on making and breaking habits:

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/11/787160734/creatures-of-habit-how-habits-shape-who-we-are-and-who-we-become

One last thought about resolutions. Ditch the idea that you either succeed or fail. If you set out to lose 40 pounds and only lose 20 you still lost 20! If you set out to save $10K this year and you only save $5K you still saved more than ZERO!! Whatever your goal is, getting closer to it is better than getting further from it. Success only happens when you never give up.

Make a big goal and then set little goals to get you there. Elon Musk wants to colonize Mars. If he revolutionizes space travel in the process but doesn’t colonize Mars do you think he will be seen as a failure? If we start off thinking we can’t achieve our goals, even knowing that we can’t achieve our goals, then we won’t even try.

Really try to do something amazing this year. If you are honest in your efforts there is a good chance you will be better off for it. Your success may not be what you expected when started, but I bet you’ll be better off than when you started.


What we need are two lists. On the left side: This is what matters to me. On the right side: This is how I spend my time. In the middle, one resolution: to make the right side align with the left.

-Ellen Goodman