2009 Goal-setting: Keeping promises

My past is littered with broken New Years resolutions.  Let’s see…  I’ve gained additional poundage (not lost them),  dipped into the emergency fund, busted my budget for discretionary expenses and  gained additional poundage procrastinating in front of the boob-tube (there’s a reason why they called it the idiot-box!).  Lists will only work if they are followed and my New Year’s lists have tended to gather dust on the bulletin board.

 

This time it will be different.  Really. 

Over the past 2 years, I’ve come to realize that the core principles used to run a successful business may also be applied to our personal lives.    If we can set measurable goals (with matching midyear performance appraisals) in the line of work, surely we can do the same for ourselves and our family. 

 

Ok, so that may be easier said than done.   Thanks to Chris Guillebeau’s remarkable blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, over the next few days, I will create a personal roadmap for 2009.  His self imposed “Annual Review” is a much more grounded alternative to making vague New Year’s resolutions.  What I especially appreciate about Chris Buillebeau’s blog is that he was generous enough to share the excel template he uses to systematically organize and track his categorized goals.    There are provisions for quarterly and full-year reviews + metrics used to track progress.  I love love love the level of detail and flexibility of the template.  

I should note that what can be applied to us personally may also be applied to our families.  After creating your individual roadmaps,  sit down with your spouse or life-partner to piece together the family’s collective goals for the year(s).  Remember:  Collaboration is the key to success of any relationship.  =)

 

What about the children?  Frannie Daez,  in her book Keep It Together (available exclusively at Fully Booked) wrote that writing goals for her children “gives me a clear picture of what each of them is like at certain stages of their lives, helps me create meaningful goals for them, and helps me determine what it is I need to do in order to help them get there.”   

She lists the following steps she uses to set goals for her children:

1.       Write down the name of your child.

2.       Write down the date and age of your child.

3.       Write down a description of that child.  Start with the positive traits, followed by behaviour that you would like him or her to improve.

4.       Write down what you would like your child to do more.

5.       Write down what you would like your child to stop doing.

6.       List down the things you have to do to help your child reach those goals.

 

Too much?  It may seem to be tedious process but I agree with Chris that if we take some time to do this right,  you’ll thank yourself later.  Let us all have the best year ever!

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Wow!!! New UC Irvine Law School Hopes To Attract Best & Brightest with Promise of Free Tuition

Education is big business.  Parents are prepared to do anything just to get their children to the “best” schools,  regardless of the cost.    A school’s reputation is priceless.  But what if the school does not have an established “rep” backed by a proven success record?  UC Irvine thinks it has the key:  it is offering three years of free tuition to their first class of students to the new law school set to open in fall 2009.  The goal?  To become a top-20 law school—the first time they are ranked.  In order to do this they are offering full scholarships to all 60 members of its inaugural 2009 class.   Take note:  They are looking for Ivy League-caliber students. 

 

UC Irvine Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky believes that free education, a public interest curriculum, and being part of the University of California education system (a system that boasts top schools such as Berkeley) will fill this first class and push his new law school to an A-grade.  Chemerinsky has already hired 19 law professors and administrators, including some who are abandoning jobs at prestigious universities. The school hopes to eventually enroll 600 students and employ 40 to 50 professors.

 

During a recession, offering free tuition is pretty smart.  I can’t help but ask…  What do you think of UC Irvine’s strategy?  Would you be willing to attend a new university if it was free?

For more information about the program, go to the following links:

UC Irvine School of Law 

Prospective students 

Apply Now

Costs & Financial Aid

Discussion with undergrads about the new law school

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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From Blog to Printed Baby Book

Springwise regularly trawls through the world wide web searching for new business ideas spotted around the world.  My favorite this week is the great new offering by Kidmondo & Baby Chapters.

Here’s the Springwise entry:

Online and offline are no longer mutually exclusive realms, as we’ve already pointed out in numerous examples. The latest illustration comes from the world of online baby journals, where purveyors are increasingly beginning to offer print versions as well.

To wit: Kidmondo, which we covered this summer, has since added a print option to its offerings. Through a partnership with custom publishing platform Sharedbook, Kidmondo now gives parents a fast and easy way to turn all the content they create online into a “KidBook” in the brick-and-mortar world. Users can pick which parts of the online journal they want to include in the book as well as customizing the content, cover, titles and more. Pricing for the KidBook begins at USD 28 for a perfect-bound softcover book with 20 full-colour pages and free US shipping. Hardcover is also available, and additional pages can be added for USD 0.50 each. KidBooks are currently available only in English, but Kidmondo hopes to accommodate other languages in the future, it says.

BabyChapters, meanwhile, is another site that lets parents share their baby’s precious moments with family and friends in a safe and secure way, and also offers an online-offline combination. After creating their free online baby book, parents can select the chapters they’d like to include in a hardcover print version. Prices begin at USD 27.95 for a 24-page book, with a 20 percent discount for additional copies. Los Angeles-based BabyChapters launched in April.

These would make great gifts for doting grandparents and other family members.  =)

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Invest and Hold

“The stock market is presenting you with one of the great buying opportunities of your lifetime – perhaps the greatest. Stop trying to pick the bottom.”

That’s what 41-year market veteran Steve Leuthold, of the Leuthold Group, just told his clients.   In order words,  INVEST, don’t DIVEST!

If you feel that you don’t have either the inclination nor the patience to research and cherry-pick choice stocks,  then why not set aside some funds to invest in index funds?    Remember,  you don’t need to get the timing exactly right.  It’s time to buy for the next decade.  =)

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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In desperate need of pest control

There’s something weird.. in the neighborhood.  Who’re you gonna call?  Pestbusters!

I wish it was as simple as that.    There are times when a sheet of flypaper will do the trick and Vaseline will serve to keep the ants away.    Allercon & Rainbow, the wonder vaccuum cleaner will rid your mattresses of dust mites.  But what about termites, roaches, spiders and other pests?    Pest management seems to have evolved into a complicated and specialized area of home mgt/maintenance.   

There are companies which offer a wide array of services ranging from residential/commercial pest control to air duct cleaning.  Of increasing importance are the health concerns being raised about the pesticides being used.   Customers are looking for “green” alternatives to commercial insecticides & pesticides.    Before hiring the fumigation or soil treatment services of your neighborhood pest control specialist,  do conduct some research on the chemicals they use.

In the United States,  there’s Alpha Ecological,  a pest control specialist with offices in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, and Colorado.  Here,  there’s Mapecon, which has centers in key cities.  Please contact these companies to get a diagnosis on your problem.     They can customize treatments to best meet your pest management needs.

So the next time you hear the shriek… IPIS!!!!  you know who to contact.  =)

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Another Quote of the Day

I was going through my long list of unread emails today and came across this:

Auditor’s one line report on Lehman Brothers Balance sheet:

“There are two sides of a Balance Sheet, Left and Right (Assets and Liabilities, respectively):
 On the Right side, there is nothing right; and on the Left side, there is nothing left”.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Quote of the Day

Giving is a necessity sometimes…more urgent, indeed, than having.

—Margaret Lee Runbeck

 

 

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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