10 Money Rules That Never Go Out of Style

While some fads come and go, there are some timeless things that always ring true. Money has been around in one form or another for ages; it only makes sense that certain truths have been discovered in wise ways to make the best use of this asset.

Here are 10 rules that will never steer you wrong:

  1. Practice intelligent risk management. Unless you have a large income and very frugal ways, you’re never going to amass a fortune by putting all your money in a savings account.
    • That 0.31% interest might be about as safe you can get; however, higher risk investments are preferable over the long term to low interest income-producing investments. In today’s terms, think stocks for long-term investments, rather than low risk bonds or savings accounts.

  2. Have an emergency fund. Without some savings to handle the inevitable hiccups that happen to everyone, your long-term plans can be in jeopardy. With an emergency fund, when a big financial challenge comes into your life, you can avoid having to dip into your retirement to pay your bills.

  3. Diversify. Putting all your eggs in one basket can be catastrophic if something happens to that basket. A significant financial loss to your portfolio can take 10 years or more to recover from. Diversifying your investments limits the amount
    of your losses.

  4. Be patient. Many of the most successful investors spend the majority of their time sitting, not buying and selling stocks. When you find a great stock to purchase, it can be several years before the price matches the value. Many investors have sold way too soon, only to discover they should have waited.
    • Amassing a fortune takes time, but that $300 a month you keep socking away will add up to something significant if you’ll give it time.

  5. Avoid trying to time the market. Timing the market is an exercise in futility. Smarter people have used super computers and failed miserably. The best time to invest is now. Good investments may be harder to find than at other times, but now is always the best time.

  6. Be cheap. When you’re buying managed investments like mutual funds, take a look at the management fee. Are you really getting your money’s worth? Be sure the management team is worth the extra money.

  7. Buy low. While it can be lucrative to pay what something is worth and have the value grow in time, it’s even more lucrative to pay much less than something is worth. Search for investments that you can get at a bargain price. This assumes that everything else is in order as well. A bad company is a bad investment at any price.

  8. Do something. Wishing and thinking require as much energy as making and executing a plan. Instead of daydreaming all the time, just do something. Even a little financial planning and some minimal, but consistent, action make a big difference over time.

  9. Debt is usually a bad thing. No one wishes they had more debt. While the debt required to buy a house is acceptable within reason, any other debt should be examined closely.

  10. Do everything (legal) you can to avoid taxes. Minimizing your taxes is work that’s well worth the effort. Everyone should pay as little in taxes as possible. Don’t just give away your money unless it’s charitable, and the IRS doesn’t count as a charity.

Every game has rules; money is no different. Which rules have you been following? Which have you been violating? Follow these 10 rules and you’ll be well on your way to mastering money.

How to Learn a New Skill Quickly

Unless you’re happy enough with yourself to stay the same for the rest of your life, you’re going to have to learn a few new skills along the way. As with anything else, some methods of learning are better than others.

Skills take time to develop, so it’s important to use your time as wisely as possible.

Follow these steps to learn new skills quickly and easily:

  1. Do it daily. Every day you don’t spend developing your new skill is a lost day. There’s a limit to how much anyone can learn in a day. That’s true whether it’s a motor skill or something more knowledge-based. Spend at least a few minutes each day developing your new skill. Make the most of each day.

  2. Set a goal. Goals provide a target and a direction. They also include a deadline. With a goal, you have a specific purpose and a set amount of time to accomplish it. Without a goal you’re largely drifting in the wind. Set a goal and focus.

  3. Get expert help. Having a coach is a great way to master a skill quickly. You can never be certain you’re on the right track when you try to do everything yourself. A good coach can spot errors quickly and provide effective solutions. The time and money spent to find a great coach is well-spent.
    • With the technology available today, it’s often possible to find a remote coach. You might be able to find a better and less expensive coach than you can find locally.

  4. Evaluate your progress. Find a way to measure your progress. You can’t know if your development is on track if you don’t know where you stand. This is another area where a coach can be useful. All you have to do is ask.
    • If your progress seems to be behind schedule, it might be worth changing your approach.

  5. Fix your errors. As you’re learning something new, it’s important to identify and fix your errors before they become habits.
    • Imagine you’re learning to play the piano. Once you’ve hit the wrong note too many times, it becomes extremely difficult to hit the right note when it matters.
    • Avoid progressing so quickly that you’re not dealing with your mistakes adequately.

  6. Immerse yourself. Sticking with our piano theme, you would quicken your progress by immersing yourself in piano. One way to do this is to listen to piano music while driving. Especially, listen to piano music you hope to play one day. Listen to great jazz, classical, and contemporary pianists.

  7. Spend your time wisely. You only have so much time to commit to your new skill. It only makes sense to spend time on the most important things. Again, a coach is the ideal person to assess what is most important, but you can do a little research on your own.
    • For example, mastering the basic golf swing is more useful than learning to hit a ball below your feet from a sand trap.
    • Identify the most important aspects of your topic and plan your time accordingly.

  8. Visualize expertise. Use your spare time to visualize performing your new skill perfectly. We all have numerous times each day with a minute or two to spare. Waiting in line, waiting in traffic, taking a shower, taking a short break, and during TV commercials are just a few examples of good times to visualize.

Which skills would you like to master? In what order will you learn them? Value your time and learn new skills in the most efficient way possible. If at all possible, find a coach with the expertise to guide your development. Enjoy your new skill!

How to Avoid Debt Relief Scams

There are few things more stressful than drowning in debt. With all that stress, many consumers are swayed by debt relief company claims that are frequently too good to be true. Thousands of people are taken advantage of every year and left with the same debts they had before – after paying out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for some debt relief.

Don’t fall victim to their scams! Become knowledgeable about the most common scams and how to avoid them.

Debt Settlement Scams

In this type of trick, the debt settlement company advises you to stop paying your bills. Instead, you’re told to deposit your payments into an account while the company negotiates a payoff with your various creditors. Meanwhile, the debt settlement company is drawing its fee from the account that you created.

Debt settlement programs can work, if the company is actually doing the work for you. Frequently, the debt settlement firm does nothing other than collect fees. All this time, you’re getting into more and more trouble with your creditors and losing more and more money.

One of the big clues that you may be dealing with a scam company is if the firm won’t go into any details about anything. Vagueness is the big tip-off that something isn’t right.

Debt Consolidation Scams

Essentially, the firm collects a fee upfront and then never delivers the service. You can avoid this by avoiding paying up-front.

Be wary of any firm that requests your personal information before they provide you with a quote. They don’t need your bank account numbers or social security number to quote a fee to you. A reputable firm can give you a quote knowing only your creditor, balance, and interest rate.

Credit Repair Scams

There are reputable firms that can help you with your credit. You shouldn’t have to pay a fee to have them take a look at your situation.

Again, the scam is to collect money from you and then never actually perform the work. During the interview process, they’ll ask for your debit card or bank account information. Don’t give it to them! This is information they don’t legitimately need. They’ll start charging your account, and it’s not easy to get them to stop willingly.

The Solution

The solution to all of these scams is the same. Never provide them with more information than they need. No one needs to verify your identity or get financial information from you before an agreement has been reached.

Avoid paying upfront fees. An initial interview should be free. Your banker doesn’t charge you money to talk to you; don’t pay these guys, either, until they’ve been hired.

Verify that they’re reputable. Check and see if there have been complaints filed against the firms you’re considering. In the online world, it’s difficult to hide anything. Do your homework and you should be okay.

Another solution is to simply do as much as you can yourself. You can likely settle your debts or repair your credit better than a firm will do it for you. Educate yourself and take the bull by the horns.


Debt relief scams are everywhere. These disreputable firms prey on the desperate. Check out anyone you’re considering before you hire them. Call the Better Business Bureau and check with your state Attorney General’s office.

Guard your money and personal information until you see that they’re doing the work they promise and you can avoid being taken in by these scams.

11 Life-Changing 30-Day Challenges

A 30-day challenge can be a great way to kickstart making a significant change in your life. The mere thought of making a long-term change can be too uncomfortable for most people to bear. However, most of us are intrigued and less intimidated by trying something new for just a month.

In just a month, you can get a great start on creating a new habit that can take your life to the next level. It’s only 30 days. What do you have to lose?

Time is a valuable resource, so pick the 30-day challenge that will best elevate your life:

  1. Speak to one new person each day. Talking to new people has a lot of benefits. You’ll get better at talking to strangers. You’ll reduce your social anxiety. You might make a new friend. You might even get a date out of the deal.

  2. Give up a bad habit and replace it with a new, positive one. Try not to get too carried away. Start with two relatively small habits and give yourself a good chance for success.

  3. Give up TV and social media. If these are big time-wasters for you, this would be an excellent challenge. Let everyone know you’re taking a break from social media. You’ll probably have plenty of volunteers ready to join you. Maybe you can all find something else to do together.

  4. Exercise for 30 minutes. If you don’t exercise, it’s important to add to your life. It’s beneficial to your physical and mental health. Find an activity that you like to do and commit to it for 30 days.

  5. Gratitude journal. This is one of the easier challenges, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly life-changing. Just list five things each day you’re grateful for. Try to avoid too many repeats over the month. Do this either first thing in the morning or the last thing at night. Or you could do both!

  6. Try a new diet. There are plenty of healthy diets out there. You can’t possibly know for sure which one is best for you without trying them. Pick one and stick to it for 30 days.

  7. Take a walk. If you’re sedentary or stressed, a daily walk can do a lot for you. Any time of day can work.

  8. Listen to a guided meditation audio program in bed each night. It’s not easy to begin meditating on your own, but there is another option: Recorded, guided meditations. Lie in bed at night and just listen. Notice the changes you’ve experienced after 10 days.

  9. Get up one hour earlier and use the time. Most of wasted time is in the evening. Get to bed an hour earlier and get up earlier. Find a way to use that time constructively.

  10. Create a morning routine and follow it. Plan out the first two hours of your day and then follow your plan. Think about your goals and responsibilities. Create a morning routine that supports those.

  11. Read for 30 minutes each day. Read something non-fiction each night. Ideally, it will be something you can apply to your life. Imagine if you learned something daily and incorporated it into your life!

Thirty-day challenges can be a fun and less threatening way to start making a change in your life. In the back of your mind, you’ll always know that it’s just 30 days, and that you’re free to quit after that. This is a very different mindset than starting something that you feel you should maintain forever.

At the end of 30 days, evaluate the month. Was it worth it? What have you gained? What did it cost you financially, emotionally, or with regards to time? Is it worth continuing?

If you’d like to make a change in your life, consider using a 30-day challenge to jumpstart the process. Try something new for 30 days and see what happens.

Do You Struggle With Compulsive Spending?

Compulsive spending involves feeling compelled to spend money on items you don’t really want or need. In some cases, you might spend money on items you already have plenty of. For example, even though you love getting new shoes, if you already have 20 pairs of them, it’s probably safe to say you don’t need another.

Signs You May Be Spending Compulsively

Do any of these signs feel familiar?

  1. You spend all your money as soon as you get it. On payday, you might pay some bills. Then, any money you have left over, you happily go out to spend. Maybe there’s a big clearance on home improvement tools or the dress boutique is having a going out of business sale. Whatever the case, you deplete the monies you obtain.

  2. You use charge cards to buy items when you have no money. A financially dangerous habit, using charge cards to keep buying once the cash is gone can devastate your money and living situations.

  3. You shop when you feel moody, anxious, or upset in some way. Your feelings largely depend on whether you’re shopping, since shopping comforts you during any stress.

  4. You feel your spending is out of control. No matter what you do, you just can’t stop.

  5. Your shopping causes difficulties in your life. You perhaps have arguments with your spouse about all the money you spend. Sometimes, you aren’t honest about what you spent.

How to Stop

If you experience even one of these points above, there’s a real possibility you’re dealing with compulsive spending.Use these strategies to quell your urges to spend:

Use these strategies to quell your urges to spend:

  1. Make a contract with yourself to stop spending. Write it out and sign it. Find the confidence to change your direction.

  2. For now, remove credit cards from your wallet. If you believe you have the fortitude to use a credit card only for emergencies, keep only 1 card in your billfold. Pay cash for everything. Budget your daily cash amount and when you run out of cash, you’re done spending (on anything) for the rest of the day.

  3. Contemplate your money situation. How long has it been going on? How did you get started spending compulsively? Are there specific situations that trigger you to shop now? How do you feel when spending money? Work hard to gain an understanding of your drive to spend compulsively.

  4. Charge yourself for spending. Every time you spend money for something other than groceries, gas, or utility bills, pay yourself $20.00. This means you must put back the $20.00 to have ready when the bill for the frivolous items comes in.

  5. Write down all expenditures. When you see on paper the amount you spent and what you spent it for, it somehow becomes real. In a sense, you’re forcing yourself to think about and process what you’re doing.

  6. Examine the possessions you already have. Do you like and use all of them? If you have several debts due to your past credit card spending, think about how you can return or re-sell some of the items you’ve purchased haphazardly. Then, use that money to pay off the debts.

  7. Recognize spending money doesn’t buy you happiness. Be honest with yourself: has surrounding yourself with stuff you bought with your hard-earned money provided you the life you truly seek?

  8. Empower yourself by becoming more conscious about how spending affects your life. List the ways your life would change if you had no debt and used money wisely.

  9. Make contact with the Debtors Anonymous group in your area. Asking for help is the wise thing to do whenever you believe your spending is out of control. Going to Debtors Anonymous won’t cost a dime and can provide support for you to get your life back on track.

If you’ve identified yourself as one who spends compulsively, you’ve taken a first step in the right direction. Making a contract, avoiding credit cards, charging yourself for spending, keeping track of expenditures, and returning or re-selling unused purchased items will help you get a grip.

Also, listing how your life will change when you stop spending, realizing spending doesn’t make you happy, and going to Debtors Anonymous will set you on a positive path to real emotional and financial freedom.

Six Types of Goals Everyone Should Consider Making

Everyone understands that goals are important to success, but there are still relatively few people that actually set goals regularly and commit to them.

Part of the challenge is not understanding the main categories of goals. There are several areas of life that have a great impact on the rest of your life. It’s important to have suitable goals in each of these areas to have a fulfilling life.

Consider these six critical areas:

  1. Financial. Financial issues are a major source of stress. This is hardly news to most of us. Financial success opens endless opportunities and can also free up a lot of time, especially if you reach the point where you don’t have to work any longer.
    • Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of becoming wealthy. They have pangs of guilt over having too much. However, it’s difficult to truly be free unless you’re financially secure.
    • Given the importance of money in modern society, it’s important for everyone to have goals related to this topic.

  2. Career. Most of us spend 40+ hours each week at a job of some sort. It’s a huge part of our waking hours. When you include getting ready for work, driving there and back, and all the time you spend outside of work thinking about work, it’s a lot of hours.
    • There’s a lot of competition in the workplace. If you don’t have any goals regarding the direction of your career, you’re much less likely to be satisfied with your career growth.

  3. Adventure. Down deep, we all admire those people that visit the pyramids of Egypt, try whitewater rafting, or go to Africa on a safari. Taking part in adventurous activities gives you a new perspective on life. It also makes you really interesting to others!
    • Each person has their own idea of what constitutes adventure. To one person, it might be skydiving, but to another it might be spending a long weekend in a foreign country like Canada.

  4. Self-Development. We’re happiest when we’re growing in some way. It’s disappointing to take a hard look at yourself and realize that you haven’t changed significantly in the last 5+ years. We feel proud of ourselves when we become more developed and capable. There are a variety of ways to do this.
    • Take college courses.
    • Learn an instrument.
    • Learn a language.
    • Learn how to garden.
    • Learn how to do a cartwheel.
    • Learn how to paint or draw.

  5. Health. If your health fails you, there’s not much else that matters. Most people that set goals fail to include a health goal of some sort. This is a mistake.
    • Be sure to include a diet or exercise goal. Include the input of your physician. Keep in mind that being incredibly fit does nothing for your longevity. Moderate activities followed consistently will usually provide adequate exercise.

  6. Long-term. We often make the mistake of only setting short-term goals to get out of the discomfort we’re currently feeling. It might be to come up with an extra $500 this month or to lose 15 pounds.
    • Ideally, short-term goals exist to move us toward long-term goals. Pursuing an objective set far into the future gives your life meaning.

How many goals do you have? Do you have the six main types of goals covered? What other categories can you think of that are important to you? Consider what’s most important to you and ensure that you have a goal that addresses it.

Most successful people have unbalanced lives because they put too much attention on one area and neglect others. Learn from their mistakes by maintaining balance and you’ll find greater overall happiness and fulfillment.

Are you Passing These Financial Habits on to Your Children?

You might be concerned that your children never listen to you. The good news (and the bad news) is that your children are always watching. Kids quickly assimilate your habits and attitudes regarding money. Are you demonstrating habits that will help or harm their financial future?

When faced with uncertainty, it’s common to rely on experience. When your children grow up and face financial situations, they’re going to mimic what they know. It’s up to you to set an example that will enhance their financial future.

It’s likely you haven’t considered what you’re inadvertently teaching your kids about money. Today is a wonderful day to start.

Financial habits that make life more challenging:

  1. Using credit cards unwisely. This may be the most devastating financial habit to acquire. Credit cards are convenient and can be an effective way to get yourself out of a financial jam, but the use of credit to purchase unnecessary items is one of the leading causes of financial stress and bankruptcy.

  2. Giving in to impulse purchases. Children already have impulse issues. Witnessing a lack a financial control by a parent makes self-control even more elusive in the future. Show your children that purchases should be decided ahead of a shopping trip.

  3. Not sticking to the budget. Sticking to your budget is another demonstration of financial self-control. Allow your children to know that a budget exists and that certain purchases can’t be made because of the budget.

  4. Not making a clear distinction between needs and wants. Demonstrate to your kids that needs are to be taken care of first. Wants are only considered after the critical items have been addressed.

Avoid demonstrating these financial habits to your children. Remember that they’re always watching you!

But not all habits are negative. There are many positive financial habits you can help your children to develop by setting a good example.

Are you sharing these positive financial habits?

  1. Consistent saving. Make a big deal out of saving money from each paycheck. Encourage your child to do the same with a portion of any money they earn or receive as a gift. If you had saved 15% of each paycheck since you started working, how much would you have today?
    • A robust savings account is an effective solution to many of life’s financial challenges.

  2. Paying bills on time. Your children see those bills with the words “Past Due.” They also notice when you avoid the bill collectors that call day and night. Pay your bills and avoid the late fees. You’ll also be setting a great example for your child.

  3. Sacrifice. Making great financial strides requires sacrifice. Let your children know that you’re not buying a new car because it’s more important to save for their college or retirement. Give them the option of making a small purchase at the sacrifice of something else. All financial decisions have positive and negative consequences.

  4. Enjoying the rewards of financial responsibility. No one wants to sacrifice all the time. The whole point of sacrificing is to enjoy the end result. Show your children that regularly saving money results in a vacation or a new television. Let your kids see the positive outcome of good financial habits.

Are you demonstrating good financial habits to your children? Are you demonstrating poor habits? You have a tremendous amount of influence over your child’s financial future. They’re likely to behave in a fashion similar that which they observe. Consider what you’re teaching your child each day with your money habits.

An Effective Strategy for Overcoming Limiting Financial Beliefs

You have a limiting financial belief if you’re earning less than you’d prefer. It’s that simple. Limiting financial beliefs restrict your ability to create and maintain wealth. Addressing your beliefs is a good first step if your financial situation is less than amazing. Changing your beliefs allows your true potential to be utilized.

Here are a few of the more common limiting beliefs regarding money:

  1. Rich people are bad in some way. You may have the belief that rich people are greedy, selfish, or duplicitous. It’s easy to talk yourself out of wealth when you believe these things.

  2. Belief that your earning capability is limited. You may believe that the lack of a degree or the right connections places a ceiling on your earning potential. This ceiling can be challenging to overcome.

  3. Making a lot of money requires a lot of risk and time. Do you believe that making a lot of money will require too much time away from your family or force you to risk everything you already have?

  4. “I’m not good with money.” Such a definitive statement can limit your ability to earn and retain money.

These are just a few examples. Any belief that limits your ability to earn more and grow your wealth is a limiting belief. Make a list of your beliefs that limit your financial resources.

Change your limiting beliefs about money with this strategy:

  1. Recognize that beliefs aren’t reality. They’re your belief about reality. There’s a huge difference. Your past experiences may not have been representative of how things normally work. You may have been given poor advice. You may have come to faulty conclusions. Your beliefs can be deceiving.

  2. Choose an alternative belief. You might believe that rich people are greedy. An alternative belief could be, “Rich people have more opportunities and resources to help others. I could do more for others if I had more money.”

  3. Examine why you hold your current negative belief. Maybe your mom told you that rich people are greedy. Maybe you also saw a TV special that highlighted rich people that swindled their way to wealth. Understand why you have the belief in the first place. What is the root of the belief?

  4. Challenge the belief. You notice that your mom has never been wealthy. Neither has anyone in her family. And none of her friends are rich. You conclude that she’s probably not a good source of information on the topic.
    • You also conclude that there are greedy teachers, police officers, mail carriers, managers, and musicians. Maybe it’s not the type of job or the level of wealth that determines greed. Maybe it’s the individual person. And TV shows tend to lean toward negative news. It draws more people.

  5. Find information to support your new belief. You find a list of wealthy people that were also well-known as philanthropists. You even check a couple of their biographies out of the library and spend 15 minutes reading before bed each night.

  6. Monitor yourself. Notice when the limiting belief occurs. Quickly remind yourself of your new belief. Remind yourself of why the old belief is wrong and the new belief is correct. With enough evidence to support your new belief, you’ll soon have a new mindset about the topic.

Are your beliefs limiting your wealth? Of course! Even if you’re a billionaire, there’s a reason why you don’t have $100 billion. But billionaires still have more effective beliefs than someone struggling to make ends meet. Address your beliefs around money and wealth if you want to see a real change in your finances.

All About Credit Card Delinquency

Even though credit card delinquency has become increasingly common during the past several years, most consumers’ understanding of it continues to be lacking.

Too many of us don’t know how to avoid or solve this personal financial challenge!

The good news is that once you gain a more complete knowledge of delinquency, dealing with it is relatively straightforward.

When Do You Become Delinquent?

What exactly is credit card delinquency? A credit card customer is delinquent when he fails to make at the least the minimum credit card payment. Delinquency is separated into degrees that indicate how many payments have been missed. These ranges are often referenced in terms of days.

For example, on the day after the first payment is missed, the holder is one day delinquent. After you miss a second payment, the account is deemed to be 30 days delinquent and so on.

Theoretically, a credit card holder is delinquent after just one missed monthly payment. On the other hand, delinquency is commonly not reported to the credit bureaus until after two payments in a row have been missed.

What Are The Effects Of Delinquency?

Being reported delinquent to the credit bureaus most certainly has a negative impact on credit scores.

Scores could drop as much as 125 points with three consecutive missed payments. Once four payments have been missed, the impact on the credit score is more severe and the account is likely to be sent to collections. Legal action against the cardholder is a real possibility at this point.

How Do You Get Out Of Delinquency?

There is a way to stop and get out of delinquency. Making a single minimum payment ends the progression of the delinquency and keeps the account at the current level of delinquency.

This is crucial, simply because being reported to the credit bureaus 120 days late is much worse than being 90 days late. Making even one minimum payment can be an effective strategy to keep things from progressing too far.

Once you start trying to make up your past due payments, be careful to avoid these damaging errors:

  1. Making less than the minimum payment. Unfortunately, making a payment that is less than the minimum doesn’t have any effect on the delinquency. So, when you make a small payment, it really doesn’t help the situation. This error can easily be avoided; just be sure to only make payments that are greater than or equal to the minimum payment.
  2. Making only one minimum payment. Frequently, consumers mistake the minimum required payment with the total amount due.
    • The total amount due is the amount that needs to be paid in order to bring the account current. This amount usually consists of several minimum payments, so it’s important to continue making extra payments until the account has been brought current.

Credit Repair After Delinquency

As soon as the account is current, you can start negating the consequences of the delinquency. The more the negative information is covered up with positive information, the less impact the delinquency will have.

Secured credit cards are especially apt for credit betterment. These cards require a deposit to open, and the cards are always approved for this reason. Since the risk is minimal for the credit card company, the fees can be less. Whenever you decide to cancel the card, the deposit is returned.

While credit card delinquency cannot be recovered from overnight, it is possible to suffer no lasting effects in the long-term. Once the delinquency has been rectified, the negative history can be diluted as much as possible.

The key is to be patient and acquire a secured credit card. Using that new card wisely will allow you to be trusted by lenders again. Credit card delinquency is a challenge, but it is a challenge that can be dealt with successfully.

Taking Charge of Your Life

Your life belongs to you, and you can avoid letting others control it with some careful planning and the courage of your convictions.

Doing what others want you to do with your life robs you the success, fulfillment and happiness you deserve. Stand by what you really want to do and go for it with all your heart and you’ll achieve what you desire.

Are you a people-pleaser that tries to make everyone else happy instead of focusing on your own needs? Finding a balance is important, and it’s within your reach. You can begin taking charge of your life, right now, by remembering some simple rules and making a few choices about the direction you want to take.

Life is Full of Challenges You Can Turn Into Opportunities

Do you hide when you see a challenge coming up? Instead, you can take that challenge and make it into a great opportunity to do something important. Challenges help to shape who you are and what you do with your life, so face them and get through them to experience the truly fulfilling life you crave.

You’ll be a stronger person for taking charge of your life. Prove to yourself that all you really need is your abilities, as they’re sufficient for the task. You can face and conquer anything, provided you refuse to give up. Even when things don’t go your way, you can learn from the experience and still press forward toward your victory.

Ways to Take Control of Your Life

Try these techniques to help you become truly in charge of your life:
  1. Learn how to say ‘no’ to people. This can take some practice, but it’s important that you realize it’s okay to say no when someone wants you to take on too much or do something that you aren’t comfortable with.
  2. Take time to focus on your goals. If you’re unclear about what you’re doing or where you’re going, how can you have control over your life? Decide on a direction and take it. You can change directions later if you find that you’re not following the path of your heart.
  3. Enlist help. Taking control of your life means drawing strength from the support of those you love. Advice from a neutral party can be very helpful. Just remember to take it only as advice. Trust your heart and give yourself permission to go against the advice you receive. However, seeking wise counsel will speed you toward your goals.

If you follow your heart and take steps toward what you want, taking charge of where you’re going will be easier than you think. Acquiring this control may take time, but you can start working on it right away.

When you begin taking charge of your life, people may disagree with you and challenge your direction. Remind yourself that you have the right to your own life, without interference from others, even if they mean well.

Show those who challenge your new direction your happiness and love. When they see the smile on your face and the spring in your step, they’ll know that you’re following your heart and chasing after the dreams that matter to you.