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In This Issue

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Loudon Wainwright:

Perhaps the best reason for having calendars and for marking life in years is that the cycle itself offers hope. We need fresh starts and new chances, the conviction that beginnings remain available, no matter how many we've blown.

B at Bellagio The Internet and media are filled with the annual chatter about New Year's Resolutions, strategic planning, and goal setting. On top of that are the recaps of both 2009 and the decade that's coming to a close. There are Best and Worst Lists for anything and everything.

As much as I'm looking forward to a fresh new decade, I'd like to suggest a different approach for launching it. We know from studies that resolutions don't work very well and who needs to start the year feeling guilty because they abandoned those lofty intentions? Strategic planning sounds so boringly corporate and goal setting often turns into a list of Things I Should Do Because Others Expect Me To.

Now I'm not suggesting that we don't give thoughtful attention to creating our best and brightest life. You may have tried drifting through and already discovered that doesn't lead anywhere worth going. Instead of tricking yourself with short-lived resolutions and dreary goals, take the long view. Embark on the Teen Decade with gusto by taking a creative, active approach.

Go wild and design 2010 and beyond on paper (not on your computer). Go really wild and get a new journal that will hold your ideas, dreams, and ambitions. Lay the foundation for a brighter future by devoting a page or two to the topics I'm suggesting, along with others that are reflections of your personal values. Challenge yourself to creating Top Ten Lists (or whatever number you fancy) for the following categories:

Lessons Learned ~ I once heard Cher say that her greatest fear was not living as well as she knew how to live. It's easy to forget our own wisdom sometimes, but this year end review can help. My friend Karyn Ruth White spends an introspective evening looking back on the past year and acknowledging what she's learned that she can carry into the coming year. That's a wonderful ritual to borrow.

People That Matter ~ Last year, I wrote an article for Winning Ways newsletter about a fantasy train trip that included people I love and people I'd love to meet. Just thinking about who I'd want along for the ride was a terrific exercise.

Books to Devour ~ Psychologist Eda LaShan said middle age begins the moment you realize you won't live long enough to read all the books you want to read. I'm pretty sure I was born middle-aged. Having a designated spot to write down titles of books that sound intriguing means you'll have a running list of suggestions when you need them.

Being Goals ~ Although the focus of goal-setting is often on things we want to acquire, there are three different areas to consider. Besides the obvious Having Goals, there are also Being Goals and Doing Goals. Of these, the most important (and challenging) are the Being Goals. In fact, I'd suggest that if you focus on the person you want to be, the having and doing takes care of itself.

Do More, Do Less ~ Too often when we decide to add a new activity or behavior, we fail to make room for it. Several years ago on New Year's Eve, a local tv reporter was interviewing folks on the street asking them about their resolutions. After hearing the usual, "Lose 10 pounds, save more money," stuff, he interviewed a woman who confidently said, "I plan to walk more and smoke less." As soon as I heard that, I thought, "She's the one who will make it." I could imagine that every time she was tempted to smoke, she'd put on her walking shoes instead.

Things to Discard, Abandon ~ Related to the previous tip, getting rid of clutter of every sort is also essential for living a rich, fascinating life. If your life is filled with things, activities and people that don't fit the 2010 version of you, it's time to let go and move on.

Explorations & Adventures ~ The key to having an adventurous life is to have an adventurous imagination backed up by action. In Making a Living Without a Job, I told the story about my years of failure in finding a way to travel. At the beginning, I had a specific destination in mind and started getting ready to go long before I knew how it would happen. What places and experiences do you long to visit? Write 'em down.

Vision Boards ~ Whether you call them Visions Boards or Treasure Maps, these deceptively simple personal creations add power and impact. I constantly hear stories of people who tucked away a Vision Board in a closet only to come upon it months later and realize that it forecast things that were now a part of their lives. If you need help in doing this, check out these tips from Suzanne Falter-Barns.

90 Day Projects ~ Barbara Sher talks about making a temporary permanent commitment. This is a way to do just that and test drive your ideas. I'm a huge advocate of dividing the year into quarters and having a special focus for each. Give yourself 90 days to focus on a couple of high priorities. Immerse, don't dabble. At the end of that time period, evaluate. Want more? Want to move on with other things?

$100 Hour Ideas to Implement ~ If you're familiar with this concept, you know that I encourage you to start a running list of ideas that you can turn into income. (Disclosure: the popular term for this is monetize. That word makes me shiver.) This one is a genuine momentum builder and belongs in your portfolio.

There's been so much smart information and storytelling on the Internet lately. Here are some current favorites that are worth a visit.

Check out Michele Meagher's interview with Sandy Dempsey at Your Next Quest. It's a real life example of making the transition from employee to entrepreneur.

Then there's Chris Guillebeau's Feeling Stuck? Try This which offers practical suggestions for overcoming inertia.You may want to print this one out.

First Tech Support Guy video isn't new, but it had me and my family in stitches over the holidays. If you ever have had a chat with someone geekier than you are, you'll be comforted.

new cover Reading a good travel guide can help you maximize your trip and reading Making a Living Without a Job can do the same. While your trip will be uniquely yours, my book can help you avoid the insignificant and tedious parts of the journey while helping you find the sites that will keep you moving ahead.

If it's not in your library, you can order it from an online seller, find it at your local bookseller or get an autographed copy by clicking on the link below.

Making a Living Without a Job

After a two-month hiatus, teleclasses are back. I decided that January was the perfect time for a couple of foundation-laying subjects. Join me for one or both of these explorations.

Creating and Managing Multiple Profit Centers will be coming up on Tuesday, January 12, 8:30-10 PM Eastern, 5:30-7PM Pacific. The title should probably include, "Without driving yourself crazy or becoming a raving workaholic."

Two nights later, we'll be considering A Dozen Ways to Build Your Expert Status. Even if you've taken my Establish Yourself as an Expert seminar, you'll find this is the perfect review. And if you're launching yourself as a writer, speaker, consultant, don't miss this one.

Can't attend in person? You can still register and receive the audio download of either or both classes. And if you register for both of them at the same time, you'll get a $10 discount.

Joyfully Jobless Teleclasses

Anno Nuovo Felice,


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