Category Archives: Change

Life, Unexpected, Choices, Career, Money, Finances, Time, Improvement, Opportunity

Personal Improvement: Interest Isn’t the Only Thing that Compounds!

What do you say when you get a 1.25% annual return on your savings account? You’re excited, of course! But have you ever thought about the idea of compounding personal improvement?

Look at it this way. Say that you improve yourself 1% each week for a year. Over the course of a year, that’s 52% just by adding the weekly “interest.”

But wait- there’s more! Do you remember the magic of compounding interest? It’s more than 52%! Not only do you gain the 1% each week, but you also gain improvements on those improvements as time goes on. It’s easy to improve yourself 1% each week. Do you watch TV? How do you use the commercial time? Instead of watching them, find something productive to do during that time. Clip some coupons. Fold the laundry. You get the idea.

Speaking of TV, have you ever considered taking that idea further? What if you reduced it? What could you accomplish during that saved time? What about your commute to work? Instead of listening to a talk show about celebrity gossip, is there something else you could be listening to? Try an educational CD or MP3 download to attend what the late Zig Ziglar called Automobile University. Now that’s a great way to improve your time management! You can add hours of learning to your life without an additional time commitment since you’re replacing rather than adding an activity.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper
My Financial Life Coach LLC
“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”
2280 W William St., Suite A
Delaware, OH 43015

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Filed under Attitude, Change, Events, Goal Setting, Goals, Inspiration, Life, Life Balance, Personal, Priorities, Relationships & Money, Thoughts, Time Management

Is This the Life YOU Want?

Is This the Life YOU Want?

Whose life are you living? Is it the life you want, or did someone else pick it out for you? Are you investing yourself in your goals and dreams, or are you sacrificing them for a lifestyle someone else has dictated for you?

It’s a simple idea, but it’s worth considering.

Bryan Cooper
My Financial Life Coach LLC
“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”
2280 W William St., Suite A
Delaware, OH 43015

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Filed under Attitude, Change, Goal Setting, Goals, Priorities

What about the Past?

Kids make mistakes. This is a commonly accepted fact of life. While learning to ride a bike, they fall and scrape a knee. Proudly displaying a flower picked from mom’s prize garden, they rush into the house. Naturally, the trail of mud leads straight across the new, white carpet.

When these things happen, what should parents do? Should they never forget the incident, telling their child to give up and never try again? Of course not! They should never allow their children to be locked into the past by mistakes. Instead, they should encourage them to learn from the mistake and move on.

As an adult, you are faced with a similar question. What will you do about your financial mistakes? Will you carry them with you, refusing to ever move on? Will you give up? Or will you learn to leave the past behind you so you can move on in your life? Remaining trapped in pain and failure accomplishes nothing; you must learn to let go of the past if you are to succeed in your finances in the future.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean you entirely forget your past. Instead, you acknowledge that it happened. It is over. It no longer controls you. Rather than being trapped by it, you are free to chase your dreams and goals.

You cannot improve your financial future without first accepting the past. Learn from it, and move on. The past is for teaching, not for stopping.

Brianna Cooper
Frugal College Student
Editor at My Financial Life Coach, LLC

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Filed under Attitude, Budget, Change, Children, Finance, Financial, Goal Setting, household budget, Inspiration, Personal Finance, Relationships & Money, Resolutions, Thoughts

Neon Piano

Cover of "Now, Discover Your Strengths"

Cover of Now, Discover Your Strengths

Today, let’s play a little game. I want you to picture something. Visualize it in your mind. Think of anything besides a neon piano. Picture it. Picture anything except a neon piano. Don’t think about a neon piano. Think of something else.

So what picture is in your mind right now? My guess is a neon piano.

People often do this unintentionally with their finances. They think negatively rather than positively. They think about what they cannot fix or afford rather than about what they can fix or can afford. Negative thinking leads to a defeated attitude. The defeated attitude in turn lowers performance.

The same thing often happens with job performance reviews. Your boss congratulates you on an excellent job with 90% of your work. But then most of the discussion is on how you should improve that 10%. It’s impossible to do well in every area. Sometimes, there are going to be things you just aren’t good at. Does it make more sense to focus on the 90% you excel at or the 10% you don’t do so well in?

Focusing only on your weaknesses will lead you to only address 10% of your work. Plus, you’ll be forgetting the 90% you excel at. Focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses. Put the majority of your effort into the 90%, and don’t allow the 10% to overshadow your success.

Apply prioritization management to what you focus on at work. Think positively rather than negatively. Keep thinking can, can, can!

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Special note: I highly recommend you read the book “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham.

Bryan Cooper
My Financial Life Coach LLC
“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”
2280 W William St., Suite A
Delaware, OH 43015

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Filed under Attitude, Budget, Change, Goal Setting, Inspiration, Life, Life Balance

You Get What You Focus On: Your Appreciation Journal

Coat of arms of Haiti

Coat of arms of Haiti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caught up in the day to day issues of life, it’s easy to forget our blessings. What do you appreciate in your life? Your health? Home? Family?

When you’re learning to budget, don’t get so caught up in the money issues that you forget the more important things motivating you to get your finances in order. An appreciation journal is a great way to remember those motivators. Take some time to reflect on the positives in your life. Write them down and look at them when you grow discouraged. Remember why you’re making these changes and how they line up with your goals.

You get what you focus on. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, look to the positives. You’ll be surprised at how easily you’ll note the good in situations, giving you strength to continue pressing on even during the tougher days.

The first 4-6 weeks of budgeting is often very difficult. Things break, unexpected bills show up, and it is easy to grow frustrated and to start focusing on your problems. I tell the folks I coach that when (not if) this happens, I want them to find $35 dollars or something they can sell for $35 and give it to an organization that will help a child in a country such as Haiti.

Why? The $35 you just sent can feed an impoverished child for about a month. Most likely, the setback you are currently dealing with isn’t anywhere near as difficult the issues the child in Haiti is dealing with on a daily basis. As you reflect on your situation and the situation of that child, you will begin to understand the benefit of using an appreciation journal to track and reflect on what is really important in your life.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach LLC

“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”

Delaware, OH 43015


Filed under Attitude, Budget, Change, Family, Finance, Health, Money, Personal Finance, Priorities

Time to say goodbye….

Dear John (or Mary),

I’ve been patient. I’ve put off writing this letter as long as possible, hoping things would change. I dreamed that this would finally be the year you follow through on your promises.

I can’t do this any longer. Every January, you tell me things will be different. You say this is the year you’ll pay off your car. This is the year you’ll follow a budget. This is the year you’ll let your goals control your finances.

John, don’t you understand how much this is hurting me? I want this for you, not for me. I have always wanted what’s best for you. I want you to take control of your finances so that money isn’t running your life. You have goals. I’ve heard your dreams. They’re wonderful. I want you to achieve those, but you never will until you get your finances under control.

I hope you defeat this monster you’ve created. I hope you reach your goals. But John, I can’t stand the disappointment. I have to leave you. You’ve given me no choice.

It’s not about the money. Financial success is about you achieving your goals, living out your dreams. It’s about living the life you’ve always wanted, for both you and your family. You’ve given up on me. We’ll never have a healthy relationship if you keep living like this

I wish things could have ended differently between us.
Best of luck,

Your Financial Success & Dreams

(Note from Coach Bryan – So what are you willing to do to make your finances or your work-life balance better in 2013? Need some daily motivation about saving money or saving time? Please stop over at  and “Like” the page so you can start receiving daily tips. While you are at it, hit the “share” button on one of the articles and bring your friends along for the ride as well. You will find yourself more successful in saving money and saving time if you are doing it together with your friends. Bryan Cooper – My Financial Life Coach).

My Financial Life Coach, LLC


January 7, 2013 · 8:30 pm

If you can’t leave the freshly baked cookies alone, stay out of the kitchen

Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingredients: b...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The kitchen

You’ve heard the saying “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of kitchen.” In my case it should be “If you can’t leave the freshly baked cookies alone, stay out of the kitchen.”

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or my blog, you know that I’m on a mission to shed 20 lbs in 56 days. Today is day 29 or 56. This weekend I made some progress and I fell off the wagon at the same time. My progress was that I ran over a mile this weekend. That is a really big milestone for me.

The cookies

The bad this weekend? …my wife’s home-made cookies. I’m very disciplined except for about five food items and her cookies are one of those items. When she bakes I try to be very helpful…I am a self-appointed cookie tester and it is my duty to test EVERY batch, without my wife catching me of course. (Full disclosure-I may have had two cookies for every batch but let’s keep that between us).  Then I justified having a soda because I was off my diet anyway. Because of this lack of discipline (and logic) I get to work on lb #12 again.

Not following my own advice

I advise my clients that if they have an issue spending money on things not in the budget that they should avoid the stores so they do not have this temptation. Had I followed my own advice this weekend I would have stayed out of the kitchen and I would be working on lb #13 instead of a do over with lb #12. So the lesson is stick with your budget (or diet), if you don’t, you will be extending how long you are paying on debt (or extending how long until you hit your ideal weight goal).

Knowledge or Behavior?

One more point, it isn’t always about knowledge, sometimes it is about behavior. I know that cookies and soda are counterproductive to my weight goal but I did it anyway. But like learning to ride a bike I’ll get back up and start riding again this week.

What goal are you struggling with this week?

Let’s hear about your goal or your struggle for this week.

Remember, you have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper –

Thank you for reading the My Financial Life Coach blog where we talk about money, goals, family, life events, spending, and economic news. We do make every attempt to avoid the topic of politics but we will bring up economic policies that need communicated.


Filed under Budget, Change, Goal Setting, Goals, Health, household budget, Life, Personal Finance