Category Archives: Priorities

Do You Live Like an Inbox?

What is your work style? Could you be an inbox type of person?

People who live like inboxes don’t prioritize. Instead of looking at their work and formulating a plan, they get straight to work at whatever is dumped on them. If you do this . . . STOP! Planning is a critical part of generating results. Your time is limited. Be selective in how you spend it. Decide what you will and will not do. You don’t have enough time to finish everything. Determine what your priorities are and start with those.

Managing your time is not someone else’s responsibility. It is yours. You are responsible for your own time management and prioritization management, so do not allow others to dictate your life and your schedule.

When someone gives you a new task, don’t automatically do it. Take the time to look at each item to decide whether or not it is a good investment of your time and talents. Ask 1) Is it important? 2) Am I the right person for the job? and 3) Should I say no?

Every day, evaluate how you will spend your time. Prioritize. How do these items align with your personal goals, priorities, and mission? Think before you work.


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, Balance, Goal Setting, Goals, Inspiration, Life Balance, Miscellaneous, Priorities, Resolutions, Stress, Time, Time Management

I’ll Blow the Budget Tomorrow

English: A set of EBC performance disk brake pads

English: A set of EBC performance disk brake pads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought I’d talk about procrastination today, but I decided to wait until my next article . . . not! Instead of procrastinating, let’s talk this very minute about how procrastination can blow your budget.

Let’s consider your car as an example. A few weeks ago, it started making that strange noise. You know the one I’m talking about. Something is clearly wrong, but you just haven’t had the time to take it into the repair shop. The noise got louder and more obnoxious. You finally took it in. The mechanic informs you that your original problem was that your break pads needed replaced. That would have cost you $200. Because you waited, however, the problem grew worse. Now you’re looking at an $800 bill to replace the brake pads AND the rotors.

Here’s another common example. You don’t plan for a meal until 7:30pm. Looking in to the refrigerator, you discover it’s empty. You’re hungry, so instead of cooking a meal for your family at home for $5-$10, you spend $40 eating out.

It’s easy to blow a budget through procrastination. Fortunately, it’s a simple fix. Plan ahead and save big!

Not only do these items need to be high priorities on your to-do list, but you need to actually schedule time on your calendar for them. Be sure to reasonably estimate how much time each task will require, and add a little extra time to that amount. Don’t allow procrastination to blow your budget. Instead, focus on procrastination and prioritization management.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan D. 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 Auto, Budget, Family, Finance, Food, household budget, Personal Finance, Priorities, Procrastination, Relationships & Money

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

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

Confession – My Financial Life Coach Lacks Discipline

I lack discipline

That’s right, I lack discipline. Did I go out and borrow money for a car? No, I have pretty good discipline with money; my challenge is with eating and exercise. I like to eat and I don’t like to exercise.

False advertisement?

The 20 ounce soda says it contains 2.5 servings. I find it only has one serving. The peanut butter flavored cereal says 12 servings; a new box is half gone when I finally push myself away from the table…so it only contains two servings for me.

No it isn’t false advertising, it is MY lack of discipline, MY inability to control the amount of consumption, and MY frequency of consumption. Bottom-line, MY eating habits and MY lack of exercise habits are similar to the money management habits of my clients.

Reflecting back

I was in great physical condition when I was in the military. That was 32 pounds ago or about a pound a year. I have rationalized that this rate of gain is acceptable until I realized last week I could live as long as my grandfather who lived to be 100 years old. If I live that long and keep up this current pace, I will have gained about 80 pounds. Totally unacceptable – I want to have good health and energy to do what I want to do.

Changes start today

It is time put my money discipline skills to work in the area of my health. Focus and discipline. That starts today. For those of you who have worked with me as a coach or have gone through the Balance Up program you know that is important to  1) Set goals; make them visible, 2) Put a plan together to achieve the goals, and 3) Hold yourself accountable to others. When clients do this they typically see significant progress in about 6 weeks.

I really like the 6 week time frame. 6 weeks is 42 days. It takes 21 days to form new habits so 42 days gives you twice as much time as you need to form new habits.

Next Steps

My goal – Shed 15 pounds in the next 6 weeks through exercise and eating discipline. How will I keep this goal visible?  I’m going back to the military haircut, the haircut of my prime. I will be reminded of my goal, my plan, every time I look in the mirror.

My plan – Eliminate the ice cream, soda, and PB cereal over the next 6 weeks. Drink more water and less coffee (ugh). Exercise no less than 4 times a week.

My accountability – I know that the My Financial Life Coach audience will hold me accountable and will cheer me on. I will update my situation twice a week on my blog and on Facebook.

Current Facts

Today’s weigh in – 180 lbs.

It’s not all about me.

Now a challenge for you. What are you going to do to in the next 42 days to improve your health or your financial health?  Feel free to join in the challenge by commenting on either the blog or on the Facebook page.

You know that I always end my post with the following quote…

“You have a choice, and the choice is yours.” – Bryan Cooper, Financial Coach

I think it is appropriate to change it for today…

“I have a choice, and the choice is mine.” – Bryan Cooper, a middle aged out-of-shape guy who needs discipline to get back into good physical shape.

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. Our job is to educate and motivate you to the debt-free life style.

Don’t forget to checkout our website (  for 100’s of resources including tips, articles, spreadsheets, web-based training, and more.  Why not tell a friend? Looking for daily motivation? Checkout the My Financial Life Coach Facebook page too.

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April 2, 2012 · 10:45 am