ask and you
Coaching Q & A Column
does it work?
or use the submission
form below and send your question.
Come back here to look for
Or come back and look at
what other readers want to know.
How do you find true love and a meaningful relationship?
W.G. from Iowa
I have found is that it starts with me. When I am in the space
of looking, I only find more of what I don't have because that is
what my attention is focused on--what I don't have. Looking from a
place of lack gives off an air of desperation and lack, so I start
living as if I do have true love and a meaningful relationship.
I take care of myself in ways that make me feel special and cherished.
Have you ever
noticed how people in love are very attractive and radiate interest
and love. You want to be around them or with them because they not
only feel love in their life, but they also exude love. That is attractive!
So the question now becomes how do I exude love when I am not
in a meaningful relationship, so that I can be in one?
First, you must
become whom you want to date. Look at your checklist and see
if you are a match. This does not mean that you have to be perfect,
beautiful, or thin. It does mean that you have to be someone who loves
and cares about yourself, so that others have a reason to want to
love and care about you.
your time with things and activities that you like and want to do.
When you actively cultivate your interests, you become more attractive
to others. Your Mr. or Ms. Right should not be expected to bring the
excitement into your life. That is a big responsibility, and most
people do not want the pressure of ensuring someone else's happiness,
especially someone with whom they are just getting involved.
your communication skills. The most memorable people are those
that listen to us. How well do you listen and then respond appropriately.
This does not mean that you have to settle for someone who does not
listen to you. It does mean that you are comfortable sharing in others'
lives and inviting them to share and participate in yours.
yourself. Get excited about being you, and the world will get
excited with you. If you have a hard time loving and enjoying who
you are, then you will have a hard time being intimate with someone
else. You may want to engage the help of a coach to establish your
boundaries and raise your standards, or perhaps a therapist might
help you to resolve any issues of low self-worth.
The bottom line
is that you have it in you to find true love and a meaningful relationship.
The key is to become so attractive it finds you!
I need to get a grip on my money. I make a decent salary, but I'm
in debt, I am always behind on my bills, and I never have enough to
do what I want. Every time I set a budget that I can live on, I can't
stick to it. What should I do?
Barely-Getting-By in Chicago
Barely, I think
there is more going on than your ability to stick to a budget. Creating
a spending plan is one of the steps to getting your finances
in order, but it is not the only factor. Track where your
money goes, decide how you want to divvy it up, plan
ahead, and last, but not least-grow up. That is the basic
plan; here's how you implement it.
Keep a spending
journal-track every cent you spend (cash, check, credit) for one
month. If this is too daunting to begin with, keep a cash journal,
but make sure you do all of your spending in cash, except regular
bills like rent and utilities. This will show exactly where your money
is going. (And don't cheat; if you spend 85 cents on a juice, record
What do you do with this information? Set up a spending plan that
evolves as you do. This is different than a budget because it
does perpetuate the mindset of denial! Get a notebook or use a computer
program like Quicken and mark out four categories: regular expenses,
expected irregular expenses, unexpected expenses, and savings.
Regular expenses include things like rent or mortgage, utilities,
car payment & insurance (or transportation), credit cards &
loans, food, etc., as well as entertainment, dining out and hobbies-this
section is important to your sustaining your spending plan. You have
to make room for fun; otherwise, you might blow your plan and
spend money on fun anyway. The next category, expected-irregular,
is for things like license plate renewals, magazine subscriptions,
contact/glasses replacement, etc. Then the unexpected is for new brakes,
emergency travel, new roof, computer crash, etc. And finally, savings!
Yes, you can and should start saving now! Depending on your age and
retirement plans, set up a reasonable plan to prepare for the lifestyle
you want to support in your later years. The best support you can
get is to hire a certified financial planner that you feel serves
your best interests. Make two plans: a current reality and
an ideal plan-this requires you setting some financial goals for yourself
(I suggest 3, 5, 10, and 20 year goals). As you reduce debt, earn
more, and shift your spending habits, redistribute where your money
will go in your plan.
And now, the growing
up part! Get real with your relationship with money. If you
don't have deep issues that require therapy, then take a look in the
mirror and find out who is in charge of you and your spending. Are
you waiting for someone to take care of you? Get over it and accept
that you are responsible for yourself. Does spending make you feel
good about yourself or add value to you in the eyes of others? Things
do not define who you are and spending on people in an attempt to
make them like you or indebt them to you are not good reasons to spend
money, especially if the spending facilitates financial crises for
yourself. Maybe you just don't earn enough; if so, get a second job,
advanced training, or someone to share expenses until you get ahead,
not just caught up. Are you a chronic over spender? Cut up the credit
cards and find low to no-cost activities to fill your time. If this
is a situation where you're saying "Oh God will take care of
me," then it is time to get real and accept that God works through
people-when's the last time a burning bush told you what to do? So
take responsibility for where you are and where you want to be, take
advantage of opportunities to earn more and spend less, and take time
to take care of yourself.
tell me what else you want to know.
Peer, MA, PCC
Certified Life & Evolutionary Coach
P.O. Box 477851; Chicago, Illinois; 60647
back to top