There’s nothing quite like that giddy feeling you get when Christmas carols start playing at the mall. That’s usually the biggest sign that the holidays are in full-swing. Everyone smiles a little more, everyone’s ready to party a little harder, and there’s just plenty of love in the air. It all feels like a delightful dream until the dread hit’s you with a gut-punch – you totally forgot to budget for gifts this year. If this dilemma sounds all too familiar, don’t panic. It’s not too late to pull off a Christmas miracle as long as you’re willing to bootstrap a little bit. Here are twelve easy money-saving tips that can help raise a little extra cash for the holidays… whether or not you end up using it on gifts:

Shop Smart:

Most people naturally have very wasteful shopping habits. Instead of hunting for bargains, we opt to spend based on branding or store proximity. Rather than shopping just to feel good, shop with the central aim of meeting your current needs economically. For example:
Take time to plan and compare prices.
Use coupons and read through junk mail for special offers and sales.
Use a shopping list, and stick to the plan.
Sign up for Rewards Programs.
Shop online, especially for electronics.
Don’t use large shopping carts for quick trips. You’ll only end up filling them with extra purchases.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach. You’ll end up spending too much money on food.

Go Green:

The entire point behind environmentalism is conservation. This conservation has the wonderful consequence of saving money. The more you do to be ecological, the less cash you spend in the long run. For example:
Switch off every light bulb and electronic device in your home if it’s not being used. This will lower your power bill.
Buy rechargeable batteries and you won’t have to keep replenishing them once they’re exhausted.
Use cloth napkins instead of paper towels and you won’t have to spend money resupplying every month.
Find a recycling center that pays cash for recyclables like scrap metal, bottles, cans, electronics, printer cartridges and so on.

Get Smart about Smart Devices:

Allowing mobile devices to operate unmonitored not only consumes electricity, it also inflates data usage charges. If a smart device has an inactive screen, make sure the entire device is actually idle with precautions like these:
Switch off the Mobile Data or Wifi if you aren’t using them.
Shutdown all apps completely instead of merely exiting the screen.
Turn of location settings unless you are actively using GPS.
Use power-saving modes to keep the device charged for longer.

Review your Subscriptions:

If there is anything you’ve ever spent money on that needs periodic payments to maintain, think about whether you still actively use it. If not, terminate these payments in order to lower your financial burden every month. For example:
Magazine or newspaper delivery services are redundant considering you can access all the information you need online.
Owning a credit card with an annual fee is unnecessary when there are plenty of free options available.
Evaluate which of your entertainment services you actually use and commit to just one. For instance it makes no financial sense to simultaneously maintain subscriptions like Netflix, Cable, Satellite TV, Hulu, and so on, when in practice you probably only watch one hour of TV every day.

These are just a handful of ways you can cut costs and save on cash. The options are endless provided you’re willing to take a serious look at where every dime you earn goes. If you notice any wastage, make some minor changes and it will surprise you how far you can stretch a dollar. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love our many informative workshops and events listed on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/rise-programs-10789866034 Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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Did you know that you have a superpower? You have the ability to level any mountain, and scale any obstacle. You can overcome any threat, and achieve any goal you set your mind to. It doesn’t matter what you’re facing, or who stands against you. It doesn’t matter where you’re headed, or what you’ve been through. Every new day is an opportunity to win. It’s an opportunity to strengthen, and execute, your natural power to succeed. All it takes is one simple choice – have a positive attitude. Optimism is the key to survival. It is often the only weapon we have against the menacing grip of depression. It might not seem like it in the heat of stress, but a positive attitude actually prevents your problems from overrunning your life. If being optimistic sounds easier said than done, here are four quick reminders of how to refocus your thoughts and become more positive:

  • Visualize:

Instead of endlessly contemplating your various problems, start thinking about conquering them. Whatever task you’re faced with, or whatever project you have to complete, imagine yourself having thoroughly accomplished these goals. Don’t do this just to daydream, but do it to embed a sense of triumph in your consciousness. Visualizing success gives way to effective decisions and consequential actions.

  • Forget the Haters:

If you’ve ever tried to chase a dream in life, there’s a very good chance that someone you know didn’t believe in you. If your dream was a meaningful one, there’s an even bigger chance that critics made their contempt known. Before you rely on anyone else’s validation to prop you up in any way, learn to believe in yourself. Mute any voices of disapproval from your mind and concentrate on your own path.  

  • Watch your Words:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. In a world full of people itching to judge your efforts and put down your work, you must never ever add on to their slander with your own negative speech. Words are powerful. They are powerful enough to transform into self-fulling prophecies. Make a habit of using positive affirmations to remind yourself of your worth and program your attitude towards achievement.

  • Don’t be so Hard on Yourself:

Unless all the wealth and success you’re working for has materialized, you have to accept the fact that your life is still a work in progress… and there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as you’re trying your best to make things happen, don’t waste energy condemning yourself for your shortcomings. Nobody’s perfect. Instead of putting yourself down, take pride on what you’ve managed to get done. Instead of comparing yourself to others, commit to outdoing your past accomplishments step by step. In time, you’ll look back and wonder why you were ever worried about making it.

Every dream is a seed. When that seed is planted in the soil of initiative, it takes the water of hard work, and the sunlight of optimism to cultivate that seed into a towering tree. Don’t ever let the clouds of sadness blot out the life-giving power of a positive attitude. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love our many informative workshops and events listed on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/rise-programs-10789866034 Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Everyone’s been there. Sitting dejected in the dark as frustration wrenches a lump of regret in your throat. Agonizing over that one miscalculation, that one mistake, that sent everything haywire. Wallowing in the sting of embarrassing failure as you wonder what happens next, or how to move on. These moments can feel completely hopeless – especially when failure happens within a context of leadership. Failure however, is not fatal. Failure is not a death sentence. In fact, depending on how a leader chooses to react to failure, it can become nothing more than a minor footnote on a bigger journey to success. During life’s toughest moments, it’s important to remember that there is no problem too dire to overcome. All it takes is some positive mental reframing through three main steps:

  • Reflect:

If you find yourself entangled in a moment of failure, stop cringing over it and take some time to reflect on the situation. Don’t do this in the spirit of obsessing over mistakes. Rather, do it with a singular aim of identifying the specific conditions that led to failure, then correct them. All mistakes in life are an opportunity to learn the difference between right and wrong. Instead of reacting to failure with indulgent emotion, analyze, remedy and grow from it.

  • Accept:

Accept that you can’t control everything. Accept that something bad happened, and that sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles. Accept that you are human, and imperfect. Beating yourself up about failure can spiral into endless self-pity. This is why it’s important to abandon the impossible expectations of perfectionism. Remembering your own fallibility is a crucial step towards healing that is necessary to move on constructively from failure. Once you accept that failure has happened, it becomes time to reset your attitude towards rebuilding.

  • Regroup:

If something doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger. As long as you have breath in your lungs it means you’re alive to fight, and win, another day. This should be your fundamental mindset no matter what happens in life. Do not collapse in defeat when you fail at something. Instead, focus on surviving. Focus on prevailing. Focus on salvaging what you can and craft a strategy to achieve again. It isn’t easy to regroup especially in the sadness of setbacks. However giving up should never be an option in your mind. Even if you have to reinvent yourself, and your dreams, keep hope alive and have the courage to continue.

Close your eyes and think about a legend you admire. Think about what they accomplished and why it is you respect them. If you pay close attention, you’ll notice that what you admire the most about them is the fact that they did not surrender to failure. Resilience is a virtue. It’s what sets great leaders apart and cements admiration for them. No matter what happens in life, be resilient and never give up. It will turn your life story, into a success story. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love our many informative workshops and events listed on Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/2lQZx7J Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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There are so many reasons to be afraid today, especially with natural disasters flaring up all around the world recently. It’s understandable if the demolition from all these earthquakes, storms and tragedies stir up fear within you; fear which can rob you of peace, productivity and happiness in life. Always remember however that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Meaning that the fear you feel right now can be eliminated by an equal and opposite emotion if you channel your will to reflect hope.

There are two main motivating forces that we confront on a daily basis, namely; fear and hope. Fear is a defensive emotion. Consequently it yields an energy that can be used to protect. Unfortunately fear also has a way of debilitating people through anxiety and apprehension. Fear does indeed have a place in our lives, but it doesn’t need to control us. The healthy way to experience fear is to actually feel fear, without letting fear consume us. Don’t allow fear to dictate how you choose to live life. In order to overcome fear, we must first face it. Many avoid and ignore their fears, because it takes courage to face them. Facing your feelings is the first step toward gaining control over the situation and pressing through to success.

When we are afraid, we pull back from opportunities, and from life overall. When we have hope we become open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. Shining stars are only visible in the dark of night. Although you never asked to be mired in your darkest fears, accepting, confronting, and overcoming your fear is the only way to learn, grow, and survive the difficulties you are going through. Feeling fear is uncomfortable, but I assure you conquering it will make you feel empowered, courageous, and proud.

3 Steps to Overcome Fear and Live in Hope

1. The first step to eliminate unnecessary fear is to evaluate your fears. What are you afraid of and why? Be brutally honest with yourself when facing your fears and decide what fears are necessary, and which ones are limiting.

2. The next important step is learning to trust yourself. Trust in your abilities, skills, knowledge and talent. You must be able to trust yourself before you can fully decide to overcome that fear. If you do not trust, then you will continue to allow fear to rule your life. You are powerful and filled with greatness and potential. Now it’s time not only to believe in yourself, but to live like it too!

3. We need to quit worrying about things we can’t control. You have control over yourself and what you do. However you don’t, and will never, have control over others, or natural disasters that happen in the world. It’s wise to prepare for the worst but, if doing so interferes with your peace of mind to the point of causing constant anxiety it’s not healthy. You must become fully solution-minded and potential-minded. Learn to focus on doing your very best and learning from mistakes. All that matters in life is that you give it your very best and live life to the fullest. Holding onto worry or fear does not allow you to do that. Overcome fear and worry be creating more HOPE in your life. Hope is a CONFIDENT EXPECTATION OF IMPENDING GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR LIFE. You can create hope by having a clear vision for your life. You can create hope by strengthen your fait! h. You can create hope by meditating on all that you are thankful for. You can create hope by remembering all the times in the past where trouble came, and you survived to emerge better and stronger. You can create hope by connecting with nature and its beauty. Lastly, you can create hope by surrounding yourself with people of hope because hope is contagious. That is where RISE Programs can help. Join us to RISE to new levels in life. We are a team of hope-filled people!

Richard Martinez
Transformation Expert

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