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Welcome Spring and New Beginnings!
We have said good-bye to a year that will never be forgotten! We hope the first signs of Spring bring you renewed hope and a positive outlook for the year. So much has changed since the year began, and yet much is still the same. More workers are at home instead of the office. Children are mostly not in school – but may return soon. COVID -19 is still here, but new cases have declined dramatically.
Our lives and our lifestyles will be impacted for some time to come. Still we hold out hope for a return to a “new normal” that brings you peace of mind and the ability to stay focused on what is most important to you.
The old saying “Take life one day at a time” has never been truer. Between the news media, the pri-or year elections and the state of our nations’ economy, 2020 was a challenging year to make pro-gress. For our business, we did take it one day, one week, perhaps, at a time, making steps toward daily progress. The word ‘pivot’ was used frequently to keep our intention for progress clear. We focused on finding new ways to keep moving forward and reach the goals that you and we had set.
Our goal in 2021 is the same - to keep your career or business thriving, your family, and your-self moving forward one step, one objective at a time.
We are so close to returning our lives to a new normal. Let’s continue to be safe, take good care, and keep moving forward.
Marilyn and Ora
"Spring will come and so will happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer." - Anita Krizzan
“One of the ways the brain keeps us going day-to-day is that we can declare victory [on things like]...‘Oh, I made it through work. Check. I’m going home now,’” Kotler says. But with WFH, that has been lost.
Here are Kotler’s top tips to find flow, even while working from home.
Make a ‘clear goals’ list “The most important thing to do” to find flow is to create a “clear goals” list for the day, says Kotler. Write your list at the end of the day for the following day, and order the list starting with the most difficult and most rewarding tasks to least difficult.
By creating clear goals you wake up with a focused idea of what you want to accomplish. The list should include everything from workouts to work projects to mindfulness breaks.
Clear goals help trigger flow by lowering one’s cognitive load, says Kotler, “thus liberating extra energy, which we can repurpose for focus.”
90 to 120 minutes of uninterrupted concentration
Flow has certain triggers, according to Kotler, and one of those is complete concentration. So to find flow, it’s important to start your day with the most important and most difficult tasks on your list and to spend at least an hour and a half of uninterrupted time on those tasks, he says.
That means turning off all your devices and solely focusing on what is in front of you.
“What the science shows, if you can, you should start your day or your work period with 90 minute blocks of concentration, if you want to maximize flow,” Kotler says. (The sweet spot ranges from 90 to 120 minutes chunks, he says.)
“In the same way there’s a REM cycle that’s 90 minutes long, there’s a waking focused cycle that’s 90 minutes long,” he says, referring to the cycle of sleep were most of dreaming occurs.
Kotler also encourages people to pick one of their strengths to apply in a different way during this 90- to 120-minute concentration block to further boost flow. For example, if visual creativity is one of your strengths, expand your creativity by doing some writing too.
“Over time, this constant pushing on yourself and your skills will result in both an astounding amount of grit and, even better, the habit of ferocity,” which Kotler describes as drive, creativity, appetite for risk and social intelligence in “The Art of Impossible.”
Come back to the present moment
Kotler suggests scheduling at least five minutes a day for a daily gratitude practice and 20 minutes for mindfulness.
Each one of these things drives attention into the present moment, which helps create concentration and, in turn, flow.
Check off all completed items on your list
People need a sense of “victory,” especially when working from home, to make them feel like they have accomplished something, Kotler says. So it’s important to literally check off the items on your clear goals list that you complete each day.
When everything is checked off, realize your work is done and it’s time to celebrate and relax.
“It’s important to understand that’s the end of the day. You won. You can declare victory and chill,” Kotler says.
Forty-four percent of American women are the primary breadwinner in their house.1 Yet only 10% of women feel very confident in their ability to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.2Although more women are providing for their families, when it comes to preparing for retirement, they may be leaving their future to chance.
Women and CollegeThe reason behind this disparity doesn't seem to be a lack of education or independence. Today, women are more likely to go to college and graduate than men.3 So what keeps them from taking charge of their long-term financial picture? One reason may be a lack of confidence. In one recent study, less than half of the more than 2,000 women surveyed said they felt satisfied with their knowledge of finances.4 Women may shy away from discussing money because they don’t want to appear uneducated or naive and hesitate to ask questions as a result.
Insider languageSince Wall Street traditionally has been a male-dominated field, women whose expertise lies in other areas may feel uneasy amidst complex calculations and long-term financial projections. Just the jargon of personal finance can be intimidating: 401(k), 403(b), fixed, variable.5 To someone inexperienced in the field of personal finance, it may seem like an entirely different language.But women need to keep one eye looking toward retirement since they may live longer and could potentially face higher health-care expenses than men.
If you have left your long-term financial strategy to chance, now is the time to pick up the reins and retake control. Consider talking with a financial professional about your goals and ambitions for retirement. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if the conversation turns to something unfamiliar. No one was born knowing the ins-and-outs of compound interest, but it’s important to understand in order to make informed decisions.
Compound Interest: What’s the Hype?Compound interest may be one of the greatest secrets of smart investing. And time is the key to making the most of it. If you invested $250,000 in an account earning 6%, at the end of 20 years your account would be worth $801,784. However, if you waited 10 years, then started your investment program, you would end up with only $447,712.
Social Security is a critical component of the retirement financial strategy for many Americans, so before you begin taking it, you should consider three important questions. The answers may affect whether you make the most of this retirement income source.
When to Start?
You have the choice of 1) starting benefits at age 62, 2) claiming them at your full retirement age, or 3) delaying payments until age 70. If you claim early, you can expect to receive a monthly benefit that will be lower than what you would have earned at full retirement. If you wait until age 70, you can expect to receive an even higher monthly benefit than you would have received if you had begun taking payments at your full retirement age. The decision of when to begin taking benefits may hinge on whether you need the income now or can wait, and whether you think your lifespan will be shorter or longer than the average American.
Should I Continue to Work?
Work provides income, personal satisfaction, and may increase your Social Security benefits. However, if you begin taking benefits prior to your full retirement age and continue to work, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 in earnings above the prevailing annual limit ($17,040 in 2018).¹ If you work during the year in which you attain full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $3 in earnings over a different annual limit ($45,360 in 2018) until the month you reach full retirement age. After you attain your full retirement age, earned income no longer reduces benefit payments.²
How Can I Maximize My Benefit?
The easiest way to maximize your monthly Social Security benefit is to simply wait until you turn age 70 before receiving payments.
As we mature, we begin to know who we are and what we stand for.
Reach out and support the causes and people that you care about. Invest your time and energy in areas that interest you and where you can make a difference.
We can share our experiences, our unique talents, and our power to help someone else who may be on the Yellow Brick Road, but their path is not clear, and who may need guidance to get to their destination.
our unique talents, and our power to help someone else who may be on the Yellow Brick Road, but their path is not clear, and who may need guidance to get to their destination.
“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice. But now that I found mine, I am not going to be silent.
“Women hold up half the sky.”
Crisp, cool, refreshing, and so easy to make, this jicama slaw. Tossed together with juicy mandarins, crunchy raw onions, slivered jalapeños, shredded sweet carrots, and fragrant, minced cilantro stems in a drizzle of spiky vinegar. This salad could be a great meal on its own. Pair it with a hearty protein like oven-baked BBQ chicken, top your fish tacos with some, or pile it on top of some pork fried rice for a quick serving of veggies—just give it a try!
Yields 4 servingsPrep time: 10 minutesTotal time: 15 minutes
Ingredients1/4 large jicama, peeled and thinly slivered1/4 medium onion, thinly slivered1/2 carrot, shredded1 jalapeño, thinly slivered1 1/4 tsp. finely chopped cilantro stems (from 1 bunch)3 mandarins, divided3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar1/2 tsp. kosher salt
DirectionsIn a large bowl, combine jicama, onion, carrot, jalapeño, cilantro, and segments from 2 peeled mandarins. Add zest and juice from the remaining mandarin to the bowl, then add vinegar and salt. Toss to combine evenly.