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As 2011 comes to an end many people engage in a reviewing and renewing process. This process may consist of looking over our 2011 list or vision board to see what has actually been accomplished, experienced or still pending. It also includes looking forward to the next 12 months with great anticipation, desire and intention setting. This process is much different than goal setting and making a resolution.

For some of us this review, release and renew period is something done alone and for others it begin in a spiritual community with meditation, visioning, prayer, music, silence and the creation of their personal vision board. Personally I find this activity powerful as people come together and the collective consciousness ushers in individual revelations as the group engages in visioning for their 2012 life & beyond.
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The holidays are probably the few times when people collectively lose all sense about their finances, outside of purchasing a new home, planning for a wedding, and preparing for a new baby. Fortunately, holiday spending is where people can have a great amount of control over how much they choose to spend.

In fact, some people opt not to spend money for the holidays at all!

While most of us have no desire to go to that extreme, almost everyone can benefit from keeping a closer eye on holiday spending. Not only does holiday spending add up, it happens year after year – eventually accumulating into an avalanche of lost earnings.

Often people let excessive holiday spending sabotage their future successes. People often start the new year with credit card debt from the previous year’s shopping binge. Why set yourself up for a poor start and very little to show for it?

What if you could channel that money into more positive, lasting endeavors? What if you could use some of that money for experiences rather than stuff and holiday decorations that you’re only going to pull out for one or two months every year?

Aside from typical big life events, think of the ways that having a budget can help you with your future successes.

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It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of life. You wake up, put in a good chunk of your day towards a job that (at best) you feel indifferent about, sit in traffic driving back home, and finally kill a few hours watching television or surfing the Internet before going back to bed. Next thing you know, it’s morning and time to start it all over again. And again. And again. It all becomes one big, meaningless blur, doesn’t it?

You start wondering to yourself: “Is this it? Is this all there is?” You ask yourself what your life purpose is, but you always come up blank. So you keep doing what you’ve always done.

Does this sound like you? Do you feel like you’re missing something, but you can’t put your finger on it?

Fortunately, the answers that you need to start living anew are already inside you.

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Despite the fact that Americans generally love to get their shop on, most people would say that they dread holiday shopping – and with very good reason. It isn’t fun to shop in large crowds, stand in long lines, and arrive at the store during some strange hours to get the best deals. Even for some hardcore bargain shoppers, it can be a very stressful endeavor.

The number one cause of stress is procrastination. Many people may have a general idea of what they want to get their loved ones, but they often end up putting it off until the last week or two before Christmas. Unfortunately for them, 80% of the country has also waited until the last possible moment to tie the loose ends in their holiday shopping.

Some people try to beat procrastination by shopping on Black Friday. But, honestly, this option isn’t much better than procrastinating. Waiting in lines and dealing with large crowds the night after Thanksgiving – when you’re already stuffed to the hilt – is not always a pleasant experience. To some the bargains may be worth it, but there’s always a better way.

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