Melvin Carrington Smith and I created the Financial Fitness Planbook to provide a brief, easy-to-use, and high impact tool you can print from the web site to use on your own or, better, learn to use at a seminar and/or in coaching. We looked at a few national resources and asked a few financial coaches what questions they ask and advice they give, considered the best we found, and edited our work to provide you and others with a compressed tool you can use and share with others.
Melvin has a calling to help people plan, assess, and improve their financial lives. Life Leaders is helping him with his “voice” and more people to get tools to use. David
- Melvin’s Top 25 question “checkup” he has used for years with financial planning clients has been improved and a page of intro has been added
- Plan sheet I outlined to provide you with a template to answer key questions that should improve your insight, plan, and action.
- Title Page
- Notes page for the Seminar
- Coaching for your Financial Fitness Check up
- Your Financial Fitness Check up
- Coaching for improving your Financial Fitness Plan
- Your Financial Fitness and Freedom Plan
- About the Authors and Life Leaders Institute
The Financial Fitness Checkup takes less than seven minutes to complete, but if it helps you identify just one gap in your financial well-being AND you can TAKE ACTION to correct that gap, it may be a valuable, even crucial, 7 minutes. I hope you complete the checkup and correct gaps to enrich your finances and your overall well-being. When helping people as a financial consultant, I generally find most individuals are in one of three stages of financial fitness.
The first stage is the Survival Stage in which an individual is still getting his or her financial life in order. Many in this stage have too much debt, little or no savings, and have not taken action to protect the assets they do have.
The second stage is the Fitness Stage. By actions they have taken, they have control of their debts, are making significant investment in retirement and other savings, and have taken many of the steps to get their financial house in order. This stage is critical because it allows an individual to move toward the most important stage of financial well-being, which is the Financial Freedom Stage.
Financial Freedom not only allows you to take control of your finances, but also allows you more time freedom to take actions on what is most important to your family, community, and you. This could mean you could take your career in a different direction including getting a more satisfying job, go into a completely new field, become an entrepreneur, or work from home. – Melvin
- Link to the Financial Fitness PlanBook on the website to read or print to use.
- Attend the Alabama Money Expo in Birmingham, May 20, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. to hear Melvin present Financial Planning Workshops and more free events. If you plan to attend or have questions, Melvin.Smith@me.com
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- See Life Leaders web: www.LifeLeadersInstitute.org
- Find something new or faster or give us feedback and ideas: Info@LifeLeadersInstitute.org
- Read or Print Publications below and more for Use by You and Groups
by Dr. David Dyson and Col. Stretch Dunn (USA Ret)
When people set resolutions at New Years or other times of inspiration or decision, the solutions usually require action though often we overlook the requirement to address our beliefs that either support or sabotage our success. “Moral injury” is one of the sources of setback for many people, perhaps most, especially for veterans of war.
When people seek to “be, know, or do” better we often have to face barriers that hold us back. If you have been setting the same New Year Resolution for years, you likely have a barrier holding you back from following through or even starting. Sometimes, between us and our goal stands a “Goliath” threatening us and those influenced by us. Some Goliaths we created and some happened to us, though in either case we can achieve breakthroughs by facing our barriers and deciding how our best-selves can make the best of situations and grow from challenges.
An example of a big barrier is when a veteran of combat faces feelings and beliefs from “moral injury” created having to kill another human being. Many veterans who return home face challenges to re-enter society. Some feel sad. Some feel guilty. Some feel they do not deserve better than their despair. They have been morally injured and need healing.
Some stay in their despair. Some “hold it in” and “others talk about it” with their buddies. Time might help to process and heal, though this often is a slow approach and there is no guarantee of recovery.
Those who act with intentionality are more likely to achieve not only recovery to a state prior to the trauma or injury but also “post traumatic growth.” For more on PTG, read Dr.Seligman’s work.
I asked Col. Stretch Dunn (USA Retired), West Point graduate, combat leader in Vietnam, founder of the Veterans Leadership Ministry, and co-author with me of Professionalism Under Stress, to provide his answer to the question from veterans struggling with psychological wounds of warfare.
Question: What can I do if I feel shame from killing that holds me back?
I was asked recently by a vet suffering the pain of “moral injury” a question tied to his feeling of shame. He still struggled with the commandment to “not kill” and his having to do so back in Vietnam. My response was one that has worked for me since I faced that dilemma in 1968.
Captain Dunn 1968, Vietnam
I never forget the capacity of our minds to rationalize anything. The treasure of being able to think is truly amazing.
That said, I live with my past by listening to the intent of the heart. Matthew 15:19 reminds me, murder comes from “evil in the heart.” While there is a moral imperative to not kill unlawfully, there is also the soldier’s duty to protect. The noble warrior punishes in proportion to the gravity of the offense.
So I told him I sought to “put on the whole armor of God” and do what had to be done to protect the innocent or my buddies in keeping with the oath I took in 1966 and the heart of a Noble Warrior.
Col. C.H. “Stretch” Dunn (USA Retired)
When writing the book, Professionalism Under Stress, with Col. Dunn, he introduced me to the meaning of a “least-worst option.” As the name suggests, all the options seem bad; the best option is the “least-worst.”
Killing the enemy is bad; the enemy killing your buddies or U.S. civilians is worse. Choices like these, tough choices, can stay with you for years in a negative way unless you process them in to your “best possible” way.
Callings and Choices are a key to a best-self leader.
Asking, God, what would you have me do? following by asking myself, Now, what would my best-self do? helps me move from thinking of bad memories to thinking of potential good solutions. The thoughts and actions that must follow can heal, inspire, and make you stronger than before your moral injury. May your thoughts carry you upward, David`
April Odom, Birmingham’s Director of Public Information, and I worked yesterday on possible ways for the City and Life Leaders can work together to advance the City and freedom initiatives. We will follow up on Empowerment Week, Freedom City on social media, and more very soon.
Thanks for following our progress. David
We have freedom to choose our response to what happens.
That’s a lesson from Dr. Stephen Covey on a video I shared with Life Leaders at the monthly seminar and meeting.
We can choose character development more than personality. We should include character development in our goals to be better instead of just appear better.
We can choose success with higher courage and commitment. Our results come from choices and actions. We can be better than what we have learned, what we have seen, and what our culture has endorsed.
Action: we can envision our best-selves, write our mission and vision, and take action on one or more priorities to inspire and guide us. We can change the way we have responded in the past. We are responsible for our results as a product of our choices. Even when outside forces act on us, we must own the plans, actions, and results. When we do, we can improve circumstances as well as our own character, including courage and confidence.
If you agree, you may like to follow or attend Life Leaders. http://www.LifeLeaders.us. We are improving our video channel and other resources we hope will help you PLAN and LEAD your LIFE to flourish at your callings.