How NIKE Ruined the Best Advice You’ll Ever Get

We all know the slogan, right under the NIKE swoosh.

“JUST DO IT.”

Yeah. If you’re a runner or a swimmer or a climber. Whatever. Just do it.

There was some impact to this slogan when it first came out, along with some terrific visuals and intense encouragement. Sure, a lot of viewers felt a jolt of inspiration. Maybe a few were even sparked into doing something more than they thought possible.

But, as befalls all advertisers, overkill seems to be inevitable. And so, this particular phrase, while remaining one of the most recognized statements in modern history, has suffered the doom of a life sentence in the prison of cliche, without any chance of parole.

The words “JUST DO IT,” are now synonymous with NIKE.

And shame on NIKE for taking what is probably the best advice you’ll ever get, and draining all meaning and power from them with over use and commercialism.

I’ve recently lost a considerable amount of weight. Enough that I am constantly being hit with the question, “How?”

Not the “How do you lose weight?” question. We all know the answer to that: more output than intake. It’s all in the math.

No, the real question is “How did you get started?”

Those who need to lose more than a few stone know that we don’t need a new diet, a funky new exercise, a dreaded trainer, a doctor, an intervention. We know all the rules. In fact, no one knows more about nutrition that those of us who need to lose some weight.

What we need is a dose of magic – a pill, an event, a spark – that puts us in the right mindset to want to make the sacrifices necessary to successful weight loss. The fact is, losing weight is as easy as breathing. But only if and when your mind is in the game.

The big question is: How do I get into that mindset? How do I convince myself that I want/can/should do this? How do I get started when I just don’t want to do it, even when I know I should?

And the answer is obvious. JUST DO IT.

Yeah, yeah.

No. Think about the words. Not the cliche.

JUST. Keep it simple. Don’t plan. Don’t think. Don’t worry. Don’t add in a whole bunch of dreams and hopes and fears and emotions. JUST. One thing. One focus. One.

DO. Act. Go. Move. You know what to do. You don’t need to prepare and spend and organize and anticipate. Start. Now. Don’t listen to that whiny voice in your head.

IT. Lose weight. Attack your debt. Get that job. Meet that girl. Whatever your IT is. One thing. You know what IT is. You know how to do this. If IT is your obstacle, you know everything about IT. Make IT your bitch. Climb all over IT. Conquer IT.

JUST DO IT. Don’t think about it. Don’t wonder what if. Don’t waste time and energy with IT in your head. Get IT out there and face IT straight on. No feeling sorry for yourself. No regrets. Just IT. JUST. IT.

Until you feel some success. Until some little thing happens that makes you look up from your charge to realize, hey, this is working. I’m doing IT. I’m getting somewhere. I can do this. I can keep going. I am a god!

When you make the transition from the blind focus of JUST DO IT to, LOOK AT ME! I’M DOING IT, the energy and enthusiasm you gain from that success brings on a momentum you couldn’t have imagined. And you find yourself wondering why you didn’t JUST DO IT a long time ago.

If debt is your nemesis, fight back. Open the bills; read them. Call your creditors. Face the music. Add everything up. Take control. JUST DO IT. You know what IT is. JUST DO IT. And when IT starts to become a thing separate from you, instead of defining you, when you become the boss, when you take charge, when you realize that you’re DOING IT! life becomes a whole lot better!

Stacey.

5 Best Ways to Beat Winter Blahs Without Spending Money

So how are you managing with your post-holiday blahs? By now, you’ve suffered through one or two billing cycles and are feeling the pinch if you over-indulged a little at Christmas time. Given the weather, the lack of sunlight, the post-season let-down, and the pressure of finances, January and February can be the most distressing time of year.

You are not alone.

How does everyone else manage to survive the cold dark months of winter when the cash flow doesn’t allow for an extravagant trip south? Here are 5 suggestions to beat the winter blahs:

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1. Get outside.  Spend as much time as possible outside. Sure the weather can be a bit of a downer this time of year, but winter holds a host of treasures if you know where to look. Think about your favourite summer getaway spot – a picnic, a hike, a view. Have you ever seen it all frozen and covered in snow? Check it out. Take your camera. Absorb as much daylight and fresh air as you can. Clear the cobwebs from the brain and you’ll be surprised at how cleansing the experience can be.

2. Get busy.  Trade your tv/down/couch time with productive activities that cost next to nothing. Get a head start on your interior spring cleaning. Start with a closet. Work on a cupboard. How about the windows? If you can fall into bed at the end of the day with a feeling of accomplishment, sleep comes so much easier.

3. Get active.  Oh, I know, the urge to find a warm blanket and hibernate is overwhelming. But with only 27 days until Spring, it’s time to get moving. Your body will complain at first. Don’t listen to it. It’ll thank you come April when you’re happily planting bulbs in the garden, cleaning up lawn furniture, and washing the car. Look forward to the active summer you want to enjoy – don’t wait for it to arrive. You’ll miss the first few precious weeks trying to get those frozen muscles going again.

4. Get in touch.  Take some time now to keep in touch with friends and family. Phone calls and emails, Skype calls and letters, are all great ways to let those you care about know that you’re thinking of them – and not just at Christmas. The people around you are likely feeling the same winter grays as you and will enjoy and appreciate your reaching out to them. One call = two people uplifted. It’s a good deal.

5. Get planning.  Take stock of what’s going on now and get thinking about what’s coming up. Check through your year and look for events, birthdays, repairs, renovations, and any other detail over the coming months that will require your attention, effort, time, and money. Keep track of these things and ask yourself what you can do now, next week, regularly, to prepare for upcoming obligations. Your anniversary comes every year and you both agree to stay in with a pizza because you can’t afford a big night out. Start putting away a few dollars a week now. (A mid-August date is six months away, and $10 per week in the piggy bank would be a $250 night out, complete with dinner and a night in a hotel.) Wouldn’t it be nice to actually be ready for it? Don’t leave everything until the last minute.

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Sure it’s easy to just give in to the winter blahs. Especially when finances are screaming in agony. But attack the areas of your life that you can control and affect with vim and vigour, and you will find your energy and purpose increasing every day. Spring will be a welcome friend, instead of a new challenge.

What about you? Do you plan for Spring? Do you count the days? What kinds of things do you do to pass the winter blahs more happily? Share your comments below.

Moms Teaching Kids About Finance

Discovered today that I already knew everything there was to know about managing my finances. Apparently, Mom taught me everything.

I just wasn’t paying close enough attention.

Check out this blog post for some fabulously obvious lessons we all should have learned when we were kids!!

Stacey.