How NIKE Ruined the Best Advice You’ll Ever Get

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


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!


Help for PHSS – Post Holiday Stress Syndrome

And so end the festivities of yet another Christmas/Holiday season.

Happy New Year to all and best wishes for a stress-free and prosperous 2012!

Watch here for tips and ideas about how to minimize debt and maximize your efforts. As the bills start to trickle in from the last month, many of us will be faced with the reality of some over-spending.

Don’t fret – check back here at for some timely and useful advice. You’re not alone. There is help. Been there, done that. More than once.

There is life after debt.

How To Survive Christmas Without Going Into Debt

As we approach yet another Christmas season when every corner we turn screams at us to spend, spend, spend, I find that I have to consciously think about lessons I’ve learned in previous years, pull them out with the decorations, and make sure they’re all front and center every time I walk out the front door.

Here are a few of the strategies I’ve used to help trim the seasonal budget back a bit:

We tell our kids that we pay Santa for the gifts he brings. This helps them to understand why some kids get more than others and why Santa’s generosity is not unlimited.

I have my kids clean out closets, drawers, shelves, and corners throughout December, explaining that nothing new is coming into the house if there’s no room for it.

We take some time to go through clothes and toys that we’ve outgrown, used up, broken, or just never really go into. We save, pitch, and donate appropriately. But at Christmas time, we take the good stuff that is perfect for donating, clean it up, and leave it under the tree Christmas Eve so that Santa can take it and give it to other children whose families can’t afford to pay Santa for their gifts.

I’ve set a ridiculously low budget this year – less than half of what I usually spend. I decided how much of that will be spent on gifts and then divided by the number of gifts I have to buy. For our kids, and our nieces and nephews, I put a simple $20 limit on each of them. This restriction actually made shopping a little more enjoyable as I had to put a little more thought into their gifts. And I am that much more excited about giving them as I was so careful to chose the one thing that I know they’ll each love.

I stopped buying all of the little dollar store and toiletry items that five kids can go through about three weeks ago. They’re currently sharing toothpaste and shampoo, pencils are sharpened to death, and they’re getting by with last year’s mitts and scarves. Things that I would normally have to buy for them anyway will all show up in their stockings.

I bought my turkey at Thanksgiving and it’s been waiting quietly in the freezer for weeks now. While I prefer the luxury of the taste of a fresh bird, I find that I prefer the low price of a turkey on sale the day after Thanksgiving! I also bought a huge 30 pound bird to make sure that we have plenty of leftover dinners for the freezer.

I’ve been stocking up on holiday treats and hors d’oeuvres for weeks now. With the regular grocery shopping, I’ve grabbed $10-$20 worth of frozen eggrolls and potstickers, nuts, cookies, and chips on my travels. Sure, keeping the kids out of the treasure trove of treats has been a bit of a challenge. But looking at my budget for the big Christmas shop next week, I think I’m going to easily beat my bottom line.

In the end, I’m finding that trimming my budget not only saves a lot of money, but it drastically reduces the stress of the season. I’m looking forward to a house full of company and loud kids and family. I’ll be able to watch them enjoy Christmas. Instead of watching them eat through my wallet!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and my the holiday season bring you the joys of peace and love.

See you in January!