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Imagine this: Last night when you went to bed something strange and magical happened while you slept. When you woke up your life had changed. Not upside down, topsy-turvy different. But it was different. And BETTER. All of a sudden, life was 20% better.

If your life became 20% better, how would it look?

What would be different in your work?

Different hours, time off, workload, responsibility or advancement? Has the work environment, relationships or policies changed?

What would be different in your marriage/dating/single life?

What would be different with your kids, family, close friends or those it’s been months since you talked with? Would you have more time together, better communication, more fun quality time?

How would your health be different? Maybe you eat more whole foods, experience less chronic pain, lost a few pounds or have more energy. Are you getting more sleep?

How would your habits be different? Do you have a morning routine? Are you offline more? Do you spend time reading, meditating or planning?

What about your free time? Is there a bit more? Is it more relaxing? More productive?

How about your living space?

Is it a bit less cluttered with that one pesky closet finally emptied? Maybe the donation pile finally was dropped off or those “to-sell” items. Maybe the living room was repainted and pictures were taken out of the moving boxes and hung on the walls. (Because why hang the pictures when you are planning on painting, right?)

What about your mood and mental state? Is there less stress and bitterness? More joy or gratitude? What do you think about when you first wake up and before you fall asleep?

And beings this is a personal finance blog, what would 20% better look like with your money? Are you more on target with your budget? Tracking better? Or following up on the nagging unfished tasked like 401k rollovers and shopping for new car insurance. Maybe you finally feel great about your asset allocation.

20% better isn’t a massive shift, but you can feel it.

I have to admit I really, really love our life! I don’t think it’s by accident or luck. Instead, it’s constant mindfulness, intention and taking small steps to make progress in the right direction.

But I’m not done either! Doing this exercise, I came up with a small laundry list of things that could be 20% better.

Homework Time!


While I’m not exactly a teacher, I do love giving people I mentor homework! So here is yours (if you want it!)

Think about 1-3 things that could be 20% better.

Find those level one actions you could take to start making progress. Just in case you missed this video I made, I’ll drop it here again.

The magic of the question

Some questions are oddly effective. Here is why I love this question:

You aren’t trying to make things crazy different, just a little better. So it helps guard against overwhelm or indifference. Some people will say, “There is just TOO much!” and not start. Others will say, “Well, my life is OK, I don’t need any big change.” But 20% is attainable and applicable.

It’s easy to make it bit sized and actionable. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE big ideas. But to get those going, we need to start small. We need to start with things we can tackle in an hour or two this week.

Traveling for 10 weeks has a been a perfect time to step back from my routine, reflect, and plan a few course corrections. But you don’t need a big trip for this! If you are one of my subscribers, just open my (arriving soon!) private resource vault and print out or download a copy of this worksheet and all my free resources.

20 minutes and your favorite beverage is all you need!

For conversation: Anything that you would love to see 20% better?