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Whatever You Track Improves

Time and time again, I see it play out personally and professionally: Whatever you track improves. Want to lose weight? Track your exercise. Want to get control of your time? Track how you're spending it. Want to have more money? Track your income and spending. (There's a reason that budgeting and financial planning works.)

When I track my time reading books, I read more books. When I track my time with my family, I spend more time with my family. When I track how many pushups I do, I do more pushups. Anything I want to increase or improve, I track it. And in virtually every case, my results are positive.

Why is that? It's because to track something, you have to give it proper attention. And when you give something proper attention, you think about it even when you're not thinking about it. Your brain goes to work on it even when you're doing other things. Ideas come in your sleep or in the shower. (I've solved many of the worlds problems in the shower.) Resolve strengthens....

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What Do We Do with All the Stuff?

Have you read Marie Kondo's book, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up? I have, and it really was life-changing. Following her approach, you hold everything you own and ask yourself whether it "sparks joy." If it doesn't, you thank it for its service and get rid of it. 

My mother, and many of the older generation, struggle with this approach. The current generation values minimalism and portability over sentimentality and tradition, and it shows in how we deal with our "stuff." While Ms. Kondo's approach is very popular with the rising generation, the aging population, while often downsizing and acknowledging the need to cull some of their possessions, nevertheless laments the potential loss of many of those things they have cherished and preserved their whole lives for their children and other heirs.

What are we to do with the china sets, furniture, heirlooms, and other belongings that have been treasured by our parents? As the baby boomer generation ages,...

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Weathering the Storm: How Families Can Plan for Natural Disasters

Planning for natural disasters is more than just stocking up on canned food and water. In a natural disaster, food and water will keep you alive, but how will you rebuild your life if your home and community are devastated? Here are some simple tips that will help you get back on your feet should disaster strike.

 Make sure you have enough insurance. Basic homeowner’s insurance typically won’t cover damage caused by natural disasters like floods or earthquakes. You might need to purchase additional insurance to cover these types of events. If you’d like an objective review of the types and amounts of insurance you have, contact us, we can help.

 Keep a thorough inventory of what you own. Having up-to-date information on your personal belongings—especially valuables—will make getting them replaced using your insurance claim easier. Pictures of your belongings stored in the cloud is one great way to handle this in advance of any natural...

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One Dark & Stormy Night

I don't do scary movies. I don't do haunted houses. I don't place myself in situations to be scared. I learned my lesson years ago.

One dark and stormy night—I'm not kidding, it really was a dark and stormy night—I found myself at my buddy's empty apartment (we lived in the same complex, and he was out of town) where I had decided, on my own and alone, to watch The Ring. Have you seen that movie? It's the one where the haunted evil devilish womanlike creature crawls out of the TV right after the phone rings. Because I don't watch scary movies, I don't even know if that movie is really considered scary. But I thought it was terrifying!

At the end of the movie, I had to go pee. I turned on every light in the apartment and left the door open. Just in case I needed to run. And then I left my friend's apartment and walked across the dark parking lot in the middle of the night, in the rain, to get to my own place. I thought I was going to be killed on the way....

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If We Go, the Kids Are Screwed

This is my family.

For some time now, my wife and I have been talking about the need to update our estate plan. We did a basic plan about ten years ago before taking a vacation to Japan without the kids. But we knew we had a plan in place, so it just wasn't a priority. Sound familiar?

Because I'm opening an estate planning practice in Washington, I thought I'd better just make sure I was all set myself. Imagine my shock and surprise when I finally pulled out my own plan and found that, if something happened to Kristina and me today, our children would be completely screwed.

I've learned an awful lot in the last ten years of legal practice. Enough to know that my plan from our Japan trip ten years ago would entirely fail today. Our youngest wasn't even around then. What would happen to her? Disaster.

The fact of the matter is that most people's plans are set up to fail. Most estate planning lawyers are simply document preparers, and very few focus on families with young...

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Why Does Law Have to Be Crazy & Extreme?

 

Hollywood certainly feeds the perception that law and lawyers are crazy and extreme and take crazy and extreme positions. Unfortunately this is partly true, but it's less a reflection of all those Type A lawyers than a symptom of our country's adversarial system.

If you find yourself facing a legal issue and someone takes a crazy or extreme position, more often than not, they're posturing, expecting to move to a more reasonable place once everyone has established a starting point for discussion.

Watch the video for more explanation.

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Should I Take That Job During Divorce?

divorce Oct 02, 2017
 

Occasionally, people ask me during a divorce case whether they should take a certain job, or quit a certain job, or accept or decline benefits when new choices come their way. They are concerned that their job-related choices will have an impact on their divorce case. Maybe they have an opportunity to get a raise, but that will make it so they don't get as much alimony, or makes it so they will have to pay more alimony. And so they ask, should I take the job?

This video presents my view and advice on the matter. In a nutshell, if you are making all of your life decisions based on how those decisions will impact your divorce case, I think you are looking at the wrong things and living out of fear.

Make decisions the way you normally would. Is the job offer advantageous? Is it work you want to do? Can you work with people that uplift you? Will it lead to more opportunity down the road? Are the benefits good for you, your children, your family? Are the hours what you want? Are they...

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What It's Like to Share a Birthday with 9/11

personal development Sep 11, 2017
 

My birthday is September 11. When people find that out, they always ask me what it's like to share my birthday with such an historic event. Here's a short answer.

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How To Wake Up Happy Every Day!

personal development Jun 01, 2017

Would you like to wake up happy every day? I have for the past two months. Click below to watch the video and learn what I did. It's sooooo easy. You can do it, too.

(And you can use this tool for so many other things . . . .)

How to Wake Up Happy Every Day!

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My Surprise Self-Awareness Hack

personal development May 17, 2017

 

I discovered a simple method to increase self-awareness, and to prepare for meaningful interactions with others. Click on the link to watch the video: A Surprise Tool for Self-Awareness

I hope it helps. If you try this out yourself, I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

 

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