If you're one of the millions of folks here in the initial days of 2017 making resolutions for the new year, we'd like to lend support.
In the years since we started this site, we've created a lot of programming and services that are targeted at the most popular goals people make resolutions for. These solutions have helped a large number of folks make real, constructive and positive change in their lives. Maybe they will for you, too.
By far the most common New Year's resolution, we present a detailed plan for dropping excess pounds healthily in our post How To Lose Weight.
Both Chris and I have followed this science-based plan to lose — and more importantly, keep off over the years — roughly 30lbs in his case and 20lbs in mine.
Given the challenges of the Three E threats warned of in The Crash Course — plus the daily parade of new macro challenges and boneheaded policy-making we analyze here on this site — it's understandable to feel overwhelmed by it all and wonder: Are we doomed? Are we better off just giving up?
Absolutely not! is our answer. Not only do Chris and I think there's a way to avoid the worst of the repercussions of these challenges, but there's a way to view them as opportunities instead.
That's why we named this site Peak Prosperity and not Peak We're-All-Gonna-Die. It's why our mission statement is rooted in an optimism we authentically believe: To create a world worth inheriting. It's why, if given a chance to do things over again, Chris and would run, not walk, to the resilient lifestyles we're living today.
Most of us have much more agency than we realize in controlling our destinies through a future defined by the trends of The Crash Course. And the key to seeing that is to learn other, more useful, narratives to understand the world through. The current narratives our culture is speaking to us are, simply put, broken and detrimental.
All of which is why we wrote the book Prosper!: How to Prepare for the Future and Create a World Worth Inheriting. It's our framework for understanding what truly matters in life, and our blueprint for how to make the most of yours.
If you haven't read it yet, you should get yourself a copy — in addition to the personal benefits you'll get, it will make it a lot easier to follow and relate to much of what we'll be discussing on this site throughout 2017.
And if you've already read it but it's been a while, pick up your copy and revisit the chapters most relevant to your personal situation. We all (including Chris and me) benefit from topping up our perspective tanks every so often.
The research shows that the majority of adults feel trapped in life, working for income but not for fulfillment. Most would rather be spending their time vastly differently if given the chance. That contrast eats away at their happiness and peace of mind.
In fact, the most common frustration we hear voiced at our annual seminars is that folks feel like they are Leading Two Lives. They follow the rules of the rat race from breakfast through dinner, and then spend stolen hours on nights and weekends learning more about the life they'd rather be living (usually reading websites in the PP.com peer set). It eats away at them that the vast majority of their day is so divorced from the things they care about.
As Chris often says: When your actions are out of alignment with your beliefs, anxiety results. Does this sound like you?
If it does, don't feel bad. You've got company. A lot of it.
But the positive message here is that there is well-defined, tested, step-by-step process that yields the self-discovery, visioning, planning, and implementation that ultimately results in finding fulfillment in life — professionally, in retirement, and otherwise. It has been analyzed for decades and is well understood by competent career counselors and coaches.
I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of this process, as it's what I followed after deciding to eject from the corporate world. It led me to co-found this website with Chris and finally attain what I was seeking: the sense of living the life I was always meant to.
This process for fulfillment is fully documented in our book Finding Your Way To Your Authentic Career. If you — or someone you care about — is at a point in life where this kind of guidance can make a real difference, this book should be a tremendous resource.
Get Your Head Right
As we explain often here on Peak Prosperity, if you don't have the right mindset, you're almost certain to find peace of mind elusive.
We all — to varying extent — have limiting beliefs and associated behaviors that can get in the way of our happiness, our relationships, and making progress towards our goals. How well have you identified yours? Could you use some help in devising ways to lessen their control over you?
We frequently write about the importance of developing your Emotional Capital. Because the future will bring increasing adversity with it, your ability to deal with stress effectively will be quite possibly the single most important determinant in how you fare.
Both Chris and I have a first-hand appreciation for the benefits of strengthening your emotional resilience given our wives' expertise. My wife Ashley (ashleytaggart.com) is a licensed therapist and Chris' wife Becca (beccamartenson.com) offers counseling and coaching services. Witnessing their success with clients, we see how finding ways to work through the mental barriers that block us opens up a whole set of future opportunities that weren't available before.
If you feel you could benefit from an investment in your emotional well-being in 2017, consider setting up a consultation with Ashley or Becca.
Be Smarter With Your Money
Another perennial New Year's resolution is treating money better. To save more of it, waste less of it, and hopefully grow what you've got.
Readers of this website are well aware of the perfect storm of threats assaulting savers and prudent investors these days. Our strong advice remains as it has always been: Don't got it alone. Work with a financial professional who can provide sound advice and stewardship that take into account the threats we face, and are customized to your personal situation, goals and risk tolerance.
If you're having trouble finding one you feel comfortable with, schedule an initial consultation with the financial adviser PeakProsperity.com endorses. It's completely free.
And for those looking for advice beyond just the financial — especially with big decisions like homesteading, relocation, job change, community building, etc — consider scheduling a consultation with Chris himself. He's helped a tremendous number of folks make better informed decisions over the years.
Be In Community
As humans, we're wired for tribal living.
Yet, as analyzed in our podcast with Sebastian Junger, our culture causes most of us pursue lifestyles that are quite socially-isolated, robbing us of the community interaction our psyches need.
When we ask attendees at our annual seminar which of the 8 Forms of Capital they are poorest in, Social Capital tops the list every year. It's nearly a universal deficiency in our society.
This is a big problem given how important Social Capital is and how long it takes to develop. It's not something you can suddenly come into (like Financial Capital), or can buy at the store (like Material Capital), or create yourself (like Living Capital). It built over repeated trust-based interactions with other people, over the course of years. There are no shortcuts.
And our society makes it hard, especially for the naturally introverted, to puncture the superficial veneer below which meaningful relationships can be developed.
But here at PP.com we do what we can to grease the skids. Our Groups let you connect and interact with other like-minded folks, either virtually or in the real world. Join a group based on an interest you have (like Gardening) or to collaborate with folks who live near you. If you can't find an existing one that meets your needs, create one yourself and let folks with similar interest find you.
And, of course, you can come join our 2017 annual seminar at Rowe. If you've ever asked yourself: Instead of no one in the room wanting to talk about the things I care about, what would it be like if EVERYONE wanted to talk about them? then you need to come to our seminar at least once. In terms of finding your tribe, it's a dream come true.
Our next seminar takes place April 6-9 at the rustic Rowe Center in Rowe, MA. They haven't posted the registration link yet (they should soon), but if you're eager to attend, you can contact them here now.
Whatever your resolutions, Chris, I and your fellow PP.com community members are here to support you in achieving them. May 2017 see all of us make meaningful strides towards self-betterment!
~ Adam Taggart