Do you want a wealthy retirement without worrying about money? Welcome to “Retire in Texas”, where you will discover how to enjoy your faith, your family, and your freedom in the State of Texas—and, now, here's your host, financial advisor, author, and all-around good Texan, Darryl Lyons.
Darryl: Hey, this is Darryl Lyons, CEO and co-founder of PAX Financial Group, and you're listening to Retire in Texas. Thanks for tuning in today. I have to give you the disclosure as usual. This information is general in nature only. It's not intended to provide specific tax or legal advice. Visit PAXFinancialGroup.com for more information. [00:48.3]
Today, I’m going to shift gears a little bit rather than talking about the economics of the entire world and all that stuff, which is important. Really, the area that I really focus in on is personal financial planning, where what's the circumstances in which you can personally improve your financial position? And sometimes that's paying down debt. Sometimes that’s saving and accumulating money.
But, oftentimes, it could be readjusting the habits that you have, because the habits that you have, are resulting in outcomes that aren't making enough money. Some people say I need a better job or I need a better career. You probably need a better you, and I'm not talking about your identity.
As people know, my faith, your identity is designed uniquely by your Creator for purpose. As a believer, I know where I came from, I know my purpose, and I know where I'm going, and the challenge is not so much the identity and your relationship with your Creator as some of the habits that you've developed that just aren't working. [01:51.0]
Sometimes I’ve talked to people and I’ve mentored a lot of people over the years. In fact, I don't know if you guys know this, but, one time, the City of San Antonio, the mayor recognized me for being the mentor of the year for mentoring people who were in active duty, who were retired military, who were servicing frontlines.
I say that because mentoring is in my DNA and I love mentoring. Unfortunately, today, I don't have the bandwidth to mentor like I used to because my mentoring priority is for kids at home, and so that's where I spend most of my time mentoring. But maybe I can mentor some of you through this microphone in front of me, and that's what I want to do today because I do want to kind of maybe slap you upside the head a little bit.
Maybe there are some habits you can adjust because it's not about having a dead-end career or a dead-end boss, or a dead-end job. I think there's something for you to address and your habits. John Maxwell said this pretty succinctly. He said, “You'll never change your life until you change something that you do daily.” He goes on to say, “The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” [03:00.0]
Let me say that again. “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
I want to talk, there's a degree of time management, but I'm actually of the opinion it's mostly about energy management, managing your energy. I used to be in the time camp, I'm going to manage my time, and then I found something happening. I would get up early and run before the sun came out and I would go to bed late because I'd be studying. And then I realized that my brain wasn't functioning at a high capacity, and I recognized that it wasn't about managing my time. It was about managing my energy, and it wasn't so much my physical energy, although that's certainly something to do with it, my hyperness, I guess, but my brain, my ability to solve complex problems quickly or to communicate. I really started to hone in on how I spent years. [03:56.3]
Some of you guys are just born where you're just witty and you just get it. I just wasn't born that way and my mind just works, is quirky, and I'm okay with that. I live in that space, but I have to work on being really sharp. It's not that I don't get things. It’s because I'm thinking four or five things ahead sometimes. Some of you guys can relate.
But I really just enjoy seeing all the witty people out there because it’s just amazing. They just impress me and they just come up with jokes. But there's still something. There’s still another level to even those people to where you know what I'm talking about. You may be witty, but your energy level isn't where it could be and your ability to solve complex problems. You get distracted easily. These are all the things I want to help you resolve today. [04:44.7]
How do we resolve this stuff? Some of it is just taking inventory of our stress levels. Stress, as we know, kills brain cells. It kills. It kills. It kills. It kills. It kills. You've got to work on that stress. It weakens our decision-making and it kills brain cells, and it creates negative moods. I mean, if you're in a negative mood all the time, then it could be the stress that you have, and I tell my kids hurt people hurt people. And how do you resolve the stress? I mean, everyone is going through something. I make, yes, an assumption in life that everyone is carrying something heavy.
So, how do you work around this stress? You can't just sometimes just say, “Stress, go away.” It could be a child, a parent, money, but you can work around some of it, and sleep is a big part of it. I read a book a while back called Power Sleep and that changed the way I looked at things. [05:54.6]
If you're not taking advantage of these new watches, they're relatively inexpensive, these Fitbits, and if you're not measuring sleep, I think you're missing out on something because these things will give you a sleep score and you may find ways that you can improve your sleep score that are just ever so gentle, like a new pillow or going to bed and not playing on your phone before you go to bed, maybe having some chamomile tea. You just make all these little modifications, and if you improve your sleep score, you wake up the next day and you find that you actually have less stress.
I know, I'm speaking here like this is so simple. I know it's simple, but nobody is doing it. Measure your sleep and that will be a preemptive strike on your stress, I guarantee it. And then when your stress goes down, your decision-making goes up. Your sleep is better. Your stress goes down and your decision-making goes up. It's unbelievable.
I can attest to this, I measure my sleep all the time. I'm really struggling, making improvements. I’ve made so many improvements in my sleep and I'm still struggling. I'm still trying to think of ways that I can improve my sleep because I think there's still another level for me. But start measuring your sleep. [07:13.3]
Let me go into some other items that I think might be helpful. Again, it's not about your boss. It's not about your job. It's not about your contracts or vendors. It's not even about your employees. It's about your cortisol level. It's about your decision-making under stress. It's about managing your energy.
But do you ever sit down and just kind of think about what you want and what you desire? In my book, Small Business Big Pressure-- By the way, it's still available on Amazon. All proceeds of Small Business Big Pressure go to my four children that live in my house, so that's a shameless plug for my book. But I'm really looking forward to my next book coming out next year, so I'll keep you abreast of that. But I do want to talk about, in that book, I do have a specific section on a goals-planning exercise that I think will be very helpful to any of you guys. [08:03.6]
So, if you are thinking ahead about what you want to accomplish, I have a specific way and a rhythm in which I establish my goals at the beginning of the year, and I’ve been doing this for probably 15 years, and I find it to be very helpful and it holds me accountable.
But I do encourage you to take some time aside, whether it's going to Starbucks or whether it's going out to a ranch, whatever, to the beach, and spending a day thinking about what you want to accomplish. What do you want? I know that we're in the year already, but you can still do it. Say, “By the end of this year, what do I want? What would have been a successful year for me? What do my kids look like? What does my bank account look like? What does my health look like? What does my relationship with my spouse look like?”
Again, I align. I have about nine of them that I look at, but you just take it simple right now. But when you sit down and ask yourself what you want things to look like, then you're able to start executing the activities. Hear me out. Executing the activities that will increase the probability that those desires will occur. [09:07.4]
So, you establish your desires by setting some time aside, and then you execute activities, which I would express to you that those are goals, goals that can increase the probability that that desire would occur. Let me give you an example. I mean, this is one of mine, it's off the cuff here.
A long time ago, I wanted to have a good marriage, right? There's a lot of things you can do to have a good marriage, but I was like, Okay, what's one of the things I could do? When I'm thinking about it, I remember somebody telling me, a generation before me, told me about Dr. Pepper that had these commercials where you drink one at 10:00 and 2:00. There might have been another hour in there, but 10:00 and 2:00 is what I remember.
I thought, Well, that's pretty good advice. I'm going to call my wife at 10:00 and 2:00 every day. I think that's probably setting me up for a good marriage, and I’ve got to tell you, I haven't stopped doing that in maybe 15 years. [09:54.4]
But what's interesting about these things, these goals that I’ve set, is usually the habits continue from year to year and they build on each other like compound interest, and then you wake up in five, 10 years and you're a different person than you were, because you've been intentional about setting these desires and these specific goals.
Now, one element I’ve added to this, and everyone at PAX has to do this—all the employees at PAX have to do this—is you have to set short-term sprints every two months that makes sure that you're on track for those goals.
Let me give you some of the short-term sprints. These are kind of like goals every two months. Some of my team, they'll say, I’ve got a couple of examples. I’ve got six examples here of short-term sprints for my team. Every two months, we hold ourselves accountable to doing short-term sprints, not annual goals, but goals that occur every two months, and this is one of them, plan a summer family trip. Another one, go to the gym five times a week. Dust off the old bass guitar. Pass an exam. Write an article. And schedule coffee with a friend. Then, at the end of the two months, we all look at them, these lists, and find out who's making progress and who's not. [11:07.3]
Now, I say all this because there's a degree of accountability that will take you to another level and so that's something to consider. A couple more ideas and then I’ll let you off the hook, but these other two are pretty darn good, so hang with me.
I love doing a Monday-morning checklist. I have a Monday-morning checklist. It’s the first thing I do every Monday morning, because there's elements in our life that are important, but not urgent. Let me say that again. There's elements of our life that are important, but not urgent. And urgent distracts us from the important, so my Monday-morning checklist includes things that are important. It’s the first thing I do Monday morning. Sometimes I do it Sunday night.
What are some of those things on my Monday-morning checklist? Firstly, there's about 12 of them, and I create it every single year and many of them are attached to the desires and the strategy I create for the year. But one of them is I pray for all the employees. It's kind of important, pray for all the employees. [12:06.1]
Another one is I check the bank accounts. We have several bank accounts as businesses. I check all those Monday morning. It’s kind of important. I don't want to miss that.
Another one would be I send thank you cards. Who sends thank you cards anymore? I send them because it's important, but not urgent, and so I look, I reflect on my prior week and I write out thank you cards.
So, your Monday-morning checklists gives you a framework to take care of what's important, but not urgent.
Then this is the most important, the last piece, the last solution I'm going to give you, but I say this is the most important one and this is called the “six most”, and I have been doing this religiously for years. Every single day, with the exception of weekends before I leave the office, I write down the six most important things I need to do the following day. Six most, I write them down. [12:59.0]
I've had so many people come into my office and try to hack this and do it in different ways. It does not work. Stick with six and write it down. Don't put it on a computer. Don't do seven. Don't do five. Do six. I’ve just done it and it works, and there's psychology behind this. I'm not going to get into that today, but write down six.
Write down the six most important things you need to do for the next day. You go to the office the next day. You don't know what to do, you're stressed out. All these things are coming at you. Just do the first thing at the top of your list. Scratch it off. Then do the next one. Scratch it off. You get the little dopamine hit by scratching it off. You need that to carry over to the next dopamine hit and you're just doing one thing at a time. You're not overwhelmed. You're not confused. You're not getting heart palpitations.
Whenever I have somebody that comes to me and they say they're stressed and overwhelmed, I always ask them, “Are you doing your six most?” and they're not. They go to their six most and they're not stressed anymore. When you're done with your six most, create a new one. You just go one by one by one. You're not doing anything but following the orders that you gave yourself. [14:03.1]
And life doesn't have to get overwhelming. You just do your six most. Take it from the top, finish that first one. Then go to number two, finish that one. Cross it off. You're done with a six. You create a new one. At the end of the day, to take care of yourself the following day, you write down your six most before you leave the office, and that's what you do the next day.
Look, these are all hacks that I’ve developed by reading a ton of books, talking to a bunch of people that are smarter than me over the years that have really helped develop me in who I am today, and I believe that if you introduce these habits into your lives today, you're going to wake up five years from now and realize that you were intentional enough that you have a life that's by design, not by default.
And remember, I want to remind you, as always, you think different when you think long-term. Have a great day. [14:56.4]
This is ThePodcastFactory.com