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Featured Article: Your guide to getting what you want

by Stephanie Hounsell, CANADIAN CHAMPION STAFF, May 20 2010

New book teaches focus, empowerment and persistence to achieve your goals

Your guide to getting what you want. LIFE COACH: Lou Mulligan offers a blueprint for success in his recently-released book, Hey! I Can Do This... Your Guide to Getting What You Want. Graham Paine / Canadian Champion

Lou Mulligan

Photo by Graham Paine

Are you one of the legions of people who make New Year's resolutions only to break them a couple of weeks - or maybe hours - later?

Or maybe you have a specific goal you've been struggling to achieve for years now, but just can't seem to make happen - be it losing weight, going back to school or having a closer relationship with your spouse.

Join the club. For most of us, setting goals isn't the problem. Following through and bringing them to fruition is.

For two decades, local financial planner Lou Mulligan has been working with clients to help make their financial dreams a reality so they can get what they want out of life.

He knows the many pitfalls that can stand in the way, and he helps his clients identify and overcome these.

"Experience is 20/20," he said.

Recipe for prosperity

Focus, empowerment and persistence - those are his three basic principles for success. But it wasn't long before he realized the formula could be applied to any goal, not just in the area of finances, and several years ago he had the idea of writing a book.

After five years of writing, re-writing and following his own advice, Mulligan's goal of writing that book recently became a reality with the release of Hey! I Can Do This... Your Guide to Getting What You Want.

Released through a self-publishing company, it's now available through Amazon.ca or through Chapters and Indigo bookstores.

On Saturday, June 5, Mulligan will appear at the local Indigo store on Steeles Avenue for a book signing from 1 to 4 p.m.

The book is designed as a workshop that takes the reader from setting goals to achieving them in small, bite-sized chunks.

"For me, it's already a success because I've been able to complete it and I'm able to share things with people," Mulligan said, adding the feedback so far has been positive.

Explaining his principles for success, Mulligan said having a clear, focused definition of your goal is important.

Everyone has goals, he said, but not everyone has identified them as goals. For example, a person might decide to do nothing on any given day. Identifying that as a goal of relaxing will help make that a priority and get rid of guilt and clutter that could fill up the day.

Setting goals can actually result in a less cluttered life, because goals can serve as filters to strain out the unnecessary, irrelevant things in life, Mulligan said.

He's been the first person to put his techniques into practice.

"I was my own first guinea pig," he said. "I believe in trial and error and I tried and erred a lot!"

Some goals he's worked toward in his own life include reducing his coffee consumption from 20 cups to a couple a week and losing weight by changing his eating habits.

Can help with all areas

Goals addressed in the book include the areas of physical, intellectual, social, spiritual and, yes, financial, since, as Mulligan pointed out, a degree of financial freedom is necessary to achieve most of what people want in life.

His experiences as a Certified Financial Planner and his educational background in psychology and sociology give Mulligan unique insight into human nature.

"The book is the outcome of my education and experience," Mulligan said.

The book is designed for the novice - someone who has never before set a goal - as well as someone who wants to completely change his or her life focus.

"The more people I can share this book with, the better," Mulligan said.

Greatly assisting him in this project was his wife, Loretta. She's to thank for the book's transformation from a heavy, hard-to-read manual to a practical, light-hearted book that can be read in small chunks.

"I kept saying the sentences have to be shorter," Loretta said with a laugh.

Loretta provided a "layman's" perspective, coming at it from the point of view of someone who isn't a natural goal-setter - someone similar to the target readers.

"If you can't relate to it when you're reading it, you won't continue," she said, adding, "Our goal is to help people."

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