Excerpt: 'Lighten Up' By Peter Walsh

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emotions and address those psychological underpinnings to your habits and attitudes. You'll be challenged to confront your family members, establish tough boundaries under the limits of your family's means, engage the participation of your children even if they are young, and become fully attuned to your own shortfalls and weakness, including the excuses you tell yourself every day just to "get by."

"Just getting by" doesn't work anymore and you know it. It's time to get clear, get real, and get going. Sounds scary? Good! Exciting? Even better! I'll be arming you with all the tools you need to do this, including scripts to use with your partner and kids, specific To-Dos that you can put into practice immediately, exercises for helping you to learn the ropes to living a life of abundance on less, and practical information to create a real, achievable, and personal plan of action. Part III will then give you a checkup and maintenance plan for staying on track with the vision you have for yourself in the real world.

Like I said, this won't be a walk in the park. You'll no doubt find yourself having tough conversations with yourself along the way, as well as difficult discussions with other people in your life, notably the ones who share the same space and contribute to your well-being every day. I've never asked you in the past to sit a five-year-old down and tell him about your debt and what it means to him, or to enforce family meetings with a specific agenda that will stir debate and probably some seriously uncomfortable moments. I've also never asked you to take a personal audit and make the connection between the tension in your life and your everyday habits that aggravate that tension. Until now.

Take a deep breath. For everything you uncover about yourself and your family in this book there will be a clear solution that we craft together so you know what to do. I understand that living on less seems (and feels) unappealing and unnerving, but I'm going to help you change that so it becomes a source of immense power and enjoyment. Keep in mind that the lessons you learn and pass onto your children as you enlist their participation may be the most instrumental and life-enhancing lessons you give them as they mature into thoughtful, productive, oney-savvy adults. By the end of this book, you'll have shifted the way you and your family measure happiness, you'll have redefined who you really are and created space for what really matters in your life, and you'll have moved a lot closer to the vision you have for your life than you ever thought possible.

It never ceases to amaze me how, by formulating a clear plan and embracing realistic change, my clients have watched their financial—and other—problems diminish and, in some cases, completely vanish. Among the hundreds of thankful letters that I receive routinely from people who've taken my ideas to heart, there is a singular thought spoken many different ways: "This process has changed my life: I feel empowered and liberated from constant struggle. I'm enjoying the best relationships with my loved ones like never before." They not only share how their financial problems have cleared up since they started following my program, but their overall well-being—both physical and mental—has changed significantly for the better. Significantly.

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