When I first "bumped" into Jen McDonough on the 48 Days Forum, I could feel her energy leap right through the computer screen. It's hard to believe this gal used to be a sedentary couch potato, because she's completed an Ironman and marathon. She turned her experience into a book, Living Beyond Awesome, in which she shares her story and teaches others how to tap into the awesomeness in their lives.
Another marathon that Jen has experienced is the challenging road to paying off $150,000 of debt and $30,000 in medical bills. She and her husband Bob took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course and set up a plan to manage their money. In one year alone, they racked up 10 different 1099's and little by little, they paid down their debt.
In the beginning, it definitely wasn't easy. Doubt, fear and worry clouded their minds. "Finances affect more than just your checkbook--there's a lot of emotions attached to that," said Jen. "Sometimes when you're deep into a situation, you tend to focus on what you can't do instead of what you can do. When you put the 'poor me/victim' situation aside and really look at what you can do, it opens up a realm of solutions. Those solutions give hope."
Three and half years after starting their new financial journey, their lives have changed so much for the better. They implemented what they call "Intentional Living," making every purchase and payment with intention. This didn't apply just to their finances-- they lived with intention in every aspect of their lives. "It taught us to view our purchases in hourly increments," said Jen. "For example, that $20 item at Wal-Mart was 2 1/2 hours of work. Every extra dollar we earned was tossed at our debt, which made us incredibly laser-focused on knocking out each debt."
Jen went on to share more:
Our lives now are completely different than when we first started. Insted of living in fear, embarrassment and shame-- now we are living an incredible life filled with abundance. Our lives were transformed Material things mean nothing now and relationships mean more--I focus on that. I focus on life as a family. Our time is very intentional now; we don’t do the wasteful things we used to do to keep busy. Our family has grown stronger. We are intentional givers and this has lead to incredible abundance. It's been a great lesson for all of us.
Bob still delivers pizza. I am focused on building my speaking business and workshops and I'm writing a third book. I’m working in my passion with intention. The things I'm working on today are setting me up for future success. I'm happy to be doing what I’m passionate about. We all need goals to strive for.
I don’t believe we are supposed to live the status quo. When you’re working in your passion, it doesn't feel like work. Passion gives you energy-- it excites you. You can live a life of passion; your 'impossible' can become possible when you take intentional action. Hopes and dreams can become a reality when you put them into action.
Jen has generously given me a copy of her books, Living Beyond Awesome and Living Beyond Rich to give away to a reader. Leave a comment by Sunday, December 9 at midnight on this post sharing how you plan to live beyond awesome and rich in 2013.
Jen blogs at: The Iron Jen