Problem #39: How can I summon the motivation to fix my broken finances?
Do your finances stress you out to the point of inaction? Do you lack the proper motivation to make your finances soar? Most people live life mired in financial mediocrity or worse. Mainly because they don’t pay attention to their finances. Perhaps they lack financial education. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can succeed and achieve financial success.
But, if you choose to not think about your finances in hopes that they work themselves out, I’ve got news for you. Well, maybe not news, because you probably already know this. But your finances won’t just magically work themselves out on their own. You have to intervene, and make adjustments. But how do you motivate yourself to make the adjustments needed? I think we have a PROBLEM.
The solution is simple, but certainly not easy. Roll up your sleeves, because as you’ve heard before, it takes work.Anything worth doing, takes work and time. Click To Tweet
Finding Your Motivation
I’ve been able to find my motivation by first defining my goals and financial dreams. You too can find motivation, if you’ll let me show you how I did it.
Humans by nature are goal-oriented. You’ve heard the saying, ‘Aim for nothing and you’re sure to hit it.’ Those that set goals have a much better chance of succeeding. But where do those goals come from?
I think most of us have dreams. Things we would love to do if we only had the chance. Dreams and aspirations can drive us to success. But it sometimes difficult to imagine how we could ever get from here to our dreams. It seems so far or even impossible. Do you have dreams of someday I wish . . . ? Here’s how you get there.
My advice: Turn those dreams into measurable goals. For instance: Do you have a dream of traveling the world? That’s kinda hard to quantify. Be more specific. Do you want to visit every country? Are you looking to backpack across Europe? Or perhaps ride across India and through Asia by train? Try to narrow the scope of your dream to something you can measure and then realistically achieve.
Instead try: I want to visit a different country and it’s most popular destinations once every year. I’m planning that this trip may cost anywhere from $5k – $10k per year.
Ok, so now you have a financial goal. It’s no longer an abstract thought of . . . sigh . . . someday I’ll do that. You know how much money ($10k/year) you need to achieve this goal. Now you need direction and a plan. How are you going to save $10k? Can you fit in your budget?
Maybe your dream is to be able to pay for your kids college education. An admirable dream indeed. How many kids do you have, and how old are they? How much will you need to save and in what period of time? Turn it into a goal so that you can measure progress.
Are you starting to get the idea? When you create a financial goal, it becomes easier to achieve your dreams. You can start to see a path to actually get there. This can be en-powering. You can see the little steps needed to reach the larger “dream”. It then becomes a matter of stepping up the steps – one by one.
Beware the Goal Destroyers
Just a word of warning. Debt is the most notorious goal destroyer. If you have debt, you probably know what I’m talking about. It can be tough to save because most of your income and budget is tied up making debt payments. Beware of new debt as it can de-rail your financial dreams/goals faster than speeding bullet.
If you have debt, any debt, make this a goal – to be debt free. This goal should come before any of the other goals.
Another nefarious goal destroyer is the un-expected emergency. What would you do if you had to replace your house’s leaky roof? I recently experienced this exact situation. Fortunately I was able to cash flow this emergency, as my emergency fund was a little sparse. But what about you? Do you have an emergency fund? If you don’t, the next emergency will hijack your financial goals. Don’t let that happen!
Setting up an emergency fund can be a goal. Aim for 3-6 months worth of expenses.
Find your ‘why’. What do you want to do with your money? Where do you want to be in 10 years or perhaps 15 years?When you set realistic goals instead of lofty aspirations, you set yourself up to win with money! Click To Tweet
And remember, a plan for success will take time. Nothing worth achieving happens overnight. Stick to it!
If you enjoyed this post, would you please share it using the social media buttons below? Or feel free to let me know in the comments about your situation. Can you reduce your dreams to realistic goals?