“Accomplish Your Goals While Managing Your Finances.”
At times, the two seem to be at odds with one another. How can a person manage their finances when goals are oftentimes lofty dreams of indulgence? A waver in one direction has an immediate impact upon the other. The secret to is to find balance.
For the past year I have been toeing this line in my own life. I have managed to pay off the last of my credit card debt and paid my car loan off more than a year early. At the same time I spent a month traveling North America, spent a night under the stars of a clear California sky and climbed Mount Saint Helens. This experience has brought me to some conclusions. I’ve singled out the ten most important things to consider when you begin your journey towards accomplishing your own life goals.
The Ten Commandments of Goals & Money:
1) Know Thyself: Any successful journey in life requires some degree of foresight and planning. Your future is no different. Take time to consider what your values are and where your passions lie. Create a list of goals and search for a common theme. Use this as a compass to help orient yourself in the direction you want your life to take.
2) Happiness Is NOT “Out There”: Our focus frequently rests upon what we do not have or those things that are not ideal in our lives. We set goals as a way to better our lives, not realizing that our focus on improvement is the reason we are dissatisfied with our lives today. We trick ourselves into believing that happiness can be found in a pay raise or that a boob job will make us beautiful. This isn’t the truth. Happiness cannot be found “out there”, it comes from within.
3) Follow Your Heart: Too often we ignore what is in our hearts, opting instead to think with our head. While our brains have great capacity for extraordinary intellectual achievement, sometimes they hinder our spirit. Listen to your heart.
4) Money IS Important: Money does not equal happiness but money is important. Without it, our focus would change from accomplishing goals to struggling to survive. It is important to be fiscally responsible and to find a balance between today and tomorrow. Seek harmony in your finances.
5) Know Your Priorities & Align Your Actions: There is a difference between saying and doing. It is easy to say you value something. It is not so easy to express your values through action. It is crucial that we align our values with our actions if we hope to live a life which is in harmony with our priorities. In doing so we are able to live guilt free, knowing that we are doing what we believe is the right thing. At the end of the day we can rest our head upon our pillow with a clear conscious.
6) Modify Your Internal Dialogue: We are too hard on ourselves. Instead of building ourselves up, we break ourselves down. We focus on our flaws, the things that we need to improve upon. We ignore our talents, our individuality. Learn to love your imperfections, they are what make you unique.
7) Debt is Slavery: We may not be pulling a plow across the earth like our ancestors but we are no less of a slave to our debts, however, we are our own masters. Whenever you feel it is time to break free from the binding chains of debt, you are in control to make that decision. The more debt you accumulate and each dollar you waste is another day of slavery. It doesn’t need to be that way…break free.
8) Stop Making Excuses: If you think about something long enough or hard enough, you can be certain that you will always find a reason not to do something. Making excuses is not productive. Stop.
9) The First Step is Always the Most Difficult: The hardest thing about going for a jog is putting on the shoes. After that, things tend to fall into place. The same can be said for most aspects of life. Overcoming inertia is difficult and may require a leap of faith, a request for assistance or admitting you don’t have all of the answers. This simple act may be the catalyst to major change in your life.
10) Knowledge is Power: The other day I was reading a blog post and read the following:
Uncertainty is caused by a lack of knowledge. Hesitation is the product of fear.
This simple thought struck a chord and as I thought more about it, Fear controls so many aspects of our day-to-day lives. We hesitate out of fear and fear what is unknown. By educating ourselves we remove the unknown variables. We eliminate the uncertainty. The more we know, the more confident we become as an individual. Knowledge is power.