When all is said and done, it is the done that counts.
Lots of folks spend their time talking about their problems, especially their financial problems. Only a select few ever commit to the task of fixing those problems. The talking is important, but only if it actually leads to real changes. Decisions must be made, goals must be created, and plans must be implemented. Real progress demands real work.
Establish Big Goals –
Here’s a brief paragraph, outlining the financial future that I want –
I want to live my life without borrowing money. I want to be able to send my children to college and retire when my wife is finished with her work as an educator. I want to own my own home. I want to be able to give generously and enjoy time with my family. I want to write for the rest of my life – and I want to be able to write full-time.
Using the above paragraph, I extracted the following financial goals –
Live Debt Free
Pay Off Mortgage
Save For Kids’ College
Save For Retirement
Increase Writing Income
Establish A Plan To Achieve Each Goal
You can see where this is headed. I have my goals, but that’s not enough. I then create a specific plan for each specific goal. Some plans, like the plan to pay off the mortgage, are rather easy to create. I have a beginning and ending date, a specific balance to deal with, and knowable payment amounts to be made. Some of the other plans, like plans to save for kids’ college or increase writing income, those plans are a little more complicated, a little more open-ended. Nevertheless, plans must be made!
Act on the Plans
This is where most folks get stuck. They have goals (some well-defined, some less so). They may even have plans. The key, however, is actually implementing the created plans, so as to achieve the desired goals.
I can list, quickly, the four reasons that I have for acting on my plans. They are – my wife, our oldest daughter, our son, and our little girl. They are my motivation. Period. I want to provide for them and bless them. So, I don’t just sit around and think about what it would be like to be financially free. I’m actually taking steps to become financially free. Do I make mistakes? You bet. I spend more than I should. I fail to save as much as I should. I write less than I want to. I am very, very, very human – but I press on. I act. I don’t just talk, or dream, or think, or imagine. I act.
I almost left this paragraph out, but it might be the most important one in this article. If you get stuck, if you get fired, if you get tired, if you get frustrated, if you get confused, if you get exhausted – take a break – and start over. Also, remember that numbers in a bank account do not define who we are, as people. We are defined by what we believe, what we give, and what we know. Even the smartest financial minds get things wrong. So, just start over. Rewrite your paragraph. Reestablish your goals. Reconfigure your plans. Then, act.
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