What is it you want? When it comes to money the easy answer is win the lottery- get a windfall of cash. But when we really hold ourself accountable and ask what is it I really want financially… The answer is usually something a little simpler and in our power to achieve.
So where do you start… How about the end?
Starting with your destination has its advantages. There are no limits- you decide. Plus it’s easier to craft a roadmap when you
Know where you want to go. So take a minute and come up win your goals. Write them down and tuck them away.
Now that you know where you want to go, rewind. Take stock on where you are now. Knowing where are you now and where do you want to go gives you two points on your map. You know the start and the finish. It is time to connect the dots in between.
This is where the real reward comes in. Developing a plan to get to your destination. I know, I know it is also the hard part.
I have written this before,but it is worth restating, your plan should start with small, achievable steps. Set yourself up to succeed. That is what Sonja did.
Sonja’s credit score was a disaster. She hated paying bills because it reminded her of how little she had. She made things worse because she paid those bills late, skipped others and before you know it- yikes! Her credit score was so bad she feared it would hurt her ability to get a better job.
Sonja took my advice and started small. Simple achievable steps each week. It started with creating a smarter way of organizing her bills. We all know how chaotic leaving the house and then returning home can be.. there is a lot going on in both directions. Grabbing a fistful of bills and junk mail as she opened the door each day was just one more stress for Sonja. The dog was barking, she had dry cleaning or groceries, her work bag and a little one in tow.
It was an obstacle, but one she had never identified. Once she saw it- the solution was simple. Sonja hung an attractive mail organizer near her front door. Automatically she had a safe place to put the mail when she came home.
This gave her the chance to get in the house after along day and not have to feel overwhelmed by a mountain of mail. But they were also in plan sight- not stashed away. She found it easier to get rid of the junk and pair down the stack each day. All of a sudden the smaller stack seemed more manageable.
For Sonja one good habit, followed the other. Bills were dealt with in a more timely manner, so she had fewer and fewer late fees. Slowly her credit was being restored. The surprise benefit that Sonja received was by paying closer attention to what she was spending she found new ways to save. I’m happy to report that both her credit score and her confidence has improved.
You get the point, small steps turn into more small steps and eventually bigger steps. That is how you create real change. That is how you create the road map to what you want.
The best part is – you own what you’ve done. Your success cannot be take away from you and any missteps have only made you smarter.
A special thank you to Ronni Cohen and her DFLI team for today’s Purses to Portfolios event. It was an honor to speak at the program. Congrats to the 900 men and women who invested their time today to build a more financially secure tomorrow
My cheat sheet
Step 1 Decide where do you want to be
Step 2 Determine where you are now
Step 2 The plan- how do you get to where you want to be
Step 3 Set achievable goals each week.
Step 4 Set more aggressive goals
Step 5 Take stock – celebrate the wins in a smart way that is aligned with your goals