Zoom In: Focus on the Critical
Define Your Vision
Until you clearly define the life you want to live, you will be susceptible to every fad and whim that comes your way. The marketing gurus of this world think they know you better than you know yourself. Rather than falling into some preconceived definition of who you should be and what you should pursue, step back and make the time to define your vision for yourself.
Time management is one of the best financial tools you can use. When you block out specific time on your schedule for personal growth and self-development, your outcomes will improve. It’s easy to have the best of intentions but never act on them. Action takes planning and consistency. It does not come naturally. The key is having a very clear vision of the life experience you want and then framing every financial decision around that vision.
Define What is Within Your Control
Your journey in life will definitely have its’ highs and lows. You will be faced will difficult choices and painful experiences. These will shape you in some way but they don’t have to define you or limit your opportunities. Sometimes “no” can actually mean “not now”. It can be absolutely grueling to be patient and invest the time to research and prepare for a delayed priority. Make the waiting period worth it.
Even in the most challenging circumstances, there are life changing decisions that are within your control and influence. You decide how to show up, be present and contribute in every moment. This has everything to do with your financial profile and independence. It’s not about what happens to you or the external factors that create barriers for you to thrive, it really is about creating a roadmap and sticking to it. Learn to say “no” to those things that no longer align with your life vision.
Define Your Action Plan
Be specific. A sustainable roadmap is one that will endure. Think in terms of the steps that are required to get you where you want to be. Planning in advance will help you organize each section of your journey based on the time and resources you have at your disposal. For example, you may want to buy a small house close to a beach. First, you need to research location, costs, risks and options. Next, you can begin to map out a plan to get you from where you are today to where you want to be. The plan should be in specific manageable stages and easy to track. It could include anything from finding a job in the area or improving your credit score or saving for the down-payment.
Time management is a critical skill for improving financial health. It takes time and consistency to build healthy financial habits. Once you define your vision and get clear about what you want, your success on achieving those things depends heavily on how you invest your limited time and resources. Use a calendar, planner or journal to track your weekly progress towards your goals. Celebrate the milestones and keep your vision in focus.