I was recently talking to a friend and I really appreciate what he told me.
He was explaining how he was frustrated with himself. He had some goals that he started the new year with and wasn’t on track.
I appreciate how brutally honest he was. Most people don’t acknowledge the reality so I was impressed by that.
After he explained a bit about what was going on, he said, “What it comes down to is I have a hard time staying motivated and doing what I know I need to do when the result is so far away.”
Have you ever felt that way? I know I have.
My friend was looking for advice so I wanted to share some of what I discussed with him.
There isn’t necessarily an easy fix to this but hopefully you’ll find this useful.
Vision – What keeps people going when things get tough is always their vision. “Vision” is simply the picture of how things can be in the future. It doesn’t seem worth it when we only look at the short-term but once we look at the bigger picture and keep that at the center, our perspective changes.
The more emotion that is attached to vision the better. When I had a goal to pay off 100K+ in non-mortgage debt, what kept me going was vision. I pictured a better life, a better marriage, and kids that would grow up much different than I had. That was powerful. It caused me to do things that most people would never do. The things we sacrificed didn’t seem so hard because our eyes were on the prize.
Make it easier to do or harder to do – Ultimately, our outcome will be a result of our habits. Aristotle said, “….success is a habit.” We have to make the thing we want to do as easy as possible. On the flip side, we need to make the thing we don’t want to do as hard as possible.
One example that comes to mind is saving or even paying your-self first. If you have to literally pay your-self (i.e. write a check and deposit it) each period you’ll be much less likely to do it than if it were automatic. Long-term savings is the same and it also relates to the first point. At age 40, I’m putting money away that won’t be touched for decades or perhaps longer. If that weren’t automatic, it would be much more difficult.
You can make money that you don’t want to spend harder to spend by transferring it to a different bank and putting the bank card and info in a locked safe.
Embrace the process – This is related to the point above but it has more to do with how we view the journey. There is value in stretching ourselves whether or not we get the desired result. John Maxwell says that if we are going downhill we’re going the wrong way.
What’s probably better than accumulating one million dollars plus is who you become in the process of doing that. You’ll become a more positive, confident, disciplined, and generous person.
Let me know which of the 3 points resonated with you the most and why.
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