Congratulations on completing the first quarter of the New Year! Are you on track to being able to claim that you’re experiencing the best quality of life, in every area of your life? If you’re already there, bravo! But if not, you may find comfort in some of what I have to share and my perspective on how you can get there – at least as far as it pertains to your money.
This year, I have found that I have a stronger than ever focus on building the quality of life that I truly want. This includes building more personal time into my schedule, surrounding myself with the people and things that are beautiful to me, and constantly indulging in activities that make me happy and support a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been making small changes daily to my work life, family life, love life, and, of course, my financial life so that my whole life can function in a way that makes me smile every day. They’re all interrelated.
I’m accomplishing this by being willing to let go of the things that I use to fight so hard to keep, but in fact were no good for me. And I’ve found myself intentionally and sometimes even unintentionally changing habits and routines that have been preventing me from bringing my best life ever into reality. I’ve started saying goodbye to a lot of things whether material or relational. I’ve even happily said goodbye to some clients who were simply slowing down my professional progress. Overall, I’m finding that this effort is daily and that I have to be consistent. I have to approach each objective in small increments, and constantly evaluate how I’m doing to make sure I’m on track, and that the process isn’t becoming overwhelming.
I work with people every day who are trying to change their finances to create their vision of their best life. I admit that those of us in the world of finance don’t make it easy on you, with all this talk about planning for your future. The message is so consistent and the pressure and stakes so high, that I see people’s physical demeanors change right in front of me because they become so overwhelmed at the thought of what it means to address your finances in order to accomplish your dreams.
I want to go against my professional tendencies for a moment and tell you to put the effort of preparing your finances for your future on pause. I think the thought of it has become too overwhelming for people. Instead, I want you to try preparing your finances for tomorrow, or for the coming week or month. Of course, you should have a larger life plan, but how do you enjoy the gifts of each day if you’re always occupied with looking too far ahead into your future? Have a larger plan, but break the plan down into manageable steps so that you can continue to enjoy each day. Put money away to create that emergency fund and savings account, but also put aside a little pocket change so that you can be impulsive and have a little fun once in awhile.
You’ll also have to let go of a few things so that you can, in fact, enjoy the daily and larger portraits of your life. Perhaps you can modify those social habits that are crippling your ability to pay bills comfortably, or downsize from the apartment that’s luxurious but too expensive for your wallet right now. You may even need to place parameters around those people in your life who bring out your worst money habits. Whatever the adjustments are, the benefits of having healthy daily money routines far outweigh the stress and struggle of just getting by, and ultimately no closer to your goal.
And remember to continuously take stock of how you’re doing. Continue adjusting your routine until you’ve found one that’s comfortable for you. This way, you’re definitely more likely to stay in it.
Overall, execute your larger plan in smaller daily baby steps, so that you don’t become overwhelmed. Because your best life ever, isn’t only based on what you accomplish in the future. It’s how you live out each day of your life right now – one day at a time.