Creating Your Best Money Year Ever – Part One
One of the primary reasons many people do not achieve financial success is they have never stopped to define what it is that a “successful” financial picture looks like for them. In order to achieve success in any area of life, you must first define what it looks like. Otherwise, how will you ever know if you actually ever achieve success?
The path to achieving greater success with your money can be viewed in three critical steps: Vision, Goals, and Habits.
The “M” stands for “Money”. Your Vision is what financial success means to you. This is where it all must start, and unfortunately this is the step that most people skip. Most people start by writing down goals, yet fail to tie these goals to a bigger picture of what they want the end result (i.e. financial success) to look like.
Step 1: To create your “M” Vision, answer this one question:
“Imagine it is one year from today. Looking back from December 2015 over the past year, what must have happened with your personal finances for you to be happy with your progress?”
As you answer this question, remember you are looking back from the future. Everything you say and write down has already happened! So describe it in this way. For example, don’t say, “I hope I have saved $5,000 in an emergency fund,” or “I want to pay off my credit card.” Rather, “I have $5,000 saved in an emergency fund,” and “I have paid off my Visa.”
Some of the results you write down may seem small, while others seem big. Do not let past failures or bad money habits deter you from being very clear about what must happen going forward. By looking back from the future, and describing things as they’ve already happened, you are effectively tricking your brain to begin believing these things can be accomplished.
Confidence is the key to everything. For now, trust in this process and try it. This first step is an exercise in building your confidence while also gaining clarity about what success looks like in the future. This step, once completed, also paves the path for clearly defined goals and habits that will get you where you want to be.
Action Plan: Block out 15-30 minutes this week to complete your “M” Vision. Do your best to have a list of 10-20 things that have happened for you to consider 2015 a money success.
Next week we will move on to steps two and three: your “M” Goals and your “M” Habits.