Updated: December 29, 2013
A lot of people resolve to save more money whenever the new year comes.
Unfortunately, only a handful of them would succeed.
The reasons for failure vary with every person, but the common thread among them is because they stopped trying.
They convinced themselves that it’s really hard to save money, and rationalize this decision with alibis and excuses.
They blame their jobs and say they’re not earning enough. They blame the government and the economy for the rising costs of living and say corruption is the cause of their poor financial situation.
They blame their relatives and families for being too financially dependent on them, that’s why they can’t save. They blame their friends, their love life, the weather and everything else.
Stop The Blame
Assigning fault on others is a poor mindset because it does nothing except waste your time and energy on things that you cannot change and control.
And blaming yourself is even worse!
“I just can resist buying things when there’s a sale.”
“I’m so busy every day, and don’t really have time to manage my finances.”
“I’m poor at Math, I can’t do a balance sheet to save my life.”
Blaming yourself is worse than blaming others because it’s like saying that you don’t deserve to be rich – that you’re not good enough, and will never be good enough.
You Are Good Enough
They’re all ordinary people who found wealth.
Now, I’d like to ask you, what do they all have in common when they were just starting? I dare say they really have nothing in common except a strong belief that success is just within their reach.
When you have a strong internal faith about your future, you’ll achieve clarity in your everyday actions and decisions. You’ll have focus, confidence and self-sustaining motivation to work hard for your dreams.
The Only Thing You Need To Do…
If you want to achieve financial independence, then you need to ruthlessly prioritize your dreams over everything else.
What does this mean?
The best way to understand this phrase is to begin with the end in mind.
What are your goals in life? Ask yourself what exactly do you want your future to be? Picture it in your mind, and describe your life 10 years from now.
Are you running your own business? Living in your dream house? Traveling around the world?
Be as concrete and as detailed as you can be.
If you imagined yourself managing your own Italian restaurant in Makati (a concrete goal) – then write your success story – tell yourself how achieved that goal.
It can go something like…
I enrolled in a culinary school to learn how to cook Italian cuisine. After which, I saved money and opened a small cafe inside our village. After a couple of years, I partnered with friends and opened the Italian restaurant.
Your success story should be longer than this, of course. And it should be as realistic and logical as possible. No stories about winning the lottery or getting an inheritance from a long-lost relative.
After you’re done writing your success story, ask yourself – what are the things I need to do to make this a reality?
Enumerate the steps that you took, the tasks that you accomplished – and turn it into a list of things to do, like this:
- Find a culinary school that offers classes on weekends.
- Save for business capital.
- Study how to put up a restaurant-cafe business.
Starting today, your priority is to check off each item on your list.
And if you were very detailed about it, then you’ve just successfully transformed your dreams into small, achievable goals.
Your friends are inviting you to go out of town for a vacation next week. Should you go with them or decline and instead, use your time to look for culinary schools in the city?
You just received a performance bonus at work. Do you celebrate and dine out with your family, or save the money and add it to your business capital?
Your boss asked you to render some overtime but there’s an Entrepreneurs’ Networking Event that night. Will you tell your boss that you can’t stay in the office because you need to be somewhere that evening?
It’s easy to dismiss working towards our long-term goals because we often tell ourselves that we still have enough time – that you can just do it next week, or next month, or next year.
But before you know it – a decade has passed and you’re nowhere near your goals from 10 years ago. No Italian Restaurant in Makati, and you’re still working in the corporate world, day dreaming and wishing you were doing something else.
That’s why you need to be ruthless – to show no mercy when faced with such decisions above. Needless to say, you should always choose to do the things that will take you one step closer to your goals.
Ruthlessly Prioritize Your Dreams
Another year is about to start.
But before 2013 ends and becomes part of history – make a commitment to yourself.
To believe in your success so you’ll always have a reason to do what’s required and necessary to achieve your goals.