Financial Goals: Don’t Wait For the Ball to Drop to Get Started
Delaying setting financial goals will hurt you. Defining them takes time, so be kind to yourself and get started. You can do it!
It is officially three weeks until the New Year. There is always the traditional rush to figure out what parts of your life you would like to change – financial or otherwise – on the morning of January 1.
That’s a lot of crock. We are all suckered into this idea that when the clock strikes midnight everything from the previous year is washed clean and we can start fresh. Let’s be honest. Whatever we’re dealing with from the past year is following us into the New Year until we take action, not pick a date. I say that the moment you realize you have a problem, make the pledge to deal with it.
We’ve all heard of the epic failure rates of New Year’s resolutions. So I ask you:
WHY DO YOU WAIT UNTIL 12:00 A.M. ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR TO DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT FOR YOU RIGHT NOW?
Begin changing your life when you get the initial urge – don’t wait. Successfully reaching the goals that you set for yourself largely depends on three components:
- Drive – You need the drive and focus to succeed at your goals.
- A set time frame – When you set your financial goals for 2016, draw up clear and measurable benchmarks that can get you from where you’re currently at to where you want to be.
- Belief – You have to believe that you can set yourself up for success as you work towards those goals.
I’ve succeeded and failed at a lot of goals that I’ve set for myself.
Let’s go through some of my financial successes:
- Bought a home – I bought a home in 2007 right before the housing crash. Fortunately, I didn’t spend like a crazy person and it has been a great experience for me so far. How did I do it? I spent a lot of time reading about how the process of purchasing a home worked. I also looked at my income and had a come-to-Jesus moment with myself and figured out what I was comfortable borrowing versus what the bank felt I should borrow.
- Studied abroad in France for six months – I should mention that I only spent $4,000 on everything. Everything includes: food, housing, fun, and my French language program. I was pretty skinny by the end of those six months, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I can’t share all of my secrets about how I rocked the cost of the adventure. But I will say that I worked 70 hours a week for around eight months in order to afford the trip. I didn’t wait.
- Aggressively cut my living expenses – I wanted to work for myself. I knew that the first year would be the hardest. I spent the year prior to working for myself aggressively cutting all of my expenses and by thousands of dollars. In fact, my spending was cut by $13,000 for the year when all was said and done.
Don’t wait on your financial goals – they won’t fall into your lap like crumbs from the dinner table. It will take time, focus, and energy to achieve what you would like to achieve for yourself. If I had waited, I could have procrastinated my focus away.
And please, don’t wait for the morning of January One to dawn. Otherwise, all you are likely to achieve is watching that shiny ball dropping in Times Square on TV. Don’t wait for that ball to drop.