What would you change?
If you had a crystal ball, what would you change now to make your future better? Does it shock you to know that 3 out of 4 elderly people living in poverty are women? And that 80% of them were not living in poverty while their husbands were alive? We don't go into a marriage expecting divorce, just like we don't go into a new job expecting to be made redundant. But it happens and in greater frequency today than ever before. Choosing security over long-term financial independence is a risky game. If you had that crystal ball, would you still do things the same way? Have you sat down and asked yourself "what is my inner-most reason for why I want <insert your 'personal why' here>"? If you have, have you acted on it yet? I hear time and time again that people "just don't have time to look at my finances and change anything. By the time I get home from work, I'm busy making dinner, tidying up, playing games/attending to my hobby". As a parent, I completely understand the desire to spend time at home with family. To have true quality time with your loved ones. Or to have some personal quiet time, or to travel, or to follow your fitness goals. Whatever it may be for you. I still hear "We're too busy, we don't have the time. Even though it's something that we know would be good for us, the time requirements are too great". "We often use excuses disguised as reasons when we don't want to do something. The reasons sound perfectly rational but in reality, they are obstacles that we allow to get in the way of something else that we know is good for us. Initial thoughts? Let's look at it this way. Say you started to feel unwell and took a trip to the hospital. The Doctor tells you that you have a rare illness where you need to exercise 3 times per week for a year to overcome it. Would you now have the time? 100% of people that I've posed that question to, give a resounding "Yes!" Now you have an important personal reason to prioritise this new commitment over your other commitments. It's not right or wrong to say "I don't have the time", instead the question to ask yourself is "what is truly most important to me?" Too often the immediate reaction of 'no time' is a response to our already overwhelmingly busy life. Unfortunately, we cannot add more hours to the day, so the most important thing to do is to reflect on the original question: Your personal reason why. If you don't discover your personal why, you won't make it a top priority. Your personal why should be dazzling and inspiring so that when life starts to throw its inevitable curve-balls at you, your why keeps you going. Here are a few personal why's from others:
"I am a single parent that leaves the house before my child wakes up and if I'm lucky, I get home after work just in time to spend a bit of quality time with him before bed time. I feel like my son is raised by a series of babysitters and all I want is my son to know he's loved and cared for."
"Ever since I was a small child all I've wanted to do is travel the world. But I'm so busy working long hours and paying bills I get absorbed in the stress of it and I haven't travelled anywhere in over 5 years. I feel like I'm losing myself."
"I just don't like being told what to do! I know that sounds silly, but I believe I was born not wanting to be told what to do, I didn't perform very well at school and I jump from job to job. I'm not dumb, I just can't handle the structure. The stress of job hunting and failing all the time is enormous and my poor family are going through it with me. I need to get on top of our finances so that we don't ride the 'Money-no-money' roller coaster."
If you haven't deeply explored this yet, pick a quiet time, take a seat and think about your personal why. Not just your goals or what you desire, but your inner-most WHY.
Have a wonderful week, Erika Gilbert