The first and arguably most important step of the plan I follow is to make certain you have a very solid reason for playing along. While true for so many things in life, when it comes to financial planning, this is major item. Think about it, unless your bills are on auto-pay, you see them only a few times a month. If they're on auto-pay you might not even look at them unless something seems off. Most people have direct deposit of their pay, and thus don't see the pay check each pay period, so unless there is a serious and persistent reason, it's easy to loose sight of the target.
In my opinion, the best reasons you can choose to do anything relate to your personal family. Parents, grand-parents, siblings, and most importantly; children. To the right you see the smiling face of my son. There are many things I do now simply because I want to see that smile. He's a largely happy child, and with proper financial planning, I hope to provide for him a stable and secure world to grow up in. That goal is reinforced every time I come home from a hard day and he jumps out of his skin to greet me. It is for him that I developed The Ultimate Debt Manager.
Everyone has in their life an equally compelling reason. For some, the reason is a negative. Collection calls or uncertainty at work come to mind. My wish is that you can find a compelling reason which is positive. Over the years, I've found that when faced with negative pressure, most people do not have the same level of focus as when pursuing a more positive option.
So what makes for the perfect motivator? As with most things in life, what works for one person won't work for everyone. The good news is that powerful motivators all have key indicators.
- How hard is it to loose sight of the reason for being motivated?
- Is this something which is critical to your way of life?
- What will you be willing to do, or give up, to achieve your goals?
For some people, there isn't a single powerful motivator. If that's your situation, the best advice I can give is to find several smaller items to make for a well rounded and powerful motivation. You'll know when you've found the correct mix when suddenly the task of managing your financial future starts to seem, dare I say it "easy".
Stay tuned for Step 2 .....
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