We live in a society of instant gratification, and there’s a big market of “proven” products backing this claim. We want to lose 10 pounds by Friday. Or make $1,000 in only four hours.
It’s easier to put the emphasis on the results while eliminating the process. Besides, the best things in life are easy, right? Not exactly.
This week, when picturing your ideal financial life, I want you to consider the journey. What does a “day in your journey to financial bliss” look like? To really answer that question, we need to do a quick exercise.
“Success is in the journey”
I want you to think about something you’ve accomplished that makes you especially proud. Maybe it’s the day you graduated college. Or that big promotion you got at work. It could be your ten year wedding anniversary or one of the many moments your child did something special.
Now consider why that particular moment filled you with so much pride. I’m willing to bet that it was something you’d been striving for and finally reached. You had a specific goal (i.e. getting a Ph.D.). You researched, applied yourself and worked towards that goal (looked up schools, applied and did the work). And finally, you reached your moment of success (graduation).
Some of my proudest moments personally and professionally have been times when I worked tirelessly and finally (finally!) had my special moment. And I bet, when you really think about it, some of yours are as well.
Small steps, big results
Success is really as simple as that. It’s why permanent weight loss takes one to two pounds a week, and college takes four years. It’s why children take nine months to get to the world and then a lifetime of experiences to gain wisdom. And why building true wealth is a series of daily, meaningful steps.
Short of winning the lottery, you won’t get a seven-figure retirement portfolio while drinking your coffee tomorrow morning. So instead of banking on an extreme case of luck, position yourself for the future at every possible opportunity.
Take a few small but meaningful steps each day towards your ultimate financial goals. Do you want to buy your dream house within the next five years? Open up a “down payment” automated savings account with a weekly deposit schedule. Or if you’re looking to buy a new car minus the monthly bill, cut out a few of the daily “extras” that you like but could live without. Throw that money in an interest-bearing savings account, and you’ll have your new car paid in full a lot quicker than you think.
The lesson in all of this is to not rush the journey. Enjoy the little things along the way like watching your savings grow. Those consistent daily victories are where true success lies.
Tags: money saving tips, financial advice, Chicago personal finance, “success is in the journey”, Julie Murphy Casserly, Chicago financial planner, achieving goals