APPLIED PRINCIPLE 4 – Becoming Truly Committed
In order to facilitate change you must be truly committed to doing what is necessary to make it happen. There are 3 basic steps to the process of making a committed change.
Step 1 is to write it down. “The first step is to actually write down the things to which you are committing. What are the specific areas you would like to improve?
These could include:
- No longer living paycheck to paycheck
- Reducing or eliminating consumer debt
- Saving for long-term spending requirements, including retirement
- Being able to travel without going into debt
- Paying cash for your next vehicle purchase
- Having money set aside for emergencies
- Creating and living within a balanced spending plan
- Only purchasing those things you can truly afford
- Working together with your spouse to achieve financial goals
- Eliminating the fear, uncertainty, and doubt surrounding financial management
- Having the peace and happiness that comes from knowing you are financially fit”
These goals will help you focus your efforts proactively as you learn about additional financial principles.
If you are part of a couple, an important part of this process is to make sure you are on the same page. Working together with your partner will help you both be more successful and help you to build a stronger financial future together.
“Most couples who are financially fit have applied the principle of becoming committed and facing financial fitness obstacles together. Without the commitment of both parties, it is often impossible to move forward in a positive way. Many couples come from vastly different financial backgrounds, and often, the environment you grew up in is the primary contributor to your attitudes toward money.
While it is often not easy to get on the same financial page, it is very important. You can start by finding common ground surrounding the financial issues that are causing friction, frustration, stress, or the avoidance of proactive financial planning. From there, you can move to developing mutually important financial goals. Finally, it is important to agree to work together to achieve these goals. One person pulling the other along eventually will become tiresome and prove frustrating. Two people pulling in the opposite direction will both give up and quit altogether. However, two people pulling in the same direction have a high likelihood of successfully achieving their goals.”
Step 2 is to properly prepare by making a list of the obstacles that may get in your way. Think about the challenges that you have faced in the past and the things that have derailed you from reaching your financial goals.
“True commitment will always be tested by the unexpected. No matter how well you plan, something unexpected will inevitably arise. At these times, the truly committed will keep going in their planned direction, while others will sit down and seek an easier path. One of the keys to successfully navigating the tough spots is to make a list of the obstacles that may steer you away from financial fitness. This way, you will be better equipped to climb over or avoid them altogether. Anticipating these obstacles is not easy, but if you take a good look at past experience, you can successfully determine most of the pitfalls. These may include unexpected events, temptation to keep up with the purchasing habits of neighbors and coworkers, or invitations to participate in unplanned social outings or travel. By listing these obstacles, you can prepare mentally to address them as they arise. It is a rocky reality that you will be less able to meet commitments until you have prepared reasonable contingencies to cope with all possible obstacles.”
Step 3 is simply to make it happen. Take action and move forward.
“True commitment propels you to action. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “We can have anything we want. All we have to do is pay the price and take it.” Well-directed persistence based on proper planning will combat any degree of aimlessness. Sometimes, worthwhile things come easily, but they usually require dedicated and consistent effort. In the case of achieving true long-term financial fitness, there are no quick fixes and no magic pills. However, if you are truly committed, in as little as 12 weeks, you can be well on your way to reaching your financial goals. Now is the time to get started.”
Contains excerpts from Applied Principle 4, Money for Life, by Steven B Smith