Attention For What Matters Most…
Personal finances deal with everything from choosing a financial adviser to deciding whether to splurge on that gorgeous cashmere coat that’s on the sale rack this month. The topic of finance is so all encompassing that sometimes it can just feel like too much! This simple strategy has solved many a dilemma in my life. It has helped me zero in on what needs my attention the most and letting the other stuff go. It can work wonders for any area, including your personal finances.
Get Results You Want
Have you ever kept doing something even when it wasn’t getting the results you wanted? I know that I sure have! Albert Einstein said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Sometimes we keep doing what doesn’t work out of habit without stopping to think about whether it’s working or not. This simple strategy below will help you end habits that aren’t helping you reach your life and money goals.
A Simple Strategy
Once or twice a year, grab your wealth journal and make a list of items related to the any area you want to improve. For example, money or health, that involve action or inaction on your part. List everything you’re doing in that area. Then, go back and write a W, or an NW by each item on your list for What’s Working or What’s Not Working.
Initially, don’t get into the how and why certain items are working or not. Focus simply on whether something is working in a way that is leading you toward the results that you want.
What Works For You?
Here are a few money matters to put on your list. Your list will vary based on your level of wealth right now. See the questions to ask so you can easily know if it’s working for you right now. You can even print this article right now and mark each item as you read it either W for Working or N for Not Working.
- Monthly Cash Flow: Is it consistently positive, or do you know for sure?
- Income: Is it allowing you to live a life you enjoy and put aside money to grow?
- Financial Adviser: Is she delivering returns that at a very minimum match market index returns after fees and expenses, or do you know?
- Investment Accounts: Are they growing in a way that supports your life and financial goals?
- Taxes: Are you using smart strategies to pay the lowest amount?
- Spending: Are you buying things you don’t need, or things you don’t love?
- Career: Are you utilizing your highest and best skills to earn money?
- Image: Are you projecting yourself in a way that enhances your earnings capacity?
- Security: Is your money diversified into different areas, such as cash, stocks, bonds, possibly real estate and small business so you’ll have money no matter what the financial markets do?
- Earnings Capacity: Are you learning and growing to ensure continuing income streams and financial security?
- Knowledge: Do you understand where and how your money is invested?
- Health: Is your health good so that you can perform well consistently in your work and life?
- Joy: Are you happy doing that thing that makes money for you?
Ultimate Financial Goal
You may be surprised that joy, image and health are on the money matters list. These areas are highly correlated with your earnings capacity. Not only this, having a rich life, the ultimate financial goal, is so tied to feeling great every day so you can be happy and live the way that you want.
Identify What Needs Change
Take a few minutes now to print this list and mark each item for what’s working or what’s not working. While human nature (and our comfort zone) calls us to keep doing what’s not working, it is insanity, as Mr. Einstein said. I know because I’ve been there and done that many times! Once you’ve identified clearly what needs to change, then you can act to make it happen.