An interesting occurence happened to me yesterday. A had an epiphany of sorts. A grand idea that was a simple reminder about why we fail to accomplish our goals. Why we fall off track. Why we are left scratching our heads because we just ended back up where we started.
What could cause this to happen?
A lack of results!
This concept is found and applied everywhere. Readers of this blog are probably familiar with Dave Ramsey’s steps to financial freedom in his total money makeover book. In it, he suggests paying off your lowest balance debt first because it will give you some satisfaction of accomplishment.
Many other financial advisors recommend paying off your highest percentage debts first. Although what happens when your highest percentage debt is also one of your highest balances? A year goes by and you feel like you have barely put a dent in it. The tendancy to give up at that point is pretty high!
My chance occurence happened when I was talking to my best friend about remodeling and fixing things up around our house. We have very different philosophies about things and have disagreements on a fairly regular basis, but I think it helps give us a balanced approach to the whole remodeling process.
In any case, we have a master list of things that need to be done. Currently we have stalled a bit on a bathroom remodel we are doing. Because of this my friend starts looking at other things he can do around the house. What happens? He decides to do a minor landscaping project that isn’t on the master list.
This of course creates a discussion between us about priorities and what REALLY needs done. At this point I should inform you that this is a rental property we are working on. Any landlord or business person knows that you want to minimize your investment while maximing your return. Sometimes the choice is easy and sometimes it is a fine line you walk, but its always a decision to be made.
So we argued over curb appeal, how much lower maintanence the house would be with this project, etc, etc. Until finally my friend said he is tired of things not getting done around here and if he doesn’t see results he is going to get off the plan.
Bam! Finally we get to the real issue at hand!
Yes, curb appeal and lower maintanence are nice, but the time and money could be applied to other projects better. (At least in my mind). No, the real issue at hand is that we need to see results. We need to see progress. We need to see something happening!
You can take this and apply it to any area of your life…
Don’t weigh yourself everyday. Weigh yourself once a week or every other week. You will see results that way. If you weigh yourself daily you may not notice the pounds you are losing as much and may give up.
Like we talked about. Think about paying your lowest balance first. Then use the money you were using to pay off that debt to pay a higher chunk on your next lowest debt balance. It is a simple yet powerful concept.
Learning and school?
We go years before we see the results of our schooling. And we forget a lot of it. Think of ways to apply your learning sooner. Get a part-time job or volunteer in your field if you are in college. You will be way ahead of the pack when you graduate. Even if you aren’t in school, keep finding ways to improve in your job and see new and better results. It will help keep your job feeling fresh and keep giving you that sense of accomplishment.
Some people might say that some people aren’t “results-oriented” people. I say we all are, it just matters to what degree we are…
So if you are about to give up on something, take a minute to find out why. The answer may be that you just haven’t seen much if any results for awhile. Then think about ways you can see some small results today.