BEFORE THE CHALLENGE
REFLECTION: WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF ONE YEAR FROM NOW?
One of the powerful tools for goal planning is the ability to visualize a goal. Many high achievers use visualization techniques as a practice to “see” their desired outcomes for themselves even before they happen. As we approach the beginning of a new She Makes Cents Money Challenge, I will guide members of the #SMCmoneytribe, both new and old, by providing a weekly roadmap to success. By engaging tried and true success techniques, our tribe will not only reach our goals for ourselves in the new year but surpass them.
Before we begin our new money savings challenge on week 1 of 2019, you need to first take a moment and write a quick letter to yourself.. The letter should be from your future self…one year from now, painting a picture of what you want your life to look like. Make sure you include your big money goals, savings goals, and/or goals for your sinking funds. Be as specific as you can because the more details you include the more you can prepare your mind to accept the image as possible. Also, the challenge will get….well challenging. Many people start out the year enthused and excited and slowly lose focus or discipline along the way. By having this letter for yourself, when times get tough and “life happens” (my version of Dave Ramsey’s “Murphy”) it is nice to have this letter…this promise to yourself to inspire you and get you back on track. Just think how nice it will be when you are looking back on your year, one year from now, and everything that you envisioned for yourself and family have manifested.
Below is a letter to my future self…
One year from now I am… driving around in my BMW that was PAID IN FULL 4.2 years ahead of schedule. This happened back in February of 2019. I feel so relieved that I was able to eliminate another debt so that as a household, we can move on to our FINAL DEBT in Baby Step 2 (BS2). Not only does this get me and my household one step closer to our #debtfree goal, but it provides a little financial cushion/security for when “life happens”. One year from now my hubby and I have put a major dent in his car payoff because we have opted to snowball the money was used to pay off my car and students loans to pay off his car ahead of schedule, add to our sinking funds, and increase our savings. We began the year with $26,176.81 of debt left on baby step 2 (BS2) and we are ending the year having paid over $10,000.00 toward our debt.
See how I am claiming that in advance? When you think positively, write down your goals, affirm your plan, you prepare your mind to accept those positive affirmations as true.
Working on our finances together has strengthened our marriage because it gives us another opportunity to work together as a team. We are better together and making better financial decisions is just one example of that. One year from now, we have funded sinking funds that covered ALL of our holiday expenses, our flights for travel, and those “oh shit” moments like replacing an AC unit or repairs for the bimmer. We are building for a better future one dollar at a time. We are happy. We are one step closer to being 100% debt free (not including our mortgages) before my 35th birthday in 2020.
This exercise may feel strange at first because you are talking about things that haven’t yet happened in the past tense. You are reflecting on things that are not real…yet. It is important, though, because when the financial discipline required for this challenge starts to fade, you will have this vision…this image to inspire yourself to keep going even though the going may be getting tough.
Pro Tip: Create a She Makes Cents Money Challenge folder and let this letter to yourself be the first thing you put in your folder. The 2019 She Makes Cents Money Challenge will include several prompts and freebies throughout the year and keeping your folder in a safe place that you can access weekly will render BIG results. If you want to be successful, this is one of the very first things you should do BEFORE the challenge starts January 3, 2019.