I used to subscribe to the philosophy, “Success is a journey, not a destination!” Now one of my favorite sayings since owning a Honda Odyssey is, “Life is an odyssey! Enjoy the ride!” One of the best ways I know to enjoy the ride is to be financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually fit. As a CPA, my clients focused on their financial fitness because retirement planning has been traditionally about numbers. Now as a PAC (Personal Achievement Coach), clients focus more on their personal outlook and mindset, the starting point which leads to improved financial statements, health, relationships, and fulfilling their life dreams.
Without a doubt, life is a lot more meaningful when you are in control over your own piece of the world. Research has shown that it takes 21 days to make a new habit. This means that in three weeks, you can set yourself on a path to improving your financial position by changing the way you think about money and how you relate to this ever present symbol of success. I believe there are five simple steps to financial fitness.
1. Assess it!
Assess your current financial fitness by preparing personal financial statements.
2. Commit to it!
Determining your commitment level in any endeavor will help you understand if the reason “why” you want something is strong enough to get you through the obstacles that undoubtedly lay ahead.
3. Plan it!
A well designed plan will help you determine how to improve your finances and when
each action is to be implemented. However, without a clear vision of the end results, you
won’t know which direction you are going and how you are going to get there.
4. Implement it!
Of course, without action, your plan is just a piece of paper, a useless tool in a tool box. Only you can decide whether you take small steps or giant leaps toward your desired outcome. Your personal urgency in achieving success requires life changing decisions. But that one decision leads to subsequent decisions which will only be appreciated in retrospect.
5. Evaluate it!
Evaluation requires an honest observation of the results without blame or judgment. Sometimes it is best to incorporate professional evaluation to get past the natural tendency to feel personally responsible for often uncontrollable events.
Each step takes patience and time, and raises questions which must be answered to proceed to the next step. I will be covering each step more fully in subsequent newsletters.
Filomena T. Day
May 24th, 2012