Thursday, June 24, 2010

Finding Motivation for Long Term Goals

Ever forget why you work so hard? I do. What am I saving money for anyway? Fifteen years is forever away ... who cares about $20 now? ... or $200? ... or $2000?

I've fallen off the wagon, assessed why, and determined how I'll climb back on. Good. But I need motivation here. Developing good habits is hard work ... what am I doing this for again? How can I remember it's worth it?

How do you motivate yourself to achieve long term goals? I break it down into a bunch of short term goals. That's great - it's just the 'atta-girl' I need to confirm I'm on the right track. But somewhere between short term goal #2 and #3, I notice my motivation wane...

Motivation makes a come-back though, when I make a new long term goal. It generally fits with the original plan, but I usually discover 'new and improved' ways to achieve it. BIGGER AND BETTER! Woo!  -I realize it's not for everyone - for many people, plotting a budget or financial goals is as pleasant a thought as having one's body hair plucked one by one. But I love it!  - uh, the plotting budget part, that is...  It's like a life-size puzzle - real life problem solving. Yay!!

So, now that I've firmly established that I am, at times, a nerd ... Here's what I mean by 'new goal':

Original plan (Sample) 

  • save $100 / month
  • give $100 / month
  • sell asset (profit $1000), invest profit all into one investment to yield estimated $50/mo indefinitely

New Plan: (Sample)

  • save $100 / month [PLUS extra $75/month from additional investment income - see below]
  • give $100 / month [PLUS extra $75/month from additional investment income - see below]
  • sell asset (profit $1000), invest profit into 5 different investments to yield estimated $30/mo indefinitely. Monthly yield = $150/mo

See? Same general plan, but with new information (about 5 different investments rather than the 1), I can do the same thing on a larger scale. Ooooh. I liiiiike.

And that definitely refreshes my motivation - to see that the plan can improve, and I can compete with  myself to find an even better idea than the last one. Love it.

Now I remember why I'm working so hard at saving money ...

  • to establish residual passive income (retirement plan or estate for children)
  • to give. On this side of the world, on this side of the fence, it is a great honor and responsibility to share what God has given us (Heb 13:16, 2 Cor 9:7-9)
Ahh. Motivation returns. Fun stuff :)


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