Warren Buffet, although not someone I’ve ever really read much about or even know much about, would appear to the outside world to be pretty wise, given his business record. So when I saw this quote it really resonated with me for a couple of reasons.

The first thing it made me think about was my diet, not as in losing weight etc (although that has been equally successful and unsuccessful in equal measure. This has resulted in me staying put on the scales).

It’s clear even to me that the ‘diet’ model doesn’t work, at least not for me, yet here I am, still trying to do it. But thats another post.

Far more interesting to me was how it relates to my financial situation and how I still have very little saved, how ‘surprises’ that involve shelling out (think new washing machine) have bought me to my financial knees over the years and how I know, we all know, that we should put a little by, and yet we don’t. Every time something happens and we have to find money, it should be the last time we’re in that situation because you’d learn from it and plan ahead, right?  Yet it happens time and time again. And this isn’t just us. Whole industries have been built on people’s lack of ability to stick to something, or to make good decisions, or to plan effectively, the list goes on. But we blindly carry on sleep walking into the future without any real thought past tomorrow.

Self motivation

A big part of what I’m trying to do here is to change my thinking, change my priorities and build something better for the future, and I know it’s going to be tough. It’s really not enough to make a list of things I want to achieve and expect them to magically fall into place, or for me to suddenly change the way I think and behave, which is to grab lunch or a coffee when I’m out and tell myself ‘it’s only £10’ etc…because I’ve been doing that forever and this is new to me. 

As the old adage goes, old habits die hard, but the good news is is that you CAN change them. My habit of buying coffee is just that, a habit, and so if I’ve learnt that habit, I can unlearn it and develop another, healthier habit. See here for my post on changing habits. Small and steady wins the race in this case 

How to get motivated…

So where on earth does the motivation come from to start changing things.

The excitement of a new challenge or a new plan is perhaps enough to start you off and motivate you for the first few weeks if you’re lucky, but where does the motivation to carry on come from a year down the line, or even 2 weeks down the line? The answer is the WHY. It’s in the WHY.

Motivation tips

So what we need to do is figure out why we want whatever it is we want. And we have to want it badly enough to have strong enough reasons to keep at whatever we need to be doing, in my case here, earning extra cash, putting it away and paying off our mortgage.

So what is the motivation I have to see this thing through to the end and not get bored and have a luxury holiday once I reach £10K saved? Personally, it’s security.

Who wouldn’t want to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that we can make work choices based on the work, not the pay. I want to be able to help the children out to buy their own places if that’s what they’d like to do.

I want to be able to travel, and to be able to save for retirement (yep, so far in the future but oh so close comparatively). But all of these smaller reasons fall under the one blanket, SECURITY.

Now I’ve got my reason why I’m doing this, every little thing that threatens getting there, from those new boots to that new car, can be weighed against the bigger goal of security. Is that shiny new car worth putting off security for another few years for?

Keep motivated

Suddenly its not so attractive. It’s so easy to look around and be envious of the things that other people have, the holidays they go on, the house extensions.

You get the picture, but the reality is that we’ve no idea about their situation, and if you ask yourself if you’d exchange your goal, security in my case, for their summer holiday. I’m starting to see that I wouldn’t make the trade. Try this, it’s quite liberating. Let yourself have that holiday, but make yourself very aware of the trade off.

Look at the money you’d have in 5 years if you saved that holiday money today. Then ask yourself which you’d rather have. If your goal is to make memories and this can only be done on X island, then perhaps you’re making the right choice.

Ask yourself if you could make those memories for less money. Compromise. But make those decisions knowingly and consciously, and then guilt free.

Of course it could be that your neighbors have been on that luxury holiday because they’ve been squirreling money away for years. If so, you can look forward to your time, when you’ll be on that cruise knowing you’re coming home to a house that all yours.

2 thoughts on “Motivation”

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