Day 20: Top 3 Barriers To Moving Forward with my Financial Goals
I have to admit, the fuel that was keeping me on track for the past 2 weeks has already started to burn out. Why? Its not that I have lost my confidence or positive attitude. It can be boiled down to 3 key things that to some extent are outside of my control.
Barrier #1 Time
The number one most important thing that is slowing me down is the lack of time to devote to financial education. I work full time, and do consulting as well. I have a 20 month old daughter that as my aunt put it today, “sure loves attention!” So you know what I want and ought to be doing with the REST of my time, being with my daughter who needs me there. And beyond that, my husband, family and friends. Not to mention housework, and paying the bills, etc. And beyond that, perhaps allowing myself a bit of time to do things that I just want to do for me. I realize that I have made the choices that have set up the whirlwind of a life that I lead now, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t get frustrated that I don’t have more time to pursue the things that I know will move my life forward.
For instance, this evening, after I put my daughter to bed, what I need to be doing is my consulting work. But what I want to (and am) doing is reading and writing in this blog, and documenting ideas for shifting my life.
Question: At what point do you say to yourself, your FUTURE is more important than the PRESENT, so allocate more TIME towards efforts that may or may not succeed, as long as they are in the right direction?
Barrier #2: Focus & Diligence
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I find it difficult to stay on course with any one thing. Perhaps its the culture of my generation or even just today’s society, but I tend to go down about 10 different paths at once, never fully absorbing ALL of the information before I try to apply it or move on to another great idea. This is partly because of my lack of time. I will absolutely take credit for part of this, but to an extent I believe its the nature of the societal structure in America.
This lack of focus can be both good and bad. The good part is that I tend to get a lot of new and great ideas, sometimes spending my time on something that truly betters my life or simplifies something that I was struggling with. The bad part is the obvious, if you never stay on course, you won’t finish. Whatever your definition of “finish” means. Some projects aren’t always meant to be finished, but sometimes, its good to see things through, and have a full and rich experience, rather than just the surface level. Often, you can hold onto that information or learn from the experience a lot better if you truly engage and see it through. A whole lot of great ideas that start but don’t see fruition doesn’t really get anyone anywhere.
Seeing things through takes a lot of dedication and commitment, which I am more than willing to do, however, I keep running into that #1 barrier: time. When I run out of that, I tend to lose focus and get sidetracked on to some other area of my life.
Question: How do you stay focused? Is it a matter of better time management or mental control over distractions?
Barrier #3: Things Just Won’t Budge
Okay, here’s the brutal honesty part of my post. I have felt stuck for quite some time. I have a huge mortgage and a ton of ‘required’ life bills (car loan, insurance, day care, food, utilities, etc). So, I would LOVE to reduce my debt or bills, but after the first few weeks of looking at our budget and pinching pennies, I’ve proven what I already suspected, which was that we don’t have a whole lot of room to budge until our lifestyle changes drastically.
We have had our house on the market for 2 months now, but today’s economy doesn’t help much with selling our house (cross your fingers that the tax credit extension might help). Downsizing our house would be the best step for us to begin to reduce our monthly expenses, simplifying our life, and assessing a realistic baseline for the income that would be needed for a step towards financial freedom. But our house hasn’t sold yet. Sometimes things truly are outside of your control. Are there always other options? Of course there are. But its hard to know the pain point at which you opt for something drastically different because you absolutely cannot make it any longer in the status quo.
Many people say to ‘take things one day at a time’, but I don’t want to do that. I never have. I want to know where I’m headed.
Question: If you are ‘stuck’ in your present situation, but don’t put time or energy to work towards the future, how will you ever get un-stuck?
photo by Eddi 07