Welcome back! How have you been? We’re three weeks into 2023. It went by in a flash, didn’t it? How much closer are you to making your dreams a reality?
Hey! If you haven’t been able to do what you want, then cut yourself some slack. I know it’s not always easy to do what you want when you need to take care of the day-to-day of living. There’s laundry to be done. A commute to work is probably part of your day again. Groceries need to be purchased and put away. Dishes needs to be cleaned, whether by hand or machine. Your body needs some exercise, lest if fall into disrepair sooner than necessary. And of course, we’re all supposed to get some 6-8 hours of solid sleep every night. It’s so very easy to forget about our dreams.
Well, I’m here to remind you that your dreams won’t make themselves come true. It’s up to you to see that they do!
Hear me now! Your dreams deserve to be protected from all those little things meant to drive them down your to-do list. Since this is a personal finance blog, I’m going to try and stick to the financial side of things. Temptation to spend money on everything but your dreams is everywhere and it’s very easy to succumb. After all, it’s “only” $10 or $25 or $50, so what can it hurt to spend a few bucks for a momentary pleasure? Well, those little expenditures add up quickly. This is why I encourage you to track your spending for atleast a few weeks. That way, if you ever find yourself asking “Where does all my money go?”, then the answer will be at your fingertips. Information is power, and you should definitely have power over your money.
You’ve heard me talk about the AdMan and his trusty sidekick, the Creditor. These two entities work tirelessly to separate you from your money. Sometimes, spending money gets you closer to your dreams. If you dream of a birthday lunch at the Eiffel Tower, you will have to spend your money to get there. Other times, spending money gets you further and further from your dreams. Paying for streaming services and food delivery immediately spring to mind. Indulging in these two things can add up to hundreds of dollars per year, spent on stuff that doesn’t last and is easily forgotten. I’m all in favour of binge-watching a few times a year, but I know that doing so won’t get me any closer to my big dreams.
Yup – AdMan and the Creditor are crafty buggers. It’s up to you to protect your dreams from temptations, and there are many. I’m a huge proponent of saving money. You’ve heard me talk about automatic transfers, investing for the future, and using sinking funds for short-term & medium-term goals. It may seem like I want you to save all of your money and never spend in the day-to-day.
That’s not quite true. I’d like to see you only spend money on things that really matter to you. After all, each dollar can only be spent once so maximize your enjoyment each time you spend. Most of us aren’t so flush that we can squander money on the meaningless things in our lives while also saving and investing enough for the things that we really want. And if you are that flush, then more power to you. The rest of us have to choose. I’m just encouraging you to choose that which matters most to you personally. If art classes make your heart sing, then that’s where your money should be going. Do not waste your hard-earned money on any of the million-and-one-bright-and-shiny things that the AdMan dangles in front of our faces and the Creditor is willing to finance.
Now, if you need to be frivolous with some portion of your money, then don’t let me stop you. Just keep that portion to 10% or less of your income. Unless you work really, really hard to make bad choices , wasteful spending of 10% of your money should not be enough to destroy the hard work being done by the other 90%.
No one else is going to care about your dreams as much as you do. Each of us has their own vision of a great life and no two visions are identical. All I can do is offer words of encouragement and maybe design a strategy for you to follow, but that’s it. At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to do the daily tasks that move you from where you are to where you want to be. I cannot promise that it will be easy. From what I’ve learned personally and observed from others, nothing worth having comes easy. Part of what makes success so sweet is the tangible recognition of dedicated, hard work paying off. Your dreams are no different. Imagine how it would feel to be living your dream life right now.
Think about your dreams every day. Nurture them by adding details and flourishes, until you can see them as vivid portraits in my your mind’s eye. Consider any possible impediments and craft plans to remove them from your path. Protect your dreams by cherishing them on a daily basis!
I promise that the more you think your dream, the more your mind will work towards making it happen. It’s like planting a seed in your subconscious. Even while you’re sleeping, your mind will be figuring out ways to make your dreams a reality. Tell yourself that you will make your dreams come true. Each day, remind yourself of you what it is that you truly want. Set a deadline for when you want to see your dreams come true and work backwards. What do you need to do today, next week, next month to meet your dream deadline?
Don’t let anyone else tear down your dreams. It’s a truly awful realization but you should know this. As you try to build the life you want, there will be occasions where those you love best will be a hindrance on the path to your dreams. Identify these people and acknowledge that they won’t help you make your dreams a reality. Cry about this, if you must. Yet do not under any circumstances allow them to prevent you from pursuing your dreams. Their derision about your life should never be enough for you to dissuade you from achieving the life you really want to live. Protect your dreams, no matter what!