A lot of people seem to think one of two things: either they believe they are too young to worry about their future and that when the time is right they will know. Or, they think they have waited far too long and that any planning they do isn’t going to pay off.
We are here to tell you that planning for your future is something that can be done at any time. It does not matter how young you are and it does not matter how old you are. What matters is that everyone has a future. It doesn’t matter how much of it there is left because that is something that cannot be determined anyhow. Tomorrow may not be guaranteed but wouldn’t you much rather have some sort of plan to better your future than to just go by day to day without knowing what you would do in case of an emergency?
No matter where you are in your life, if you are reading this then make today that day. Today is the day that you can make a change. We want to help make sure that your future is bright and that it’s something you can look forward to, never dread. Even if the unspeakable were to happen, you are going to be okay and that’s because you are going to have the proper tools to get yourself by.
Keep in mind, these are just the basics. There are a large number of things you can do to save money and prepare for all sorts of things. Today we are focusing on some of the easiest and most simple ways to plan for your future. As always, be sure to mention any tips or tricks you have learned along the way because our members would be happy to hear them and you never know, we might just learn a thing or two from you as well.
Make a list
The first thing you want to do when planning for your future is making a list. When you begin, you do not want to worry about the minor details. Don’t take time right now to think about the ‘how’ but just write anything that comes to your mind down. Maybe you want to save more money or get a house, finish school; whatever the case may be. Write these things down without any limitations. You can always go back and change things later. This list is something you should have for the rest of your life. It is going to be something that you add to, make changes to and remove items from as you feel it’s necessary. So, what you put on there today may not necessarily be what you are focusing on tomorrow but every bit counts because something you come up with today may inspire you in a much greater way later on down the road.
Figure Out What Your Strengths and Weaknesses Are
Knowing your strengths is important because it helps you to find the jobs that fit your personality and the things you enjoy most in life. What many people don’t realize is that you also want to know your weaknesses, and know them well. You see, these may be things that can help you in the long run. If you are slow at typing, for example, you may not want to have a desk job but this may mean you can write fast so you could be really good at other jobs. Try not to think of weaknesses as things that hinder you because they are truly going to help you. What can hinder you is not knowing what your weaknesses are.
Remember that list we told you to make? This is going to be like your own personal Bible. This is the list that you should be reading every single day (if it’s very long, you can break it down into short term and long term so you aren’t reading everything all the time). This is going to keep you focused on the tasks at hand and remind you of what your motivators are. Maybe you want that new car or you want to get out of debt. By keeping these things in front of your consciousness, you are going to be much more likely to work harder and find ways to get the job done quicker than you may even realize.
Save a Percentage of What You Earn
This is probably one of the hardest things to do, but it is pretty simple if you have your job already doing it for you. Take a percentage of every paycheck and put it in a savings account. While 25% sounds like a large chunk if this is something you can afford; you are going to be glad you did later on. Just completely forget about it. Sound hard? If the money already comes out of your paycheck anyway, you probably aren’t going to remember at all. Doing it on your own can be tough though so be cautious of that. It can be very easy to get caught in the “I need” trap and spend money that you shouldn’t be.
Talk of Your Future as If It’s Already Set in Stone
A lot can be said about positive energy. It has been proven that those who are sick can get better by believing they will. Your brain is powerful. You want something bad enough then keep telling yourself it is going to happen. Talk about your future as if it has already arrived. Picture yourself driving that new car or in that new relationship. As crazy as it may sound, the more you practice this, the easier it gets. It truly does work. Talk about “when” you have that new home, not “if”. Your words have a drastic effect on the outcome of your life.
Focus on Your Health to Live a Long and Healthy Life
Of course, you could have everything you ever wanted but it wouldn’t really mean much if you weren’t healthy enough to enjoy it. Instead of putting money and working above everything else; remember to take care of yourself. Eat the best you can and work out any chance you get. A healthy body means a healthy mind and a longer life means you are going to have more time to enjoy the great things that you have accomplished and will accomplish in the future.
Don’t Give Up No Matter What Happens
We don’t care if it seems like the sky is falling. There is never a reason to give up. Look at all the stories that you see on the web or on the news about people who literally were told they had only a month to live and they are still alive and doing well 10 years down the road. You want to know the difference between them and those who lost everything? They didn’t give up. Like we mentioned above, our minds are amazing things. They can do much more than we even realize. Keep your goals in mind and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you cannot reach them. Use what others say as fuel to the fire.
Reward Yourself for the Small Accomplishments
One mistake many people make when trying to plan for the future is spending too much time there. Instead of focusing on what you want all the time, take a moment to look around and enjoy what you already have. This is also the case when it comes to the goals you are setting for yourself. While long-term goals are fantastic and a necessary part of change and growth, they are not the only types of goals you should be spending energy on. Make sure you take the time to enjoy the little goals because we are creatures that desire quick results. So, allow yourself that luxury. Tell yourself you are going to wake up early for an entire week. Goals like this are going to send you into instant success and that is going to keep you motivated because accomplishing a goal feels good so reward yourself and don’t get too stuck in the future. Live in today!
Things You Should Avoid Doing While Planning Ahead
A few things we wanted to warn you of are overestimating and expecting change without action. As we touch on a bit earlier, so many of us naturally expect results quickly. This is why we said small goals are important to keep you on track. Not only do many of us tend to set goals that are too high, making us feel as though we have failed when we reached them but many people also do not realize how much work we are going to have to put in, for our lives to change. Change cannot happen if you keep doing things the same. If you want a different life, you have to do things you’ve never done before.