“It takes as much time and energy to wish as it does to plan” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“You may delay but time will not” – Benjamin Franklin
Often people say they have “decided” to change. They have very good intentions and actually wish they would change. The problem: status quo. It is so easy to continue doing what we are doing. It is comfortable. To step out into uncharted waters and fail, this frightens many to stay on the same path. Now what started out as good intentions turns into a game of procrastination. The difference between “deciding” and “doing” is like night and day. The deciding part is the first 10%; the doing is the other 90 percent.
If you have decided to make a financial change in your life: work on a spending plan, seek the help of a financial planner, spend more time learning about finances, go out and do it. Don’t just talk about it. Actions speak louder than words. Get started today.
David came into my office, looking to make a financial change. He had neglected his investment portfolio for the last several years and was afraid to commit to change. He had been burned by the last market downturn and could not bring himself to get “back on the horse”. Though he had “decided” several times to make a change, he became overwhelmed with analysis paralysis. This is a phenomenon where you shuffle paper after paper and exhaustively research something so that you have so much information you don’t even know where to begin. You become disoriented and confused. This is exactly what happened to David. Finally, David made a decision to change. He set his plan in motion by going to visit several financial planners. He again became confused by the “many” choices. Each planner had a different recommended course of action. Everything was recommended from annuities to stocks to mutual funds. David again became overwhelmed and decided to remain status quo.
When David came to see me in November of 2005, he had already lost three good years in the stock market. We came up with the perfect plan to incorporate his faith, his fears, and his behaviors. It was going to take some work, but we had our game plan. The only problem now was getting David to follow through. After month after month of procrastination, David finally did what he needed to do to set the plan in motion. This was a full 10 months after we first met! Sometimes our fears and past mistakes, limit our progress. Like the deer in the headlights, either move or you will be run over. You have the opportunity today to follow through on something. Don’t let another day pass you by. Go out and make the changes you have been thinking about. Go out and God will direct your steps.
Here are a few great passages from Proverbs:
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
In his heart a man plans his course, but the lord determines his steps.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Where is a financial area that you know needs changing but you have neglected to change?
What are three financial things that you will accomplish over the next month?
What area of your financial life could you use the most help? Why?