Previous post:

Next post:

Your Most Important Financial Task

by Don Current on September 30, 2010

Yellow Legal Pad

Photo courtesy Gene Wilburn

One of the most important tasks you can do in order to reach your financial goals is to take a careful look at all of your past mistakes. Before you do make sure you read carefully through this entire post as each step is critical to the process. Sit down with a yellow, lined, legal pad and a No. 7 mechanical pencil. Think back as far as you can in your past and capture every financial mistake you made in your history. Write as much detail as you can possibly think of. Did you ever make an impulse purchase on a credit card and then not get it paid off for years? Did you “invest” in a timeshare that you hardly ever used and then spend money to get rid of it in the end? Make sure you capture dates and people involved. Look at every gory detail of each instance.

Now, I want you to carefully remove the page(s) from the legal pad. Fold it carefully in thirds with nice crisp folds. Take a No. 10, security lined, self-sealing envelope and seal up these documents carefully in the envelope.

Finally, I’d like you take that envelope and RIP IT TO SHREDS! Then I want you to burn it! Lastly take the ashes and flush them down the toilet! NONE OF YOUR PAST FAILURES HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS!

If you were on a trip from San Francisco to New York City and somehow ended up in Fargo, North Dakota, would it get you any closer to your destination to sit and analyze each wrong turn along the way? No! The only thing that matters is taking a close look at where you are, and then create a path from there to get where you want to be. You’ll probably set up some milestones along the way as well to make sure you stay on course to that far off destination. Looking backwards at where you’ve been has no benefit.

Now, it may be helpful to look at some of your tendencies that might have gotten you off track. If on your journey to New York City you have the tendency of going the wrong direction on the expressway whenever you stop for gas, then you want to acknowledge that and implement a strategy to prevent that. If you have a tendency in your finances to get depressed when things are especially rough and you go out and do some clothes shopping on your credit card, then you need to address that. Get rid of the credit cards. Call a friend and vent. Dwelling on the failure itself provides no benefit however.

Sit down today and figure out where it is you want to go. Map out a plan to get there. Most importantly, work the plan. Good Luck! Let me know how I can help.