I’ve been online about 10 minutes, checking email and clicking on a few blog links, and the ads on each site are mostly the same. Lose Weight, Earn Money, you know the drill. These are all supposedly easy, we’ll fix you right up solutions that just cost a small bit of money.
Of course, they don’t work.
For evidence, take a read over here . The article talks about the “after” for contestants on the biggest loser. On the show, they do successfully lose an immense amount of weight, and receive a large amount of support, AND they’re full time job while on the show is to get fit. But afterwards, back in the real world, the old habits come back.
It’s important to realize that you can only succeed in a goal if you have a map to get there. And it better be a darn good map.
For instance, one of my fiscal goals this year will be to move my net worth up 25%. For the last year I managed an increase of 24%. I’m fairly aggressive in this attempt I think. But how will I get there? What’s my map?
For starters, I recrafted my home office ( that triples as an exercise room and guest room…) and instead of a poster put up a chart. I’ve marked my start, and bi-weekly I’ll note my progress, and see where I am versus the trendline I should have. I know I should be at all times in the next year. And I’ll see this every day.
An addtional tool is that I’m scheduling time for these checkups, set in stone. This is what I’m going sunday from 9:30-1oAM. Just like I block out bits of the calendar and that’s when I’m exercising. The rest of life will fit in around it. This isn’t that much different than automating your finances and saving more pre-tax.
Finally, I’ll be keeping up with friends who have made their own financial goals. We’ll be our support network, and we can each help each other, reward each other, and keep our eyes out.
If you really want to change a habit, big or small, you need to define the goal clearly, have a map with good directions to get you there, and you need a network to keep you on track.