Are You Playing The When I, Then I Game?
One thing I hear a lot of when it comes to living a fulfilled life is what I affectionately call the when I, then I game. It’s something I hear a lot of, especially with regards to relationships.
“When I retire, then I can make time for the grandkids.”
“When I get promoted, then I can spend more time with my spouse.”
“When I get established, then I can finally join that bowling league.”
When it comes to taking care of our primary asset, our health and well-being, the when I then I game usually goes something like:
“When I finish remodeling the basement, then I can take time out for myself.”
“When I’m done with this stressful job, then I’ll think about changing my eating habits.”
“When I get that big promotion, then I’ll get a membership to the gym.”
With regards to finances, saving, and paying down debt, the game goes:
“When I make more money, then I can start saving.”
“When the economy turns around, then I’ll pay down my debt.”
“When I’m financially secure, then I’ll ______________” (you fill in the blank).
Do these excuses sound familiar? It doesn’t matter what it is – any time we use an outside factor as the reason why we aren’t doing something that we want to do, alarm bells should go off in your head.
IF these things are important to you: relationships, your health, your finances, THEN they have to be taken care of now!
Not in the future.
No one has the promise or guarantee of a tomorrow. I’ve seen it happen time and time again with my clients who unexpectedly lose a loved one, lose their health, or a great opportunity that slips away.
What it really comes down to is this:
1.RELATIONSHIPS: When I retire, then I can spend more time with my spouse, my kids, my friends and family.
Because you are waiting for some future event, you aren’t investing in these relationships now. Meanwhile, you are constantly drawing on these people every day because they are the ones you rely on in so many little ways. It’s easy to forget that those withdrawals add up.
not when all your wishes and dreams come true!
My own father passed away when I was 23, making all the hours he invested in me even more valuable. Investments in relationships don’t have to extravagant or expensive. But they do have to be on purpose.
- Seek out opportunities, and plan them into your day.
- Start out small – a meal together, an hour tennis game, a ten-minute phone call.
- Invest today – don’t put it off until tomorrow.
2.Your Primary asset: When I’m done with this stressful job, then I’ll think about changing my eating habits.
There are many parallels between healthy eating habits and healthy finances. Perhaps the biggest reason we give ourselves for not starting today is this: We think we should wait until we can do it “right”.
Well, I have news for you – waiting for things in your life to be right, the perfect circumstances, the ideal time – means you will be waiting forever!
Remove all those obstacles and get down to the root of why you aren’t taking care of yourself.
- Which of these 3 areas can you begin investing in today: Exercise? Diet? Rest? Chose and commit to one goal.
- Make it priority to give yourself time every week to take care of your primary asset.
- Make it a habit by showing up at the same time on the designated days, based on what fits in with your schedule.
3. FINANCES: When I start making more money, then I can start saving and paying down debt.
There are two kinds of people – those who save now and those who wait. The employee who makes $1,000 a month and gets in the habit of putting $25 of it away will have $300 saved by the end of the year. The same employee who waits until they can “save more” will have $0. Ten years and several pay raises later, they still won’t have anything saved.
With regards to paying off debt, the same principal applies: Debt won’t go away unless you pay it off and nothing will get saved unless you start now. So split the difference. Come up with a formula that you can live with using these 3 components:
· An amount you can live off – 80%
· An amount to save – 10%
· An amount to go towards debt – 10%
If you need every penny, the breakdown can be 98%, 1%, 1%. What happens when the debt is gone? You’ll be able to increase your savings without having to change your lifestyle or spend a penny more!
But it will never add up like that unless you get started.
Developing the discipline is the hard part of financial hard/easy. Those who do it now are those who achieve their definition of a RichLife. What new habits have you developed recently? What does your financial hard/easy look like? Send me an email, visit my Facebook wall, or call in during the RichLife Radio show. We’d love to hear from you!