Planning to plan? How to set yourself up for success.

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It’s been a frustrating few weeks and if you’re anything like us, you’ve been finding it difficult to motivate yourself to look ahead when it seems as if the whole world is either on pause or at the other end of the spectrum and completing a new course, a yoga workout and writing a goals list every single day.   We’ve certainly done our fair share of relaxing but there’s only so much slow moving – even elephants – can do, as we avoid what seems to be a long list of ways we should be spending our time. Despite all of this, it’s always a good time to start thinking about how you can financially set yourself up for the future or ride out this storm. We’ve listed a few helpful hints to get that plan going during a time where planning anything at all seems impossible.

Knowledge is preparation power

We get that putting your head in the sand is the closest thing to a holiday most of us are getting at the moment, but unfortunately oblivion when it comes to financial planning is not doing you any long term favours. Setting aside some time to read a few blog articles (tick that off if you’ve made it this far), download and listen to financial podcasts or read a book on the topic is one of the best motivators. The more you know, the more you will feel empowered to save and get some of those goals ticked off.

Make a list

This sounds like a no brainer right? Trust us when we say your to-do’s seem much more pressing when you have them written down in front of you. Try starting small with a daily priorities list. This can be written the night before to get them out of your head before bed or first thing in the morning to get you up and motivated. Create some routine and put things like ‘have breakfast’ on there to get the ball rolling. A little positive reinforcement never hurt anybody. When it comes to bigger goals like saving for that deposit, try and list the things you need to do to set yourself up for success. Do you have a separate ‘home’ savings account? Have you given yourself a budget or goal to work towards? Have you phoned Elephant Financial to talk home loans or property yet…

Find your peak

Are you a morning or afternoon person? Do you get the most work done after 6pm? Where you can, try and plan your big ticket items for that time of day. Do you really need to take a look at your budget but have been avoiding because the numbers stress you out? Schedule in 30 minutes of numbers for the time you feel most alert and motivated. Sit down, distraction free, and give it a crack. 9 times out of 10 you’ll get more than your half an hour done and if you don’t, just try again next time you’re due to peak.

Remind yourself of the bigger picture

Vision *and we cannot stress this enough* boards. This doesn’t have to be a literal pin board with pictures of all your dreams but it helps. Long term planning and motivation is HARD. We are programmed for instant gratification (hello Instagram likes), so it can feel like we are set up to fail for long term dreams. If home ownership or that investment property is the end goal, remind yourself. Set your phone background as your dream house. Print off a picture of your ideal living space and carry it in your wallet or post it on the back of your pantry door. Set yourself up to be reminded why you are making small sacrifices and prepare for those ‘weak’ moments where your motivation may waiver.

Remember motivation is not an endless pool you can dip into. Planning is what gives you the structure to move towards your goals even when you don’t feel like it. If you need help with this, you know where to find us. We’ll be online shopping for a new desk pad to-do list…

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