Invest in Your Future
Imagine that you’re in a local department store. There’s something you want to buy. Unfortunately, it’s way out of your budget. You don’t have the cash to pay for it. You don’t have credit, or you don’t want to put it on credit, so you set up a layaway plan.
You know you’re not going to see results right away. You’re going to have to make small investments over time. You’ll start with a small down payment then create a plan to pay the bill down.
You walk out of the store. You wish you would have been able to walk out with the item. Even so, you’re happy with your decision. You promise yourself that you’ll go back regularly.
I often wonder how many people set up a layaway plan and never go back after making the 1st or 2nd payment. At times we commit to goals then life happens. We get busy and what was once a priority is overshadowed by responsibility.
I imagine those that established a plan wanted to go back. Perhaps they felt that what they could do was insignificant. Maybe they thought they would never get to their goal, so they just gave up.
I was in the same position when I started Inspireu2Action. I had set up a layaway plan. After investing time and effort without seeing results, busyness got in the way and I never went back.
Over the years I was reminded of dreams and goals. I often asked myself why I didn’t go back to revisit them. At times I even decided to recommit.
Many years later, I decided to get off the treadmill. I was frustrated and tired of going in circles. It was time to create a plan and invest in my future.
It doesn’t matter where you are now, what’s stopped you or why you didn’t go back. The most important part is that you start. Commit to a plan and stick to it.
Take an honest assessment of how you’re spending your time. I think you’ll be surprised at how much time you spend doing things that bring little to no return on your investment. I certainly was.
Yes, I was busy. My schedule was certainly full. Still, there were times when I had quite a bit of time. In fact, I was surprised at how much time I spent talking about how much time I didn’t have. I complained about why I couldn’t accomplish my goals. Then one day I woke up and said to myself, If I have time to complain and talk about why I can’t accomplish goals, I have time to take action.
I needed to be honest with myself about how I was spending my time. I started to notice small blocks of time throughout the day. It wasn’t possible to do everything, but I could certainly do something. It began with small steps. The more steps I took, the easier it was to take steps. I discovered that I had far more time than I originally thought.
At times we set ourselves up for failure when we try to fit more into an already busy schedule. If you’re already at your max, you need to prioritize and start with small steps. The key is to focus on attainable, achievable goals. The wiser you are with time, the easier it is to recognize where you might be wasting time.
Set goals and start slow. Commit to doing something 5-10 minutes a day. Those small blocks of time will eventually increase. Before you know it, you’ll be spending 15, 30 or even 60 minutes a day on goals. You’ll look back and realize that you bought back your time.
Perhaps you’re saying to yourself, I don’t even know what I want to do anymore. I just know that I want my life to change. If that’s you, building margin into your life is the best way to get there. You’ll find that you have time to think. You’ll have time to be. And you’ll have time to invest in those things that you left behind the counter at the local department store.
So, are your dreams on layaway? Perhaps you made an initial down payment and consistently went back to make small payments. Maybe you started with an initial payment, committed to a plan and only went back a few times. Life happened and you let it drop. You’ve even gone back several times over the years. Every time you try, you stop.
It doesn’t matter whether you dropped the ball yourself or didn’t have the time. Perhaps you were influenced by expectations from others or those that you set for yourself. Whatever the case, the time has come to take action.
Assess how you’re spending your time. Focus on attainable, achievable goals. Look at your time as something you can buy back. You can’t make more time. You can’t shove more into an already busy schedule, but you can build margin into your life. When you do, you’ll have more time to think, more time to be and more time to enjoy life.
If you’re ready to invest in your future, let’s talk.
Julie Barbera, author of the forthcoming book, Cracked Mirror, Clear Reflection
“Treasures Are Right Before Our Eyes, yet Many Miss Gems Searching for Pearls at the Bottom of the Sea.”