It happened innocently enough.
I set my challenge for August and committed to seeing it through. I had follow-up progress reports scheduled weekly with my sisters as we kept each other on track to complete our goals. I felt excited because I knew that I was on track to succeed.
Then, a month later, it came time to write about what I had achieved. I’d barely sat down at my laptop to type up my report when I realized:
I had no clue what I had originally committed to.
No recollection of what I had deemed to be the most important financial goal I had set for myself last month. And no amount of scouring meeting minutes or quizzing my sisters on what they could remember about what I’d said could jog their memories nor my own.
In a way, it makes sense.
Over the course of a month, I’d moved homes, handled the logistics of travelling across continents, gotten new clients and even more freelance projects. My husband and I set up our new apartment, blazed through mountains of paperwork, spent hours on the phone, and drove more than 5,000 km to get it all done. There were friends to see, family gatherings, and heartwarming reunions years overdue.
What makes this list remarkable is the knowledge that it is completely unremarkable. Everyone is busy. Everyone has priorities and obligations and personal interests.
It is so easy to lose track of your financial goals when it seems like everything else is more pressing; when deadlines are looming or you have a medical emergency.
Financial planning can seem like an “extra” – almost like a luxury when you’re hurrying from one “to-do” to the next. But that’s why it’s crucial to do things like make your saving automatic or to set reminders about bill payments. One crazy week, month or year can undo a lifetime of careful, systematic curation. Your financial well-being can – and does! – seep into all areas of your life.
So if and ahem, when, something like this happens to you, no need to completely freak out. Take a deep breath and remind yourself of what is most important in your life. Think about the big goals you’ve set for yourself and ask if whether how you’re spending your money is in alignment with those big goals. If not, and your circumstances are temporary, keep mindful from that point on about what expenses to which you can scale back, eliminate or redirect your attention and finances.
All it takes is a moment of clarity and commitment to what is most important to you.
For September, I’m happy to report that I’m on track to complete my challenge… and will actually remember what it is by the end of the next week or so.
What do you do when you lose track of your financial goals? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on social media!