I recently required surgery to my ankle after sustaining a serious injury quite a while back. Thanks to this ongoing ankle saga, if I ever want to be able to hike and run again I am going to have to commit to some serious rehabilitation work which involves spending 20 minutes each day strengthening and increasing the flexibility of my ankle.
This is chronically time consuming, not to mention phenomenally boring. Who honestly has 20 minutes to spare every day, or quite frankly wants to spend those spare minutes with a resistance band wrapped around your foot attached to the leg of a table? Let me tell you it is hard work and it hurts!
In order to fit this exercise into my daily schedule as a working mom, I have to get up half an hour earlier than my kids so my exercises are done before the morning chaos starts of getting kids dressed, fed and packed off to school.
And let me tell you, I love my sleep. I am the sort of person who could hit the snooze button endlessly. Yet I have this goal and it’s a really, really important one. My regular 5km runs and going on hikes are my passions in life; they are what keep me sane (with the added benefit of keeping the fat rolls under control).
This means I have no choice but to apply myself, because the bottom line is that no amount of physiotherapy visits or anti-inflammatory medication is going to help me reach my goal – only my own hard work and dedication will get me there.
Getting out of debt or reaching some other financial goal is pretty much the same.
You can buy as many self-help books as you want, read dozens of articles on money management and attend endless seminars, but until you put the time aside to draw up a regular budget, and unless you find the discipline to stick to your goals and make a real commitment, you are never going to reach that goal.
It will not be an easy journey and there will be lapses. There are days I skip my morning routine and even worse, days where despite all the work I am putting in, my recovery seems to be going backwards rather than forwards. It is often a matter of two steps forward, one step back. But I persevere and find the motivation more often than not from the beauty that surrounds me. It reminds me that my need to walk in the mountains of Cape Town is far greater than that extra bit of sleep or self-inflicted pain.
If you are on a financial journey, find that motivation. Set a goal and imagine what it will feel like to reach it. Know too that it will not be an easy journey, but in the end it will be far more rewarding than continuing to spend money on stuff you really don’t need.