Give your attention to what you truly want in 2018

You've desired it for so long.  You’ve thought about it. You’ve dreamed about it. Now it’s time to act on it. It’s time to take all your energy and give your attention to what you truly want!

What am I talking about? Your financial independence.

So what exactly is financial independence?

For me it's having a certain level of comfort, knowing I’m going to have the financial resources to cover all facets of my life, without having to rely on a steady paycheck.

Up until that watershed decision, I pursued a fairly standard path: I went to school, secured jobs, made a bit of money, traveled, bought two homes. I had to sell the other one when I realised I wasn't cut out for being a landlord. But otherwise, I was living ‘the dream.’

But after achieving my goals, I realised that I was not happy to get myself into the trap of lifestyle inflation whereby I'd continue to upgrade my house, car, and belongings. So many things are starting to feel empty and meaningless to me.

So this year, I plan to continue pursuing my dream through the plan that I set for myself 3 years ago. I've had to work on many emotional issues that I had with money. And this helped me a lot to be able to focus on my true priorities not those dictated to me by the media and advertising companies.

And the older I get I realise that life is indeed short and way too precious to concentrate on things that don't make sense. So I knew I had to rearrange my lifestyle in order to do what fulfills me, instead of waiting for a late and uncertain retirement.

I realise that so many of us have stopped making New Year's resolutions because we believe that they are unattainable. The problem with new years resolutions isn’t that they are made in January. The issue is that they are often approached in a fanatical way, without giving much thought or planning to them.

So why not we try something new? How about you set up a process that you know works best for you, to clarify what you’d like to improve in all areas of your life – relationships, family, personal skills, career and of course, money.

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Like I said on Twitter, life milestones are also money milestones. Whatever you plan to achieve for yourself this year, it will all boil down to how much money you have. If you have been going round in circles regarding your dreams and how you manage your money, it is time to let go of the excuses that have kept you stuck.

Give your attention to what you truly want in 2018. Give yourself the gift of believing in yourself and watch yourself grow into your higher expectations. Once you’ve decided your 'WHY' and at what point in your life you want to be financially independent, you need to map out a plan to get there. If you are confused or feeling overwhelmed, here is what you can do?

- Use January to re-evaluate your lifestyle, your priorities, and your goals. You need to create a new outlook on your money if you want to make real change in your life. Identify the blocks that keep you in resistance. Address these obstacles truthfully. You know what works for you, so work with that. I like writing down my thoughts and reading those thoughts back to myself. That way I can hear myself more clearly.

- Love and care for yourself. I'm a firm believer in taking care of self because that is the only way you are going to be able to live your best life. I haven't watched TV in the past 8 months and this has helped me a lot to do the things that matter. There are many ways you can care for yourself without spending a fortune. Having "me time" can do wonders for your energy and mind. Don't neglect yourself.

- Clean out the clutter. I'm talking about those old statements and grocery slips that you no longer need. Get rid of the clutter, in order to make space for the new. I had a massive end of year clear out. I don't know why I keep slips and papers but I had to let them go. This was hard for me because I like’s to hold onto stuff, so there was a bit of a battle. But I knew I had to do it. There is no way that you can shift into a more positive state if you are saddled with old things.

- Sign Up for some self-improvement method. If you love reading, purpose to add one financial book to your must-reads list. If you like reading blogs, subscribe to blog lists that are about personal finance. You can also use social media as a way of engaging with friends to find out how they do things financially. You will be surprised at how much they know. Just make sure you don't follow every "tip" or latest scheme. Always do your homework. Educating yourself is very important as is the motivation to become successful and earn the money that you deserve.

- Come up with a way that helps you see your goals clearly. I like vision boards. A vision board allows me the opportunity to clarify the picture in my head that I would like to manifest. For example, in September I started collecting beautiful pictures of kitchens as I was in the process of rebuilding it. This helped me to narrow down my needs and see my kitchen clearly as I want it. Applying visioning techniques helps you set the energetic alignment that will bring your dream forward.

- Check your finances and be honest with every bit of your money. Write down and assess everything. How much are your monthly expenses? Who do you owe? How much do you owe them? Which of these debts can you repay first, followed by which one, and so forth? Don't cheat yourself. Be honest about your money obligations. Take each obligation and break it all down into doable, bite-sized task so you can see what you are doing without feeling frazzled. If you need help, get a financial advisor. There is no shame in asking for help.

- Give yourself a money challenge. I have decided to call my challenge: The R300-A-Month- Challenge. The money is already being automated into my 32 days Savings Account. This really makes it hard for me to withdraw it. This works for me and I don’t plan to stop the automatic savings anytime soon. What I encourage you to do is to come up with something that works for you and your finances. If you can;t do it alone why not try a group? The group can help you to stay the course. Stokvels are great for such activities. Don't sleep on them. This plan is to help you achieve your financial goals.

So, let's purpose that in 2018 we will be personally and entirely invested in our change. It's the only way our dreams are going to come true. Financial independence is certainly achievable, but you have to have a plan, be committed to it and take the necessary steps.

So, what do you truly want in 2018?