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The 3-step plan to make your financial dreams a reality
Legal Disclosure: Tony Robbins is the Chief of Investor Psychology at Creative Planning, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with wealth managers serving all 50 states. Mr. Robbins receives compensation for serving in this capacity based on increased business derived by Creative Planning from his services. Accordingly, Mr. Robbins has a financial incentive to refer investors to Creative Planning. This commentary is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice.
“Complexity is the enemy of execution.” –Tony Robbins
We all have dreams – and most of them cost something. But have you figured out just exactly how much it would cost to make those dreams come true? If you’re like half of the American population, you don’t even know how much money you’ll need to retire – and that includes 45% of all financial planners!
The truth is it can all seem so complicated and scary that we convince ourselves that maybe it’s just better not to know. Except that ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is pain. Four out of 10 Americans say they couldn’t come up with $2,000 if they needed it, according to a 2014 Princeton University–University of Chicago study. When that unexpected medical bill or expense comes up… that ignorance, or just lack of planning, is going to hurt.
But here is the good news – it doesn’t have to be complicated to plot your course to financial freedom. Here are 3 steps to get you started.
1. Wake up — and then focus on what you truly want
This is your wakeup call. Are you inspired to seek more? Is your desire is unleashed and your imagination ignited? Or do you feel like you’ve hit a threshold within yourself, and you know that you will no longer settle for life as it has been? This is the point where you make the decision to never go back, and you become ferociously focused on the new life or object you deserve.
“It takes as much energy to wish as to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Take a few minutes and think about what you really want your money to buy. Do you want to give an extraordinary contribution to change the world in some way? Do you want to buy peace of mind, knowing that you’ll never run out of money? Do you want to send your kids to college and still be able to retire comfortably? Always remember – life is not about money, it’s about emotion. The places money can take us, the time and freedom and opportunity money can bring – these are what we’re really after.
2. Lay out your short-, medium- and long-term goals
If your desire is truly unleashed and you are obsessively focused on what you want, you will do whatever it takes to make your dream a reality. There are no limits to the energy and flexibility you’ll have in the pursuit of what you want. There is only one caveat – you still have to plan carefully, and keep adapting your approach. Otherwise you might end up giving it your all, running east looking for a sunset. No matter how hard you try, you won’t find it unless you adjust your course.
So, once you are focused on what you really want, create three targets to shoot for. Those targets will be a short-, medium- and a long-term goal. This way, you build on success and have a target close enough that you can feel it’s achievable in the relatively near future. That’s what gets you to take action and turn a short-term goal into reality. If you’re one of those people who does not have an emergency fund, make that your short-term goal. And don’t forget to celebrate each victory along the way to achieving it; that positivity will reinforce you and help continue the momentum.
In this stage you must also make sure you are informed and have the proper tools to succeed. Take advantage of free resources like the Tony Robbins’ Wealth & Lifestyle newsletter and Portfolio CheckUp, and continue to return to this blog for more on how to calculate the cost of your dreams.
3. Take timeouts to be grateful
We’ve all experienced the phenomenon of serendipity. We miss a train and end of meeting the person we’re going to marry. We fill in for a friend and it leads to the job of our dreams.
Some things happen in our lives that are beyond explanation. It’s amazing how, when you take care of the first two steps, God or the universe or grace – whatever you like to call it – tends to step in and support what you’re doing. And the more you acknowledge and appreciate the grace that’s already in your life, the more you experience the gifts that are beyond what you’ve created.
This step only requires your gratitude. What is something in your life today that was once a dream? What was a desire you had in the past that at the time seemed difficult or impossible to achieve – but now it’s in your life today? Take a moment to give thanks for it.