The idea and title, for that matter, of my blog post today was inspired by my best friend Ms. L’s video blog post regarding her thoughts on the State of the Union Address made by President Obama last night. One point she made in her post was about us, in our everyday lives, being willing to invest in ourselves and essentially “put your money where your dreams are”.
She got me to thinking of how we can find a happy medium in between investing everything we can into that dream we are striving towards and being able to somehow still reward ourselves for the accomplishments that we do achieve along the way in our journey. I thought of a couple of things that we can maybe think of doing that might not seem so impossible to actually do.
1.) Bank on Your Dreams—Give your dream its own bank account. If you already have a separate business account, this would be also considered your dream account (unless your own business is not in fact your dream- then you still need a different account to build on your dream). This is an account that is only for things pertaining to making your dream a reality. This IS NOT an emergency fund for when things start getting tough. If you are striving to be a successful writer and make your entire income by writing then when you need to go to a conference to network, that would be when you tap into this account. It is not for seeing a movie that you want to call research for your next great project. That is not an emergency.
2.) Be Your Own Bill Collector—Treat your dream, and the expenses for accomplishing your dream, as if it is a bill and you are its bill collector. Whether it be once every two weeks, or once a month (however your income flows) take a percentage or a set amount each time you get paid and put into your dream. This is where the dream account comes in handy. If we treat our dreams as if it is just like all of our bills other bills that come every month, the one’s we stress ourselves over, then perhaps we will actually manage to put some money into it.
3.) Give Up Unnecessary Wants—Be prepared to give up what you don’t need to have. You know what I mean. That night that you ate out when you had food in the house you could have fixed. That extra pair of shoes that you didn’t really need to buy. That bottle of wine that you didn’t actually need to get. Those cigarettes that you bought when you know you need to quit anyway. Those are things that you want, possibly things you think you need, but that you don’t. This is money being taken away from that dream you keep hoping to see progress in.
4.) Reward Yourself Feasibly—Okay just because I said that you have to be willing to give up those unnecessary wants doesn’t mean that I am saying to not ever reward yourself for the things you do accomplish along the way. If you don’t reward yourself in some way you will most likely start to feel like you’re not getting anything out of this because it is (unless you are lucky enough to make it big overnight) going to take some time to see the complete end result that you are looking for. However, let’s keep our end results in mind when we reward ourselves. For instance, I can see buying those sneakers that you really need because your current pair are almost in the category of falling apart, but do you really think the extra pair of $300 shoes is necessary. That handbag that you want to buy for $100 is not really a need when you have a dozen perfectly good handbags at home (and that one is hard for me because purses are my weakness). One cup of Starbucks a week is a nice reward but do you actually need to go every day when you have a perfectly good coffee maker at home. Reward in moderation.
So do you see any of these on the list that you can at least start with this week? I think that I can see one specifically that I need to do for myself that I can’t even believe I haven’t done yet. Hopefully you will find some of these helpful and perhaps you can even think of a few that I didn’t include that you can share with me. Let’s start taking our dreams off of the back burner where we tend to forget about them, and placing them on that front burner so they are always at the top of our agenda. We have to take our dreams seriously, because if we don’t know no one else will.
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