Your Money Coach
Cherryl Hanson Simpson
Making An Action Plan “I have all these great ideas on how to make some money to help pay off my student loan and credit card debt faster. However, they have remained just that- ideas. I can’t seem to get them out of my head and into reality. Can you help me to make my ideas into an action plan?” When it comes to our finances, many us are so busy creating ideas on how to get ahead in life that we never actually get around to doing something about these ideas. Even if you have big dreams for success, if there is no action plan, the end result will be unrealized goals and frustration. Here is an example of what happens when ideas are not followed by action: I have a client who I‟ll refer to as Althea, who is in a very serious financial crunch. She owes over one million dollars in unsecured loans and credit card debt and has changed jobs frequently. Although being depressed about her situation, she is very upbeat with her ideas. She has come up with many creative moneymaking concepts that are all viable. However, Althea‟s problem is that she hasn‟t done any of the action steps that we have agreed on that will help her to see her ideas to fruition. A typical conversation with her goes like this; Advisor: “Have you completed your budget yet?” Althea: “I started, but I didn‟t get to finish it. However, I have another great idea of how we could really make a lot of money - this one can‟t lose!”
As Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” It‟s essential to have big ideas, as nothing ever got created without them. But as Edison discovered when he finally made the electric light bulb work after hundreds of attempts, real results only come with effort and determined action.
Whether you intend to save towards your own home, get out of debt, send your children to college, or retire in comfort, you must create and carry out an action plan in order to achieve your goals. Here is a four-step guide to help you move from ideas into action: P - Purpose Personal achievement guru, Brian Tracy, says that the three keys to high achievement are “Clarity, Clarity, Clarity.” He confirms that your success in life will be largely determined by how clear you are about what you really want. Similarly, your first step to making an action plan is to be very clear about what it is you‟re trying to accomplish and why it‟s important to you.
you are now to where you want to be. For example, if you are now a secretary, but you hate administrative work and would love to become a social worker, what changes would you have to make in order to attain your goal? Do you need further education? Can you save up to pay for this training or do your need a student loan? Can you volunteer at an organization that will help you to network with people who can help you? A - Advice In the same way that a sick person needs to seek a doctor‟s advice, you must look to expert advisors to steer you in the right financial direction. Many people with big ideas can‟t move forward because they don‟t have the right knowledge. There are financial professionals that can guide you about home ownership, debt reduction, retirement planning, or business start-up. Look for books or seminars that can give you tips on achieving your particular goal. The right advice will remove the confusion and uncertainty that usually prevents action. N - Non-Stop Attitude
Sometimes the reason why we‟re not moved to act on our ideas is that we don‟t have enough motivation to start moving. If you have been wishing for your own house but haven‟t started to save for it, focus intently on the dream. Think of living without a landlord. Watch home improvement television shows, and buy decorating magazines. Imagine your net worth growing as the value of your home increases. See the end result clearly in your mind and you‟ll be more compelled to act. L - Logistics This is where you design the blueprint to achieve your dreams. You have to logically work out all the steps you need to take in order to move from where
To make your action plan effective, you must develop a „non-stop‟ attitude just like a champion marathon runner. This means that you will permit no distractions or disturbances to prematurely end your „flight„. Even if there are delays or route changes because of turbulence in your environment, you must resolve from the beginning that you will not stop „flying‟ until you arrive at your destination. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” - Jim Ryun Copyright ©Cherryl Hanson Simpson Cherryl is a financial consultant and coach, and the founder of Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services, Jamaica’s number one source for practical, down-to-earth and independent answers for all questions relating to personal finance. Cherryl is currently writing her first book, The 3 Ms of Money.