The First Three Habits
In 1989, Stephen R. Covey published his groundbreaking self-help book, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People.
Selling over 25 million copies worldwide, the book stresses the importance of obtaining your desired results by focusing on that which produces those results.
His first three habits are centered around moving from dependence to independence.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in mind
Habit 3: First Things First – what is important vs. what is urgent
Not only are these habits effective, but financial and retirement planning is based entirely around these three principles!
Habit 1: Be Proactive
I find that this is often the most difficult step for many folks.
Understandably so! Our daily lives are filled with so much already that many people just don’t have the time to give much thought to their lives 10, 20 or even 30 years down the road.
Being proactive in your financial life means giving serious consideration to your current and future financial situation.
It also means taking the next step to actually do something about it.
Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind
Have you given any thought to what your goals are?
I mean your actual goals, not generalities:
- Would you like to retire and live on a golf course? How much will that cost?
- Would you like to take a tour of Europe on a river boat? How much money will you need?
- Maybe you’d like to put your grandchildren through college? What will tuition cost? How many grandchildren will you have?!
When we start thinking about our goals, we often treat them more like dreams instead of tangible realities.
Retirement income doesn’t just appear when we turn 65, we have to put it in the hands of our future self by saving for it today.
When we treat our retirement goals like dreams, we never get specific, and we don’t make them a priority.
Shouldn’t we start getting specific?
If we begin with the end in mind, we take control of what needs to be done to get us there.
You start with your goals, determine how much you’ll need to achieve them, and work backwards from there.
You need to reverse engineer your future!
Habit 3: First Things First – what is important vs. what is urgent?
Can you remember what was most important to you as a child?
I’ll bet whatever it was, also happened to be the most urgent thing in your life.
Children don’t know the difference between important and urgent because to them, everything they want, they need. And they need it right now.
Funny how as we get older, that doesn’t really seem to change all that much.
Last year, according to the Federal Reserve, total consumer debt in the US reached $4.2 Trillion (with a “T”).
Of that, $1.083 Trillion was for revolving debt (credit cards).
Do you think we’ve learned the difference?
Covey further breaks this habit down into 4 Quadrants:
Quadrant 1: DO
Quadrant 2: PLAN
Quadrant 3: DELEGATE
Quadrant 4: ELIMINATE
I hear folks say all the time that there just isn’t enough money left over to save for retirement.
So, I ask them, “When was the last time you sat down and actually evaluated all the expenses in your life?” (Quadrant 1: DO)
Then we determine what their retirement goals are and reverse engineer to figure out how much money they will need to save to get there. (Quadrant 2: PLAN)
Next, I take that information and compile a financial plan that accounts for their budget, their goals, risk tolerance, and timeline. (Quadrant 3: DELEGATE)
Then we begin taking the necessary steps to trim out expenses that are neither important nor urgent so they can begin implementing their retirement plan. (Quadrant 4: ELIMINATE).
How long does all of this take? The rest of your life.
This isn’t a one and done. This is about adopting a new mindset so that you can become highly effective at achieving what you want.
Covey knew that when he wrote the book. The 25 million copies sold were read by some of the most influential people in the world!
It’s time for you be proactive. Contact me today so we can you put you in control of your financial future.
I will help you along your journey, but you have to take the first step!