Have you ever set a New Year’s Resolution only to stop working towards that goal a few weeks into January? It’s a running cliche that people set resolutions to join a gym and then after January never return. Well, the same thing happens with peoples’ financial plans. Whether it be to increase their income, plan their investments, or keep a budget. At first, people set a plan and go at it, however after a few short months the vast majority of people go back to their original behaviors. Change takes practice, and perseverance. You will only succeed in finding financial success over the long term if you can live proper financial principles over the long run. Persistence and Financial Success are intertwined.
Side Hustle Persistence
In the last decade, the barrier to starting a side hustle has decreased significantly. You can drive for Uber, rent your house on Airbnb, do technical writing on a freelance site, or even start a blog in a matter of days. However, as any user of these tools can attest, the preference of your customers is to use established sources. People tend to favor the Airbnb locations that have past reviews. In fact general recommendations are to rent from those with prior good reviews.
Blogs, meanwhile, tend to take months to build their audience, even if you wrote the best content in the world like this blog 😉 Without keeping at it for months, or even years, you will likely not see a return on your investment in audience or money. In the world of freelance writers, those with prior experience command higher pay rates. For uber, there are bonuses for doing so many trips. In every case if you want to see real returns you have to keep at it.
Financial Investment Plan Persistence
The same can be said for a financial investment plan. If you set your investment strategy and hold to it over the long run, studies have shown you will do better then those who adapt their plans to the news or worse to their fears. By setting your asset allocation, your exist strategy, and your goals and sticking to them over the long haul you avoid underperforming their market due to your own actions.
Savings and Budgeting
Budgeting also usually fails as an individual initially cuts the flab but it slowly inflates it’s way back in. You set your savings plans to stop wasting your money on coffee, cable, cigarettes or any of the other things people blow large amount of money on over time. However, after the initial cut back occurs you regress back into the same habits.
Goals, Milestones, and Plans
I’ve spoken about these before but ultimately I’ve found the best way to succeed is to set both long term goals and short term milestones. That way you regularly get that positive feeling of accomplishment while continuing to have something to work towards. If you need something extra you can even celebrate those milestones in some minor way. Just be sure the celebration is not something that will sabotage your progress. Pick a reward in an unrelated area, like baking yourself a special dessert if you achieve a financial milestone. Remember planning how you get there is the only way you will make it to that goal. Measuring your progress towards that goal is the only way you will know when you arrive. If it’s not measured, it probably did not happen. It certainly won’t afford you the positive feeling you need to keep yourself motivated.
Persistence and Financial Success
Ultimately, the only way you will ensure you stay on the road to financial independence is to use these tools and others to say persistent in your pursuit of financial success. I’ve listed a few methods for self motivation here but you may have others. Regardless there is no short cut or trick that will get you there overnight. Even the earliest early retirees still work for at least a decade. The ones that do retire early still have a tight spending plan that they usually need to maintain in perpetuity. Lucky for them, and pretty much all of us on the planet, if we do execute things with persistence most things will eventually come. You’ll make mistakes and adjust, but if you keep at it you will eventually find the right mix for you, resulting in your success.
How do you ensure persistence towards your goals?