Friday, April 8, 2016

What Is Your Motivation?

Our tax return cleared the bank today and it came time to spend it as we had planned in advance. The 10% going towards tithing was easy and the transfer was scheduled in only a few minutes. But the other 90% was a bit harder to pull the trigger on. The plan was that half would go to paying down the principle on the mortgage and the other half would go to Vanguard, and that part was a little more difficult to pull the trigger on.

Why? Because "parting" with $2,361 is a hard thing to do no matter what it's for, but especially when you don't actually get a tangible item in return for it. I know that I'm not technically parting with it because it simply went from one type of asset (cash) to a different form of asset (stocks and home equity). But, since we are long term investors and still owe over $115k on our mortgage it is no longer a liquid asset that we can use for anything that we decide to. So it feels like we simply took that big chunk of cash and handed it off as soon as it came in and the only benefit we see is in our net worth value.

We actually had a rather lengthy discussion at our home about whether or not we would actually go through with the plan, but in the end we stayed true only because we had the plan clearly outlined and the reasons for doing it clearly defined. Which lead to today's topic:

What is your motivation? What are your goals and dreams? And how are you going to achieve them?

A few weeks ago I took two packs of 100 count sticky notes, gave one to my wife, and asked that we each write out a list of 100 things that we would like to do in our lifetime. So far we are both on about number 40, writing a bucket-list of 100 things is a lot harder than it sounds.

Some of the biggest goals that we have are to payoff our home ASAP so that we can jump start our wealth accumulation and eventually retire early and have the freedom to choose what we want to do with our time here on earth. I feel like this is probably the most significant goal on the list because by accomplishing it we are able to make more of the others a reality. This is the one that opens the door to being able to travel the world or move back near our family.

That's why we have chosen the financial plan that we are on and have tried to focus on paying off our mortgage as fast as we can. That's what excites us right now - to be completely debt free and one step closer to financial freedom. And after taking some time to remember not only what our goals and dreams are, but how we can achieve them the quickest, we were able to gain the mental fortitude needed to pull the trigger and make the transfers.

By having a measurable and specific goal and path for success it is much easier to stay focused on the short term and progress towards the accomplishment that you desire.

I encourage you to take some time and write out all of your goals, both big and small. Keep them somewhere that you can see them. And try to track out a path to accomplish as many of them as you can. Then, if you ever have some extra resources you won't have to waste time and regret on figuring out what to do with those resources at hand.