No doubt you have heard someone talk about their resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. You have probably read about the SMART goal system and how it’s important to get started. One of my favourite success quotes that gets pulled out a lot is:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
It’s great advice for everyone getting started towards their goals and taking that first step.
Only it’s not enough. Nowhere near enough.
The First Step is Good… But It’s Only The Start
If you are anything like me, that single step isn’t enough. Because that 1000 mile journey is still needing 1000 more miles. Less that first step of course.
That’s the truly hard part. The other 4223999 steps. That’s something you don’t hear about when the 1000 mile quote gets tossed around. All of the other steps that you need to take after that first one.
What we tend to forget is that we are playing the long game. The journey of a 1000 miles is one that never seems to end.
It’s the maintaining yourself in the journey that is important. The end goal is great. Taking that first step towards your destination is important. Many will argue it’s the most important step.
But so are the next 4,223,999 steps.
Keys To Success In the 1000 Miles
It’s the keeping on, keeping on while you are in the muck and the mire that’s important.
I think the reason why so many of us come up short on goals is that we don’t give any thought to the next step and all the steps after that.
I’m finding the longer the journey, the more you need to think about what you are going to do.
Want to save half your income? Great! What happens next December when there’s an unexpected outflow of money (also known as Christmas)? Will you carry on in your journey or quit?
Want to start a side business? Great! What are you going to do to keep pushing on when it gets hard?
The Beginning is Important.
The first step is monumental, and the last step is the vision you should keep in your head as you go along. That guiding vision we have talked about before. Those are two important parts. But those two parts are only brief moments in time.
The Journey Is Most Important
Really the reason for goal failure is that we all focus on the start and the end, with no respect to the journey between. We just go and think we will figure it out. Often we do, more than often we give up somewhere in between. Maybe it’s lack of planning, maybe it’s loss of interest, maybe it’s something else that comes up that we couldn’t possibly imagine.
Rolling with the punches is important as you go along. But knowing how you are going to keep pushing on when things get tough is far more important.
What Does This Have to do With Money?
Everything. Money isn’t a short term game. But most of us play it like it is. We wait for sales on things we don’t need. Focus on saving a 50 cents on groceries, and then buy a $300 warranty that we know we will never use. It’s important to keep in mind that all the steps in the journey have their place.
So before you begin your next journey think through how you will handle the hard steps and weather the ups and downs in your long money journey. Because your money journey isn’t a sprint or a marathon. It’s life trek, and it’s worth some thought.
Why 4,223,999 steps? Here’s the math.
Me with my iphone 6, which is apparently quickly becoming a relic “Siri, how many steps in a mile?”
4224 steps in a mile,
4224 x 1000 miles= 4224000
Less 1 step = 4,223,999
If you have any tips on making through the other 4,223,999 steps I’d love to hear them. How do you keep yourself motivated?