When you start being intentional about your spending and money goals, you may find yourself driven toward the goals in the most direct and efficient ways possible. I tend to be that way. I want to take the shortest path toward the goal, almost regardless of difficulty. In fact, the difficulty gives that path the allure of a worthy challenge. This method may work well for some of us. Especially those that are taking on this adventure alone.
Many of us have people we love and care about deeply along this journey with us. A spouse, children, or just very close family and friends. At times they can provide input and suggest spending money in ways that seem like impediments to our progress toward our money goals. Like rocks suddenly dropped onto the path forward making it even more difficult.
A request to spend time together at dinner out at a restaurant.
Family vacation(s) get planned with you expected to join.
Birthdays and anniversaries continue to be on the same days each year.
I know I've had to change my thinking on these things lately. When these requests come up, they are not done to impede forward progress toward a goal. Instead, they are asking to be present with me and my family. Is this not one of the reasons we make the effort to track and be intentional about our spending? To put our money toward the truly important things?
If that answer is 'yes' for you, then I challenge you to act toward these requests like a river reacts to new rocks or boulders suddenly in it's path. The river doesn't charge through the obstacles. It does not roar and foam at the sudden increase in difficulty in tracing it's path.
No, the river accepts the new realities and flows around them, accepting them as simply there, without malice or frustration. After a time, the new obstacles become a part of the river, shaping the new path and changing it into something different, and possibly better. Water rafting wouldn't be as much fun at all without the obstacles that make the rapids in the first place! All the while, the river still reaches it's destination.
This week, as summer continues and new plans are made, I challenge you to accept them as the river does. Focus less on the "impediment" itself, and more on the new path you can chart around it to incorporate it, if necessary, into your path forward. I know I will be taking this more to heart myself going forward. I will act less like a charging rhinoceros toward a stubborn goal. Instead, I shall flow around the obstacles, and be at peace with changing destinations.
May each and every one of you have a blessed week!