A few years back I was sitting in my 2-bedroom apartment unemployed. I was not doing too badly, but I could do a lot better. I was on Section 8 housing, getting food stamps (now called SNAP), and broke. This was shortly after my daughter was born and I had quit my courthouse clerk job. Fortunately her father made sure the child support was on time so I at least had something coming in.
I sat at the table and thought about where I wanted to be in a year, in five years. One thing I knew, I didn’t want to be in the same apartment and living the same life. I could have (and probably did at times) complained bitterly about my circumstances, but I refused to because it wouldn’t help anything anyway.
I was reading the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People at the time. It made a positive impact on my life to the point that I decided to set some goals. I had always been a dreamer but never good at setting goals. That day I decided I would do it. I’d set my goals and begin moving toward them.
My list was a little over half a notebook page full. I wanted to make $25k a year. I wanted a house in the country. I wanted an SUV…..and the list went on and on. I just wasn’t sure how to go about getting the things I wanted, but I didn’t worry about it. I read through my list again then put it on top of my pile of papers. I lost that list for a long time, but when I found it again (while packing to move), I was pleasantly surprised to see most of the things on my list had come true.
A few weeks after I made the list I spoke to a good friend who worked at the largest company in the city. She told me about a position that I could possibly fill. She gave me the details and a few weeks later I had a new job making more money than I had ever imagined making. It would allow me to get a nicer place to live and begin building the life I wanted.
It all started with writing down what I wanted out of life. Writing my goals was equal to making a decision to have a different life. No matter how much I dreamed, it would be worthless if I did not turn it into a goal.
I recommend writing down what you want for your life. It is the first step to getting what you want. If you need help, I highly recommend you get the books The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
and/or Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It. The second book is lighter reading with very good practical examples and stories of other people who used this method.
I hope my story encourages you to take a risk and write down your goals. You have nothing to lose if you do. Look for more about my journey to financial freedom over the next few months.