Have you discovered the beauty of the “Reminders” feature of your iPhone? It is a wonderfully helpful tool as it has helped me remember to complete many tasks that I would have completely forgotten otherwise. This “reminders” feature allows something that has escaped my mind to be brought back into clear and immediate focus.
Perhaps we should do this for the bigger aspects of our life!
Do you understand how important it is to keep the end result in mind? It is a helpful and healthy exercise to regularly think about the reasons for your activity. This is because those reasons can easily slip your mind thus creating the need for reminders.
Keeping the end in mind allows you to sustain the mundane, humdrum, boring, drip-drop activities that individually mean little but collectively add up to a lot!
A practical example in my own life
Over 18 years ago, my bride and I welcomed a baby girl into our life. As she gave her first few cries of life, it was a notification that she was probably going to college! An 18 year notice that went by so quickly, it is hardly believable.
I had graduated from college with a mountain of student loan debt and credit card balances. My new bride had student loan debt. It was our desire that our child(ren) wouldn’t have to start out life with a pile of debt. With this commitment, we had an “End Result in Mind” – To help our child(ren) graduate debt-free.
Then we took action by establishing a 529 college savings plan for her and set up an automatic monthly contribution of $100 per month.
And then we went through the humdrum, the mundane, the month-after-month steps of contributing $100 per month. Then we paid off our non-house debt.
Keeping the “End Result in Mind”, we increased our contribution to $200 per month.
And started another trot down the boring, monotonous, plodding activities of life. Month after month after month after month …
The stock market collapsed in 2008, but we kept the “End Result in Mind” and continued the journey. Month after month after month after month after month. Facing down one financial challenge after another, we kept the “End Result in Mind” and continued to contribute. We went through financial challenges too numerous to list them all, but here are a few. IVF. Broken downstairs heat pump. Broken upstairs heat pump. Dead hot water heater. New roof. Multiple surgeries (and accompanying insurance deductibles).
Yet, we never lost sight of the goal. Honestly, at times it felt like college was something mythical and too far into the future to be worrying about, but our feelings lie to us. In spite of the challenges, we never missed a single month of contributing to the college fund.
THEN IT BECOME A REALITY!
I found myself carrying a futon into my daughter’s college dorm room as she begins her freshman year. It was all done with a smile because persistence has allowed it all to be done without the incurring of debt. None. Zero.
If you are the parent of youngsters, I encourage you to define your “End Result” you need to keep in mind, and then take action by contributing to a 529 college savings plan!
Never underestimate the power and importance of keeping the end in mind.
One last note: Retirement today kind of feels like college expenses seemed like 18 years ago …