Let’s make Q3 amazing!
I think Q3 is the one of the most exciting times of the year, because on one hand you’re thinking about how quickly time flies; we can barely remember the snow and how cold and miserable it was, and now we’re thinking how nice it would be if it was sunny like it has been lately all year round!
And on the other hand, you still have time on your side: there are six months left of the year, plenty of time to do something about achieving your goals. Here are my thoughts on approaching Q3 and setting yourself up for success.
When it comes to this quarter, the first thing it we have to do is look at our compelling vision and our goals – what are we heading towards? What’s our outcome, what are we looking to achieve? And then we look at where we are today. What have we achieved since 1 January this year?
If you haven’t achieved anything so far, don’t beat yourself up. You didn’t learn to walk in a day, it took time, but your parents stuck with you and now you can run. It’s the same with taking control of your money: if this is new to you, be kind to yourself. Think differently. Tell yourself:
“I haven’t succeeded – YET. Where do I want to be at the end of the year, where am I now, what needs to happen now over the next six months for me to move towards my goals, to be more successful?”
Put your trust in systems
It’s my belief that willpower alone doesn’t work in the long-term. If you’re only willing yourself to follow new strategies and make changes, the probability is you will fail in the long-term. Willpower is kind of like a bath; you get in and it’s nice and hot, but then you get used to the temperature and it’s less exciting.
The keys, then, are strategies and routine. As much as it sounds boring, it’s strategies and systems that help us succeed long-term. That’s what The Money Plan is, a series of five steps to take you from where you are now to where you want to be.
Running behind? Don’t try to play catch-up
I always think you should set a goal from where you are today. If for example your goal was to lose 52 pounds in 2018, and halfway through the year you haven’t started yet, don’t try to lose 52 pounds over six months! Instead, think about aiming for 26 pounds this year and the other 26 pounds next year. That’s OK. Life is a journey, it’s about incremental changes.
Don’t set yourself up for failure, set yourself up for success. If you try to do too much in too short a timeframe, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
So if you’re completely off track, reassess your goals and ask yourself: what needs to happen before the end of the year in order for me to feel proud, fulfilled, excited about where I am?
Look at the outcomes you’re trying to achieve by the end of the year. Step 1 of The Money Plan is to complete your compelling vision. If you haven’t yet done this and set your goals, but you meant to in Q1 or Q2, just set yourself one task in Q3: write down your compelling vision and goals. Focus is incredibly powerful, so just having one thing to do can be a revelation.
And achieving that one goal sets you up for success for the rest of the year.
Making time in the busy summer period
It’s not easy balancing new systems with the busy summer holidays. My tips:
Every day, write in a journal. Focus your mind. Routines, systems and strategies are going to get you into a habit. It’s habits that make us and habits that break us. You can get into a good habit of getting up in the morning and thinking about three things you’re going to achieve today, and three things you did well yesterday – congratulate yourself, even if they’re minor things – and finally, three things you’re grateful for in your life.
After that, do something that’s going to free your mind. I love journaling, just writing my thoughts. I’m also a big, big fan of meditation, I think it’s one of the more powerful things you can do. It frees your mind and relaxes you, allows things to flow more in your life.
In our electronic age of phones – I’m the worst culprit, always messaging and emailing, it’s my lifeline and all my organisation is on my phone – you need time away from the constant notifications and messages. It’s like going to the gym; you train intensely and then you need time away to relax.
So how do I do this in busy times? Routine, systems. I wake up around 45 minutes to an hour before the rest of my family and I use that time to journal: actions, reviews, gratitude and free-writing what I’m going to do.
It all starts with a little organisation. Go and download your compelling worksheet and keep coming back to it.
Q3 essentials if you’re on track
If you’ve had a great start to the year when it comes to getting financially organised and you’re successfully following your plan and goals, then make you’re your three essential foundations are in place:
- Emergency cash: if you’ve got debt then save £1,000; if you’re debt-free, aim for three to 12 months of expenditure. Just focus on making progress.
- Make a will: the nice thing about making a will is you delegate most of what needs to be done. Download the form here, complete it and go and see a solicitor or send it to me, and you’ll have your will sorted out.
- Power of Attorney: as above, simply download the form here and fill it in.
Those are fairly simple tasks, and at the end of this next 90 days you could be sat there having made real achievements: you could say to yourself, ‘I’ve got my emergency cash saved, I’ve made a will and sorted out a power of attorney’. That would be pretty amazing wouldn’t it?
Q3 essentials if you’re even further ahead than that!
If you’ve got your foundations sorted out and your goals are set, then now is the time to focus on paying down debt. Find creative ways of earning more money, set yourself a goal on how much you can pay down over and above what’s already in your plan, think about what you could do to make that happen.
Extra income could come from a second job or selling things online…and it’s a great time to declutter your house. The idea of selling things goes well with summer, pick out some bits you don’t use or wear anymore and get them listed online.
Similarly, there are so many bloggers who talk about how they go out and find cheap things, do them up and sell them for a profit on eBay or Facebook. For me and my family, we always keep the box for the things we buy, so that when it’s time to sell you can get a bit more of a premium. Whatever it is, just start decluttering and you’ll find things to sell.
If you don’t have debt, then start thinking about investing. Check out Lexo.co.uk and the available portfolios. Start researching investing and getting excited about them. You can start your investing research here.
Q3 is an amazing time wherever you are on your Money Plan journey. Review your goals, make sure you’re on track, and if you’re not, reset the goalposts so you can be successful over the remainder of 2018.