Getting Out of My Own Way (Part III)

By Sherwin Nelson Clemons   |   October 2, 2013

I am often my own biggest obstacle to accomplishing my goals.  I have adopted a new mantra lately to challenge myself, “I am getting out of my own way!”

So what does that mean?  As I go through my day, I pay closer attention to when my thinking, behavior, and language do not align with the goals I am working to accomplish.  Sometimes it means creating an opportunity to get in the zone in a job duty I find laborious (e.g., reviewing monthly investment statements).  Other times it means saying “yes” to something I didn’t think I could do (e.g., riding my bike around Stone Mountain).  While still other times it may result in saying “no” to a noble idea or opportunity that doesn’t align with my Life Priorities (e.g., declining to serve on the Board of Directors for a worthy non-profit or spending money previously allocated to savings).

While there are still times when I have butterflies over saying yes to a new challenge or a twinge of regret over declining a new opportunity, I feel more in control over my choices.  Instead of being buffeted by the latest crisis of the day or other people’s priorities, I am working toward my own goals.  This change didn’t happen overnight – just as I challenge my clients to list their Life Priorities and define their goals, I have worked to figure out what I want to accomplish and what resources I can bring to each step along my own journey.

So here’s my challenge to you:  How are you getting in your own way and how it is preventing you from making progress towards your goals?

It’s time for a reality check.  Luckily, we have tools at GV to help with a reality check.  Several such tools involve traditional financial planning; others blend traditional financial planning with Guided Wealth Transformation®.

  • Create a Balance Sheet.  Something as simple as creating a balance sheet that lists your assets (what you own) and liabilities (what you owe) can be eye-opening.  As someone who helps people create accurate and complete balance sheets, I am happy to report that the results often prove more reassuring than terrifying.
  • Evaluate your spending.  (Some refer to this financial step as creating a budget, but I believe the word budget puts a negative spin on the positive action of deliberate spending.)  Understanding where your money goes can help you assess whether you are spending your resources on your Life Priorities and whether you are on-track towards your long-term financial goals.  Of course, you cannot answer that question unless and until you have taken steps to identify your Life Priorities, something our Guided Wealth Transformation® tools may be able to help you do.
  • Create accountability.  Next, work on developing an honest relationship, or a few, in which you can develop mutual accountability.
  • Support Yourself.  Finally, be compassionate and loving to yourself.  Putting yourself down, injecting self-doubt instead of confidence, and using victim language will hold you back.   Speak to yourself as if you are speaking with a best friend.
Sherwin Nelson Clemons

About the Author

Sherwin Nelson Clemons is the VP of Advisory Services and a Senior Financial Advisor at JOYN. Known for her calm spirit in tense or emotional financial situations, Sherwin enjoys making complex planning ideas simple and relevant to her clients. She is a Certified Financial Planner® and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®.

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