One Hour To Change
Rob Wrubel CFP®, AIF®
Do remember those days when you sat in the back of your family’s car on a long drive? Or were stuck in a class on a warm spring day and somehow could not concentrate on the work in front of you? What did you do? You dreamed. You day-dreamed and thought about your ideal life. At least that is what I did.
We do not do that so much as adults. We rush from work to supermarket to home to bed. Often, we enjoy each of those moments and appreciate them. Sometimes we are just rushing. In either case, we are not spending that time with our eyes closed thinking about the best of all possible worlds and all the things we wish to do in life.
The first building block in creating a plan for you and your family member with special needs is to dream. These thoughts are the keys to building the life you want and important to taking steps to get out of debt, put a special needs trust in place and save for the future.
You will need to carve out one hour to get started. An hour. Think about how much time passes each week that you cannot remember what you did. This hour can come from getting up early one day, taking your lunch break in a private place where you can think or shutting down the TV early.
Next, you need to determine where you will spend your hour dreaming and jotting down your notes. You will need something to write in – any notepad will do.
You need to make a date with yourself to dream and you need to prepare to be ready to record those thoughts.
Here is a simple checklist to get you ready.
1. Decide on a time within the next week to give yourself one hour of dream time. Choose an exact time of day and date.
2. Determine the best location for you. I like to be outside to get my mind working on new ideas and big ideas.
3. Find a small notebook or something to use for notes to write down your dream goals.
The first three steps can be simple. One hour. A place to think. A notebook and pen.
So get ready to close your eyes and dream.
It is estimated that we think tens of thousands of thoughts each day as we walk around, work, drive, cook, run and live our lives. The thoughts are fleeting – “that car is a little too close behind me,” “Should I have Italian or Greek dressing,” “Maybe not a salad at all – that hamburger looks good!” and so on. The stream of consciousness continues all the day long bouncing from the mundane to the serious and back again quicker than you can snap your fingers.
The thoughts, whims and imaginations of the mind have unbelievable power if directed, focused and harnessed into the right kinds of actions. Steve Jobs used his vision to create the iPhone, iPad and iTunes world. Jack Canfield put his to work to sell hundreds of millions of books around the world offering a little Chicken Soup for the Soul. The Wright Brothers work initiated the age of flying.
This is about making small commitments to you. Those small commitments will add up and add up to having a bigger plan in place. For now, focus only on the steps in this chapter and do them in order.
Write down the best day of the week
for you to carve out one hour: ____________________
Write down best time of day:_____________________
Write down the location: ________________________
Seems easy enough, doesn’t it? You had to write down three simple commitments, a day of the week, a time of day and a location.
I worked with a coach many years ago who focused his clients on having a daily routine or ritual. He talked me through a similar simple exercise to the one above – find a place, a time and do it every day. This was the start and I continue to follow this routine on a regular basis (sorry Jim I do not do it every day). The routine for me gives me time to relax, think through big issues and focus on the important, meaningful and desired outcomes I want in my life.
Take another second and review your three choices – day of week, time of day and location.
You have taken the single most important step in changing your financial life.
The most common reaction to people I meet with in my office is that of relief. At first, this surprised me. One hour of meeting with people does not make a lasting and permanent change. The one hour meeting sketches out the goals and helps families understand that there are resources available and that they can build the life they desire. The relief felt by these people comes from taking the first step towards putting plans in place to protect their special needs family member and creating financial stability in their lives.
Most likely you have a small sense of that in making this first decision. Changing your financial life starts with simple steps. Call me to help you plan for the future for yourself and for your family member with a disability.
Rob Wrubel CFP®, AIF®, is a Senior Vice President – Investments with Cascade Investment Group, member FINRA & SIPC. Rob is also a father of a daughter with Down syndrome. Cascade Investment Group is not a tax or legal advisor. You should always consult with your tax advisor or attorney before taking any actions that may have tax consequences.719-632-0818
Rob is working on his book “Blueprints – Financial Planning For Families With A Special Needs Member” that he expects will be available this fall.