What are your big ambitions in life? Do you have strategies in place to make them happen? The Blueprints process helps families with a special needs member improve their financial and legal lives so that they can create the best life possible for themselves and their loved one with a developmental or intellectual disability.
The first two Building Blocks of the Blueprints planning process have you write down your dreams and goals and prioritize them. Through these Building Blocks, we recommend you find strategies to keep these goals present and alive in your daily life.
There are a few strategies that I have used that worked well for me.
- Note cards. This is a simple strategy. Write down your most important goal on a notecard and review this card every day. Ideally, you look at the card as soon as you wake up, before you fill your head with all the tasks and mental efforts of the day. Take a moment to imagine how good your life will be as you achieve your goals, before you get going each day.
- Images. There are several techniques using images to keep you on track towards your most important life goals. Some people cut print pictures of places they want to travel, jobs they’d like to have or things they’d like to own and put them on their refrigerator. This way, you see and feel your goals every day (and if you’re like me you stop at your refrigerator countless times). Some people put together vision boards and hang these in their offices, closets or over bureaus – again to see and feel their goals during the day.
- Cell phones. I use my “notes” app on my cell phone for my to-do list and to have a place where I can capture thoughts during the week. The first item on my main note is a goal that I see every time I open the app.
These strategies become important as opportunities come up to act on our goals and to find time to make then happen.
Some people I talk to have a goal of getting out of debt. During the day, there are plenty of chances to spend money – like buying coffee with coworkers, eating lunches out or using Amazon Prime for just about everything else. But these spending choices conflict with the goal of paying down debt. The more a person remembers how good it will feel to be out of debt, the less likely they are to spend money on extras.
Others seek to improve their careers so that they can earn more for their families and increase job satisfaction. Career changes require a series of steps to work and may include speaking with new employers, updating a resume, going back to school or developing new skill sets. The time could take months or years. Again, it helps to have those goals present through the process so your motivation stays strong.
Don’t let your dreams and ambitions get lost in your everyday life. Find time to work on these goals during the day. And find ways to keep them alive and present as you reach for your goals.
Rob Wrubel CFP®, AIF®, is a Senior Vice President – Investments with Cascade Investment Group, Inc. member FINRA & SIPC. Rob is also a father of a daughter with Down syndrome. Cascade Investment Group, Inc. 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. Call Rob at 719-632-0818 to schedule an appointment