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The Power of Stating your Intentions Out loud

May 11, 2011
Amgen Tour 2009© waynepowellphoto.com

Amgen Tour 2009© waynepowellphoto.com

Tomorrow I leave on a 330-mile, 4-day cycling adventure: the NorCal AIDS Cycle. I’m a little impressed with myself. “Athletic” is not a word frequently used to describe me. As a kid, I wasn’t picked last for team sports, but I was never picked first. And until three months ago, I had never cycled more than 10 miles at a stretch. My last training ride was an easy, fun, quick 30 miles. I have good reason to be self-impressed.

Do you have a big financial goal? Something that feels unattainable, that you can’t see yourself ever reaching? Would you like to be self-impressed?

Say it out loud.

When I first uttered that I was considering the ride, it wasn’t a fully formed thought. But I’d said it out loud, first to a friend that serves on the Ride’s Board of Directors, and then to my daughter, and then to a best friend. It snowballed from there. My daughter wanted to do the ride with me, and then her godmother, and then a best friend, and then a client.

Ask for support.

One of my life’s intentions is to be physically fit. That’s not my sole reason for doing this ride; a long-time passion of mine is raising desperately needed funds for HIV/AIDS. But the ride was a goal that I could speak out loud, ask for support from my family, friends and colleagues, and be lovingly held accountable to completing my goal. The first $100 donation I received sealed the deal; there was no going back. Someone gave money in support of me. I was accountable.

Be transparent.

It’s easy to share a goal like the NorCal AIDS Cycle. It’s a great event for a great cause. It’s something to be proud of. And while I’m not shouting out to my friends “I need to lose 20 pounds,” it’s no secret that I do. We have no choice but to be transparent about our weight.

But when it comes to our money, it’s not only easy to keep secrets, it’s encouraged. Even required. Money is a taboo subject; we aren’t supposed to talk about ours, and we certainly aren’t supposed to ask questions of others. But if you want to attain a seemingly unreachable financial goal, find someone supportive and be transparent.

When it comes to financial goals, where do you go to say it out loud, ask for support, be transparent?

  • For a unique and free approach, go online. 43Things.com combines technology with group support. If you’re ready to be transparent, you can update your progress on Facebook. Talk about accountability!
  • The iPhone app Track & Share gets rave reviews and is a highly customizable tool to track your progress. With one click, your progress is updated to Twitter. If you don’t want EVERYONE you know to see your progress, put together an accountability group and a separate Twitter account.
  • In-person and phone-based group support is more challenging to find, but very effective. My experience of watching our clients’ progress is that those working in groups often have more accelerated progress than our one-on-one clients. If you can’t find this type of support in your area, find a group of dedicated and supportive friends, do some research on mastermind groups, and launch your own support group.
  • If you’re ready and able to hire a professional, find someone who is interested in helping you reach both your life’s intentions and your financial goals. Certified financial planners, financial recovery counselors, and certified coaches with financial backgrounds are all good options.

And if one of your life’s intentions is to be physically fit, join the NorCal AIDS Cycle next year on the beautiful 330-mile ride through Northern California’s foothills and Cache Creek Wilderness area.

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Stacey Powell, creating more financial clarity at CreatingAnswers.com, tweeting at @CreatingAnswers and showing off Financial Art at Facebook.
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