A couple of years back, I organised an endurance road cycling event to raise money for Movember. It was based around this concept that we kooky Lycra-wearing cyclists call Everesting. A cyclist rides up and down a hill until they reach the height of Mt. Everest in accumulated vertical metres. That’s 8,848 vertical metres. I went on to complete 10,020 metres.
While pondering how the hell to complete the ride and not get a ride home in an ambulance, I knew I needed to lose weight and get wickedly fit. I understood the fit part – just do a shitload of similar riding for months and the adrenalin and encouragement will take care of the rest of the day.
What was freaking me out was the weight loss. Partly because I only had to lose 7kg, which sounds odd but it was roughly 8% of my body weight at the time and I’m not overweight to begin with. PLUS, I love food and beer, usually at the same time. The weight loss was the challenge and I needed a plan.
The plan I made was more like a science experiment and started with untold hours of reading about weight loss for endurance athletes. I bought scales which I have never owned before. I kept a food diary and logged everything. EVERYTHING. I did the maths. I counted calories in AND out.
I also learned just how much bullshit comes out of peoples mouths when they talk about weightloss. Very much like when most people talk about wealth. Like this bullshit: owning an investment property that makes a loss each year is a good investment because you cover the loss with a tax refund.
Four weeks into the training plan and I was beginning to question my calculations. The love handles were hanging on – small, but handles they were.
The thing was, so much study and time had gone into the planning there was nothing I could do but stick to the plan. There was nothing I didn’t know. There was nothing I wasn’t doing. So, after a little sulking, I just stuck to the plan.
Sure enough, a week or so later, the weight started to fall off. I mean, it literally started falling right off me. I continued as planned for another month and by the time I was at the starting line I weighed in at 73kg. I was mad lean.
My sister thought I was sick and called Mum. Mum called me and did what mums do. The crew and I were all fit and light and we smashed it, totally crushed it, raising more than $25,000 for the cause.
What struck me about the preparation was the detail the other boys had gone to. One of them was an airline pilot, one a web developer, one a teacher, and one a mechanic. These guys had gone right down to the most minute detail in Excel spreadsheets which made my handwritten scribbles look amateurish.
My point here is simple: anyone can make a plan and commit to it. Even a handwritten, but detailed plan will get you the result.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”…
– Some dude much smarter than me.
When it comes to borrowing and managing your money this statement is as relevant as it could ever be. Show me someone who has bought a business without a plan and I’ll show you a failure.
Clearly setting out your financial goals in line with your life goals is the key here. Give your plans the respect they deserve and allow adequate time to develop them in detail. Get yourself a sexy, shiny, silver covered book if that makes you more excited about writing things down. The more detail, the more specific they are, the better.
It’s not enough to say ‘I want to pay my mortgage off in 20 years and leave it at that. You must do the maths, add, subtract, divide, multiply and arrive at something in writing that reads like ‘we are going to make a loan repayment of $2,500 per fortnight and will increase our repayments in line with interest rates so we repay the loan in 20 years.
To achieve this, we will……’ And on you go. Down to the nitty gritty, down to the unforeseen circumstance. Down to the what if’s and especially, you need to articulate the WHY. Why do you want to live a mortgage-free life?
You must know that every single millionaire, except trust fund babies, has made firm, clear, concise plans and stuck to them until the goal is reached. Without fail.
I believe in what I’m writing so much because I’ve done it several times and been blown away by the results.
Setting goals, planning and sticking to them will lead to success. It’s an immutable law. It’s actually impossible not to succeed or get very close to your goals IF you make the right plan, write it down and follow through.
There’s a massive difference in outcome when you think of a vague mental idea, versus a written plan to keep it out there in front of you. So, get yourself a whiteboard and shove it in your pantry or start scribbling on the fridge door.
If you need real actionable advice or a deep dive into your financial structure, the best place to start is by booking a call with me here…
Now, go make that plan and get results,