Let’s get to work

GOFAONE NINA TLADI

The past three weeks have been a maze of empty tanks, counting coins and waiting with baited breath for that sms notification and now it’s finally payday.
As I type from my coffee spot with my nails shiny from the fresh gel overlay, I can almost sense the complacency settle back. Like the new resolutions we set, the enthusiasm dwindles and the blazing fire we had just a few weeks ago slowly becomes a small spark. The gym enthusiast slowly becomes vexed by the traffic and skips the spinning class just this once and promises themself that they will go tomorrow. Tomorrow, they promise themselves, will be different, they will go in hard.
This way of thinking doesn’t yield real results because we are always playing catch up and never surpassing that to actual accomplishment. This is how most of us think, that we need to be extraordinary. Extremism is the path to success, surely? Unfortunately, going in hard requires so much from us. It is overwhelming and for the most part, short lived. I decided this was just not working for me. If it does for you, please keep at it . For those who are struggling, and overwhelmed, I submit to you a different strategy to accomplish all you set out to do.
Consistency is synonymous with stability, slow and steadily changing and practising new behaviours. Commitment is dedication, or simply, your why. Why do you want to lose weight or be better with your money? Consistency will build up your stamina but your commitment is what gets you up every morning to go to gym, even on the winter mornings. Being committed gets you back on track when you hit snags or face discouragement.
Jessica Slaughter, is an 86 year old woman who decided to lose weight, she went vegan and walks in her one bedroom apartment everyday, she lost over 50kg over a period of time. This lady lost a lot of weight by walking in her house! I think being vegan played a greater role in the weight loss but you get my point. Every excuse you fix your lips to say is null and void after an 86 year old granny made such great changes in her life. “I was big all my life, even as a little girl, I loved to eat. It was hard being overweight, it was hard getting healthy, but I chose the pain of being healthy,” revealed Jessica. You may have been horrible at handling money all of your life, but being broke is hard and being financially stable is even harder, so you have to make a choice. I hope you choose the latter.
You don’t have to be a hero, you just have to be what most people aren’t, consistent and committed.
This is my daily affirmation, I say it to encourage myself and you every week. The small things that we do well over a long period of time that has the greatest impact on our lives. It seems too simple though right, doing something small everyday over a period of time and have it change your life? It challenges all sensibilities. People who have their finances in order, surely have a huge secret that us laymen don’t have access to.
Before I saw this simple truth transform my life, I rejected this belief and would turn up my nose at anyone who dared to advise me, especially those who did not at least have an advanced education and “looked the part.” There is a difference between being smart and being wise. I had to eat humble pie when someone whom I thought would give me the secret to the pot of gold simply broke down financial planning to living within your means, saving consistently and not owing people money! I thought to myself, “ There has to be more, some investment club that invests in secret stock, a huge infusion of cash from a rich uncle in the UK, a million pula or more annual salary, something!” Those three simple tips were in fact the entire lesson.
As we enter the Month of love, self love is my theme. Instead of flowers, chocolates, colognes let’s ask for a copy of personal finance books. I highly recommend The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J Stanley. While we have our romantic dates, let’s discuss our finances with those we love. Self-love is not buying yourself a ton of crap you don’t need. January has been difficult for most and I have done my best to be as encouraging as possible, but it is time to work.
Is it hard? Yes! Will you feel like quitting? Yes, but is it worth it, most definitely! Self-love is getting help, paying off debt, building savings, budgeting and most importantly not being a slave to the saying “batho ba taa reng.”
So put on your proverbial trainers and let’s get to work.
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