If you truly want to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself, a “success mindset” is more important than any other tool you’ll need to reach those goals. As my family and I work toward our goal of being debt free, I’ve made a job out of observing those who fail and those who succeed at the financial or other goals they’ve set. And I’ve noticed one glaringly obvious difference between the attitudes of those who succeed at their goals, and those who give up. Those who succeed at their goals have what I like to call the Success Mindset. What is a “success mindset”? Let me give you an example:
The Success Mindset
The other night, my husband and I and our four kids went out to eat to celebrate a close relative’s birthday. Now, going out to eat is not something we do often. For a family of six at a sit-down type restaurant, we can expect to spend between $60-$80 after dinner, pop to drink and tax and tip. Since financial freedom is more important to us right now than eating out, we simply don’t eat out, but we made an exception – one we feel is well worth it – in order to join this loved one in celebrating her birthday.
However, we did some things before the night out arrived. Things like:
– checking the online menu for prices, so that we had an idea of what the price range of the restaurant was and what we could expect to spend for the evening.
– budgeting and saving in advance for the expenditure
– searching online for money-saving coupons
Eventually, we found that we could get a coupon for $5 off of two entrees simply for signing up for this particular restaurant’s e-club. Two minutes later, we had that $5 off coupon printed out and in my purse, ready for the big night.
The afternoon of the gathering, I was talking to another person who was going to be joining us for our dinner out. I excitedly shared the news about the $5 coupon, so that they could join and save as well.
“Nah.” was the response. “We rarely go there – not worth my time.” Now, this is not necessarily a criticism, but more of an observation. This particular person who blew off the $5 coupon is always broke, despite a decent income. Why? Because they have the “it’s only……” mindset. You know the one: the “It’s only $5, $10, $20 or $100 mindset.
Unfortunately, no matter if it comes to spending or saving, the “It’s Only” mindset is a major enemy to the Success Mindset. It’s that “it’s only” attitude that will keep you from losing weight, from being rich, and from every other goal you want to reach.
When we became serious about our journey to get out of debt starting in January of 2013, we went back and reviewed some of our 2012 expenses, and found that the “It’s Only” mindset was costing us nearly $1,000 every month in inflated grocery costs, gasoline costs, energy costs and entertainment costs. We thought that we’d done well in 2012 because we were hitting fast food joints instead of sit down restaurants, and we probably did spend less in 2012 than we had in previous years. However, we still had the “It’s Only” mindset, and that mindset is the polar opposite of the Success Mindset.
The Success Mindset says that every little bit adds up and every little bit counts. Whether it’s saving money and choosing to spend less, saving calories by choosing to eat less, or whatever, having the Success Mindset and accepting the fact that the little strides toward (or away from) your goals are just as vital as the big strides will make all the difference in the world as to when – and if – you reach your goals.
What qualities and attitudes do you think are vital to success?
Image via Celestine Chua