Will I Ever be Happy with my Finances? Achieving Financial Direction

There are times when I am overwhelmed with emotion at the fact that my spending can get so far off track. Like anyone would, I get frustrated, angry, a little depressed at the future I’m throwing away and ultimately disappointed. It is no easy feat keeping an even keel with so many of life’s distractions and pressures pushing your ship of life off course. Enter my Fashion Cleanse fail and the month of March that has literally come in like a financial lion and will hopefully go out like a lamb if I can stop the monetary bleeding.

It’s my financial future and freedom from debt, why wouldn’t I want to make small sacrifices for the greater financial good? Why shouldn’t I be happy with my finances now? I’m on the right path, I should be happy.

I had the opportunity on Monday to sit down with a friend who is following his dream of becoming a life coach. He knew of the changes in my life, and the struggles I was currently having with career and finances. What interested me most was his first impressions of me, or, “the outside looking in” approach he took; I sat and wondered what on earth was holding me back in life as he told me that I looked like someone who “had it all” and “ had everything going for me”. He found it hard to understand why I was having difficulties finding that special someone and why I wasn’t working in my dream job. Hearing words like confident, enthusiastic, sincere, energetic, and charismatic made me feel as if I was experiencing déjà vu. It wasn’t the first time I’ve had people describe me this way, several friends have listed these as attributes and I encountered similar feedback in an exercise at the Dale Carnegie course I took.

Pointing the Ship in the Right Direction

Ultimately, we all know what we want in life, the greatest thing stopping us from pointing the ship in the right direction is ourselves. We get in our own way constantly, we have all this crap floating around in our head messing with our compass; our fears, our moods sabotage us and we fall prey to our weaknesses. My budgetary weakness is fashion; somehow, the rest of my budget stays in line except for that one area.

So, we tried a word association exercise to figure out if I did know what I wanted, and what I envisioned my life to be. I must admit, it worked rather well. Without hesitation, I was to give an immediate choice between two words given to me. For example: Single or Married, Working for myself or someone else, Living in Canada or abroad and so on. Within minutes, my life was painted out like a Picasso, I knew exactly what I wanted – I just lack the direction or a clear vision.

The mind is a powerful yet tricky thing. We’ve all heard of manifestation or bringing what you want in life to you. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all hokey and Jo Jo the Psychic on you… its rather simple, what you repeat to yourself each day is what your subconscious is going to give you. Positive begets positive, negative begets negative.

I recently found this article and graphic from Pete Cashmore that I believe applies to all areas of life, including finance. The premise: Are you happy? If not change something, change a pattern in your life and do things differently.

career happiness

Huh, I’m Born Again?

Keeping with Pete’s graphic of changing something; another part of the “coaching” exercise was to consider myself “born again”. No, I haven’t taken up a new religion or joined a cult. It’s about embracing life as if nothing has happened, you’re all new again, the past has no impact on today or the future. It was time I got my four-year-old enthusiasm back again, I need it!

The Prescription for Direction

We’re all looking for How-to’s, how do I get there; you’ve told me I need to change something, well, where the hell do I start?

Choose 10 Life Goals to Repeat Each Day, Twice a Day. Simple, right?

I thought so, and it was; I wrote them down quick as a bunny that evening. The tricky part is remembering to re-write them and read them each morning and each evening. Think of it as computer programming for your brain, or if you’re creative like me, web design for your brain. You’re re-designing the space in that grey matter upstairs.

I’ve slacked one day already but just like writing, you have to do a little bit each day until it becomes a habit.

What Were My 10 Goals?

  1. I will achieve financial freedom. Save not spend!
  2. I will own my own home, a small, beautiful house by the ocean.
  3. I will stay healthy by eating healthy meals and exercising every day.
  4. I will live frugally. Frugal means smart conscious spending, not being cheap.
  5. I will have a net worth of $8 million. Go big or go home baby!
  6. I will work for a creative company in fashion and design, to have a job I love doing.
  7. I will find my mate, a man who is fun, confident, handsome, athletic, kind and loving. (I have a few celebrity crushes to help me out with a vision for this one – dream a dream, right?)
  8. I will live by the ocean by 2017.
  9. I will live by positive thought.
  10. I am a successful, confident, professional businesswoman.

If we lack direction or someone (primarily ourselves) to steer our ship of life, it veers off course wildly or spins in circles, repeating the same course over and over again.

One topic I’ve never written about is compromise on this blog, I think it’s time for sacrifice and compromise to get to where I want to be.

I commit to wealth, I commit to saving, and my financial direction has now been set. Off to the stars and beyond!

Are you happy with your finances and financial success? Why or why not?


  1. Hmm.. Goals. I guess I never really set any except wanting to have at least a million by the time I retire, although I am aiming more for 2-3 million.

    Food for thought. I should map out and think more about what I want in life

  2. Love this post and the positivity! Yeah baby! I like the 10 goals, twice daily, I’m going to try that. Program that brain, and it has no choice but to obey 😉

  3. I think that there is a lot to be said for minimalism and focus. And on that thought, I’ve learned from the blog Zen Habits only to work on one habit at a time. Mindfulness meditation will help a lot with a quest for minimalism. Learn to count how many items of clothing you have, how many possessions period. Focus all your power on what really matters.

    • Michelle says:

      I agree, I’ve been trying in vain to minimize my wardrobe which equals get rid of the crap, have quality clothing and make it last. I’m good with my clothes so they usually last. Honestly, even though I love fashion, I can’t stand having too much in my closet, it makes it too difficult to get dressed in the morning!

      I love zen habits! I’ve been reading his blog for about two years now, I’ve tried a few of the habit changes with some success. Another great minimalism blog is The Minimalists

  4. I think a lot of times in life we say we are committed to doing something, but often fall short or fail because we don’t really know the reason why behind our motivation. I think that’s why so many of us fail to reach our goals. The outcome needs to have high stakes…for instance a doctor telling a patient, “if you don’t stop smoking you will be dead within the year.” I’m having that right now with my freelance job…and its like you picture says, if you are not happy, you need to change something. Period. I’ve been upset with what I’m doing for a living, but haven’t been THAT desperate to change it, so it’s kind of my fault. You know? What’s it going to take? Well, we all have to answer that question in our own way. No matter what it pertains to.

  5. Nice post! While I typically advise everyone to set goals that seem just outside of their reach, sometimes that concept backfires when it leads to unnecessary frustration.

    I often look at my long term goals and expectations and wonder if I’m sacrificing happiness today -at an age where happiness is as important as ever- so that I can be happy when I’m older. There is a balance to be had, there. Sometimes it is as simple as looking at all that you have in this world and working harder to be thankful for it, and sometimes there is a need to minimize.

    Good luck!

    • Michelle says:

      Thanks! :) Agreed. Myself especially I need to realize that I have abundance in my life and that I don’t need so many things. I’ve been doing my best to get rid of/sell what I no longer need/use and to question new purchases and/or buy wisely (better quality).

  6. Love your 10 goals! I guess I haven’t really defined my goals that much, I just want to be happy. I’m happy now, I hope to also be happy when I get out of debt and build wealth. Everything else is filler :)

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