In 2005, The National Science Foundation reported that we have 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. Now that’s a lot of thoughts. Subconsciously and consciously, we’re making decisions all the time. We use a lot of our brainpower in making decisions on a day-to-day basis and this can lead to mental exhaustion.
To protect our mental capacity and energy, so that we can place it in other areas we can help ourselves by getting focused and pre-planning to keep us on track.
We’ve all been there… There’s a course or a class you want to take that will enhance your personal growth or professional skills set and you spend hours oscillating between the pros and cons, whether you have the time or the money, how it will benefit you and considering all the other commitments you already have.
Benefit areas to consider when investing in yourself
Our finances are important, and so is our personal and professional development. When it comes to key components in my life, I try to be aware of my different needs in these two key areas. When it comes to investing in myself, I can break this down into five sub-areas and generally ask myself:
- How will this benefit my emotional state?
- How will this improve my mental/intellectual state?
- How will this enhance my spiritual journey?
- What’s the impact on my physical body or environment?
- How will this improve my financial state?
If the investment in question enhances one or multiple (it’s often multiple) sub-areas in a way that suits my goals and focus, then it makes it to my list.
Getting focused – the important bit
If you spend a few hours once or twice a year identifying (I’m also a fan of the 90-day goal-setting method) your goals and what you need to do to achieve them, then you’ll spend less time in the decision-making process when opportunities arise because you’ve already done the thinking and you’re clear on what you want to achieve.
Investing in yourself
Investing in yourself is important and we should all aim to have a budget for self-development and personal and professional training that we can tap into so that we can grow and reach our goals. You can afford to be spontaneous when you see an offer or a course that resonates with you or the way you choose to live your life because you’ve already done the thinking and have set aside the budget to achieve your goals.
Using your energy wisely
On the flip side, if your focus is unclear when it comes to making decisions about your growth and investing in yourself, you can spend months making a simple decision. Ultimately, this means you’ll struggle to achieve your goals either because you’re unclear on what you want to achieve, you lack focus or because you spent way too much time and energy making a decision (you’ve lost the momentum) when you could have used that energy and time on actually achieving the goal.
Here’s how I make decisions that impact my finances and are also in line with my goals:
- If it’s a topic I’m new to and less than £200, I don’t think twice about it. I know I have the budget for it, so all I need to do is carve out the time.
- If it’s a topic I’ve researched already in my pre-planning, about the way I want to live my life, or it resonates with me and relates to my goals, then I’m happy to pay up to £1000 and I don’t think twice. The caveat is that it has to hit four of my five sub areas because that justifies the spend, as I’ll be able to grow in multiple areas of my life.
- If it’s anything over £1000, I usually give myself 24-48hrs, so I can connect with myself and let my inner guidance make the decision for me. I find that the answer comes to me because my energies are focused on my goals, so I’m usually able to figure out how I can move forward (especially if time is a concern).
The important thing to note is that because I’ve already done the thinking about this and set aside a budget for it, when things come up, I can make decisions and act quickly, which activates my momentum and enthusiasm, so I can direct it where it should be – towards completing the goal.
Instead of spending time daily on decisions related to your goals, allow yourself to focus your efforts at set periods of time, so you can use all that yummy energy to achieve your goals for the woman you aspire to be!
When you’re clear on your goals, your decisions will be focused and in line with them.