Consider filing your taxes. Here the deadline is real. You face penalties if you're late. There's media attention. You know what you have to do, even if you'd rather not. Help is available whether you want to Do-It-Yourself or pay someone do it for you.
Silent DeadlinesMost deadlines aren't well known. You may not face an immediate penalty for missing them. The onus is on you to be proactive.
Think of farming. You can't plant crops five minutes before dinner. Even pizza delivery takes longer. Since you know you must eat, you know you need to prepare in advance.
Think of saving for retirement. The magic of compound interest takes time. Delaying is very expensive. Since no one is forcing you to save, it's easy to delay, save less or both. The pain comes later. You might not be able to save if become disabled and are unable to work. Or if you don't take steps to remain employable.
Think of health. Our bodies are accommodating ... until they're not. We can't go back in time to exercise more, eat better or drink less.
Health insurance and life insurance purchases have silent deadlines. When you are likely to claim, coverage may not be affordable or available.
The Easy SolutionThere isn't one. The important but non-urgent things are easy to delay when the unimportant but urgent beckon.
A Bucket List is a place to itemize what you want to do before you die and then start doing them. The list often contains exciting goals like travel.
Balk-it ListA Balk-it List is different. Here you jot down the things you don't want to do but need to do someday.
Here’s how. Set a timer for 15 minutes and start writing. Feel free to continue if the ideas are still poring out of you. Pen and a small paper notebook work well. You can add more items later simply and quickly. You may prefer your smartphone or tablet.
Next, organize your list by priority and timeframe. Electronic tools might help here (e.g., Remember The Milk or Toodledo). Finally, work on reducing your list. This is a situation where the Pick Four 12-week goals program may be just what you need.
Stop BalkingWe don't know when our last minute will expire or our state at that time. We know where we are now. Are you where you want to be?
- Is the Pick Four goals program right for you?
- Steve Jobs "buttoned-up". Have you?
- Two ways to stay visible (and employable)
- Three practical ways to increase your net worth
- Are you saving too much for retirement?
- The Process System for planning simply
- Why is financial planning ignored?
- Planning beyond the wedding
- image courtesy of Shaun Ellithorpe (Thunder Bay, Ontario)
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PS You could add your Balk-it List to your Bucket List