April 3 = Call Your Ass Out day

Ramit Sethi · April 3rd, 2006

2006 is already 25% over.

Around mid-February, people start to forget their New Year’s resolutions, or they start rationalizing them away: “Well, I’ll go to the gym next week but I’m so busy this week” blah blah blah.

I’m going to issue 2 challenges today: First, don’t forget. Redouble your efforts on whatever resolutions you made. It’s funny how so often, it’s not the Great Idea that makes champions, but the continued discipline to do the little things. Just do it now.

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The second challenge is a little bit harder. You know how you can go through a whole day just answering emails and not really moving ahead? I think you can extend that to more than just a day. (I know I’ve gone weeks without really getting anything done.) So my second challenge is to ask yourself this: What have you done this year to really move ahead?

  • Have you been working on a project that you’ll look back in 10 years and say, “Wow, I’m glad I started that?”

  • Have you started meeting with people and asking their advice?
  • Have you felt some pain (rejection, time at the library doing research, etc) because you were learning, rather than staying in your comfort zone?
  • Have you written a proposal and sent it out to…whoever?
  • Have you sent even one email about your long-term goals?

The getting-started phase is weird because people read the signals differently. Some people think that starting to sit down and plan something is step #1, which is fine. Others think that getting their first customer is step #1. Whatever the case is, I always use the 10-year mark: Will I look back in 10 years and be satisfied with what I did in the early part of 2006?

I hope so–because it’s already 25% over.

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  1. Al Abut

    Wow, that’s crazy, I just wrote up a blog post to review my new year’s resolutions and explain how your personal finance makeover series fits into it. Literally within minutes of each other. While I was flipping back and forth to your site to check the links, you published a retrospective also!

    I’ve been toying with the idea lately of doing a quarterly review of all of my life goals, not just finance, and basically treating myself as an important “Me, Inc.” entity instead of just “Al the web dude”.

  2. I’m one for setting weekly and monthly goals.
    It prevents exactly this.
    The year being 25% over and not having accomplished anything.
    However, there’s still time, people, to have a glorious and event filled year!

  3. Scott Young

    Good points!

    A ships is safe in the harbour,
    but that’s not what ships are for.

  4. The Dividend Guy

    Thanks for the kick in the a$$. 25% over, already. Time flies when you are making money.

  5. Ben Casnocha

    I agree, in part. But if you always think about what your 10 year elder self will think, you are never living in the present. Living in the future tense sometimes calls for different actions, and sometimes they’re not healthy ones. After all, you may not be around in 10 years to reap benefits or feel satisified!

  6. “But you know that old thing, live fast, die young? Not my way. Live fast, sure, live too bloody fast sometimes, but die young? Die old. That’s the way- not orthodox, I don’t live by “the rules” you know.”
    -David Brent, BBC’s The Office

    This post is a good reminder to all. I know I’ve become more cognizant of personal finance this year and now understand the real reasons many people live paycheck to paycheck. By the way Ramit, post the next step in the financial makeover when you get a chance.

  7. Jerimi / UVTV

    I like this one in particular….best point…ever.

    “Have you felt some pain (rejection, time at the library doing research, etc) because you were learning, rather than staying in your comfort zone? “

  8. does this mean we may actually see you finish the new years finacial make-over piece? Still waiting to read about the mutual funds.

  9. Wilson

    Mmmm.. makeover. Yes. The masses yearn for it! Hehe.

    Great reminder, Ramit. I agree with Kim that setting daily/weekly goals makes everything more streamlined, that way you don’t have chunks.

    Someone recently reminded me that a great way to accomplish any goal is to work backwards from it. This is a trading example (it was on a trading forum), but for example, to hit the $1MM (1 million) mark in say 5 years, you would first break it down to how much you’d need to make a year (1MM/5 = 200k) and then monthly: (200k/12 = 16.67k a month), then weekly: (16.67k/4.5 weeks a month = $3703). So you’d have to consistently make about $3700 a week to achieve the 1MM in 5 years.. now how much trading capital would that take, how you would acquire that capital, what types of trades you would do, risk, etc.

    Anyway, more make-over imo. 😉

  10. How in the world you put everything so nicely? Its easy to understand, sticks around in your head, inspiring and entertaining. Bravo! I like your post. Your post reiterated my belief in some of the steps that i am taking…how will i look back at the choices that i make now – 10 years from now?