"Enjoy the little things in life, because one day, you may look back and realise they were the big things"

financial planning, life

"Enjoy the little things in life, because one day, you may look back and realise they were the big things"

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4 minute read

Time is short, and the clock is ticking. Are you living your life to the full? Don't fall into the "could have, would have, should have" trap.

Life is short. It’s later than you think.

This blog explains why enjoying life to the full and living in the moment are so important. There are so many distractions nowadays and choices that can overwhelm us. The sense of noise has increased significantly.

You need periods of calm in your daily life. Don’t expect other people to offer you these calm and thoughtful periods. Instead, they will be snapped away from you.

A 2017 survey found that 74% of respondents believe that their busy lives are affecting their health and wellbeing and contributing to stress.

Can you remember back to June? Winter was a distant memory. As the weather began to warm, a new summer full of hope and promise began to approach. There was the anticipation of long summer days ahead, stretching out endlessly. The school holidays were about to begin, and if you were lucky, you had some time booked off for travel, rest and rejuvenation; time with family, friends, food, sunshine, space and time to slow down and take a well-earned break.

You blinked; now it’s over. As we roll into Autumn and start to think about turning on the central heating and pulling closed the curtains against the dark evenings, you would be forgiven for questioning where the summer went. It was over almost as soon as it started, or so it seemed. Like summer, we often don't appreciate something until it's gone.

Think back to a time when you've had a two-week holiday — that feeling of just arriving and the fourteen days and nights stretching out ahead of you. In the first week, you’re relaxing and finding your bearings. Plenty of time to do everything, sightseeing, exploring, book a few trips. But they can wait until next week; you’ve got plenty of time.

The next thing you remember, the holiday is over, and you're on the plane home. Where did that second week go?

The thing is, you feel you have so much time.

My wife ribs me about the time we went on a holiday that included scuba diving, a yoga class, a massage and dinner in a unique underwater restaurant. Under the impression that there remained plenty of time, I kept putting off these fun experiences. So, we ended up doing them all on the very last day. Ridiculous, really.

My son is 11, and so we will only likely have seven or eight more family holidays together before he wants to travel with his friends. These summers are precious, and I want to ensure we spend time together and make memories that can last forever. These opportunities will not last forever.

Over the summer, I visited my Dad, who is 79 and lives in Scotland. I usually travel there a couple of times a year. Travelling home after the visit, I could not help but reflect on how many more times we’ll get to spend time together. I know it’s not an infinite number.

There is only a limited amount of time you will be able to spend with your parents. This is also true of your children, grandchildren and dearest friends.

“As you wait for better days, don’t forget to enjoy today, in case the better days have already started.” - Robert Breault

Procrastination is an essential component of the human condition. We put off the non-urgent or even the essential for another day. We think we have time.

What are the things you really want to do? It’s all in your bucket list – new places to go, experiences to enjoy, things to learn; world travel, writing a book, learning to play the piano or learning a new language. You'll do them sometime; not yet, but sometime.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I'm in the second week of the two-week holiday of life. In other words, I’m over the halfway point and time is flying.

So, what’s the solution? Well, a great place to start would be to create a plan that considers your priorities - family, goals, hopes, aspirations. Your financial situation can then be overlaid to adjust your goals.

Your plan can provide wonderful clarity, and a peek into your future ideal life, usually for the first time. A great financial life plan can provide you with your own personal road map with important signposts along the way and, if done well, can be the catalyst you need to finally get started.

But, as Eisenhower famously said, “Plans are useless, planning is indispensable”. Left to your own devices, you keep putting things off, even after creating a plan. Hiring a Financial Planner to coach you, hold you accountable and gently nudge you in the right direction could be the difference between achieving a fulfilled life or not.

Financial life planning is a small but growing sector within mainstream financial advice. Financial life planners are different from most financial advisers in genuinely trying to understand what your ideal future life looks like, rather than solely focussing on your money.

They then use that information and blend financial aspects, savings, investments, pensions and property, to design and create your life plan. A good planner will bring meaning to your money.

You might be sleepwalking through life and could benefit from taking time out to think, plan and (most importantly) act. So, rather like booking a wonderful holiday, you need to start with a plan and get your ideas out of your head and onto paper or your computer. Think short, medium and long term. Consider what an amazing, satisfied, fulfilled, and connected life looks like for you.

What are the activities and experiences you want to have? Which places would you most like to visit? Who do you want to spend time with? Then work with a reputable financial life planner, to help you create a clear vision of your ideal future life and to help you make it happen.

Trust me; you'll be glad you did and so will the people around you that you care about most.

To discuss how to take the first steps towards your ideal future, contact us today to arrange a call with one of our chartered Financial Planners.

Alan Smith, CEO

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