Monday Sparkles: Your Priorities Aren’t What You Think

Sunny hillside, wild money, wild spirit

It’s clear that we aren’t always free to choose our priorities exactly how we want them. If we could, every loved-up couple would spend all their time together and hardly anyone would turn up to work anymore. However, we do have control over our lives and therefore it’s worth it to take a look at our actions versus our intentions.

In the following, I’m going to help you gain clarity about your own, deepest priorities in life. If it turns out they aren’t aligned with your life situation, I’m also going to suggest steps to take towards balancing priorities with the demands of life.

Let’s dive in.

Sign up to receive the full Monday Sparkles with exclusive offers, free gifts, and insider news:

What really matters to you?

Open a new text document, or if you prefer, take out pen and paper. I would like you to take five minutes to write down your priorities. Be sure not to write what you think is expected of you (family, kids and so forth feature on most people’s lists, but please don’t put down anything just because you feel it’s “the right thing” to focus on). Nobody will see this list apart from you, so be completely honest with yourself.

I suggest you start out by brainstorming anything that’s important to you without regard to the order in which you write them down. Once your list is complete, you can try ranking it. You should end up with at least five items (there might be as many as 15, or more) saying anything from “my husband” to “table tennis” and “time spent alone in nature”. Don’t forget to include worldly matters like success in your job or making money.

The moment of truth

Next, start a new page and write two more lists:

1. A list of the things you spend money on each month.
2. A list of where you spend your time every day and week.

The first list will be easy to put together if you’ve done the first part of my free money training series. One of the exercises was to write a list of all your expenses in a month. If you haven’t done the training yet, it’s still there for you whenever you wish to do it, and in the meantime you can simply write down your expenses by yourself.

Number 2 is even easier: How many of your weekly waking hours do you spend at work, doing housework, chauffeuring your kids, following your passions, with loved ones, exercising, etc etc? Rank this list, too, and the money list, by largest amounts of time respectively money spent. Now compare these two lists to your list of priorities, the one you wrote out first. What do you see?

Your result and what to do about it

They say, “money talks”. I say, yes it does, and time talks, too. What does your comparison reveal? Do you spend your money and your time where your heart lies? Or is your life out of alignment with your goals? The truth is that your priorities are wherever you spend your money and your time. It’s good and well to protest that other things are more important to you – as long as your actions, your life, don’t reflect this, your “priorities” remain pretty words.

This may sound harsh, especially since there are realities in life we all face, such as having to pay rent or a mortgage, and needing money for food. Like I said at the beginning of this article, most of us have obligations we cannot simply break free of, especially since they often affect other people in our lives as well, such as children or other family members.

At the same time, it’s still possible to align your life with what matters to you. Work and obligations only take up so much time. The rest of your day is up to you. You may argue that you’re tired in the evenings, but does TV really refresh you or is it just convenient? Look over your list again and find the time- and money-wasters. If you are serious about putting your money (and time) where your heart is, you’re going to have to learn money management as well as time management and be ruthless with anything that keeps you from living the way you want to.

It’s quite a process, and I gently suggest you get some support in the form of a buddy, a mastermind group, or a Coach. Your life is your own, and it’s up to you to shape it into a form you love! Otherwise, what’s the point? The effort is always worth it.

Monday Sparkles: Which Money Type Are You?

Money Coach Sibylle

Some would have us believe that we are purely rational beings, but that’s quite simply not true. If we were, we’d all eat healthy, get enough sleep, and be rich and happy! Money seems to be an area where we are particularly irrational, although most of us are completely unaware of this and think their way of dealing with money is universal. This belief is at the root of many a marital row!

There are many different systems of “money mindsets” or personalities, with as many as 8 or 10 distinct personalities identified in each. Personally, I’m always in favour of simpler, clearer systems, so here’s what I’ve found in my studies and my work with clients. I’m outlining them below; you’ll probably recognise yourself in at least one of them, as many people are blends between at least two types.
Sign up to receive the full Monday Sparkles with exclusive offers, free gifts, and insider news:

 

Saver

If you are a saver, you like to hoard your money. The thought of the proverbial Rainy Day keeps you from taking financial risks. Investing in yourself or taking out a loan to finance something you really want, or an education or course (or Coaching), seems reckless and frivolous to you.

The advantage of being a saver is that you’re unlikely to ever get into financial trouble. The downside is that you may deny yourself and those around you the joy of adventure and risk-taking.

In order to challenge yourself to become more daring, make a finance plan allocating percentages of your monthly income to things like fun and personal development, as well as gifts for others. Commit to spending that money every month (or the accumulated amounts every three months or so). Money makes you safe, yes, but it can also provide the means for you to grow and evolve, and enjoy life.

 

Spender

Money never stays with you for long. As soon as you come into any amount of money, you find ways to spend it. No matter how much money you make, you never have anything left in your account at the end of each month.

This money type knows how to enjoy themselves. They are generous and love treating others as well as themselves. However, larger financial goals which require saving up, tend to elude them, and if anything untoward happens, they are woefully unprepared and may find themselves penniless.

Perhaps you’re saying that you only buy what’s necessary, but that’s not really true, is it? Most spenders tend to “leak money” as I call it, by buying impulsively. You’ll think you can’t afford going after your passion(s) or sign up for that course (or for Coaching), but the harsh truth is: As long as you have money for a TV license, for buying clothes or for any number of subscriptions from Netflix to the gym, you actually have money. It’s just a matter of allocating it differently.

Like the Saver, you need to make a budget and stick to it. Be sure to allocate plenty of cash to fun, so you’ll actually stick to it, but also include saving.

 

Avoider

This is the type who will tell you that money isn’t important. They dislike dealing with money, never so much as glance at their bank statements, and leave bills unopened for weeks. Spending isn’t a problem for them, until they find to their surprise that they’ve exhausted their bank account including the overdraft because they had no idea how much they had in the first place.

Avoiders are free of worries and easy-going when it comes to money. Sooner or later, though, they will run into trouble because flying blind only works as long as there are no obstacles.

In order to come to grips with being an Avoider, you will have to force yourself to actually deal with your finances. Set a date every month to review your finances, or if you’re in a relationship, involve your partner so you can hold each other accountable. Then, make a monthly budget and stick to it. This isn’t stuffy and unadventurous, it’s the key to the adventures you most want in life, as you’ll be able to actually afford them when the opportunity comes along.
Money habits are hard to change, as they are very deeply rooted in our personalities and our perception of ourselves. It’s worth doing the work, though, as it will put you in control of your life like no other change of habits will. Get your finances sorted (if you want to turn around your situation fast and with dramatic results, contact me about money Coaching), and then do exactly what you want in life! If you start today, you won’t know yourself a year from now.

Monday Sparkles: Breaking Free

Some weeks ago, I wrote about what it means to be financially free. My motivation for this came from the new Coaching program I’m working on, “Wild and (Financially) Free“, which focuses on getting enough money for our passion(s) – to pay for any expenses and to create the necessary space and time in our lives.

Money can translate into freedom in very real terms, but it’s not the only aspect, and that’s how I had the idea to this article today. I’m going to explore different paths to your personal freedom, and I’m also making a strong case against anyone else trying to tell you what your freedom should look like.

This includes freedom without any money. It may seem counter-intuitive for me to talk about this, as a Coach who helps people achieve better cash flow, but it’s actually very much in line with what Coaching is all about: Empowering the client to achieve their dreams, instead of simply teaching them to reach the same dreams the Coach is pursuing.

 

The meaning of freedom

If you ask ten different people what freedom actually is, you’ll probably get at least eight different answers. There are so many ways to be free. Before I delve into definitions, I’d like to state the rather sobering fact that nobody actually is completely free. We all live in the context of society, our loved ones, or at the very least we are restrained by the living conditions of our planet and our basic physical needs. Freedom as an absolute doesn’t exist, and that’s where the contradictory definitions come from – they are all equally subjective, and so they reflect what’s important to an individual, rather than a universal truth.

Having said that, here are some ways to look at freedom:

Financial freedom. If you remember that article a while ago, being financially free means to be able to live comfortably off the interest of one’s financial assets without having to touch the invested capital. I’m starting out with this one because it’s the only term on this list which actually has a clear, verifiable definition, but there are still a few subjective aspects to this one as well.

To be financially free of course means that you can do what you wish with your days, and that is definitely freedom. if you are, however, stuck in a scarcity mindset and feel the need to constantly increase your wealth to still feel secure, you aren’t free at all. Even for the extremely wealthy, mindset determines the fulfillment they feel around their money.

Freedom from finances. Now this one is probably not going to be relevant for you, as you are fairly certainly using a computer or other electronic device to read this, and that implies you live very much “on the grid” and as part of our regular bill-paying, grocery shopping society, like I do. Getting away from all that is a fairly effective way to free yourself, though, and so I thought I’d mention it. I personally know people who either on their own or as part of an eco-village project, are growing their own food and making their own things, at least for the most part. They have become almost or completely independent of money, jobs, and consumerism.

Freedom to live a joyful life. This is the one I’ve chosen for myself. I would love financial freedom but have decided that I don’t want it enough to do the work required. Instead, I have chosen to grow my Coaching business, which is my calling, and to use my financial savvy to make sure that I’ll always have sufficient money for my passions and to have an ecstatically joyful life every single day. It’s a viable choice, either as a temporary stage in life or a permanent solution; I’m honestly not sure which one it’ll be for me.

This approach is all about the freedom to do as I please, within the limits set by earning money and organising my life. It works for me, as I couldn’t do archery or swordfighting or dancing all day anyway, and I love both my daytime job and my Coaching business.

Your own situation is just that, your own. We all come from different backgrounds, face different challenges and enjoy different advantages. What’s important is that you understand that “freedom” is a subjective term and up to your own interpretation, because frankly, living according to someone else’s idea of freedom defeats the very idea behind being free.

Nothing’s more worth figuring out than your own version of freedom. It’s precisely that which I work on with my clients, and why I chose this particular focus of my Coaching.
​​The above is the lead article in this week’s Monday Sparkles. Join the tribe to receive the full newsletter, exclusive offers and insider info (100% spam free), by filling in the short form below. You will get:

  • A weekly newsletter with free Coaching magic every Monday
  • Special offers exclusive to subscribers
  • Insider “behind the scenes” info about Wild Spirits Coaching
  • A free worksheet and the valuable “One-Year Goals Workbook”