Do this today and reap the rewards in the future!

Credit: Andrew Kirby
Picture by Andrew Kirby

I love a click-bait title. I am really a sucker for them.

And I’m sure I’ve seen a majority of the ‘how to become a millionaire’ videos on Youtube, in English and in French!

This week I came across two videos which are very similar, from two life/business coaches. Andrew Kirby and Sam Ovens have got many very interesting videos on their channel about productivity, smart thinking and self-improvement. Very much worth a look if you are interested in such topics.

Here are the two videos I watched:

What you’re doing today might not seem to pay off now…

I often fall in the trap of ‘it’s not changing anything, why bother!’

Saving or investing small amounts of money, enrolling for a webinar, reading 10 minutes, meditating 5 minutes, doing a couple of push-ups … These things seem so insignificant. They don’t seem to have any payoffs.

It’s so easy to forget about these little actions we take everyday, be it our lunches, our daily thinking etc.

What this graphs shows… is what everybody keeps telling us. A very abstract concept: it all compounds to create your future.

… but do the hard work now and your future self will thank you!

The 0.1% of a million I have finally managed to invest (yay me!) might look so insignificant compared to my goal. But you have to start somewhere. I can build onto it. And build some more.

And one day, I’ll approach 1%, 2 %, maybe even 10% of my goal. That will already be a huge achievement!

I hate working hard.

I suffer from procrastination big time.

I find thinking about the future frustrating and abstract.

I am impatient.

The truth is that is the only way to fulfill my goals and reach my potential, one day at a time.

To conclude:

I can research as much as I want, watch as many motivational videos as I want, elaborate complicated plans and prevision: nothing will get done if I don’t DO THE WORK!

Exercising without breaking the bank: my personal story

Due to the extraordinary events that have happened this year, many places have had to close, including gyms. As a result, many people stared working out from home.

I have had a love/hate relationship with the gym. I used to go (about 2 years ago) once a week to use the static bike, treadmill and cross-trainer. As I was paying £7 every week and could get a monthly subscription for £25, I took the plunge and signed the contract. That was the last time they saw me!

Somehow, becoming a member was counterproductive for me, as I started making excuses not to go. You may think that it’s because I lacked self-discipline and you would be right . The only difference between January newbies and me is that it actually happened in October.

From then on, I decided the gym was not for me.

What are the alternatives?

I am not an exercise enthusiast. So it’s kind of by accident that I started exercising at home during the pandemic.

Online platforms like YouTube make access to so many free workouts really easy, with plenty talented enthusiast practitioners sharing their tips and tricks.

I have also found that Instagram has a lot a great content once you get over the sponsored content and the perfect body shots.

I think the major breakthrough was discovering ways of exercising that don’t require lots of equipment. Calisthenics and yoga are two sports that I am dabbling into and a great thing about both is that these can be practised, at least in beginning, with no equipment.

Controlling my spending

As with all new hobbies and a recurrent sufferer of shiny object syndrome, I browsed Amazon for exercise aids and equipment.

However, starting this financial journey has lead me to question every single purchase that I nearly made.

The one purchase I gave into in the 2 months I have started exercising at home were yoga blocks and although I am glad to have purchased them and they were really affordable, I know deep down that I could have managed without them too.

The next purchase I want to make is for a pull up bar.

The trick I am using to stop myself buying it in the short term is to delay this expenditure until I reach a significant milestone (serious exercising for 6 months for example).

To conclude:

So what was the point of me sharing this today?

I used to buy all the things when starting a new hobby (I own tap shoes although I tap danced only 3 weeks and good knitting yarn is surprisingly expensive). However this journey has taught me to carefully evaluate what I really need and delay purchases until I know that I am truly commited to my fitness journey.

Can’t seem to get anything done? You might be dopamine dependent.

I watched a YouTube video the other day which opened my eyes to the brutal realisation that I am an addict.

Yes, I said it. I am addicted. But to what, may you ask…

I have known for a long time that I spend a lot of time on the internet, more specifically on YouTube, and more specifically on self-help and personal development videos. The ones I was praising not too long ago on this blog. Hear me out on this…

They are conceived to give short-term gratification

In a recent post I did explain how there is some great advice given about mindset and goal setting in those videos. They really do get you thinking you have this aha! moment that will change you for the rest of your life.

Although I won’t discount that it could happen to others, in my personal case I have found that although I have seen watched hundreds of videos of this kind on YouTube, I am still in need of watching more , as if I crave that ‘hit’ of feeling that I am working on my goals, despite my personal/professional/financial situation being similar to what it was last year. Hundreds of hours wasted on trying to find that “sweet spot’ of motivation.

Some of the advice may be sensible and the facts true. However, because I am tricking myself in thinking that I am being productive by watching those videos, I end up not taking actionable steps to make any of my ambitions happen. I might watch every video on YouTube about side hustles to find the ‘right one’ or ‘right way of doing it’ instead of taking action. Some research is indeed essential, but too much can impede on actual progress.

What does it have to do with dopamine?

Dopamine is a feel good chemical in the brain. It is released during pleasurable experiences and is part of the ‘reward system’ of the brain.

Like I said before, watching self help videos makes me feel good at the time. But this fades after a while, until I find the next video.

Because I am so used to getting that feeling of self achievement through watching videos, actually grinding at the building blocks of a side hustle or project can feel really tedious in comparison.

Edited reels of hard-working people in films make the process look a lot shorter and painful than it actually is. Even if you work on a project you are passionate about, there will be times when less enjoyable and frustrating tasks have to be done.

How to free yourself from this?

It has to do with the consumer/producer mindset . If you make a list of all the activities you take part in every given day and categorise them, a majority of them should involve you creating or producing something as this develops skills and provides value.

Whether it is through practising writing skills as I am now, playing an instrument, learning a language, practising yoga, building a business, cooking a special dish, producing may be more frustrating in the short term, but will bring the most gains in the long term.

There will of course times where consuming is necessary. The important word to keep in mind here is balance.

And in those times when choosing a book to read or video to watch, mindfulness of purpose is key, whether it is for educational or entertainment purposes.

To conclude: Create, create and create. Then rest.

June 2020 (b)

A very short post to say that I have another £100 invested this month.

This brings me to a grand total of… £200 invested towards my £1,000,000 goal.

So this is 0.0002% of my goal; better this than 0% I suppose.

Consistency, consistency, consistency.

June 2020 – My first £100

I have this very ambitious goal… of becoming a millionaire! I am just an ordinary woman, with an ordinary just-above-minimum-wage job.

Is it possible without becoming obsessed with money?

Can I do this whilst sticking to my values?

Can an anxious 30-year-old-something person really become a millionaire?

The short answer is: probably not. However, I wanted to find a resource somewhere that would enable me to do that. So why no create it myself? A diary of the ups and downs on this journey, which will lead to growth and better self-awareness whether I succeed or not. I realize that I am in a better starting position than most people as I live in a European country and don’t have any consumer debt. I can also afford to save something every month, for which I am very grateful. I am doing this for my future-self to ensure a good life for my future children and our retirement.

So I am officially starting at £100 with my first investment in a stocks and shares ISA. Wish me luck!

Fun fact: it would take over 833 years for me to become a millionaire with my current rate of saving …