The Art of Failure

It’s about 8pm at night right now and I don’t want to be writing this blog post….yet I’m still typing, so what the hell?

I’ve learned that I’m extremely good at being a failure when I set my mind to something as such despite the fact I was seriously thinking of turning on the TV instead of typing out this post I decided to sit down anyway.  Why?

Because of a few things.  First off I told my wife I still needed to write today so if I had not turned on the computer I would have to explain my failure to her.

Then I also made the mistake of leaving this particular action until the end of the day despite it being important to me to write on daily basis.  In my case, I am a total morning person so putting things off until the end of the day almost guarantees the fact I will have very little willpower left to do something.  So I just barely gathered enough willpower to sit down with my laptop.

I almost manage while writing this to get distracted by various other things like looking at the books I’m currently reading…maybe I should read just one chapter and then finish this post.  Ugh, that is a bad idea if my hands leave this keyboard for just about anything they won’t be coming back.

But I’m thirsty after eating the chips that were beside me as I booted up my computer…don’t blame the chips, they were the compromise to turning on the computer in the first place.  Little rewards can be useful when my willpower is sinking fast.

Now I wonder if I shouldn’t just screw this post and give up, but now that I’m about 300 words or so into this mess of a post I might was will keep pushing on.

You see there is a rythme to getting things done for me.  If I start something the odds are extremely high I will get some work on it done.  How much varies, but in the end there is some sort of progress on the item in question.

So perhaps you are wondering why you are still reading this mindless drivel as it leaks out of my brain and onto the screen….because this is exactly how most people feel about their retirement planning.

Yep, we would rather watch TV, eat chips, get a drink, read a book…or insert your favorite delay tactic here than actually spend a few hours a year thinking about our retirements.  That is particularly scary since in literally you can do a quick health check on your plan in just a few hours.

How?  Well I tend to not do all my planning at once as I even get tired of it.  So I break it up into more manageable parts like:

  • Do I need to rebalance my investments?  If yes, I do the math to figure that out and go make the transactions in our investment accounts.
  • Has my spending significantly changed from last year?  Here I log into Mint Canada and run the previous two years as summaries and compare the results.  If it has changed by more than 5%, I need to understand why?  And will that continue in retirement?
  • Has my wants changed for my retirement?  Do I have different hobbies than last year?  Do I enjoy them more and if yes, do I need to adjust my spending projection in retirement to compensate?
  • What I did wish I spent less money on?  What do I wish I spent more money on?  Can I make any adjustments now to make those happen?
  • Am I happy with my life?  Is yes, great.  If not, what is causing the problems?  Is it too much stress, a bad relationship, or being stretched too thin by doing too much?  How could I fix those items now?
  • Is my retirement goal still reasonable?  Or have things changed that I should adjust my priorities?  Do I want to save more for my kids education?  Do I suddenly love my current job and am not in a hurry to retire?
  • What skills do I need to develop prior to my retirement?  How can I work on those skills now?
  • What major purchases do I want to get done prior to retirement?  Do I have an older car I want to replace, or house renovations to finish?  Have I included the costs for those in my plans?
  • How is my health?  Do I feel good about my weight?  Should I be working in more exercise in my week?  Or have my pants gotten tighter in the waist and I need to stop eating so many damn chips at 8:20pm at night?

Obviously this isn’t an exhausted list, but at least it gives you an idea of what to start thinking about.  You don’t have to do it all at once, but at least try to do some retirement planning…oddly enough it might help out your life right now as well.

2 thoughts on “The Art of Failure”

  1. … And it gets easier the more you work on your investments!!!! I can do that stuff in my sleep now.

    Speaking of procrastination I am putting off paying my final tax bill and starting on my next investing project… Thanks for the kick in the pants.

  2. Chips are such a great treat after the kids are in bed. I blame the chips. They are so tasty!
    But seriously, I enjoyed your post.

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