Brian Tracey, a US based author and speaker, has always been one of my favourites. In my opinion, he has written some of the best books on goal setting. His Law of Accumulation provides some great guidelines for improving your financial situation.
1. Develop Discipline
The achievement of financial independence will require a tremendous number of small efforts on your part. To begin the process of accumulation, you must be disciplined and persistent. You must keep at it for a long, long time. Initially, you will see very little change or difference. But gradually, your efforts will begin to bear fruit. You will begin to pull ahead of your peers. Your finances will improve and your debts will disappear. Your bank account will grow and your whole life will improve.
2. Build Up Momentum
The first effect of the Law of Accumulation says: “As your savings accumulate, you develop a momentum that moves you more rapidly toward your financial goals.” It is hard to get started on a program of financial accumulation, but once you do get started, you find it easier and easier to keep at it.
The momentum principle is one of the great success secrets. This principle says that it takes tremendous energy to overcome the initial inertia and resistance to financial accumulation and get started. But once started, it takes much less energy to keep moving.
3. Start Slow, Finish Fast
The second effect of the Law of Accumulation says, “By the yard it’s hard, but inch by inch, anything’s a cinch.”
When you begin thinking about saving 5, 10 or 20 percent of your income, you will immediately think of all kinds of reasons that it is not possible. You might be up to your neck in debt. You might be spending every single cent that you earn just to keep afloat. If you do find yourself in this situation, instead of saving 10 percent, begin saving just 1 percent of your income in a separate account, which you do not touch.
4. Increase As You Go Along
This small amount will begin to add up at a rate that will surprise you. As you become comfortable with saving 1 percent, increase your savings rate to 2 percent, then 3 percent, then 4 percent and 5 percent and so on. Within a year, you will find yourself getting out of debt and saving 10 percent, 15 percent and even 20 percent of your income without it really affecting your lifestyle.
5. Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do to apply this law immediately:
First, decide upon your long-term financial goals and then resolve to work toward them one step at a time. The first steps are the hardest and you must discipline yourself to avoid backsliding into old habits.
Second, practice the Law of Accumulation in other parts of your life as well. Resolve to master a subject one step at a time. Lose weight one kilo at a time. Learn a language one lesson at a time. The cumulative effect can be significant over time.