June’s UPLift Challenge – Financial Independence

30 Days to Reveal the Path Towards Financial Freedom

This month we will tackle financial independence and freedom. These terms mean something different to each of us. To determine how this topic applies to you, consider the following questions:

Do you feel stuck? Do you have dreams of a more fulfilling life? Are money issues keeping you in a vicious cycle? Are you dependent on others for financial stability? Are you living with someone else because you can’t afford to live on your own? Are you underemployed and earning less than you’re worth but afraid or not sure how to make a change? Do you undersell yourself? Are you trapped by debt? Have setbacks knocked you down a peg and now you’re not sure how to pick yourself up? Do you lack the confidence and basic skills you need to improve your financial life? Do you need clarity about how to identify goals and change your situation?

If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, this 30-day UPLift Challenge is for you. Even if you’re relatively satisfied with where you are right now, it’s always beneficial to take a look at what’s possible beyond what you may already have achieved. This month you’ll learn to build on what you have by expanding, deepening, and refining your understanding of what freedom means to you. And you’ll create a road map to begin to gain more of it.

Achieving financial independence—even in a limited way—is a marathon, not a sprint. It entails planning, perseverance, and hard work. In the next 30 days, we’ll guide you with daily prompts, exercises, and inspiration to help you define what financial independence means for you. We’ll help you to gain clarity and confidence, dream big while setting achievable goals, identify and initiate habits and practices to keep you on track, and so much more.

We hope you’ll join us!

Week One: Defining Your Freedom

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. —Nelson Mandela

At the heart of our desire for financial independence lies an even more primal one: the longing for freedom.

Before we set goals for financial independence, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what freedom is. What does it actually mean to us? And once we understand that, we also need to recognize what limitations and interdependencies may be involved in achieving that freedom. We need to set parameters for our journey. And finally, we need a clear sense of our commitment to reaching our desired state, and of our confidence in our ability to get there.

Week One’s daily exercises will equip you with tools to arrive at that clarity, so that your own unique journey to freedom will start off on the right foundation.

Week Two: Cultivate Your Inner Warrior

Every victorious warrior draws his strength from the highest source: his love.” ― Tapan Ghosh

Making profound and long-lasting changes is not for sissies. It is not for those satisfied with the path of least resistance. In fact, rightly done, it calls on the best we have. It calls on better than the best we have, because it’s a growth path.

It’s going to take us outside our comfort zone. It’s going to require us to acknowledge that we don’t know what we don’t know, and set foot on a steep learning curve. It’s going to mean making sacrifices. It’s going to mean working harder than we’re used to working. It’s going to mean keeping our eyes on the goal, and forgoing some short-term pleasures for long-term rewards. It’s going to mean pacing ourselves. It’s going to mean picking ourselves up when we fall down.

It’s going to ask us for discipline, tenacity, flexibility, strength, endurance, character, integrity, and ironclad commitment to our goal.

In short, it’s going to require us to become warriors on our own behalf.

This week we’ll explore some of the qualities you’ll need to cultivate as you become your own change agent.

Week Three: Starting Off Strong

The beginning is the most important part of the work. –Plato

So far in this challenge, we have been working with concepts and characteristics that will frame, undergird, and empower your journey towards financial freedom. We’ve laid the inner groundwork for you to draw on as you progress. Now we’re going to start focusing on the outward aspects: actions you can take to get off to the best start as you work on your desired change.

This week you’ll learn to assess how you’re spending your time, so you can carve some out to work on your goal. You’ll learn about applying impulse control when life offers you alternatives that can derail you. You’ll learn how to apply change management techniques right at the beginning, so that you’ll know where you stand and what a realistic goal might be. And you’ll get ideas for using the numbers, paying yourself first, and communicating your goals.

All these strategies will help you start off strong and empower you for a successful outcome.

Week Four: The Power to Endure

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call “failure” is not falling down, but staying down. —Mary Pickford

Big changes take time to accomplish. Starting off strong is critical to success. But that’s just the beginning. As the weeks and months go by and we keep working towards our goal, our commitment can flag. Maybe it’s taking longer than we thought it would. Maybe it’s harder than we thought it would be. Maybe along the path we discovered that we were missing important components and we would need to do a side-trip to gain those skills or resources.

All of that is to be expected when we embark on this kind of journey. Life is uncertain and we often don’t know what we don’t know. There will be learning curves and there will be setbacks.

To achieve your goal of financial independence, you’re going to need endurance. And lots of it. This week you’ll be getting familiar with seven qualities that empower endurance: contentment, JOMO, doing less, returning thanks, burning bridges, staying positive, and remaining focused.

As you build your skills in these areas, you’ll be equipping yourself for the journey ahead.

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