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Those who practice yoga know of the practice of setting a "sankalpa" or intention before every yoga session. More than just a goal, a sankalpa is a course of action that one intends to follow in order to achieve a specific goal or task. It’s important to establish one’s sankalpa as a guide to how the goal will be accomplished. It is a sort of plan that is useful in helping the student to focus while trying to reach a particular destination. Rather than establishing what you want to achieve, the sankalpa deals with the "how". How are you going to achieve what you set out to achieve? Creating a sankalpa is a powerful way of realizing your greatest dreams and desires.
At the beginning of every New Year, many people will make resolutions to tidy up their financial lives, to become more financially responsible, to earn more, to save more, to invest more and to spend less. And all these resolutions are great. The problem is that by the end of the first 3 months in the year, many people have given up on their financial resolutions. Discouraged because they don’t seem to be able to accomplish what they set out to accomplish, they give up. Although setting resolutions is a good practice, without a financial "sankalpa" or planned course of action, it will be very difficult to stay the course and to accomplish your financial goals.
Establishing your financial sankalpa involves breaking down your financial goals into a series of actions that will each take you closer to your ultimate goal. If, for example, you set a goal to save $10,000 within a year, your financial sankalpa may involve taking steps such as resolving to first opening a dedicated savings account at your local financial institution, then taking 10% of every pay check and depositing it in that dedicated savings account, then resolving not to make any withdrawals from that particular account, etc. The financial sankalpa helps to create discipline and focus, making it much easier to accomplish your financial goals. In other words, rather than focusing solely on the destination, focus on the journey and what you need to do to get from point A to point B. Saying that you want to save is all well and good but without determining how you will save from the beginning, you are likely to stray or to get lost during the journey. This is what happens to many people when they fail to establish their own financial sankalpa.
The next time you sit to write down your financial goals, take some time to also establish your financial sankalpa and see for yourself how much simpler and more rewarding you will find your financial journey. In addition, you will find that you are more focused because you have a plan, and also that you have a greater sense of direction and control over your financial situation.
Better yet, rather than waiting until the beginning of the year, take charge of your finances by establishing your own financial sankalpa at the beginning of each and every month.