When it comes to setting goals -- whether they're personal, professional, financial or anything in between -- it's easy to forget that anyone who's gotten where you want to be went through a long process to get there. Finance blog Mom and Dad Money explains why this is the most important yet overlooked aspect of changing your habits.
Picture: Manuel Bahamondez H/Flickr
It's easy to look at someone who's achieved financial stability and assume they make more money or they started out in a better place than you did. While those can be factors, Mom and Dad Money points out that, more often than not, the people who have done what you hope to do went through a long and complicated process to get there. And it's never over:
The point is this: none of this is easy for anyone, no matter what it looks like from the outside. Those people whose success you want? It wasn't easy for them to get where they are. It wasn't glamorous or magical or quick.
It was a process. A long process filled with confusion, frustration, success, failure, understanding, disagreement, re-thinking, happy moments, sad moments, and everything in between.
And the reality is that no matter how easy it looks for them now on the outside, they're actually just like you: still struggling, still doubting, still looking for better ways to do things.
While the source is describing this in the context of financial goals, it extends to everything in life. Whether it's a job you want to get, a relationship you want to have, or even just something you use every day, there's almost always a lengthy, complicated process that went into making it happen.
Of course, knowing there's a process doesn't mean that you automatically know what it is. But it does help you narrow down where to get advice. If there's a dream job you want to achieve, ask people who work in that field how they got there. If you want to have a loving, happy relationship, learn from the people in your life who embody that the most. Learn the process and you're best prepared to make it to the outcome.