Like with any journey there comes a point after the initial realization, the initial spark of an idea, where everything seems less rosy. The point where people start doing work and realize that “oh, dang, this might not be that easy”. Sadly a lot of people just stop with whatever they are doing at this point, whether it is FIRE, starting a business, dieting, or starting a new career. The main reason, in my opinion, is that while having a goal is great, people tend to fall off the wagon after a while and to be honest it’s hard to blame them.
With things like diets, starting a business or retiring, these are not short term engagements. Most of these things take decades instead of days or weeks like most people, (including myself), seem to think on a semi consistent basis when a new good idea presents itself. So how does someone stay committed to a huge long term goal? Well personally, I am a millennial, so I can vouch for the sure fired path to retirement but I can share nuggets of wisdom from time to time. And in order to stick to a long term goal you need to recommit to the goal you have every day, and in the case of F.I.R.E. this involves making a commitment to being frugal and making more money as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning.
So “what does this commitment look like”? Well to be honest, I have written about more extreme frugal tips, like literally eating rice and beans everyday. And while that really can drive down your food budget, it doesn’t need to be that involved. Everyday isn’t going to be the ideal saving day, where your dividend stocks somehow double in value and dividend yield, and your tenant finally pays that past due rent and offers to pay more for whatever reason. Some days you’ll have that expense that just comes up and eats into your savings (with kids I imagine this is incredibly frequent). If that is the case, just take a moment to reflect and make sure you’re clear with yourself on why you commit yourself to retiring early and becoming financial independent.
Financial Independence and Retiring Early is a long term commitment. Personally I am not there yet and many other authors in this sphere are not either. Perhaps I may never get there, but you know what? That is okay, the point is to try because if you never try to be financial independent then you will never be financially independent. It’s all about making small baby steps towards your goal.