When we’re mindful of what’s going on in our lives, things that are in line with our goals and attitudes happen more often. Plain old paying attention can make the difference between achieving a goal and not even coming close (or worse, moving in the opposite direction).
For example, suppose you have a goal of coming in at or under budget this month. If you go about life normally and then check at the end of the month to see if you’ve met your goal, chances are you’ll have missed it by a mile. But pay attention to every dollar every day and you’ll get a different result. This is why tracking your spending is such a powerful tool. It forces you to pay attention to every dollar out — both the amount you spent and what you actually got in return.
Paying attention can affect all areas of your life. In fact, paying attention is one of the reasons that I write this blog. It forces me to think about money every day. It forces me to search for new ways to think about and interact with money, so that I’m not constantly regurgitating the same old stuff (or at least if I do talk about the same subject multiple times, I approach it from different perspectives). Since I want to improve my financial situation, these are good things for me.
Consciously paying attention makes us see things differently, and that difference can mean an awful lot.