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If you have a desire to change your financial situation, then looking forward, not backward is your first step.

Every generation is nervous about the future and looks back nostalgically at how easy things appeared to be for previous generations.

For example, depression-era people look to simpler times, before things like road-rage and the rise of technology. Baby boomers worry about high debt-levels, low super and small pensions and look back to an age of jobs for life and cheaper housing. While Generation Xers tend to think ‘boomers’ were spoilt with free university and feel forced out of the housing market because society and the economy is dominated by ageing baby boomers. And finally, generation Ys generally think ‘gen Xers’ got an easier deal and feel burdened by huge university debt, climate change and increasing ethnic and religious violence.

Looking back is easy. Looking forward is hard and fraught with uncertainty and fear of the unknown is natural: and this is often what prevents people from ever getting started towards setting financial goals.

But focus on what you can control and start small when looking to change your financial future. More than simply having the motivation to make changes, you need to take action. Because action leads to motivation – not the other way around.

By starting small, it leads to the motivation you need to reach the next step. Doing a small simple activity – such as setting up an automatic deduction to save $7 a week for your children’s future – turns motivation into real action. It might seem a small and insignificant activity but it starts the chain reaction that triggers the motivation needed to achieve your ultimate goals.

Don’t procrastinate. Take practical steps towards achieving your goals. If you can’t decide which strategy (for example, to pay off your mortgage versus increasing your superannuation contribution), then just pick one and start small. There are mostly never decisions made that can’t be undone.

And doing something towards improving your financial future will always be better than procrastinating another month of surplus cash away, however small that amount is.

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Hicks Real Estate is a Brisbane based, full-service real estate agency supporting buyers and sell as well as renters and property investors. With almost 20 years experience in the local market, we are the real estate experts you can rely upon.