“When I have $5,000 to spare in the bank, then I’ll take a holiday.” I wonder how many times you have said a ‘when/then‘ statement like that.

Or perhaps one of these –

When I get this project complete, then I’ll take a day off.
When I have everything ready, then I’ll retire.
When I have the mortgage paid off, then I’ll feel secure.

People often make ‘when/then’ statements without realizing they are two separate goals. And the second one – the one stated after the word ‘then’ – doesn’t necessarily rely upon the first part!

Action – Write out three when/then statements you have in your life.

Draw a vertical line just before the word ‘then’. Now, see the two different goals and make the plans to achieve each one, regardless of the other.

‘When/then’ statements will always keep you stuck. Break them apart to get back on the move again. Sometimes it can be that simple.

    5 replies to "When I Have $5,000…"

    • Noopur

      Hi Nancy, although this sounds like a good thought, I tend to disagree with you. Sometimes, we indulge in and splurge on ourselves simply for the reason that there are times we have the need to feel pampered. For some people, it can even work as a motivation to get something done. Having said that, I do agree with you that the whem/then conditionsl clauses we dream up are not usually conditional 🙂

    • Claire

      I encountered this a lot just before I went travelling around the world. People would say “when the kids have left home”, “when I’ve paid off my mortgage” etc. People were shocked when I suggested they start saving and planning right away to ensure they could do what they wanted at a later date. However, I do on occassion find myself falling into the same trap. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Nancy Morris

      I agree Noopur – pampering and celebrating the achievement of a goal are both great things. This is all about the “when/then” statements we make up. More often than not, they are simply two different goals that don’t belong together. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Lucia

      Hi Nancy,
      I agree with the fact that goals are different, however I think the events in life or goals that we set are in a specific order, maybe this is why we use “when /then” so often.

    • Ken

      Sometimes when the items are connected, we can also rephrase the statement to make the goals more likely to be achieved.

      Try “I am going to take a vacation, so I need to have $5000.” rather than the reverse. The goal becomes the vacation, the means is the $5,000.

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