What is your mindset around investing, and how could you further develop a strong mentality around your goals?

On the Do More With Your Money show, we welcomed Tom May, a former England Rugby International, and Simon Hartley, an elite Performance Coach, to discuss the power of applying a sports mentality to investment mentality.

Just like in the sporting world, investing involves dedicated preparation and planning of goals, a long-term perspective, and a discipline to keep putting the work in.

A strong mentality means looking beyond short-term setbacks and staying motivated towards a bigger picture. Here are the key lessons you can apply today, not just to investing, but to a range of personal goals.

Focus on the process, not the result

When investing, you start with a goal, but the process is equally as important. You’ll only ever achieve the goal if you follow a process.

“The process is going to get us to the outcome,” Simon Hartley states.

In his world of sports coaching, he relates this to training a tennis player to watching only the returning ball. Instead of thinking about the scoreboard, focus only on the small step you are in control of. These seemingly small actions are what adds up to the bigger outcomes.

Investing is similar, take a seemingly small process such as investing a little money at the start of a month, and soon you’ll realise it is a simple process like this which adds up to a greater outcome. “Goals are directional more than destinational,” Simon says.

Good processes and regular habits will move you closer towards your goal, and that’s why it is important to stay disciplined towards those processes. It may be best for an investor to stick to their plan in times of market volatility, just like a tennis player should focus on the next return rather than a previous dropped point.

“Monitor your daily pathway towards your goals,” Tom May says.

Building financial stability needs patience

“As you try and build out your financial stability over time, you have to be patient, there are always going to be things that pop up and smack you on the end of the nose,” Tom says. “Nothing is as smooth as people would like to perceive for that pathway to the end goal.”

Tom’s point has been evident in the past year for investors, with market volatility causing an uncomfortable feeling, as it is never pleasant to see values going down. However, as we have seen at the start of 2023, market fluctuations aren’t just in one direction, with January providing an upward month in markets and several positives for investors around inflation and economic progress.

This is similar to what Tom has experienced in his Rugby career, you don’t just become an International player overnight, you have to patiently work your way up through training and club level, including setbacks such as injuries and dropped points. Like investing, you need patience to look past the short-term setbacks, and towards the long term goals.

The thing that I do today is crucial

One of the mindsets that Simon Hartley endorses is the power of now, the action you can take today. He explains this in the context of an Olympian having four years to train, but “the thing that I do today is going to be absolutely crucial to get me there.”

This mentality also forms positive habits, getting the most out of every day means you are optimising yourself and your performance. Applying this mentality to your investment has clear benefits, you are setting a long-term habit to close your gap to goal by regularly engaging and topping up your investment when you can.

“Momentum is really important,” Simon says, “it is a really powerful force.”

This speaks to consistency, you can build momentum in your investing journey, and it can be exciting to log into your investment app and see yourself getting closer to your goal.

How can you apply a sports mentality to your retirement?

Watch the latest episode of the Do More With Your Money show and consider how you can apply Tom and Simon’s logic to your investment.

Start out by setting new habits, perhaps logging in to your True Potential app once a week. If you have any extra disposable income consider topping up your investment through impulseSave® – this may mean you reach your goal sooner or with a greater value than originally envisioned.

Remember, patience is needed in any long-term goal – you don’t achieve anything overnight. Keep your processes in place and take daily actions to ask yourself are you doing the right things to work towards your goal. One of the simplest ways to set an investment habit is to establish a direct debit into your investment, you may wish to establish this at the start of a month as soon as your salary has been paid. This ensures you have the discipline set in place to invest regardless of what the markets are doing.

The other positive habit you can build into your investment mentality is to watch Morning Markets every day on the True Potential YouTube Channel. Tom developed his rugby career by continually educating himself in the sport, and you can build your investment knowledge in the same way, by listening to the experts on the markets every day in Morning Markets.

Subscribe to the True Potential YouTube Channel today, and you’ll also benefit from more fascinating insights in the weekly Do More With Your Money show.

With investing, your capital is at risk. Investments can fluctuate in value and you may get back less than you invest. Tax rules can change at any time. This blog is not a personal recommendation or financial advice. ImpulseSave® is a registered trademark of True Potential Investments LLP

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