What’s Your #CoffeeCanRevolution?

Posted October 13, 2014 by Kelley Long in Life After Five
coffee can

Have you heard of the Coffee Can Revolution yet? It was started by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the life-changing best-seller Eat, Pray, Love. On OWN’s Super Soul Sunday, Gilbert explained how thousands of women approached her to say how they wish they could also leave their lives behind and travel the world, but they couldn’t because they had obligations: elderly relatives, young children, contracts, etc. She struggled with how to guide these women until a young woman shared her grandmother’s story with her.

It’s a great story, and you can watch it here on Super Soul Sunday, but the crux of it is that this young woman’s grandmother wanted to travel around the world, but was a young single mother with very little money. Rather than just giving up on her dream, she started putting a dollar a day into a coffee can in the back of her closet. For twenty years, she didn’t touch the money, just added that dollar every day, until eventually she was able to buy herself a freighter ticket for a trip around the world. Her kids were grown and she was finally ready.

The point is that you might not be able to start on an Eat, Pray, Love-like quest today, but you can start planning for it RIGHT NOW. Much like a marathon runner starts training months before she attempts the full 26.2 miles, with forethought, planning and saving, you can also have your far-fetched dream. Having something to look forward to and plan for is actually the most important thing to sticking to any plan.

You can say, “I want to save $10,000,” which in itself is a goal, but if you tie it to something more compelling like, “I want to travel to Europe and stay at the Ritz,” or “I want to feel more financially secure and less worried about going broke,” you’re much more likely to reach that $10,000. I’m practicing the same thing with my current weight loss quest – ultimately I want to lose 20 pounds. But by translating that into wanting to fit back into my designer blue jeans, it’s the thought of zipping them up that stops the Cheetos from making it to my mouth, not a number on the scale.

So tell me, what are you putting off into the intangible, “Someday,” that could start your #CoffeeCanRevolution? Tell me your story in the comments or tweet it to me at @kclmoneycoach.


About the Author

Kelley Long

Kelley Long is a CPA/PFS and CFP® who believes that the true meaning of financial security means having choices in life. She uses her 15 years of experience in various financial services industry jobs to inform her work as a Resident Financial Planner for Financial Finesse, providing unbiased financial guidance through workplace financial wellness programs. She’s also a volunteer and media ambassador for Feed the Pig and 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy. In Kelley’s perfect world, everyone would feel great talking about their money concerns, fears, questions and problems, because then everyone would see that we ALL have those concerns, fears, questions and problems. Kelley lives in Chicago with her husband and their Himalayan cat Miles, where she also teaches BODYPUMP group fitness classes at the Chicago Athletic Clubs.