In Bankruptcy, Begin with the End in Mind

Written by Terry Lawson

A few years ago, I read Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I remember the one habit that stuck with me the most was “begin with the end in mind.”  The lesson is that you should always picture in your mind how you want to end up, what you want to achieve, and then being proactive to achieve that goal.

I know that nothing is more important when you are contemplating bankruptcy.  You should always start the bankruptcy process by taking a long hard look at what you intend to achieve by filing.  Do you want to rid yourself of a car payment you no longer want?  Do you want to rent a home instead of own the underwater property you now can’t afford?  Do you need to reorganize your spending so that income matches spending?  By the way, the answer to that last one is always yes.

If you take the time to decide what your goals really are, you will have a much easier time making the hard decisions bankruptcy can bring.  There will be times when it makes more sense, financially, to let a house go to foreclosure than to keep it.  There are other times when that car you love is really not loving you back, and you need to break it off.  These things are far easier when you see that doing them where get you where you want to be.  And that is financially solvent and (mostly) worry free.  But to do it right, you should definitely “begin with the end in mind.”

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