Quite often when people decide to make changes in their lives they tend to go all out at the beginning. They feel totally motivated and ready to take on anything to get the results they want to achieve. They dive headlong into something with only an idea of what the end result will look like.
This works for a little while but the excitement and motivation usually wear off quickly and can be replaced by negative feelings such as overwhelm and regret.
A great example of this is gym memberships.
Come January the gyms are flooded with folks looking to cast off the mistakes of the past and live a healthier life. Forgetting they didn't just wake up one morning and suddenly there they were, lying in bed, overweight and out of shape. No, my friend, the “Fat Fairy” didn’t pop by one night, drop a load and run. Those extra pounds took investment and time to accumulate.
Let’s fast forward a few months and many of the would-be health nuts are nowhere to be found. Not because they’re losers who can’t stick with anything, but because they took on too much, too quickly, and without a plan.
Now let’s look at this in reference to financial health.
The same thing can happen when people try to change too much, too quickly with their money situation.
Here’s an example.
“Nancy” (random name) would like to start saving more money so she decides there will be no more dining out, she cancels Netflix, becomes the “coupon queen” at the grocery store, sells off everything she doesn’t use or want, slashes her phone plan, and cuts back her expenses wherever she can…she is on a roll! WOW!
For the sake of this example, let’s just say she isn’t in the dire straights and it’s her choice to save money. (Realistically, there are people in a position that their only options are to either make drastic cuts or find extra income, quickly.)
Here’s Nancey, she is making all of these changes at once. She feels great…she is in control and she is doing this!
The big question is, "How sustainable is it?".
Time goes by, Nancy is getting antsy… she would really love to go out to dinner (or even order takeaway food)…she missing watching her favourite programs on Netflix…she regrets selling many of the things she parted with…and so on.
Eventually, Nancy begins slipping back into old habits and patterns and before she knows it, she is in the same situation she was in before, actually, it’s a little worse because she kinda binges on the things she was missing out on. The only thing she’s achieved is to feel even worse than she did before because now, on top of everything else, she has failed to achieve her goals.
But hey, there’s no need for Nancy to be so hard on herself. It's not that she’s weak or anything like that…the problem is she took on too much, too quickly.
Moral of the story:
Change is a process, instead of trying to change everything at once, change one thing at a time.
To be successful at making changes stick, pick ONE thing that you want to do differently today, and do that thing.
When you have established that new pattern or habit, choose the next thing you want to change and work on that.
This will help you to stay focused and achieve what you set out to do.
Remember...it took time to create and instill unhealthy financial habits and it's going to take time to establish and implement new, healthy ones.
Until next time…
Have a fantabulous day and always let your awesomeness shine!
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