"YOU WILL HAVE MORE SUCCESS IN ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS BY CHANGING ONE THING AT A TIME."
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 the 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 that they didn't just wake up one morning and suddenly there they were, lying in bed, out of shape and unhealthy.
Fast forward a few months and many of the would-be health nuts are nowhere to be found. Not because they are 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.
You would like to start saving more money so you decide that there will be no more dining out, you cut the Netflix, you start using grocery coupons, you sell off everything that you don’t use, you reduce phone plans and so forth.
For the sake of this example, let’s just say that you aren’t in the dire straights and it’s your 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 you are, you are making all of these changes at once. It feels great to know that you are in control and you are doing this!
The big question is, "How long can you sustain this?".
You start to get antsy, you want to go out to dinner…you miss watching your favourite programs on Netflix…you regret selling many of the things that you sold…and so forth.
Eventually, you begin slipping back into old habits and patterns and before you know it you are in the same situation you were in before. The only thing that you have achieved is to feel even worse than you did before because now, on top of everything else, you have failed to achieve your goals.
But hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. It's not that you are weak or anything like that…the problem is that you took on too much, too quickly.
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 that you are going to change and work on that. This will help you to stay focused and achieve what you set out to do.
Remember...it took awhile for you to create unhealthy money habits and it's going to take time to establish new, healthy habits.
If you want to establish new habits:
1. Make a list of the old habits you want to change because they no longer serve you.
2. Make a list of the new habits you want to establish, in order of priority.
3. Choose the most important change that you want to make and do that one thing until it comes second nature to you.
4. Choose the next change that you want to make and do that until it becomes established.
5. Continue to do this until you have gone through the list of changes that you want to make.
Yes, it's going to take time to implement these changes, but you will have more success in achieving your goals if you do it this way. Celebrate the changes you make, and be proud of yourself for doing so!