Most people want to “jump or leap” into their New Year resolutions and have good intentions on January 1st. I recommend a more strategic and supportive approach so that you can actually reach your financial goals this year.
You wouldn’t compete in an Ultraman Triathalon without any training, right? A fundamental part of training for the Ultraman is the mind game that goes with it. The most successful athletes know that 80% of winning is in the psychology and mental dialogue that goes on while training and competing. Achieving your financial goals requires similar mental capabilities, and strategy, so learning how to play the money game in the New Year is a step in the right direction!
Use the 15 Minute Money Strategy
Spend 15 minutes each day focusing on your finances and taking action. Although it’s admirable to schedule a couple hours a week or even a whole day at a time, most people don’t even get started as they find it overwhelming to set aside this much time at once.
Allocating 15 minutes each day is manageable and with 90 days of commitment to this schedule you are at least starting and taking steps to create a supportive habit. The most challenging part is actually starting so set a timer and focus for 15 minutes as a commitment. You can always do more but committing to the 15 minutes is a great way to build a habit of doing and you will be amazed what 15 minutes of focused financial time can help you accomplish!
Keep Your Goals Specific
We live our life in “specifics” and our brains work better as a GPS when we focus on specific goals, so get clear on no more than three financial goals that you want this year. To say “you want more money” is vague and the brain doesn’t know how to sort this out. However, if you have a goal of saving $10,997.50 this year, this is like putting your brain on “laser focus” and will give you a concrete target to work with. Pick three goals and no more so that you are keeping laser focus… too many goals will overwhelm your brain and you. I suggest one goal in each of these areas 1) saving 2) increasing money inflow 3) bucket list or dream.
Having a specific goal around your bucket list will be the “juice” that will motivate you the most so have one goal in this area, and if you can tie it into your personal values this will even help more.
Deal with Consumer Debt
1) not identifying the behaviors that created the debt in the first place
2) not acknowledging your emotional relationship with money, and
3) not exercising delayed gratification.
Most people set a goal of “paying off debt” and consistently struggle with achieving this goal. The reality is that if you haven’t addressed how the debt was created in the first place then it will continue to be manifested again and again, regardless if you pay it off. Your spending patterns and habits will dictate how your consumer debt is created, which is why I don’t recommend paying off debt if you get a cash windfall, until you have determined how the debt was created.
Many of us have done “retail or shop therapy” and this is directly tied to our emotional relationship with money. Understanding what emotions are triggered more frequently when money situations arise, can assist you in managing your responses and curbing your outbreaks of retail therapy.
With the holiday season marketing blitz done and push on immediate gratification tapering off, consumers are hit with buyer’s remorse and dealing with the credit card bills. The ability to delay gratification is fundamental to saving and avoiding consumer debt. I define consumer debt as the gap between your cash coming in and the lifestyle you choose to lead.
Winning the money game requires money mindfulness and an understanding of your money psychology and emotional intelligence around your relationship with money. Knowing the rules and understanding the money game makes it more fun and winnable!
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Kim Deep is a financial and business coach in Edmonton who assists business owners and individuals in creating systems for smart money management and making their numbers work for their businesses. Her authentic and practical approach to systemizing money management helps her clients get clarity and take action in creating sustainable growth and profitability. As a co-facilitator of the life changing “Mastery of Self Expression” workshop with producer, director and actor, Larry Gilman, Kim supports clients in tapping into their passion and getting “real” with their needs and wants so they get what they say they want in life. Her ability to create awareness of people’s psychology around money and the relationships they have with it, are fundamental aspects of helping clients develop positive financial habits and financial independence.