If habits were easy to change, everyone would do them and, quite frankly, I probably wouldn’t have a successful financial coaching business. The #1 thing I help people change are their habits.
If you want something in your life to change, the ONLY person who can change it is YOU! It starts with making small steps towards breaking a habit and then replacing a bad habit with a good habit. Over time, with consistency, you will create the change you want!
Here are today’s 5 tips to help you with your habits.
1. Identify the trigger point
What cause you to do “x” habit? Let’s say “x” is spending money – what causes you to do that? It’s either a need or a want. Putting gas in your car is a NEED. Buying ANOTHER throw pillow at some big box retail store is a WANT. What triggered you to buy the pillow? Do you have Keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome? Does buying it make you happy? Did you buy it because you were mad or sad? Is it an impulse buy?
Identifying the trigger point will help you change the habit of emotional or impulse buying.
2. Purge the Plastic
It is SUCH a habit in today’s society to swipe the plastic – whether it be a debit card or a credit card. Credit cards have balances we can max out. Debit cards most often come with overdraft protection. Most often, a higher interest rate or an overdraft fee is NOT enough to get us to change bad buying habits. So, we need to purge the plastic. Cancel overdraft protection. Call the credit card company and put a cap on your spending limit. (DO NOT allow them to just automatically increase your available balance). Get in the habit of NOT using plastic!
3. Cash is King!
Once you have purged the plastic, its time to set up your cash envelope. I STILL use one for gas and one for grocery. On occasion, I will use one for a “big box store” shopping trip. From time to time, I swipe the debit card for gas and grocery but I mostly use the envelope. This helps keep me IN the habit of staying on budget and avoiding impulse buys. Get in the habit of USING cash!
4. Answer the questions – WHY?
WHY do you want to make the change? Answer that and WRITE IT DOWN, in pen, pencil, crayon, marker, highlighter, etc. Write it ON PAPER. Then, attach a feeling to that answer. How will it make you feel once you change a habit? The answer MUST have a feeling attached to it. Emotions are powerful.
5. Make New Friends
Is the group of people you hang out a detriment to you changing habits? Don’t just “ditch” those friends, but add in new friends who ALREADY have the habits you are trying to create. They will be your cheerleaders, your advisers and your inspiration for making the change! You can find people in IRL (in real life) or in online communities.
What habit are you going to work on changing TODAY? You can do it! Do you need some help?
Contact me for a free initial consultation over the phone. I am living proof that you CAN change and learn to remain diligent to the process.
The diligent prosper. #debtfreelife