My mouse won’t move. The screen is still. Nothing will respond on my computer, except the “death spiral” that tells me that my laptop is frozen.
I’m not the only one who knows (and dreads) this moment, am I?
Now what? Do I wait to see if the computer will fix itself? Or, do I push – with intentional force – the small, round reset button?
I’m not the only one who pushes the reset button ASAP, am I?
“Work. Please work,” I whisper. I hope. I push.
I’m not the only one who finds that this same kind of up-against-the-wall scenario can arise around money, am I?
No. I’m definitely not the only one – especially as we near the end of the year. Many of us are probably craving a fresh start, finance-wise, for 2018. For you, a monetary reboot might look like cutting up your credit cards or paying off your debt. You may decide to begin saving for retirement, or you may begin a new job. Perhaps you’ll create a budget that seems sustainable, once and for all.
Here are some helpful guidelines to consider when it feels like your only choice is to push the financial reset button…
1) Observe and listen.
The holiday season welcomes and invites conversation. You might be sitting around a dinner table and hear (for the first time or the gazillionth time) a specific financial method, judgment, or personal opinion from family and friends. This is data for you to observe and consider. But remember, money stories are human stories. Even if the storyteller’s experience resonates, their ideas or principles might not be helpful to you. Money stories have a way of sounding true for everyone, but only you decide what data to absorb, assess and activate.
Take big, deep breaths during this season. Observe the systems inherent in your financial life and the stories from your family of origin. And look for the vast wisdom within that’s there for you to digest, consider and maybe even use to reboot and reset, if it applies to your specific life.
2) Choose financial reboots with a sustainability plan.
I often hear desires like these, especially between the end of one year and the start of a new one: “I’d like to start saving $X per month,” or, “I’d like to make $X income this year.” These are good desires. I fully believe that stating intentions out loud does create a new reality. I also believe that it’s helpful to reflect upon history to gauge sustainability.
For example, if you haven’t saved in the past, then craft a small, yet impactful goal to start. Commit to a doable challenge. Financial changes or reboots require shifts in habits that need to be determined, practiced and committed to. Habit formation takes time – anywhere from 18 to 254 days, depending on the activity’s difficulty.
3) Bring positive awareness to your financial resets.
Financial realities are driven by non-financial habits, emotions and psychological desires. In other words, when people make financial resets, they are dealing with all of their humanity.
Money conversations are often reminders of the hard and challenging realities of life. But what if they could also be a pathway to reveal your brilliance, your resilience and your strength? Believe me: if you can’t find something good and lovely in your money story, you aren’t looking deep enough. Make a list of 10 items that highlight your strength and confidence and allow this list to inspire new forms of yourself in 2018.