Fresh Start With Money – 10 Steps Away

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Relationship Advice: The Gift of Listening

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Are You Ready?

Before you charge into the first step, make sure you’re set up for success. Take stock to see if this is the right time for you to transform your relationship with money. To successfully make a change in any area of life requires one or both of these conditions:

  1. the discomfort from what you don’t want has become unbearable
  2. the desire for what you do want has become unavoidable

A little bit of discomfort or a trace desire for something new is usually not enough to motivate a change, let alone sustain it. Money matters are no different. The first step in transforming your relationship with money is to figure out where you are on the discomfort/desire scale.

How much discomfort exists in your relationship with money? Think about the amount of time and energy you expend either worrying about money or trying to avoid it. Consider where you are with your finances (amount of debt, ability to fund your dreams, progress on savings for retirement, etc.) compared to where you’d like to be.

How would you rank your discomfort on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is very low and 10 is extremely high? ____

How much desire exists in your relationship with money? Think about security, freedom, ease, and peace of mind. Think about partnering with your money to fund your dreams and to live a life centered around what’s most important to you.

How would you rank your desire on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is very low and 10 is extremely high? ____

So, how ready are you?

Fresh Start, Here I Come!

If your rankings reflect either or both of the following, you’re in a solid place to launch a new relationship with money. You have compelling reasons to make changes and that bodes well for the momentum you’ll need.

  • Your discomfort is an 8 or more.
  • Your desire is an 8 or more.

Borderline

If you ranked one at a 6 or 7 and the other 5 or lower, you might struggle with motivation throughout the process, but you can certainly increase your desire as you go. Your ability to connect more strongly with your desires will positively impact your ability to change.

Not Quite

Scoring a 5 or lower in both areas probably means this isn’t a good time for you to initiate change in your money relationship. Without a compelling reason, it could be an uphill battle.

Your Fresh Start is 10 Steps Away

  1. Turn on the lights. Take stock of where things stand. You can do this in stages, but the key is to get started. How much debt do you have? How much do you have in savings and in your retirement accounts? What is your credit score?
  2. Take personal responsibility. While other people and external factors can certainly play a part in your financial situation, life happens to everyone. You are ultimately responsible for the choices you’ve made and will make when it comes to your life and your money.
  3. Identify your fears. Avoiding your fears will not help at all. Face your fears head on and peel the layers so you can get down to your core fears. This isn’t pleasant, but going there is the first step to overcoming your fears. Vague, shadowy fears are impossible to battle.
  4. Let go of old beliefs. Mixed in with your fears are your beliefs about money — and about you and money — that no longer serve you. Some examples: “I’m not good with money,” “I’ll be in debt forever,” “People with money are unhappy and materialistic.” Identify your limiting beliefs and be willing to shift them.
  5. Know what you want from your money. Dream, vision, and set goals. Build desire and excitement. If you don’t know what you want, your money doesn’t know either and it can’t do its best work for you. Your ability to connect deeply with your dreams is directly proportional to your financial success.
  6. Know why you want it. Are your dreams rooted in your core values? What will you feel and experience when your goals come to fruition? Review your goals regularly to be sure they’re still relevant and speak to what’s most important to you.
  7. Act in alignment with your goals and new beliefs. Your money behaviors should support all that you’re creating. You must walk your talk. Building integrity into your relationship with money is empowering.
  8. Get informed. Read, take classes, Google financial terms you don’t understand. The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel and the more competent you’ll be.
  9. Get help. There’s no need to be a lone wolf. Reach out for whatever support you need. Maybe it’s counseling, coaching, or getting your best friend to be your money buddy. Or, maybe it’s time to make an appointment with a financial advisor or a debt reduction specialist.
  10. Grow with your money. As with all relationships, your relationship with money changes and grows over time. Keep your goals up to date and take into account any major life changes that impact your finances. Sustaining your new relationship with money is a lifelong process.

© Debbie Lacy, March 2009

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