Change doesn’t always feel easy, it takes us into the unknown and unknowns naturally create fear. The automatic response to fear is to avoid it, stay the same, to stay safe. Money change has an extra added layer of being both emotional and practical, our feelings about it’s value and our value, its worth and our worth are often intertwined and these feelings can make facing financial change more challenging.
But if we change nothing, nothing changes. Here are 4 steps to create money change, that lasts.
1. Acknowledge your Thoughts & Feelings
Even when we want things to change we can feel fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, perhaps even fear of success. Acknowledge these thoughts and feelings because they are there for a reason. By not acknowledging them they will continue to play in the background, unconsciously effecting the change you want to make. Acknowledgement is awareness and awareness gives us a window to begin changing what quietly happens in the background.
Write down what thoughts and feelings are coming up for you around the Money Change you want to see. Acknowledge, but don’t judge them. Explore what is useful about these thoughts and what creates a challenge for this change. Are these even your thoughts or have they been learned from parents, spouse or previous experience.
If you’re not sure then I’ve created you a handy Family Money Tree to shed some light on who has most influenced your money thoughts and feelings.
2. Create a New Known Future.
Fear of the unknown is perfectly normal. This is why creating a tangible vision of the change, your new future, is also important. The more you imagine it and work toward it, the more familiar it feels and the safer we feel moving toward it.
Ask yourself what change do you want and why? How would your day to day life look and feel once you achieve that? What would you do differently? How would it feel? What will you be doing instead of what you do today? Commit to that new future with something tangible, it might be as simple as writing it down, recording your thoughts on a voice note or creating a vision board. Find a way that works for you to make it feel known and real.
3. Plot a Path between Today and that Future
Bridge the gap between today and that future by setting goals and actions. Any change, however small is a shift, that is in itself a change. These goals don’t have to be life changing, awe-inspiring, huge steps. Keep them simple, achievable and measurable. But keep acting on them, one step at a time.
I worked with a one-to-one client recently who wanted to increase her income so she and her family could have an easier life where they could enjoy more experiences together and she could also treat herself, rather than just making ends meet.
This is what she did:
- She completed the first two steps as described and acknowledge her feeling of fear, not trusting herself and not deserving to have lots of money. She imagined all the things she and her children would be able to do if that changed and how that felt and what it looked like.
- Then she goal for the amount of extra income that she wanted that would achieve that future vision for her within the next 12 months.
- From there, she broke that down into 2 goals, one involved a career change and the second involved finding the courage to take a promotion.
- Those goals were then broken down into actions she needed to do to achieve each of them.
- She highlighted gaps in her knowledge, reviewed her CV, identified the things she loved doing most and least and Why and noticed she had no savings spaces set up.
- Then she set goals to support and address each of those and took action
- Also, she stayed mindful about the thoughts and feelings each action and goal brought up and explored those, whilst keeping her focus firmly on her future vision.
Changes began happening for her immediately, followed by more change as her confidence and vision grew. She hit her income goal within 7 months, rather than 12 and is now working on increasing that once more and enjoying the rewards with her family. This same approach can be used with any money goals, just commit to the change to start.
4. Reflect, Review and Reward
We don’t have to change everything overnight. Even a small change, a shift, is in itself a change.
As we repeat these new behaviours they begin to become the learned habits and the brain does what it does best, it repeats. But for lasting change, until the new habits become exactly that, habits, we need to reflect, review and reward.
Reflect on what has worked and what hasn’t worked and do this with gratitude and without judgement. If something isn’t working then review it. Ask yourself what can you do differently? What’s stopping it working, is it thoughts, feelings? Was the goal too big? Do you need more time? Did you have everything you needed in place to make it achievable? What can you do instead? Do you need more support?
Reward yourself for the successes, however big or small. Celebration is a positive reinforcer for change and helps to motivate us to continue. Money is for enjoying so the more positivity, thankfulness and celebration you can associate with this, the more likely the money change is to last.
Give these 4 steps a go , you already have everything within you to make a change, so make the money change you want to see.
Want to make Money Changes but need support?