An unpredictable year is upon us once again.
The world around us feels so out of control. It is hard to imagine setting goals and actually sticking to them. However, with the right tools, anything is possible, even in today’s environment. When you combine financial strategies with positive mental health strategies, you can accomplish anything.
Step 1: Set tiny goals!
This is something many of us struggle with. We want to set big goals so we can achieve big results. Unfortunately, the big goals are also the ones that require a lot of change, and we humans aren’t great at adapting to big change in short periods of time. Therefore, if your goal is to save more money in 2022, make it more specific. For example, cancel one streaming subscription out of the three or four you currently have. Or you might opt to cut out one lunch take-out order a week. This is a more manageable change than saying you’ll never eat out again. What other financial goals are on your mind? Tell me in the comments.
Step 2: Allow yourself the time to adjust to that one small change.
It takes sixty days to create a new habit and ninety days to make it a permanent lifestyle change. After ninety days, evaluate how you feel. Do you feel like you are still working on this new habit? Then give yourself more time. If you don’t think about it much because it happens naturally, then add another small change.
Step 3: Keep track of small successes!
We love immediate gratification. So how can you reward yourself for small successes without derailing your progress? Consider treating yourself to some extra friend or partner time. You could also reward yourself with some additional meditation time. My favorite is to reward myself with dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is proven to release endorphins that improve feelings of depression and anxiety. It feels good and tastes great! Sounds like a win-win to me!
Step 4: Incorporate mindfulness in your activities.
When embarking on a change to your habits or routine, always know your purpose. When your will power is waning, your purpose will help to center you. If you feel like you might cave in and order lunch on a day when you committed not to, ask yourself what fulfillment that decision will bring. Then, acknowledge the answer to your inquiry without judgment or frustration. Just let it be me and accept yourself and your thoughts for what they are. They are pieces of you, and no matter what decision you make, know you made it consciously and mindfully, not impulsively or under stress.
My wish for you as we step cautiously into 2022 is that you find a small change that creates lasting benefits for your financial and mental health and wellness. If you are struggling to identify what to focus on and need help with your strategy, please contact me for a complimentary consultation.
All my best in the new year,
Christina Gatteri, CFP
Certified Financial Planner
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886