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1. Start Small

Going whole hog right from the start is a recipe for relapse. Instead, start small. As a parallel example, if you want to start exercising but can’t fathom committing to a gym routine, then start with five minutes a day. (I started that way and progressed to an hour — which I now love).

Even if you don’t think it will make a big difference, the small and manageable start creates habits you can build on.

2. Change Jobs

It might be to inject some passion into your work, to earn more money, or for another soul-satisfying reason, but changing jobs might be the change of scenery you need to inspire other big financial changes.

3. Eliminate Negativity

Negative people and influences do you no good. In order to stay on track with big changes, surround yourself with positive, supportive people.

4. Understand Want vs Need

The things you “want” will probably detract you from your big financial changes, whereas the things you “need” must be incorporated into the plan.

5. Track Your Expenses

You can’t make big financial changes unless you know your starting point and end goal. Your initial expense tracking is your starting point, and continuing the process will help you stay on track.

6. Share Your Plans

Telling your family and friends about your planned financial changes will create a support network and keep you accountable to your goals.

7. Track Your Progress

Big changes can be slow going, so you need to see that you’re getting somewhere otherwise you’ll give up. To track your progress, you can use a journal, a vision board, or a giant poster-board designed to track your progress.

I have a friend who wanted to get in shape on their treadmill. So they decided to walk across Canada — on the treadmill. They recorded their distance walked each day, and watched their proverbial progress across the country as they logged it on a large map. This kept them motivated to walk every day; the treadmill experience alone was too boring.

8. Revise as Necessary

Be willing to revise the changes you’re making. If it’s a long-term goal, your life might change along the way such that your initial goal is no longer paramount or relevant. Part of the process of tracking your progress is being willing and able to adjust your goals with your life.

9. Replace Habits

Instead of trying to cut bad habits right out, find a positive or constructive (or at least less counter-productive) way to replace them. For example every time you want to buy a latte, do something else that helps you achieve a similar satisfaction — perhaps buying a pack of gum or eating a chocolate-covered coffee bean. Under the principles of behavior modification, you can change unwanted habits by replacing them.

10. Practice Projection: If This, Then…

Create a projection forward in time from where you are now given your current course. This is what your life will look like in “x” years if you don’t make any changes.

Then project what your situation will look like in the same time frame if you make your proposed changes. Compare the two outcomes. Are you inspired by the difference in projections?

Categories: Buyers

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