We resist a lot of things. We resist significant others, we resist those more knowledgeable, we resist authority, and we resist change. Resistance is a part of life; it’s in our DNA and can be extremely dangerous. Resistance is an automatic response to feeling coaxed or to misunderstanding. It is, misunderstanding or lack of clear, effective communication that, in my opinion, started every conflict that has ever been. And so, it goes with managing our finances as well.
Research has shown that when people are trying to change destructive or negative behaviors, only 20 percent of us are in a ready or action phase to change this behavior.
The other 80 percent are really not interested in changing at all and are in fact various stages of ambivalence toward the bad behavior.
One of my favorite quotes from Mahatma Gandhi is, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
I like it because it can be used and adapted to many situations and circumstances. If you want to make a change in your financial life, you must change your financial behavior or how you handle money. And to do that, you need to think differently.
The following tips will help you realize the change you want to see in your finances and help you improve your financial behavior.
See that Change is Needed
You are the one, you are the person that will need to make the decision to change. No one can make that decision for you. And to make a change you must first see a need for change. Until you see a real tangible need for change or realize the need for change, no change will take place.
You may not see a pressing need for change at the current time but maybe a family member or friend does.
Ask them if they feel like a certain spending pattern needs to adjust.
If enough family or friends think that you overspend when you go shopping, you probably do and a change in your spending habits is needed. Doing this, can help you see behavior that you may not see, or not see as such a problem.
Develop and Implement Plan of Action
Once you decide to change you need a plan to make the adjustments needed. Your plan should map out steps that you will take to change and possible barriers to finishing the plan.
Additionally, you need to develop strategies for combating the barriers to plan completion. For example, maybe you have a problem when you go shopping that you spend more than you should. This could be a barrier to your plan for changing your overspending habits not coming to completion. Therefore, to combat this barrier, you set a spending limit and take that amount of money with you when you go shopping so that you will not go over the limit.
Maybe you make a list beforehand and take it with you as a tool to combat overspending.
Review and Revise Plan
Plans are just that, plans, and almost meant for change. Review your plans periodically to see if you are working with your plan and it is working with you. If your plan seems to be working…great! No need for adjustments, keep doing what you are doing.
However, if the plan does not seem to be working, it’s time to make a change. Try going back to the problem that caused you to change in the first place.
Are you seeing the problem correctly?
Next, revise the plan based on how you see the change that is needed now.
You can change destructive or bad behaviors. You must want to change the behavior first. Then develop a plan and review the plan every week or so. Revise the plan when it is not working for you.