Last year I planned to develop a number of habits, not all of them stuck.
I didn’t always eat healthy or exercise in the way that I’d planned. I got bored of going to the gym before the global pandemic gave me the excuse to no longer be permitted to attend. I ate healthily most of the time, but probably drank a few more glasses of wine than I intended.
However, the one habit that I did develop, which I am pleased to have stuck with, was a focus on numbers and finance.
In life’s busyness, my priority is always delivering to customers, developing programmes that make a positive impact, and family time, rather than sitting down and working through spreadsheets or chasing up late invoices.
But last year I built time for this into my week and stuck to it. I had focused on: keeping an eye on outgoings and making efficiencies where I could, such as reducing the data on my phone, as I was home all the time using WIFI. Reducing debt as quickly as possible and making sure I had secured the lowest interest rate and also keeping an eye on cash flow, invoicing promptly and chasing invoices that were outstanding.
So here are my three tips to create habits that stick:
- Make your Promise – I developed a journal that encouraged me to have an annual and monthly financial goal not just for income, but for reducing outcomes and debt also. After all, if you don’t know where you are going, how can you get there?
- Monitor how you Measure Up – I logged all of my income from work, and how I was doing for reducing outgoings. I also captured the little bonuses that came my way. Like someone sending me a gift or a voucher, receiving refunds or rebates, even finding loose change in the pocket of a jacket that I hadn’t worn in a while.
- Reinforce the idea – I had a money mantra. Money mantras are short, powerful statements that you declare to yourself regularly and loudly to help you build your money confidence, attract abundance in your life, and reach your goals. Here’s an example from Jolenta Greenberg “ I am so responsible and in charge that money is desperate to hang out with me.”
Although I am sharing these tips, I think that it’s important to always remember that everyone’s situation is different. It probably helped that I worked from home most of the year and as a result had more time to keep an eye on my finances, and less expenses due to not travelling for work.
I imagine that I will have to work hard to keep this habit post pandemic. However, I do believe that I can use the learning from this experience to create habits that stick in other areas of my life.
Make your promise, monitor how you measure up and reinforce the idea. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.