ZenHabits is one of the loveliest blogs I know.
Today’s post was on micro-addictions, and how to overcome them. I recommend taking a moment to read the post.
Interestingly, I was interviewed by Global TV about money habits – the little things, not the huge stuff and in a way, the little things are micro-money-addictions. (watch for it this Monday, 6pm news – BC only, I think.)
So here’s an adaptation of the original post, directed towards money.
Think of a little money habit that you have, that does not serve you well.
photo credit: idogcow
Hands up: Who…
- eats lunch out, too often?
- goes shopping, just for the sake of getting out and doing something?
- often impulsively picks up the tab for others, even though your RRSPs aren’t in solid shape?
Here are some tips to help, again, drawing directly on the ZenHabits post by Jonathon Mead.
- Do your best. When we fall back into die-hard habits, it’s easy to resign ourselves to failure in this area. Once we resign ourselves, it’s hard to make a change. Instead, give yourself a bit of mental space to seek to do better.
- Chip away. Take a second, right now, to think of making a change for just one day. For example, plan to bring your lunch on Monday. Or this weekend, make plans that are not shopping.
- Think small and act big. There is so much pressure in our society to make heroic-sized changes. Don’t think that way or you’ll likely psyche yourself out from the get-go. Instead, think of a small change you could make, then act fully on that small change.
- Change your environment. For example, do you go shopping in part just to get out of the house? Why? Is there something you could do to make your home more appealing?
- One thing at a time. I frequently need to my clients – typically coming to me for money coaching all raring to go – to master one change, before moving to the next. Rather than a dramatic overhaul, try eliminating only one bad money habit, and switching it to something positive. Do this until the new habit is firmly in place, before moving to the next change.
- Be persistent. If you fall off, dust yourself off and get back on the plan. If you dropped a chunk of serious change in a round-of-drinks for the 15 person crowd, well, so be it. It doesn’t have to be any prediction of future behaviour.
- Reject perfection. The perfect time to start something will never arrive. Start tomorrow. Give it a shot. See what happens, rather than aiming for the time when all the stars will be aligned.
- Do some value work. This is so ! important. The whole point behind changing money habits is to live out your values. What are your values? Take a moment to identify at least three key values you hold, and ask yourself how well your money is going into those values.
- Be content. Enough said.
- Stop Thinking. Start doing.
Readers: any other suggestions on how to approach changing a micro-addiction that impacts your money?