The month of Elul and Rosh Hashanah are a time for reflection on last year and goal-setting for the year ahead. Between honey cake and brisket, shofar and teshuva, hopefully you’re also taking time to set your intentions and make some commitments so that 5776 will be a year of positive change and growth also in your relationship with money.
Here’s a cheat sheet with 7 transformational steps you can take to get ahead with your money this year:
1. Celebrate your Success. Review last year’s money resolutions. Write down what worked and what didn’t. Celebrate your successes, even small ones. Did you renegotiate your cell phone or internet package – woo hoo! A mighty step forward. Let’s say you committed to tracking your spending and cutting your expenses – if you managed for only two out of twelve months, celebrate what you did do. Figure out what derailed your plans and set yourself up for success this year (Hint: See steps 5 and 6). On the other hand if you were too stressed, nervous or scared to make an important money phone call, let’s talk about how you can unblock your money this year.
2. To Forgive is Divine. At this time of the year we sincerely forgive the friends and family who hurt us in the past. Likewise, we reach out and apologize for the insensitive things we said and did and for our other misdoings. Don’t forget to forgive yourself, especially when it comes to money. Nobody was born knowing how to do this money stuff. Cut yourself some slack and forgive. Isn’t it time to wipe the slate clean and to give yourself permission to start again? I forgive you!
3. Declutter …Make room for Transformation. I know it’s not Erev Pesach. But before taking on commitments to get ahead this year, you need to deal with your money clutter. Let go of limiting beliefs and self-defeating messages that are mucking up your brain and holding you back from changing your relationship with money. Here is some of the negative self-talk I hear from my real-life female (and male) clients:
- I’m not good with numbers like you are
- Money is a man’s world
- I always make dumb money decisions
- We’ll never get out of debt
- I don’t know how to read my bank statement
- Money stresses me out too much
- I need courage to do the money work
- I don’t swim in these waters
- Money is so confusing
Do any of these statements ring true for you? It’s time to purge, purge, purge. You are a smart, intelligent, and successful. You have what it takes to get ahead. Let go of the clutter. Cast it away. Let’s call it Money Tashlich. Clear the decks and let the transformation begin.
4. Crush your debt. If this is not you, Hurray! Skip to #6. If this is you, isn’t it time? Overdraft, bank loans and credit card debt suck your energy, cost you huge amounts in interest fees and reduce your choices in this world. The burden of debt has ruined countless lives and marriages. People mired in debt live with stress, anxiety, fear and shame. You owe it to yourself to live a joyous, fulfilling and nourishing life – free of debt and money stress! Decide. Commit. Crush your debt!
5. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals = Achieve!
If you’re not already familiar with the term, a smart goal is:
- Specific, not vague
- Measurable, helping you measure the progress, stay on track and rejoice when you reach your goal
- Attainable, given where you are now
- Realistic, you can reach it
- Timely, has a deadline
Here’s the difference between a fuzzy goal and a SMART goal:
a. I want to get out of debt this year
b. I want to save more money this year
a. I want to pay down $10,000 of credit card debt by September 1, 2016 and I will call up a financial counselor today to make an appointment
b. I want to invest $10,000 in my retirement account by December 31, 2015. I will make an appointment with my financial planner on Wednesday to see how I can make happen and where I should invest the money.
6. Use Your Calendar and Get Things Done. Put the final deadline for your goal in your calendar and then break down your money project into baby steps. Schedule weekly check-ins to make sure you are on track. Make adjustments as necessary. Our lives are super busy with family, work and community commitments. Something will always come up to knock your money goals out of the water. If you don’t plan it, it ain’t gonna happen.
7. Practice Gratitude. Thankfully, we hear this and read this everywhere nowadays (like here). Be grateful for everything good going on in your life right now – your family, your friends, your health, running water, the flowers and the trees, and your computer! Your life is amazing already, right?! Expressing gratitude is a great way to feel positive, to show G-d that you’re paying attention to His world and to open yourself up to receiving His blessings and grace.
So, are you all set for the New Year? Ready to set your money goals with intention and achieve them this year?! Great!
If you get stuck at any stage of this process, or if you just know that this is the year to achieve your money goals smarter and faster reach out and schedule a free 30-minute Money Transformation Coaching Call.
May you be signed and sealed in the Book of Life.
Blessings for a sweet and prosperous New Year,