“In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.” – Jeff Bezos
Does it hit you in the gut when see your credit card statement? Or when you look yet again at that impulse buy you’ve never used? Perhaps you’re feeling guilty about digging into the financial nest egg you worked so hard to build and needing to start all over again? Or maybe you’re stuck in shame over that disastrous investment decision?
Whatever it is – a wrong money move, a spur of the moment decision, taxes that still need to be filed or accumulating bad debt, we’ve all been through financial foibles at some point in our life.
As I usher in the Jewish New Year, a time of new beginnings, I invite you to take a few moments to reflect on the year gone by.
Acknowledge your financial foibles.
And let them go.
It’s time to start anew.
Here are my top 5 steps for granting forgiveness for your money mistakes and moving on:
- Acceptance. We’re human and we make wrong decisions. Not all the time, but sometimes. While there is no turning back the clock, there is always time to accept our mistakes and to learn from them. Start by acknowledging that you were doing the best you could with the resources and the tools you had available.Fix your mistakes where possible. And be extra careful not to get stuck in blame and shame.Use your energies to accept what was and resolve to move on.You have the choice and the power.
- Stop comparing yourself with others. Too many people come into my office and wonder aloud how everyone else is making it. “These neighbors are going on vacation, again. Those guys have a new car. And those folks have the fanciest and most fashionable clothes.”Or at least that’s what we see.From the outside looking in.And whether they do or whether they don’t have their financial act together – it doesn’t. really. matter.Focussing on them distracts you from your own unique set of financial circumstances. Use your time, your energy and your money to make your circumstances the best that they can be.
- Plan your financial recovery. You know the old saying: “people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.”If you’re really ready to forgive your financial mistakes and move forward, then you need a plan. A plan to take you from where you are today to where you want to be financially in the future.Start by asking yourself what your future looks like:Do you want to get out of overdraft, pay off credit card debt or generally spend less than you earn? Do you need to spend less AND earn more? Or just one of them?Are you saving up for a down payment on a house? Or maybe you need to increase (or start?!) your retirement nest egg? How much money will you need and what must you set aside each month to achieve your goals? And do you need to explore investment alternatives to grow your money?Write down your financial goals and the steps you need to reach them. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for maximum success.This is the beginning of your financial plan.
- Take Action. A plan is only as good as the paper it’s written on. To get results you need to take action. Sometimes it’s hard to get started and sometimes it’s hard to keep going.Or both.Start with the tiniest baby step you can take today to move you one step closer to your goal. For example, you can: open up that financial statement that you stuffed into the drawer last month/year; call your bank to check the balance on your account; plan a money date with your honey; or, make an appointment with your accountant to file last year’s taxes.If you’re really challenged you might need to do some money mind-set work to help you move past your money blocks.Or you might need an accountability partner or a financial coach to hold your hand and support you in achieving your financial goals.Regardless of where you’re holding today, the key to getting results is having a plan plus taking action.So let’s get going.
- Forgive yourself. Guilt, shame and remorse over financial foibles can clutter your thinking and potentially even paralyze you from taking action. But when you accept and identify the money habits and patterns that lead to your mistakes, you open yourself up to change.To err is human. To forgive is divine.
I hope you’re ready to take positive action and forgive your money mistakes. I’m ready to celebrate with you.
But if you get stuck at any stage of the process, or if you just know that the way to take better and stronger action is to get some support, click here and schedule a free Financial Discovery Session. Let’s discover what’s holding you back and how I might be able to help you move forward.
With dearest blessings for a sweet and prosperous New Year.
May you be signed and sealed in the Book of Life,