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Small decisions lead to big change

Making the decision to change some aspect of your life that isn’t working can sometimes feel like an impossible task, but with a subtle shift in perspective there is an easy, and yes, simple way to see big progress in a short amount of time.

Choose one thing to focus on for a specific amount of time, notice how knowing makes a difference, and come up with a plan to change what isn’t working. Do this instead of trying lots of things all at the same time.  The reason this approach is more effective is when you focus on one thing at a time, you can tell when your actions are making a difference.

So, here is how it plays out in real life. You may say to yourself… Hmmm… I’m saving for a vacation to Mexico in the Spring but I don’t have as much money at the end of the month as I think I should.

Step 1 – Focus on one thing

I’m going to spend the next four weeks writing down every cent that I spend so that I have a good understanding of where my money is going. (Why? Because you can’t fix what you aren’t conscious of)   Side Tip: If you are concerned you’lll forget to write things down, make sure you get a receipt for every purchase you make and put them in the same place for review at the end of the week).

Step 2 – Notice how knowing makes a difference

I find out… Wow I go to the ATM machine for cash way more than I realized, and I spend a LOT on impulse purchases. No wonder I don’t have as much money at the end of the month. I have to do something about that.

Step 3 – Come up with a plan to change what isn’t working.

  • Small Decision #1 – I will only use cash for my variable spending.
  • Small Decision #2 – I will only withdraw the cash that I need for a week, one week at time.
  • Small Decision #3 – I will set up a “Mexico Vacation” savings account that I can’t access using my debit card.
  • Small Decision #4 – I will have automatic deposits transferred to my savings account every week.

See, easy does it – one step at a time.  Put a timeline on things, check in with yourself regularly, and before you know it,  you’re bank account has gone from Red to Black.

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