The Catalyst for Financial Change

by | Jan 6, 2016 | 2 comments

Happy New Year!

I know it has been a while since my last blog post. I ended up taking an unexpected sabbatical from writing at the end of the year that helped me refocus on where I want to take Every Single Dollar in 2016. I am excited about the content I will be bringing to you all!

This past week I was reflecting on the idea of setting New Year’s resolutions and how they tend to be very short-lived. One of the biggest reasons for their failure is that it takes a lot more focused effort over time to deliver the results that we are looking for. In a world that has gotten used to microwave speed and instant gratification, many people give up when the reality of the results in the short-term doesn’t match up with their expectations of what the results should have been. There is not enough patience and diligence to keep people moving past that first week.

Outside of patience and diligence to make a change, there is that one word that tends to be a New Year’s resolution buzz kill: comfort. Making a change in your life requires some pain and sacrifice to reach your end goal. Once a person sees what actual work it takes to make a change, suddenly their current situation doesn’t seem so bad. The person is willing to put up with the current state because making a change seems like too much work and that the trade-off will not be worth it.

This is why people stay buried in poor financial situations for years. Oftentimes they have the financial means to get themselves out of debt, to save more for retirement, to be able to give more to others. But instead they are amenable to stay in their current situation so that they can drive the most current car with a car loan, rack up credit card debt to go on fabulous vacations and buy designer clothes, and live in houses where they overmortgage themselves so they couldn’t sell their house if they wanted to.

It’s not until you have had the “I’ve Had It!” moment that real change begins to occur. You have to get so sick and tired of the situation that you are in that you are willing to move mountains (maybe even literally!) to make a change. This is where people fail at their New Year’s resolutions. They make the declaration that they are ready to make a change but they don’t have the emotional connection to do so.

For me the “I’ve Had It!” moment came a few weeks after New Year’s 2010 when all the hubbub of resolutions died down. It was an honest look at my life and deciding enough was enough when it came to my finances. I couldn’t continue down the same path I had been walking or else I knew my future was doomed financially. Watching my grandmother balance the checkbook and thinking of all the sacrifices she and my grandfather had made that I was wasting. That was that emotional connection that became my catalyst to make a financial change.

My hope and dream for you in 2016 is that you find your emotional connection to make a positive financial change in your life. My resolution is to help guide you through the change process once you have made that connection. Wishing you a wonderful New Year and a positive new beginning in your financial life!