Is 2018 the year you finish your financial resolutions? Jon Acuff’s book, Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done has some surprising principles that will vastly increase your success. I talk about three of them in this video: The Day After Perfect, Cut Your Goal in Half, and Make it Fun if You Want it Done.
3 Ways to Finish Your Financial Resolutions:
The Day After Perfect. What does Jon Acuff mean by “the day after perfect?” It the first day you mess up your resolution. You skip your workout, you eat a donut, you forget to meditate, or you whip out the credit card for some retail therapy. Many of us, myself included, expect perfection from ourselves. When we can’t do it perfectly, we are tempted to throw in the towel and give up on our resolution. A better way to handle this is to go into the process of making financial resolutions knowing that you will mess up. In fact, when I am coaching with a client, I build in what I call “planned failure.” I encourage my clients to take a break from debt reduction or loading up their savings account at least once every five or six months. What do they do with that money during that month? Whatever fun thing they want to! And we determine to get right back on track with their prosperity plan the next month. This conditions people to NOT beat themselves up and quit when they’re not perfect. Because guess what? No one is!
Cut Your Goal in Half (or Double Your Timeline.) This flies in the face of the traditional advice of “shoot for the stars,” “think bigger,” and “go big or go home!” However, most of us overestimate how much we can accomplish in a short period of time. When we don’t achieve the goal we’ve set, we become discouraged, and are tempted to quit, even if we’re made significant progress. Case in point: Let’s say that a couple I’m coaching want to pay off $10,000 in debt over six months, but I encourage them to double the timeline to 12 months. After six month, they have paid $6,000 of their debt off. If they had kept the original timeline, they would feel discouraged, since they only achieved 60% of their goal. With the doubled timeline, they are ahead of schedule and feel motivated and excited to continue. In both scenarios, the couple has paid off $6k in debt, which is impressive! Under the extended timeline they feel energized, but with the compressed timeline they feel demoralized. Emotion is the fuel that will either nurture or kill your prosperity plan.
Make it Fun if You Want it Done. If you want to finish your financial resolutions in 2018, you need to infuse them with FUN. Achieving your money goals does not have to be grueling and tortuous. I highly recommend that all of my clients conduct a Dream Session and create a Financial Vision Board. This is all about dreaming about the future and all of the fun things we’re going to do once we’re financially healthy. I encourage my clients to celebrate the small victories on the way to accomplishing their financial resolutions. Celebrate a credit card bill being paid off with a nice dinner out or other small reward.
When you pair the tips above from Jon Acuff’s book Finish with the personal finance strategies in my book, Money is Emotional: Prevent Your Heart from Hijacking Your Wallet, you’ll be able to knock your money goals out of the park in the New Year! #TimeToFinish