Identifying the areas you want to change will make it easier for you to get control of your finances. Once you know what areas you need or want to change, you can find the behaviors that lead to these problems and target them. The following questions will help you to assess your current situation.
What Are My Biggest Obstacles?
Ask yourself what is standing in the way of you reaching your financial goals or dreams. Is your debt stopping you from taking your dream vacation? Is your lack of savings making it hard for you to take the risk of applying for a new job? Is your lack of financial stability holding you back from buying a home or going to the next level in your relationship? Identifying these obstacles can help you pinpoint something you need to change or work on over the next year.
What Are My Financial Excuses?
Now, ask yourself what your excuses are. Why do you fail to pay off your debt? Are you looking at your low income as your excuse? Is it your lack of time to cook or to shop for deals? Are you too tired to take on an extra job or to budget? Do you feel like you don't have the time to manage your finances? Make a list of the excuses you use for yourself and others. Take the time to write down every justification that you make for yourself when you know you are breaking from your budget or your plan. Write down those excuses. If you even leave one off, you will not be able to make the changes that you need to win financially.
Where Do You Want to Be Financially?
It is important to identify what you want to change. It may not be about excuses, just something you want to achieve, whether it is a career goal or getting out of debt. You need to write down what you want to change in the next year. If something is holding you back or weighing you down, or if its something you want to reach for to better yourself. Once you acknowledge what you want to change you can begin taking the steps you need to make the lasting changes that you want.
What Can I Do Now?
You need to acknowledge what you want to change to someone else. It is important to actually tell someone you are planning on making these financial changes to your life. This helps you because you acknowledge the goal to someone else, which gives you an accountability person, but it can also stop you from hiding behind the fact that the problem you are facing is a secret. You do not need to tell everyone, just one person who you trust to be supportive and nonjudgmental. It can be scary to do this, but at the same time, the acknowledgment is a huge step. You also need to find ways to work around your problem times or areas. Write down the moments that you are at your weakest and come up with a solution for each one.
Write Down Your Goal
Once you set your goals, write them down on a piece of paper. Make it the screen saver on your computer or your phone. If you are not comfortable doing this, come up with a code or a picture that will symbolize your goal, so that each time you see it you are reminded of what it is you want to accomplish this year. You can make the changes you need and have a constant reminder that will help you to make the lasting changes you need in order to succeed. Put the signs up where you can see them every day.