It’s almost the end of January and by now your New Year’s resolutions would either be in full swing or long forgotten. It’s a common affliction we all face. We make plans and we have the best intentions, but then things just don’t go as we wish. Sometimes we are fortunate and it’s better than we could have imagined. Other times it’s just a disaster. Take the case of savings. Many of us usually try to save towards some goal, whether it is for a vacation, a car or retirement. Each month we put aside a few dollars towards our goal. Then life happens, unexpected events that wipe out emergency funds and force us to dip into our savings. My younger clients sometimes feel this frustration quite intense. They are prone to make comments like: “I try, but I just can’t do it”, “it doesn’t matter now”, “I’ll figure that out later” when it comes to savings. Sometimes it can feel like we are not in control.
The research is actually showing us that, this may not be just a feeling. The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences conducted studies which revealed that our decisions are made seven seconds before we become aware of them. This means that when you think you made the decision in the moment, you are actually did so seven seconds ago and you are at that moment just catching up! Every decision we make is made seven seconds before we become aware of it. This really puts things in a different light. Perhaps our lives are predetermined. If so, does this means that our financial life and financial status is already determined?
As hopeless and scary as that sounds, it’s not all bad. It also doesn’t mean we don’t do anything because we are predisposed to be a particular way. Our brains are able to make a decision based only what we have allowed into our subconscious. So while on the surface it may look like we have no control, we in fact do.
If we feed our subconscious the wrong information about what we believe is true for us financially, then in spite of conscious effort, the subconscious will always win. It is the program that is running. It is the one that is making the decisions before you are even aware of them. It is doing so based on what information we have stored there. We have to overwrite what we currently have in our subconscious. If we are not happy with the current program that is running we simply have to change it. Easier said than done, but imperative that we do. It is impossible to have negative beliefs about money and accumulate a lot of it.
To change our money programming, we have to change the way we think and feel about money and most importantly, what we believe can be true for us.
Here are some steps you can take to start the process:
- Identify what your current thinking is. Do you believe you can be financially successful or do you think it’s just a dream?
- Start changing any limiting or negative belief by setting small achievable goals. Show yourself, you can achieve these financial goals. Once you reach one goal keep setting bigger and bigger goals.
- Find a role model you can relate too. Find someone who has a similar background to you and see how they became financially successful. If it is someone similar to you, it will be easier to believe that you can do it too.
- Start practicing good financial habits. Start looking for ways to save more and spend less. Small steps for instance make coffee at home instead of stopping at the coffee shop. Small changes go a long way. Keep expanding your scope as your confidence grows.
- There will be setbacks. Don’t throw in the towel. Get back up, shake it off and keep persevering. Changing our programming is not an easy process, so if you fall, and you will, forgive yourself and get back on track.
- Be persistent, if you want it bad enough you have the power to change your programming. Don’t give up even when you mess up!