Life mat­ters: Heidi Arm­strong

A pos­i­tive at­ti­tude, with clear aims, is es­sen­tial for achiev­ing a bet­ter life

Money Magazine Australia - - CON­TENTS -

Peo­ple of­ten think about chang­ing their fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion be­cause they want a bet­ter life for them­selves. But how do you move from that state of “want­ing” to that state of “hav­ing”? There is a lot you can do but the first step is to be clear about what you want.

Es­tab­lish your goals

Get­ting clear about your as­pi­ra­tions re­quires giv­ing your­self per­mis­sion to just “be” and to re­flect on what in­spires and mo­ti­vates you. Tap­ping into your gen­uine de­sire for some­thing vastly im­proves your chances of suc­cess. For­get about what you think you “should” achieve, or what Mike and Mary from down the road are do­ing. Some­one else’s goals sim­ply won’t work for you. Ide­ally, when you pic­ture your­self in that state of hav­ing achieved your goal, it should feel right.

Clear the neg­a­tiv­ity

It’s now time to get over your­self! Sorry, but if you fill your head with all the rea­sons why that per­fect house, that higher bank bal­ance or that hol­i­day in Fiji can’t hap­pen – well, guess what? Chances are it won’t. It’s time to take back con­trol of your head space and clear the neg­a­tive self-talk so the pos­i­tive mes­sages can get some air time. Maxwell Maltz, in his 1960 book Psy

cho-Cy­ber­net­ics, says it takes 21 days to break a bad habit. So if you are caught in a neg­a­tive thought pat­tern about what is pos­si­ble, don’t beat your­self up. Just keep re­mind­ing your­self that get­ting to where you want is achiev­able; it might just take some time.

The good thing is that free help is avail­able. YouTube has a plethora of videos on mind­ful­ness and med­i­ta­tion. If you’re time poor, apps are es­pe­cially use­ful as they of­ten have quick au­dio tu­to­ri­als that you can use when in tran­sit or dur­ing work breaks. Headspace, 1 Gi­ant Mind and Anx­i­ety Free are just a few of the many free apps that might help.

Take ac­tion

Af­ter you’ve re­moved all the un­wanted noise in your head and are ready to make space for the things that count, it’s time for the next step. It re­ally doesn’t mat­ter at this point what ac­tion you take, pro­vided you do some­thing that moves you closer to your fi­nan­cial goals. I’d love to say, “Don’t worry about it, keep vi­su­al­is­ing your goals and all your dreams will come true.” But the tough re­al­ity is that un­less you push your­self into ac­tion, the sta­tus quo will reign supreme.

Face your fears

As you start to take ac­tion and make in­roads to­wards achiev­ing your goals, things might start to sur­face that bring about feel­ings of fear. This is only nat­u­ral but you’ve got to take away the power of the beast.

Sur­pris­ingly, the best thing you can do is bring those neg­a­tive thoughts front and cen­tre and con­front them head-on. Ev­ery­thing seems worse when hid­den – that’s why scary movies don’t show the bo­gey­man in broad day­light!

As you do this, you’ll start to build mo­men­tum and re­duce the fear that keeps you paral­ysed. When it comes to set­ting our­selves up for fi­nan­cial suc­cess, or achiev­ing any sig­nif­i­cant goal, it’s just a path­way of small steps. Much like tack­ling a marathon, it’s im­por­tant to keep those end goals in mind while you keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Tool­kits to help

There are a num­ber of money man­age­ment apps such as Pock­et­book and Money Bril­liant that not only keep you fo­cused on your goals but al­low you to keep your fi­nan­cial po­si­tion front and cen­tre. Both these apps link to your bank ac­counts and keep you fo­cused on what you’re spend­ing and when your bills are due. There’s noth­ing quite like hav­ing push no­ti­fi­ca­tions keep­ing you hon­est when it comes to your money habits (both good and bad).

The more you can find those small steps to bring your fears front and cen­tre the closer you’ll be to reach­ing your fi­nan­cial dreams. Be­fore you know it, you’ll be ex­pand­ing your wish list even fur­ther and stay­ing on track to achiev­ing those too.

Heidi Arm­strong is fi­nance ex­pert for Money to Love, a TV and ra­dio pre­sen­ter and a thought lead­er­ship award win­ner.

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