Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
Are you one of those very normal people who are crystal clear about what you want but find it frustratingly impossible to get there? Do you set realistic goals, like saving for a deposit to buy your first property, only to have life get in the way? If so, then maybe all you need are a few mindset tweaks. Read on to find easy tips that’ll help you nail those goals
Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
No matter how big you dream, if you don’t train your mind to replace restrictive and negative thoughts with possibilities and successes, you’ll always find distractions and excuses to deny yourself the life you want and deserve.
To date, your mind has created all your successes and all your failures—all of it! Maybe it wasn’t you who formed your young mind but now, as an adult, you’re solely in control of what goes in there, how you process things and what comes out the other side. So, to change your life all you have to do is change your thoughts. Easy, right?
Well, no, not always.
While this is a simple concept, it doesn’t come naturally or easily to us cynical humans but to create positivity you have to get your headspace right.
Always mindset before skillset.
Changing thinking habits of a lifetime will take determination and sacrifice but if you don’t do the work, all your other financial learnings will probably stay in your brain as theory. The following simple steps could be the key to turning that theory into practice and unlocking a new level of financial security in your world. Always learn to think big.
Work Out What You Want And Who You Want To Be
To take control of your finances and create the financial future that you want, give yourself a financial reboot. Here are some ways to do that
- Forget the limitations that you’re comfortable with
- Forget the limitations of others, especially your family
- Forget what others want for you or who they think you should be
- Think big and know that you can be a great success
- Believe in yourself and your goals
- Stick with it!
None of the above mean that you run away from your responsibilities but they do mean that you need to be respectful of that money you’ve worked so hard to create and be mindful of every cent you spend.
“Always think of yourself as an investor,” advises financial planner and founder of Wealth Designer, Mary Barker. “When you go to buy that treat, whether it’s the shoes you don’t need or a meal out, think of yourself as an investor. As an investor, ask yourself, how could I make this money grow for me and my future?”
In other words, what do you want your life to become? What do you really want? Do you really want that fancy meal out or do you want a secure future?
I’m serious; really think about it. Put the book down, pick up a pen and paper and let your imagination wander as far and as wide as possible. Think of at least 15 things that you want and write them down.
Not sure where to start? Ask yourself:
- What are my financial goals for this year, next year, and the next five and ten years?
- What qualification would I need for my perfect job/income? What steps can I take today to move closer to making that happen?
- How many investment properties do I need to feel financially secure?
- When would I like to buy my first or next property?
- What are my family goals?
- Where do I want to live now and later? In what kind of property?
- What are my romantic goals?
- What are my health goals?
- What are my social goals?
- Who do I admire and want to be like?
- What kind of interesting people would I like to hang out with? How will I find them?
- What clothes do I want to wear, how do I want to appear?
- Where do I want to travel?
- What car do I want to drive?
- What hobbies would I enjoy doing?
- What superhero did I dream of becoming as a child?
Do you feel excited and motivated? Right now, you probably do but will that last until next week or even as early as this evening? Life has a habit of keeping us “in our place” and one of its strongest tools is fear. It won’t usually take long for your mind to turn around to a whole load of “what-ifs” and “as-ifs”. Or, just when you’re getting into the swing of saving, a friend or family member might say, “Don’t be so boring, come out with us/book that holiday/buy those shoes—live a little!”
There is a way to calm those fears and stay focused. Again, pick up your pen and paper and write another list. This time, for each point above, write down your goal, what you’re scared of, what would be the worst possible outcome and how that would affect you.
Entrepreneurship is doing what others won’t do in the short-term so that you can do what others can’t do in the long-term. – Anonymous
Q: What is my financial goal this year?
A: To save two hundred dollars a week towards the deposit of a property
GOAL: How do I get there?
A: Earn more and spend less. Cut back on non-essentials such as paying for lunch. Search for a better job and, once I find it, spend less than I currently earn.
FEAR: But if I cut back on spending I won’t be able to socialize, so how will I stay close to my friends and know what’s going on?
A: Be more flexible. Invite my friends to hang out at my place more; go out on the cheap (stay away from expensive drinks but enjoy a few beers); and get creative (more picnics, less pricey restaurants!)
OUTCOME: While I’ll have more money in my pocket to edge my way closer to the life of my dreams, I’ll still have my friends and be in the loop.
Saving Is Easy When You Know How
If the thought of saving overwhelms you, start here.
1) Be a smart shopper: I love to shop and have way too many clothes. However, I'm still a responsible spender. I hardly ever buy anything at full price, I enjoy going to secondhand markets with my friends, feel good when I shop at charity shops and I can navigate an outlet center like a pro! Not only do I get a buzz when I spend $50 to save $200 (well, that’s how I look at it), the idea of recycling clothes and not adding to our crazy consumer society, helps me sleep at night
2) Buy what you need not what you want: The following items are “wants” not “needs” so consider finding more affordable versions or cancelling them altogether:
- Pay TV channels and paid music
- Mobile phone packages
- Insurances (cheaper, not none!)
- Newspapers or magazines
- Take away food including coffees and lollies!
- Credit cards with high interest rates and limits. The higher the limit of your credit card (even if it’s never full) the less money the bank will lend you for a mortgage—often by tens of thousands. And, when you buy something on your credit or debit card that you don’t need or worse, can’t afford, all you’re doing is robbing your future self.
Real Quick Tip
This is when you need your positive, high-fiving support group, who share your financial values, around you. Surround yourself with frivolous big spenders and it’ll be very hard to cut back on your spending.
Q: What qualification will I need?
A: More tertiary education so I am better qualified for that promotion/pay rise and more attractive to new employers
GOAL: How do I get there?
A: Work out a budget and live frugally. Ask people to help me with chores and responsibilities and spend my spare time studying (possibly online) in the short-term so that I can live the life I want in the long-term
FEAR: If I study to improve my qualifications, it’ll eat into my social and family time as well as my savings. It’s just too hard, I’ll be fine.
A: I’ll make wonderful, new, like-minded friends on the course who could lead to amazing opportunities. My friends and family won’t go anywhere and will always support me.
OUTCOME: After a few busy (very busy!) years, I’ll have a job that I’m proud of and earn more money to look after myself and my financial future.
If during your new journey you find yourself ready to give up, go back to your lists. Use the adrenaline you get from your anxieties and fears to propel you forward. Put one foot in front of the other until you’re on a new path to a better life.
You can do this, and you are so much more than you realise.