“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” -Mary Pickford
So many of us have been there. That place where you feel so alone, so vulnerable, so weak. Finances seem to be out of control, the debt seems to be piling up and the income seems to be staying stagnant…or perhaps even worse, declining. There in the middle of it all, you seem stuck. No matter where you look, you cannot find a way out. If only there was a way to escape it all; if only there was a way to conquer this battle that feels like all odds are against you; if only there was a way to get a fresh start.
I have been there myself. Taking a moment to stop and look at the world around me, I see people that appear to be so much better off than I am. I look at them with envy and wish that one day I could be where they are. I know that seeing others achieving their goals and bettering themselves should give me hope and something to model after, but many times it just seems to be a slap in the face.
In today’s world, there are so many options available to help you dig out; filing for bankruptcy, getting a payday loan, going through debt consolidation or simply deciding to make a change and working on getting out of it yourself. Each person’s situation is unique. We each have our own battles and demons that we face on our path to debt freedom. We all come from different walks of life and have different methods of dealing with our situations. No matter which option you choose to get yourself out of where you are, there is one thing that is needed to be able to be successful. The change of your habits.
Habits to Start
When it comes to making drastic changes to your situation, there are habits that need to be broken in order to allow new ones to form and replace the old. Here are some habits that can help to get you to where you want to be and to help you get a fresh start on your financial life.
- Get organized – Many of us can get stuck because we lose sight of what is going on in our financial lives. We are either working so hard to get out of our situation or have given up completely that we no longer know what is coming in and what is going out financially. It is then time to start by making a plan. Get your finances in order by tracking how much is coming in and how much is being spent each month. Or, if it works better for you, each week. This allows you to know what you have to work with and what changes need to be made to make headway toward freedom. Related: “Organizing Your Finances“
- Know who you owe and why you owe it – When the debt becomes to be overwhelming, we tend to start seeing only the numbers. Soon, those may begin to fade away as well and we only see the due date on the bill. This can become numbing. In order to get a hold of the situation, it is vital that you know what you are working with, what financial demons you are facing. Denying the situation does not make it go away, it only makes things worse. Instead, sit down and figure out exactly who you owe, how much you owe and what you owe it for. Doing this allows you to identify old habits that may have gotten you into the situation you’re in. Once you know these habits, you then have a starting point of where to go to change them.
- Start with the end in mind – This is a habit straight out of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. By starting with the end in mind, you already have an idea of where you want to be. Once you get this vision, make it sharper in your mind, make your goals more specific. Use this as motivation. As you work toward through the hard days that seem to never end, stop for just a moment and remind yourself of your goal. See the end before you even get there.
- Find an accountability partner – It is absolutely amazing the things we can accomplish in numbers. When we are fighting a battle alone, there are many times that we become tired and weak. There are times that we want to give up and call it quits. There are times when there is just no energy left to take another step forward. This is where the power of an accountability partner comes on. Whether this is a spouse, a friend, a family member or a co-worker, find someone who can help you though this battle. If you can, find someone who may have even been through it themselves before that can support and guide you through the way. When we are down, it is amazing how much a simple pat on the back can do to get your spirit back up.
- Celebrate successes – When we have hit rock bottom, there is only one way to go; up. The climb back up can be exhausting and sometimes we rise up five steps just to be knocked back down two. The trouble here is that we focus so much on the two steps we fell, that we forget about the three that we have still made progress with. In your situation, when there is step you have completed, a milestone you have reach or a mini-goal you have accomplished, celebrate it! Give yourself a boost of confidence. Take a look over your shoulder and smile when you see what you have defeated. Sure, the war may not be over, but a battle has been won.
Where to Go From Here
Once you have gone through these habits and incorporated them into your daily life, you will certainly start to see change. It is important to make sure that these are made into habits and not just steps. Why? Once you accomplish you goal, you need to have made the changes that will stop you from getting to that low place again. By making these things habits, you do not only change your situation, you change your life. You can start living again knowing that you have not only gotten rid of your demons, but you have completely defeated them.
I always welcome feedback, questions, comments and concerns. Please feel free to comment below or you can also reach me directly at email@example.com or on Facebook and Twitter @defeatingnormal.