Money is a mirror reflecting your best and worst self. It reflects you faithfully, whether through your fear, your discipline, or your determination. If you lack faith in your financial competence, your money will be too fluid to control. If the idea of saving sparks your fear, your 31-day account will probably remain as empty as it always was, purely by virtue of your inability to face up to it squarely. If your personality is driven by discipline and practicality, your money will reward you, but we all have flaws that infect our financial health. Those weaknesses can work for you if you know how to harness them. You can reinvent your “money mirror” at any time. Like any relationship, perfecting your financial rapport demands daily improvements. It’s a process, not an event, and it begins with respect—for yourself, your finances, and your dreams.

Building Intentions

Before you build a road, you must dig out the earth, smooth away embankments, and remove vegetation. It’s hard and longwinded work, so your first step is to map out precisely where your road will lead and what traffic it will need to accommodate. Your money relationship begins in the same way: with a clear and detailed intent. Unless you understand why you’re rebuilding your financial personality, your road will never carry you anywhere. Your decision to change must be meaningful to you, or you will forget your resolutions alongside a half-built street that leads nowhere.

In Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk, he asks us to “start with why.” Why are some people financially successful and others not? Why are you seeking change? Why have you failed in the past?    

The best money personalities think and act in the same way, and their healthy “whys” are available to you, too. It all begins with discovering the “whys” that will motivate change. Do you want to erase your fear of running out of money retirement? Do you want to have enough financial freedom to travel? Do you want to own a home or guide your career to greater heights? Powerful goals make for powerful change and it starts with aligning your intentions with attention.

 

Understanding “Now”

To build a road, you need to survey all the routes that have already been built. Similarly, to build a new relationship with money, you need to survey your current situation with all its debt, uncertainty, and challenges. If, for example, you can’t improve your earnings, you’ll need to identify where you’ll source the funds to serve your goals. Don’t forget to note your strengths. Identifying your best financial habits will give you streetlights to guide your way.

Understanding Yesterday ~ Looking Back to Look Forward

Every tangible asset you own today began as a thought, so you already have access to your natural strengths. You’ve been using them all along, but your weaknesses have been equally omnipresent. Your childhood was the source of many of your habits and beliefs, and they might not serve your adult values. Your goals require you to realign yourself in a way that serves your future.

Your history is also a source of your best self. Take inventory of the successful changes you have made in the past. They will reveal the tools you use best, but more importantly, they will make you feel more empowered. Draw on them as you recreate a successful your financial future.

Noting the Roadblocks

Once you have built your road to financial health, you will need to plan for roadblocks and side streets that might lead you to the wrong destination. It’s tempting to veer from your route, and whether or not you do will mean the difference between failure and success. Those off-ramps may lead you to the wrong city, and the toll roads can end your trip if you’re unprepared for them. If you identify and plan for them, however, you will get to your desired destination. Surround yourself with professionals and friends who can support you on your way before you hit your first roadblock.

Taking it Slow

If you’re woefully unprepared for retirement, you can’t plan for it with one massive and terrifying step. Your fear will annihilate your ability to reach your destination, so plan your route one tiny meter at a time. Instead of aiming to get out of debt, pay five percent of the balance your credit card every month time you receive your salary. Instead of saving three months' salary, set aside a small portion of your earnings each month. Begin with the most painless steps. They will provide much-needed motivation later on.

You will make mistakes, but if you are not fatalistic about them, you will find it easier to get back on track.

Celebrating the Journey

Life is in the journey, and not the destination. Your money relationship is the same—every success deserves to be celebrated and learned from. The mere act of focusing on your new habits and achievements will pave the way to even more impressive behaviors. Keep an eye on your victories. They will make greater accomplishments possible.

Your journey towards wealth can be as satisfying as you choose. Focus on the landscape instead of the tarmac. If you live in a tiny house or drive a beat up car, focus on the fact that you are living within your means. That’s something that deserves to be celebrated, and reframing it this way will pump positive energy into your financial future. We live in a consumer-based culture where signs of wealth are favored above authentic wealth. This is an attitude of impoverishment that’s in dire need of reinvention. Would you rather own a massive house with a massive mortgage to go with it, or would you prefer a debt-free life that lets you live within your means long after you retire? When you rethink your consumerist attitudes, your future will reward you.

When you are building a new route towards your dreams, you must negotiate it a step at a time, preparing solutions that play to your strengths at every turn. Keep to your route, and you will reach your destination, and it’ll be as miraculous as you always hoped it would be. Take the first step by calling me today. 

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12 Wealth Building Habits of Financially Savvy Women