Why Financial Productivity Begins with a Positive Mindset

The following is a guest post by Orion Talmay, of Orion’s Method.

Dealing with finances can be stressful and leave you feeling overwhelmed. It’s all too easy to ignore mounting debts or believe you’ll never save up a significant amount of money. But taking control of your life and changing the way you think can make a huge difference. We take a look at why financial productivity begins with a positive mindset. 

The Impact of a Positive Mindset on Financial Productivity 

Whether you want to work your way out of debt or save up to buy a house, with the right mindset and some hard work, those financial goals are possible. However, you have to start by getting out of a negative thought cycle—if you believe there’s no point trying, then you’ll never achieve them. Therefore, you might be tempted to make choices that make your financial position worse.  

Even with a positive mindset, you won’t achieve your goals overnight. But it’ll put you on the right track to take more control over your finances. 

How to Achieve a Positive Mindset 

Achieving a positive mindset can be difficult, but you can adopt some proven techniques that’ll help you:

  • Take care of yourself
  • Know where you stand
  • Set achievable goals
  • Make small changes
  • Try to see the positive

Take Care of Yourself 

If you’re struggling with a negative mindset, you might slip into bad habits throughout your life, not just when dealing with your finances. Learn to take care of yourself and prioritize your own well-being. 

Start with the basics—make sure you’re exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. These might seem obvious, but a bad routine leaves you tired, stressed, and unhealthy, which all have a big impact on your mind. 

Treat yourself well, and get into a good routine that helps you stay in control. You’ll see an improvement in your physical and mental health, which puts you in a better position to make informed financial decisions. 

Know Where You Stand 

It’s tempting to bury your head in the sand when it comes to finances. However, not knowing exactly where you stand will add to your stress.

Open those bills and credit card statements you’ve been ignoring. Check your bank balance, work out your incoming and outgoings. Get a clear picture of your current financial situation and understand what bills and repayments you need to make and when they’re due. 

It might be hard to start with but it’ll improve your mindset and put you in a better position to get on top of your money. 

Set Yourself Achievable Goals 

It’s easy to feel negative if you can’t see a way out of your current situation. So, once you know exactly where you are, come up with some realistic targets that you can achieve within a certain time frame. 

For example, if you want to save up for something, set a savings goal and decide how much you can realistically put aside each month, and how long it’ll take to reach your target. 

The important thing with your goals is to make sure you’re sticking to them. If you put money towards debt or savings but you don’t have enough left to cover the rest of your bills, you’ll be tempted to borrow money from somewhere else. 

Make Small Changes 

Don’t try to overhaul everything in your life all at once. Make small, manageable changes that you’ll actually stick to and that will help you feel more positive. There are some really simple money moves that’ll make a noticeable difference. Start by looking at all your subscriptions and recurring payments—consider canceling the ones that you don’t use or can live without. 

If you buy your lunch during work every day, get into the habit of making it at home. Make small switches to your grocery choices, and try to stop buying things that you end up throwing out. Cut down on impulse buys—for nonessential purchases, make yourself wait a couple of weeks to consider whether you really want or need it. 

Try to make one or two small changes each week that you can follow through on. It’ll improve your mindset if you can stick with these habits long-term, rather than trying to do everything at once and feeling like you’ve failed when you slip up. 

Try to See the Positive

Often easier said than done, but try to get out of the cycle of negative thoughts. Revisit your goals each day to remind yourself what you’re trying to achieve and what you should be focusing on. 

When you have a negative thought, where something seems impossible or too difficult, stop and think about ways around it. Don’t get stuck on things that can’t or won’t happen and focus on solutions, workarounds, or breaking it down into smaller steps to get through it. If you struggle to focus on the positives, meditation can help you to manage your thoughts and give you more perspective.  

Why a Positive Mindset Matters

Everyone feels unmotivated and disenfranchised from time to time. It happens to the best of us. However, if you really dig deep and find what’s causing your low energy, you’ll be better equipped to find the root and weed it out. Try to channel your energy into more productive outlets, and make changes whenever they take a toll on your mental state. That’s the key that’ll enable your long-term success. 

Having a positive mindset is the foundation for taking control of your money and becoming more financially stable. Setting yourself goals, addressing bad habits, and learning how to get a handle on your thought processes will help you to manage your finances and put you in a better position with all aspects of your life. 

Source: credit.com

How to Get Back on Track With Your Financial Goals

Many people start off new financial goals with the turn of a new year, but sticking to a new goal (financial or otherwise) can be challenging. If you have already fallen behind on some of your financial goals, take heart in knowing that you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for it to take several tries to finally master a new habit. So if you’re looking to get back on track with your financial goals, here are a few suggestions.

Take a minute to evaluate where you’re at

First, take a minute to evaluate where you’re at. Where did you start, and where you’re going. Emotionally, you might feel like you’ve been a complete failure with your financial goals, but if you sit down to evaluate, you might not find that you’re not quite as bad off as you’ve feared. 

The best time to evaluate things is when you’re able to sit down and think dispassionately about the situation and truly give an unbiased opinion of where you’re at with your financial goals. In the heat of the moment (whether good or bad), you’re not likely to give yourself an accurate depiction. Instead, take some time to evaluate when you’re calmer.

Pay attention to where your money is going

If you’re not sure what you’re spending your money on, that could be the first problem to address. Remember that a budget is just a tool that helps you stop spending money on things that aren’t important to you so that you still have money left to spend on the things that ARE important to you. A tool like Mint can help you to track where your money is going.

If you’re sharing bills with a partner or roommates, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page as far as who is paying for what. Good communication is key here to make sure that all the bills get paid and everyone feels that the arrangement is fair.

Adjust your budget and set new goals

After you have a good idea of where your money is going, it’s time to evaluate your existing goals. If you feel like you’re a bit off track of the financial goals you set earlier, there’s no better time than today to adjust things and get into a more realistic place. Don’t feel like you’ve “failed” if you aren’t quite where you want to be. Instead, use the time to set yourself back into a better place. 

By now, you’ve probably found a few things that you thought would be good that haven’t worked out exactly as you hoped. But you’ve also probably identified a few things that ARE working great. Use the “Stop, Start, Continue” pattern to figure out the things that you should:

  • Stop doing that you are currently doing
  • Start doing that you aren’t doing
  • Continue doing because they’re going well

Identifying those areas will help you right the ship and get back on track with your financial goals.

Set up accountability

Another important step in getting back on track is to set up some accountability. Accountability can work in a variety of different ways, depending on your specific personal situation. If you are in a healthy relationship, it’s a great idea to talk about your money with your spouse or partner. For those on the same page financially speaking, the two of you can help support each other. If money is something that is a bit of a struggle to talk about in your relationship, there are still ways to work through financial disagreements

If you’re single or not in a place where you share finances with your partner, one option can be to find an accountability partner. Try and find a trusted friend or family member who is also looking for some accountability, that can be a great way to help both of you. If not, the most important thing is to write down your goals, financial or otherwise. Goals are much more difficult to accomplish if you try to keep them in your head.

Don’t fall off the wagon if you make one mistake

The last tip to help get you back on track with your financial goals is to just know that it’s okay to slip up, and it’s okay to make mistakes. Too many people make one mistake and then blow up the whole plan. If you’ve struggled with money your whole life, it’s not realistic to expect to change your habits overnight, or even over the course of weeks or months. If you go over your budget in a particular month, look at the bigger picture and celebrate your successes. That just might give you the energy and excitement to keep moving forward into even bigger successes.

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