Updated: Sep 23, 2020
3 minute read
Sometimes the simplest things seem like the hardest things to do.
Managing our money better today so we can build wealth for our tomorrow does not require advanced math skills or a college degree, but yet it still seems daunting to many young adults.
The simple things in life like budget and saving, waking up on time, self-reflecting, and drinking enough water, always seem to be hard to keep in our routines. We have a tendency to start a good habit, but fall off after a couple of weeks.
This is the same phenomenon that happens every January when we create New Year's resolutions, telling ourselves that we are going to make the change, and as soon as February/March comes along, our resolutions are long gone.
Just how we allowed our bad habits to form in our lives, we must be just as accepting to let good habits form. I have always wondered why bad habits come into our lives so easily, but whenever we try sticking to a good habit, it slips away like a dollar bill in a water current.
The good habits that are hard for us to maintain are usually the habits we need in our lives the most. For example, a lot of the young adults I come in contact with say that they have tried to keep up with managing their money, but they just can't stick to it. Those young adults are often the individuals who need to form better financial habits the most.
So how do we get more disciplined about doing the things we need?
1. Identify the good habit you would like to form
This first step is crucial, because most times, it is easy for us to identify what is going wrong in our lives or holding us back, but it is hard to recognize which habit(s) we should adopt to improve our situation.
2. Identify the C.A.R of the habit you would like to adopt
Doing something everyday strengthens the cue-action-reward (C.A.R.) process of forming new habits. Every habit in our lives is connected to a cue (a trigger to perform the action) and a reward (what we get from performing the action). Once you attach your desired habit to a cue and a reward, you are more likely to maintain it for a longer period of time.
3. Encourage yourself to get back up and try again
No one is perfect, and there is a high likelihood of losing momentum with your habit, but it is important that you always brush it off and try again. It does not matter how many times you fall down, what really counts is how many times you were able to motivate yourself to get back at it.
4. Always keep your "why" in the front of your mind
Your "why" can also be thought of as your reward. Think about what you are trying to achieve and keep your goal present at all times. Your good habit could be simply analyzing your bank statements once a month, and your reward will be gaining more knowledge about your spending habits to obtain more power over your financial situation.
If there is a simple thing that you know you need to start taking more seriously, follow the steps listed above for at least 30 days straight, and try your best to form it into a habit that will get you closer to your goal.
Taking a sheet of paper, write out all of the bad habits you want to change on one side, and on the other side, write the good habits you can replace those with.
Then write a C.A.R for each good habit and get dedicated to making the changes in your life that will allow to be the best version of yourself.
You got this! I have mad faith in you!