I’m not entirely sure about how people in Scandinavian countries deal with winter. Here in Australia, our relatively temperate winter (which has included, I note, quite a few sunny days) is starting to drag on a lot of people I know. The cold, the clouds- it can make sticking to the chosen path trickier. Of course, this doesn’t mean everyone but for a lot of people- myself included- it’s a bit harder to get things done when it’s cold outside.
The common example of winter weight; for a thousand reasons (for me, cold mornings and the existence of pie), we tend to put on a couple of kilos over winter. The same is true of our finances. While we might have less events to attend than summer, which can improve our budget, we might also find ourselves not sticking to savings goals as closely, spending money a bit impulsively, procrastinating. So, caught in one of those moods, I checked out ways to change the story and get back in the groove. Here are 4 strategies I found, to get us back on the financial track.
Check It And Change It
Nora Ephron gave some of the best advice I think I have ever heard. “Above all, be the heroine of your own life, not the victim”. If something is worrying you- debt levels, your job security, your retirement savings- write it down, on the top of a piece of paper. Then write out a step-by-step approach to how you would like to change it. Rewrite the script, because we all have the power to do so, as hard as it can be to see it.
You know those moments in life where you’re walking down the street, and you walk into a patch of sun? Or you see people gardening, or shopping, or chatting over the fence, happy to be doing the normal things of life? Too rarely in those moments I realise how happy I am, and how much I have to be grateful for. It might be twee, it might be cliche, but it never hurts to sit down and think about what you’re happy about.
Be Understanding, Not Understood
A great tip from Man Vs Debt. So often, all I can think about is how no one gets me, or what I’m trying to say. Perhaps I’m just not meeting them halfway. Understanding and empathy are two gifts that make the world go around, and you’ll be amazed at how much more you are understood as a side-effect.
It’s Not A Priority
All those occasions when I said I didn’t have time to catch up for coffee. To get to the gym. To finish the song I was writing. Another technique is to change how I describe it; it’s not that I don’t have time, it’s just not how I choose to spend it. It’s not a priority. Describing it in that way shows us where our priorities lie, and gives us that opportunity to change it so writing the song and seeing an old friend are worthwhile priorities.