Sometimes it is important to take the time to reflect on where you are and how far you have come. This is especially important when you are embarking on a new life change. Recently I re-read a post that I wrote back in 2012 when I was in the midst of paying down credit card debt. I had a slip up, but I had to get back up again. I’m sharing this with you to let you know that it is the journey that matters. The journey will have many twists and turns but if you stay focused, you will achieve your dream of financial freedom.
I recently re-read one of my favorite articles and wanted to share the message found within it. The article is called “9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier” written by Geoffrey James for Inc. Magazine. I will list all nine daily habits at the end of the article but I want to discuss the habit, “End Each Day With Gratitude.”
I am grateful for progress and my approach to life is to look at everything as a lesson. I am also grateful for the people in my life who hold me accountable but will also stop me from beating myself up over a mistake. Recently I started using a credit card that I had paid off about six months ago. Initially I started using it to pay for business start-up expenses but then I started using it to travel, shop and even buy gifts. I tried to make it better by telling myself that I was earning points but I knew that was a bogus reason to use the card. Yes, I’m the financial guru but I violated my core financial beliefs of using a budget to guide my financial decisions. No excuses; I’m human.
I started to get upset at myself because I was so close to becoming credit card debt free. I only had $3,000 left but now I’m back up to $5,500. However, I realized that being upset with myself was counterproductive. I had to take a step back. I had to take a mental check. I recognized that I may not be where I want to be now but I’m not where I used to be – a person with $15,000 in credit card debt. And for that I’m grateful.
The key is when you make a mistake you must recognize and understand what went wrong and, more importantly, why. Forgive yourself but then course correct. In this case, I recognized that I really needed to get back to the basics by doing two things. First, do not put myself in a situation where I may be tempted to spend money that I do not have. Second, prior to buying anything I needed to ask myself: “Do I really need it?” and “Can I afford it?”
Financial independence is not a destination. Similar to battling any addiction, it is a journey that will take many twists and turns and may involve a temporary setback. But you have to remember that it is temporary. The key is to get up, dust yourself off and keep going.
Take time to think through what you’re grateful for. Are these experiences people, opportunities, etc.? Think about it because it will help you realize how blessed you truly are.
Nine Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier
1. Start each day with expectation
2. Take time to plan and prioritize
3. Give a gift to everyone you meet (Note: This can be as simple as a smile)
4. Deflect partisan conversations
5. Assume people have good intentions
6. Eat high-quality foods slowly
7. Let go of your results
8. Turn off “background” TV
9. End each day with gratitude
Aisha Taylor is a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book “5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle”, and the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal). FNPhenomenal helps women to break the vicious cycle of making money, but not keeping it. FNPhenomenal provides education about money management, empowers women to take control of their lives, develop a healthier relationship with money, and pursue being phenomenal.
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[info_box type=”alert_box”]Caring for yourself including takes care of your finances. I encourage all ladies who are serious about self-care to go on The Happy Finances Challenge. In 42 days you can learn to make money decisions that will lead to long-term financial happiness. [/info_box]