Change can add up and have a big impact in one’s life. Change, such as coins saved over time, can add up to be a great monthly or annual deposit into one’s savings account. It can even help to build an emergency fund, one coin at a time. But there’s another kind of change that can have an even bigger impact.
Small, gradual change in one’s attitude, quiet time, and mental focus can produce huge impacts over time. However, all of these begin with a mind-set, a mental change. Our thoughts control our conscious and subconscious actions and have more power in our lives than we realize. Our thoughts can be detrimental or life empowering. They are THAT strong!
I’ve been very inspired this week after talking with a close friend about changes that she wants to make within her financial household. Change that can really add up! What’s encouraging is listening to the process she is going through to make this change. It all began with her mind-set. It’s easy to say, “I want to save more money this year.” She hasn’t said that at all. Of course, that is a step on the path to financial freedom, but that’s not what is driving her thoughts. She believes that her and her husband both want positive change and financial order, but need some guidance to find the right path that fits their family. Everyone’s financial DNA is not the same. You have to find the right fit, coach, and process that works for you.
So far, the few small changes she has made are already adding up. She has researched several financial coaches who are recommended on Dave Ramsey’s website. She has talked with two already and following up by reading their websites. She is asking all the right questions. Such as, “What is your success rate?” and “What makes your program different from the other guy?” and so on. By acquiring and compiling all of this information, she is able to choose a financial coach that fits her family best based on their priorities and values. The point is, she isn’t jumping into a muddy pond where she can’t see how deep it is just because she wants to swim today. She is slowly wading into the water. Getting her feet wet. So how have just the few early steps of change added up for her? She is motivated and inspired! Her mind-set is slowly taking a different route, finding a new path. Remember, our thoughts can tear us down, but they can also build us up!
She is on the right path to make real change in her family’s financial life. She is working on her family’s legacy. That certainly is a marathon – not a sprint. These things take time and can get frustrating when we don’t see big changes overnight. Her motivation is key to keeping her on the right path.
I, myself, have been running a marathon for a while now. I got serious about being debt free in the summer of 2007 after a co-worker lent me The Total Money Makeover. I read it in 3 days and it changed my life. What it really did was change my mind and thoughts. I think about debt completely different today compared to a decade ago. I was truly inspired to change my legacy for my family. My life hasn’t been the same since. However, that doesn’t mean I have run a straight and narrow path…. I have fallen back some laps for sure. I have allowed negative or entitled thoughts drive me at times, and that has only wreaked havoc on my financial household. But I remind myself of my goals, re-adjust my thoughts, and start running forward again.
So how can you stay motivated? You will have to find what fuels you. I stay motivated in several ways. I’m obsessed with spreadsheets. I still have all of my budget files from each year beginning with that life changing summer of 2007. Sometimes, I open that 2007 file and remind myself of what I have accomplished. Paying off over $160K is no small feat. (And that number does NOT include the mortgage at that time!)
I also like to read. I’m inspired by personal finance books and blogs. I also have a co-worker who’s a Dave Ramsey junkie like me. We have many conversations about investing, debt, retirement, etc. I am also inspired by my friend. She is working hard to make a financial change and to make it add up!
Below are some of the books that I have been inspired by and that keep me motivated still today.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Financial Peace University (FPU) by Dave Ramsey
Crown Financial Ministries (group Bible study) by Larry Burkett
Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Retire Inspired by Chris Hogan
The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley & Dr. William D. Danko
Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
And many others…..
What small changes are you making that are adding up big?