Wednesday, January 16th, 2019
Last year, I attended a workshop facilitated by Lisa McCarthy (Founder and CEO of Fast Forward Group) where she taught the principles of what her company calls “high performance living."
While her workshop was geared toward women and the transformative positivity needed to set them on their desired path in life, I was able to connect her key takeaways to my own money perceptions. Here's how:
In a world where we're constantly influenced by social media and #FOMO, the idea of running my own race has become even more important. I find myself being easily swayed into spending money on items in marketing emails and keeping up with my peers, so much so that I can honestly say that I've lost sight of my own financial goals at times.
I'm working on empowering myself by questioning why I want to spend that money, whether it's worth what I need to give up financially to make it happen, and whether this is really about me or those around me.
By concentrating on my own contributions to my financial well-being, I've been able to strike a better balance between my wants and needs, and to keep my eye on the prize – my mid-term and long-term goals.
Setting personal limits, or a stopping point on the things I'm working toward, “pigeonholed" me into only achieving that one goal when a new goal could've been set in its place. Those limits closed me off to other opportunities and prevented me from reaching my highest potential.
The same is true about my money goals.
In the past, I would set a goal for myself, like paying off my student loan, and then once I reached it, I'd just stop there. My perception of how to save was always tied to and limited by a goal, rather than just saving for the sake of saving. I was in the rhythm of things when I was paying my $310 student loan payment each month, so why not carry it on and attribute that amount to a new savings goal or to reach a different goal more quickly?
Now that I've curbed that by setting that amount aside (plus a bit more!) in a savings account for a new goal, I can see how not only saving regularly builds a routine, it also means when a new goal comes along, I might find myself already halfway there.
While I'm accountable for my own spending habits, keeping my friends in the loop about wanting to spend less money helps us choose more affordable activities to do together that better fits all of our budgets.
Learning to Be Grateful for What I Have
Lisa talks about reflecting on your achievements regularly as a way of reinforcing personal gratitude. To me, this is all about being grateful for having a job I love with a salary that allows me to support my family, being thankful that I can make room in my budget to save for my goals, and learning to appreciate what it means to live with less.
Getting caught up in bills, budgets and math can be discouraging, but taking the time to acknowledge my financial successes and “coach" myself to recognize that I can and will reach my financial goals is something worth smiling over.
Although the workshop that I attended wasn't geared toward personal finance, I left the session feeling more confident about what my financial struggles are and how to work through them. I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be, but for now, I'm happy to be in a state of higher performance living than where I was before.