If there’s a wrong way to deal with debt, its declaring bankruptcy. Debt consolidation programs help but are they necessary? How can we get out of debt? This article will explain how you can make long-term progress. Not short-term happiness.
Getting out of debt is like getting fit. It requires us to restructure our habits. I love fitness, but it wasn’t always the case. I was born a beanstalk, tall and thin. Being a beanstalk is where many people want to be, but not me. I wanted to play sports, the things I wanted would break me if I didn’t work out. I had to change my habits, both in and out the of the gym. My goal, to be fit enough to do what I want. Sound familiar? Getting out of debt will help you get healthy enough to do what you want.
Give yourself purpose. This step isn’t necessary but highly recommended. The objective is our safety net when we fall. When you don’t see any progress, and you start feeling doubt. Remind yourself of this purpose. Make it more significant than you, regardless of what someone says, don’t stop.
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Your Habits Matter:
It’s not as simple as going to the gym. Just like it’s not as simple as having a job. If you don’t change your habits, you won’t make progress. I had a friend whom I worked out with now and then. This friend had big goals that he couldn’t reach. Finally, we had a conversation about it.
“What’s bothering you?” I asked as he threw the weights down. He only slammed weights when there was something on his mind. “It’s just not working, and I think I need a new program or something.” He was frustrated. He did everything right, he was huge on his diet and rarely ever had a cheat day. “How do you sleep?” I asked, at this, he raised an eyebrow. “Decent, why?” From his answer, I knew this was the problem. So, I broke it down for him, “You’re putting in all this time, all this effort to meet your goals. The problem is you’re not giving your body any time to recover. Not only do you need sleep, you need a good night’s sleep.” I said. A look of relief came over him, “That’s it huh?” He asked. I simply nodded.
Habits are those trivial things that matter the most. If your habits don’t support your goal, you’ll never reach it. Like my friend you may feel burnt out, you may be ready to throw in the towel. You also may be one habit away from your goals. Identify your habits. You can’t change what you don’t know.
The goal should is progress, not perfection. You won’t change your habits overnight. The purpose should change. Patience should become your best friend. My advice is to start with small victories.
In the military, small victory’s is a concept they teach. It’s simple, celebrate the small achievements you have. Celebrate all bits of progress, no matter how small. There will be situations where the odds seem against you, and there is no end in sight. Those small victories will keep you motivated. Motivation is the difference between the person that tripped and the person that fell. One of them gets back up.
You can’t just eliminate a bad habit. Otherwise “Stop doing that,” would work as treatment. When you succeed in a bad habit, you don’t give it a chance to come back. A bad habit is still a habit because it has become routine. Biting our nails can serve as a stress reliever and entertainment to boredom. Bad habits give us a benefit, even if they’re bad for us in other ways. Replacing bad habits can take time so please have patience.
Where do I start?
You start with Awareness. Once you’re aware of your habits, you can change them. Two factors create habits, external and internal.
External is our environment, something outside of us. It’s the people, the places, and the things. If its people, then surround yourself with those who share your views. If it doesn’t support you, it’s not a supporting habit. Change your environment from a stressful one to a supporting one.
Internal is within us. It’s tough. It requires more than just an observation of our surroundings. We must ask ourselves why. Is it simple or is it something more? I had the bad habit of listening to others. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning, and I think constructive criticism is necessary. However, don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t achieve. Don’t allow someone else’s doubt what you can do.
The first step in getting out of debt is eliminating any habits that support that debt.
When we change the way, we see debt, our debt changes. Take a minute to watch this Ted Talk by Preet Banerjee.