Lately, I’ve encountered many clients, friends, and family (including myself) who feel stuck and unable to make a change in their life. Whether you want to tackle a project at your house, finally lose the 10 lbs., focus more on your family… the list truly goes on, doesn’t it? For myself, I’ve been trying find a balance in my life. I have two great loves- my family and helping my clients succeed. On one hand, I want to watch our daughter do all the things a one-year-old does and have the time to take my wife out to a nice dinner where we don’t quickly force feed ourselves. On the other hand, my clients and their financial success is exciting to me and is something I enjoy engaging in as well. While I’ve come to realize that there is no perfect answer to my work/life balance issue, I know I can strive each day to honor my commitment to both by scheduling time for both each day. I was able to get past my constant feeling of “stuck” by realizing that the amount of time each day may never be equal, but time on the whole is what matters. However, on the journey to this realization, I stumbled on some tips for becoming unstuck that I thought might help you:
Pay attention to “Passive” Barriers. Those barriers are the strange things that keep you from doing what you ought to do. An example: Say you know that replacing your usual high calorie morning snack with an apple would help you lose weight. However, you don’t like apples that aren’t cold. People in your office might take your apple from the community fridge, so you decide it’s a lost cause and don’t do anything. On paper, it’s silly, right? But don’t tell me you haven’t thought of something like this before. You would be surprised how many of the things you truly (with all your heart) want to do that have a simple solution- setting out workout clothes the night before, putting the floss next to the sink, cutting up your Ann Taylor credit card. Once you decide on a goal, think about the simple (silly, really) steps that seem to stand in your way and solve them first.
What are you afraid of? A little soul-searching and questioning yourself might reveal a lot. Are you afraid of not being able to provide for your family? I was when I started this wealth management firm. I’ve learned, though, that fear of something is not a reason not to do it. Having faith and trusting that you’ve arrived at your decision of sound mind (and for me it was after much prayer and time with just my thoughts and God that I decided to start a business) is key to conquering your fear and moving forward.
What message are you sending to yourself? Change takes a lot of soul searching and several experts agree that the answers are typically right under the surface if we just take time to realize the negative things we say to ourselves. Often, we have a mindset that we “aren’t” something and live up to truly not being “that.” A person may not even realize they’re consistently telling themselves they can’t do something or that they aren’t “good” enough. Decide what your goal is- say, losing 10 lbs. and tell yourself, “I’m skinny and awesome!” Remember Stuart Smalley on Saturday Night Live. I know it’s silly, but it works.
Large scale change is truly just small changes that make a big difference. (My apology for the clichéd phrase, but it’s true). Deciding on the incremental steps to meeting a goal is half the battle. Replace one bad habit with a good one at a time. Remember that you’ve often arrived at where you don’t want to be by adopting poor behaviors along the way. Break them down into pieces and conquer them the same way you acquired them.
Lastly, stop being so hard on yourself. You are an imperfect, perfect human being- bound to make mistakes and feel the fool often. Laugh and resolve to do better next time.
Would you like to discuss how to become unstuck financially? Call me to schedule a free consultation- 913-693-7918 or visit our website for more financial information, www.chladekwealth.com
John P. Chladek, MBA, CFP® is the President and Founder of Chladek Wealth Management, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm specializing in helping families and couples who are not yet retired realize their financial goals. For more information, visit http://www.chladekwealth.com.