The law of inertia naturally predisposes us to resist change. Many people are aware of the advantages of having a physical financial plan as a roadmap for their future yet inertia prevents them from doing something about it. So here are some tricks you can use to overcome it.
Shock yourself into action
When you want to make a change you have to change course. You can shock yourself into taking action by asking questions such as: “What are the consequences if I don’t get started on a financial plan?”, “How much money am I losing by not getting started on this?” or, “What would that money mean for my family or my retirement?”
Secure short term wins
Produce enough quick wins to energize the change and create momentum. Instead of training immediately for a marathon, start with a 5K run. If you’re new to investing and feeling stressed about it, instead of investing the whole amount, start small.
Dangle a carrot in front of yourself
One of our greatest motivators is the pursuit of pleasure. Choose an appropriate reward to give yourself once you’ve reached a certain goal. Let the carrot give you the kick start you need to get going on a goal which will later become self-motivating with its own momentum. Decide you will save a certain amount each month and whatever you have left over use it to spend on something you enjoy.
Create a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve
Sit quietly with your eyes closed and imagine what you want your goal to look like. If your goal is to save for retirement, imagine how your retirement would feel. Continue in this way until you’ve created a vivid vision of what you want and how it feels. Then open your eyes and allow this vision to pull you out of your state of inertia and get started on your goal.
Don’t blow tasks out of proportion
Stop telling yourself that your success in life hinges on the outcome of this one action that you have to take. If you do this you’re going to put so much pressure on yourself that you’ll be looking for any excuse to avoid taking the necessary steps.
Break tasks down into smaller pieces and set deadlines for each subtask
One of the main reasons why people procrastinate is because the project is so big they don’t know where to start. This makes them feel overwhelmed. What you need to do is break the project down into small pieces so that they feel manageable. By setting deadlines for smaller tasks, you can make sure that you work steadily on the project instead of leaving everything to the last minute. You don’t have to map out your life goals in one sitting. Break it down into manageable parts. Spend time on your retirement goals one day, and do education planning or estate planning on a different day.
Stop telling yourself that you have to be “in the mood” before you act
You have to take action toward the attainment of your objectives whether you feel like it or not.
Repeatedly ask yourself, “What’s next?”
You don’t have to wait until you have a perfect, detailed plan of how you’re going to achieve your goal before you begin to act. Simply determine, “What can I do right now to move forward, even if it’s just by a bit?”
Have a guide, mentor or consult with an expert
Find someone who’s done what you’d like to attempt, or knows how, and follow their path. Obviously if you’re interested in investing, planning for retirement, estate planning, or other areas of finance then it makes sense to consult with a financial planner.
Have someone hold you accountable
You’re much more likely to avoid procrastination if there’s someone holding you accountable.
Use these steps to get moving and work on that financial plan!