Think about a leap forward you made in your life. Did it happen when you were at ease and comfortable?
Probably not. To make that leap, I bet you had to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.
Your comfort zone is that place where you feel at ease and in control, that place where anxiety and stress are low.
But, typically, it’s not a mindset that sparks action or motivates change.
Not all stress is bad. Stepping outside your comfort zone can produce a healthy kind of stress that pushes you to pursue more of what you want out of life.
Within our financial comfort zone, we are generally focused on making ourselves and other people content. This can lead to poor spending habits or weaken our financial discipline. This behavior can slowly compromise our ability to reach our dreams.
Real change happens when we stretch our limits. Try this hourlong exercise to get started on achieving a dream that’s important to you. Your dream will likely have a financial component, as most do.
Spend 10 to 15 minutes on each step.
1. Journal about what you really want. Don’t hold back. Push yourself out of that comfort zone.
2. Why is this dream important to you?
3. Why haven’t you achieved it yet? (Hint: The reason is not likely to be external to you. Take a close look at your habits and behavior.) What’s the financial block? (It’s likely a common obstacle within your control, such as not having a budget.)
4. What are you going to have change financially to get what you want? This should be challenging, but not too far out of reach. When you step too far outside of your comfort zone or have too little support, you can become overwhelmed and abandon your goal.
5. What’s the first action you need to take? Identify that initial step, no matter how small. This is called your Simple Act of Success. Commit to taking action within 24 hours.
What’s next? Continue defining and taking whatever the next action is until you reach your goal. That next action is essential. If you get stuck, make the next action smaller and take it.
Change and risk are key components to learning and growth. You will find that in seeking new solutions you become a more creative problem-solver.
As a result, this journey can push you toward peak performance in other areas of your life.
Getting outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens. My hope is that you’ll begin living the life of your dreams in 2016.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Durango resident and personal finance coach Matt Kelly owns Momentum: Personal Finance. Visit his website, www.personalfinancecoaching.com.