Knowledge is power, for sure. But it's not always easy to translate that knowledge into concrete action. The more we have to do (and the higher the stakes), the harder it is. Feeling stuck or overwhelmed is a nearly universal experience. We hear it all the time from our course participants.
Like the sports car stuck in a bog, people need traction - something to boost us out of the rut and into movement. Even the smallest movement brings us closer to the open road. When it comes to life management tasks such as budgeting, investing, estate planning or nutrition planning, a first step will put the wheels in motion. It's basic physics: if a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep moving unless it is acted upon by a force.
Don't waste time or energy berating or beating yourself up. It's counterproductive. Instead, try these tips:
1. Be S.M.A.R.T. Set realistic goals that are practical and attainable. Follow S.M.A.R.T guidelines by setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based. "Manage finances" is not a S.M.A.R.T. goal. "Pay recurring bills by the 15th of each month" is.
2. Break it down. Successful people are known to break a goal into smaller tasks - each time you complete a task on your way to your goal you'll receive a release of dopamine as a reward which will further motivate you to take the next step toward your ultimate goal.
3. Get outside and move your body! A shift in energy could be just what you need to shift your perspective and give you the motivation you need to work on that goal.
3. Look beyond the numbers. Stuck around finances? Remember, it’s not always about the money. It goes much deeper into our emotions and experiences around money, limiting beliefs, scarcity, abundance and more. Very few of us were taught how to work with money, and we certainly weren’t taught how to deal with (or even talk about) our feelings about it. Did your parents teach you to save, invest or create a budget? Allow yourself time and space to look at your money story.
4. Makes lists. List 3 small things you need to do but can't seem to make happen. Write them down in digestible bite sized pieces. Visualizing helps - everything looks more manageable on paper.
5. Schedule time. Once you've made your list, pick one small item. Set aside a block of time - 30 minutes or an hour tops - to start that task. If you're making good progress and in the flow, stay with it. Remember the laws of physics! If you've hit a wall, schedule another block of time tomorrow or next week and dive back in.
The best tip of all to get unstuck? Get support. Woman's Compass Forum provides a team of experts and a community of women all doing the same work - to share tools, ideas and resources to help you stay accountable and on track. Get grounded for life with Woman's Compass Forum.