How to Motivate Yourself To Take Practical Steps With Money

written by Bari Tessler August 18, 2021
How to motivate yourself to take practical steps with money

Dear Money Adventurer,

The practical side of money can be challenging. Managing your monthly finances, meeting with your accountant, writing your will – these necessary steps aren’t exactly exciting for most folks.

They can even be panic-inducing.

Maybe you’re afraid to even log in to your bank account.

Fight-flight-freeze kicks in, and suddenly you want to run and hide.

Or maybe you find yourself running into stubborn resistance.

Take a deep breath.

We all carry our own unique patterns, stories, and emotions around money.

You aren’t the only one who feels this way.

While calling the IRS to set up a payment plan will probably never be at the top of the list of things you love to do, it could be lighter, less overwhelming, less stressful. When I found myself in this position over a decade ago, the person I spoke to at the IRS was incredibly kind and accommodating. In fact, I’ve heard from many Art of Money students who made their own brave phone call to the IRS and found themselves speaking with a representative who treated them with respect and consideration – and helped them set up a reasonable payment plan.

Sometimes, we step bravely forward and are met with unexpected support. Beyond our stress, fear, and expectations, there’s an option we never considered. Sometimes we just need to give ourselves the chance to see if there is another way. So, let’s talk about finding the motivation to encourage us in taking these practical steps with money.

Sometimes you do have to sit down and just get it done, but…

  • Maybe you’re just beginning to build new, healthier habits and routines in your relationship with money, and before you sit down to do the thing, you need to offer yourself some grace for mistakes you’ve made in the past.
  • Or perhaps you need to bring more meaning to a task that feels forced and arbitrary, and you want to schedule a money date with yourself, light some candles, and play some music to create an atmosphere that feels supportive, encouraging, and uniquely yours.
  • Maybe motivation looks like rewarding yourself with a bouquet of your favorite flowers, ordering in dinner, or delighting in a pint of your favorite ice cream in a bubble bath to celebrate after you’ve signed the paperwork, set up the account, and checked the dreaded thing off your “To Do” list.
  • Or maybe you need a buddy, a friend, an accountability partner who will sit down beside you, pull out their own “gotta-do-it-but-don’t-want-to” money thing, and together you can take the practical steps to get it done with a sense of companionship and solidarity.
  • If you need some emotional and somatic tools to help ground yourself before, during, or after the practical action steps,here are some resources to add to your toolbox: 5 Simple Somatic Tools You Can Start Today and here: What Does Your Body Have to Say About Money?

You can choose to set up your IRS portal account while lounging peacefully in a hammock in your backyard if that brings more ease to a moment of overwhelm.

Or Zoom with your estate attorney from your favorite cozy chair, while burning some soothing incense to create a sense of peace and comfort as you tackle a stressful conversation.

You can ask your BFF to be your money buddy and get together every few weeks to manage your practical money tasks and then go out to dinner to share your progress, your goals, and toast your hard work.

Sometimes we just need to find another way of doing things – and sometimes, we need support.

Monday accountability groups are an integral part of the Art of Money community, and, for some folks, that’s all they need.

They aren’t necessarily interested in exploring the emotional side of money during these moments, but every Monday, they check in, say hi, and sit down to do their thing. When they’re done, they report back to their group and share what they’ve learned and accomplished. They’re motivated by the sense of community, support, and accountability.

Each and every one of us is on our own unique journey in our relationship with money.

We all have our own work to do and our own perfect timing for it to unfold.

There is no shame or pressure here.

Just a loving reminder that you can infuse even the practical, mundane, and stressful financial tasks with a sense of meaning, you can choose to offer yourself comfort and support.

You get to write your own money story – and you can infuse even the most challenging parts with more grace, encouragement, and inspiration to motivate and inspire you along the way.

Ask yourself, what helps motivate you when it’s time to take practical steps with your money? And then, when you’ve found the answer, make sure to infuse some of that money motivation into your next money moment.

With my best wishes,

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