You Can't Succeed Until You Are Ready to Change!

A Straight Talk on Debt

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You Can't Succeed Until You Are Ready to Change!

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Albert Einstein is attributed with saying, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

The quote popped in my head as I stepped on the scale hoping that it would show that I had lost some weight.  The fact that it didn't wasn't surprising, since I hadn't done anything differently over the last week, but I was still disappointed.

The act of wanting something to change isn't enough, you have to take action.

For thirteen years my wife and I overspent, racking up a mountain of credit card debt. 

I kept hoping that the next salary increase would finally be the one which caused our income to outpace our spending, and allowed us to start paying off our debt.  But our lifestyle inflation along with growing credit card payments grew just as fast as our income.

I wanted our finances to get better, but didn't take any action.

It's the holiday season.  Maybe you're used to spoiling the people in your life with presents.  Maybe you're used to doing something spectacular with a large group of friends for New Year's Eve.  Maybe right now you're stressed out about how you're going to put presents under the tree or find the money to ring in the new year with your friends.

There used to be a popular daytime talk show where the host would listen to a person's problems, pause, then bluntly repeat their behavior and ask the question,  "And how's that working for you?"   Take a moment to reflect upon your spending habits.  How's that working out for you?

If you are like I was, you're overspending and adding to your debt.

Maybe it's time that you realize that you just can't do it any more. 

Just as important, but even harder to swallow as making that realization, you have to be OK with that.  You have to be at peace with there being fewer presents under the tree for your kids this year.  You have to be OK with sitting at home with a can of silly string for New Year's Eve. 

Maybe you'll take comfort in the fact that you're making sacrifices now, and you can do more in the future, once your finances are back on track.  Maybe you'll find out that  spending money isn't what made those events special.

But until you're ready to change, your finances won't get any better. 

Are you ready to change?

Related Links:

5 Actions You Can Take Today to Improve Your Financial Fitness

Making Big Life Changes: 20 Ways to Stay on Track

What Would I Do Differently? My 4 Things.

Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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  • A great post as we approach the New Year. Sounds like the makings of a resolution. There are so many behaviors and ways of thinking that impact finances. You're right about the need to "be at peace" with what better financial behavior will look like: vigilant tracking, careful budgeting, tough decisions, and saying "no" to wants. But just imagine doing all of the above for an extended period of time and then sitting eye to eye with Dr. Phil. (That's who you're talking about, right?) "And how's that working for you?" he asks. Your answer: "GREAT!"

  • Haha, Prudence, you guessed the talk show I was talking about.  I have to admit that when i was writing this post I imagined exactly the scene you described at the end of your comment.  :)  Thanks for reading!

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