Nothing Will Change Unless I Kill Some Habits
Yesterday was a lot of fun to be perfectly honest. I had a good time putting my new blog together and writing my FI commitment down, for everyone to see. I took some time to set up my social media profiles, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and made an absolutely long, but fruitful day out of it. The best thing about a blog, or website, in my opinion, is it’s a true and accurate reflection of what you put into it. The tools and resources for building a blog are really incredible now.
I built my first website back in 1996. It was a fan-site of a MLB team I used to follow. It was hideous, but for me, it was a fun to learn and I ended up making a career out of creating websites for other people, well other companies that is.
Finally, I’ve set the stage to have my own, personal, little slice of the internet pie. It feels good!
Anyways, back to my thought for the morning. I’m dead-set on achieving Financial Independence. Conversely, I’m about as behind as someone can be. I have nothing saved, like thankfully it’s payday next week. I’m that half of America that forges ahead without thinking about tomorrow. I’m that half of America that willfully spends every last dime because, well, what else could money possibly be good for?
I almost compare it to a sickness, one that millions of others, similar to me, have but aren’t aware of it.
So, the change my behavior I’ve got to crush some really bad habits.
This is a start, I’m not going to remedy any of this overnight. Also, I know I can’t just rush into this…spending money, it’s kind of like a drug. The habitual nature of it will certainly cause some withdrawal pains, especially early on.
One Checklist To Rule Them All
(Habits that is, not hobbits, although bad hobbits are another issue for another day)
*Sidenote, I know I’m going to cringe reading stuff like that last sentence, when I look back a year from now. I’m cool with that.
This morning I created a Habits Checklist and let me tell you, it identifies spending habits I’m not proud of, but also I’m not going to beat myself up for.
Here are the initial items on my checklist. Four items, that is all for now. There are others, but they don’t carry a direct correlation to spending. They will go on my next list.
30 Days to Kill a Habit
Each item corresponds with a date, and a place to mark yes or no. This is simple, this is what I need at this point. I first wrote down all of my habits in a notebook, assigning a dollar value to them, (if they had an amount I could attach) and then I chose what I deemed the most impact and made a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Send me your list of habits and I’ll make one up for you in a snap if you need a checklist but can’t make one.
Smoke cigarettes (a terrible and expensive habit, we’re talking $2,000 or so a year, all to kill myself early. Sheer stupidity!) - also, side-note, I’m a bit ahead of the curve on this one. Just need to ride it out. Stays on the list for the first 30 days.
Go to a ‘Convenience’ Store for anything other than fuel (on my list it simply says convenience store but I know it refers to spending on high priced, unhealthy junk.)
Eat Out (referring to spontaneous visits to fast food or restaurants at lunch. How bad is it for me? Just about daily during my work week.)
Spend Online (this is what I refer to any online or app spending)
I’ve put 30 days worth of boxes to check off on to signify I made it through the day without spending money, or doing, any of the four items above.
I’ll share the results in a future blog post. The one catch, if at anytime during these thirty days, I fail one of the items listed above, it goes on the next habit killing list, for a renewed thirty days.
To make this work I’ll have to be 100% committed to being truthful with myself, otherwise it’s all a sham.
Ultimately I’ll get to a point where I’m not killing habits, rather I’m creating better habits. One thing at a time!
If you want your own habit killing spreadsheet, send an email to mytimetofi at gmail and I’ll whip one up for you! Good luck and hopefully, if you’re anything like me, you can use a method like this to get any out of control habits extinguished for good!
Also, I want to be clear, I don’t judge anyone for any of the habits I list above. My thoughts are specific to me and my habits. I’d be a hypocrite to judge as I’ve held onto these bad habits for years. I know that I’m over not being the best I can be. I do encourage others that share similar stories to take action, be examples and encourage others to improve.