By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada
In 15 days we begin a fresh year and many Canadians will find themselves making resolutions about money. Most promises will be about specific actions like spending less, saving more, retirement planning, and paying down debt. It’s not my nature to be pessimistic, but the majority of those resolutions will fail, for a very simple reason. When the cheering and toasting ends on New Year’s Eve everyone will be exactly the same person they were before; the same person who didn’t spend less and save more in 2015. Some people will ride a wave of New Year motivation for a while, but waves roll into shore and disappear. As Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Some people will make lasting changes to their financial situation, but not because they lay out a strict budget, or invest in one mutual fund over another. They will change their relationship to money, and that will make all the difference. They won’t try to wrestle themselves into making “better” financial decisions that leave them feeling restricted or deprived. They will do something many people can’t imagine. They will make friends with their money. They will begin to see money as a trusted partner instead of something to battle against.
When Money Coaches Canada co-founder Sheila Walkington and I started our careers as financial planners selling mutual funds and insurance we felt something was missing. In spite of being well-paid, educated professionals, our clients felt stuck and were worried they weren’t getting ahead financially. We realized they needed more than what we could offer under the traditional financial planning model. That’s when we decided to take planning to the next level and begin coaching.
Money Coaching isn’t alternative wording for financial planner. We do more than advise on money management and investment strategies, we help our clients take charge of their finances and lead richer lives. Or using Mr. Einstein’s language, we help them change their level of consciousness around money. We receive and answer the questions people may not want to ask their banker or investment advisor for fear of looking stupid. We hear the confessions of people who are struggling, who feel shame because they think they are the only ones not measuring up to society’s messages about success.
I want you to be successful on your terms in 2016 and beyond.
If you want to make lasting change around money, understanding how your emotions impact your financial decisions is key to breaking unconscious patterns and unlocking your financial power. The first step is to understand where your emotions, assumptions and baggage come from. Just like your relationships with people, your relationship with money is heavily influenced by those around you now and those who influenced you as you grew up. You need to turn off the noise about things you should be doing and discover what matters to you, not to those around you.
Changing your relationship to money takes being open to a mindset shift. Take small, manageable steps towards financial empowerment and be realistic with what you can accomplish at any one time. There’s no need to be an expert overnight. If you try to absorb too much new information or take on too many tasks on your financial to-do list, you’re more likely to be overwhelmed and abandon your best intentions altogether. But you don’t have to do it alone. Even more than the advice we offer around debt reduction, retirement planning and budgeting, improving your relationship to money is one of the unique benefits of working with a money coach. And improving your relationship with money is the difference between resolutions that succeed and those that fade away before spring.
Money Coaches Canada celebrated its 5th anniversary in October 2015. Sheila and I are so proud and impressed by the coaches and clients that helped us become the leading network of fee-for-service financial coaches in Canada.
You can have a financial ally for 2016. Visit our coaches’ page and arrange for a free consultation.