One Simple Habit That Will Change Your Financial Life

Photo by Ahmad Ossayli

I got clocked in the head about 200 times in a recent boxing sessions with my trainer. I don’t remember how many hits I took to the body because it was really the face punches that stood out to me that day. He wasn’t even hitting me hard, there were just so many. It was very disorienting. Ask someone to lightly slap you all over your face 200 times and you’ll see what I mean.

After that session, I felt discouraged. At first I felt like a crappy fighter, but then I realized, it’s just part of the practice. So when I went home and I thought about procrastinating with work, I told myself that anything I’ll do today is easier than being punched in the face repeatedly. Sitting at a computer, being creative and writing is a fucking breeze compared to what I just did. I heard myself say, “This is easy.” And it was.

When I showed up to my next training session, I wanted to shake off any self-doubt. I wanted to feel like showing up and putting in the work was fun. You know the type of fun I’m talking about- the kind where you’re pushing your limits and you’re not actually having fun, but when it’s over and you survive it, all you want is to do it all over again. A guy I met who was on the show Naked and Afraid explained to me that this type of fun is what he calls "Type 2 Fun”.

So after every exercise and every tough round of literally getting my ass kicked, I would make a smart ass remark on how easy it was. After a 3-minute round, wearing a 40-pound vest, I said, “That was easier than taking a nap.” After 7-minutes of eating punches I said, “That was easier than eating a sandwich.” After flailing dumbbells around for what felt like an eternity, I said, “That was easier than having a popsicle on a hot summer day.” Some other favorites of the day were: That was easier than lying down, that was easier than a day on the beach and simply, that was easy.

It’s easy to tell yourself a narrative that everything is hard. Adulting is hard, caring about finances is hard, having a career is hard. It’s snarky and funny to complain about having to participate in society in a productive way, but what would happen if you changed the story you were telling yourself?

If you notice that some bullshit or resistance bubbles up when you read the steps below, tell those feelings thank you, but just for right now they need to sit down and be quiet because you’re trying to do something with your life. And then tell them that it’s going to be way easier than you actually realize. Compared to having to un-fuck your life from years of ignoring something you should have addressed sooner, this will be so easy. Tell yourself it’ll be as easy as laying in a hammock. It’ll be as easy as eating freshly baked cookies in a cozy cabin in the woods. It’ll be as easy as a watching a cute puppy play in the park.

So without further ado, I present to you, one simple thing, in 8 easy steps, that will drastically change your financial life:

Step 1. Listen to Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” while looking at yourself in the mirror and decide you want to change.

Step 2. Whatever you use for your calendar, open it up.

Step 3. Find an hour in your week that can block off as a standing weekly meeting with yourself.

Step 4. Schedule It as your weekly finance time.

Step 5. Make yourself unavailable for meetings, calls or anything that isn’t your weekly finance time. Mostly guard this time aggressively, but sometimes, like when you’re on vacation, it’s understandable to compromise.

Step 6. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a list to get you started.

Step 7. Keep showing up for yourself. Like, for years. Like, forever.

This is the critical step. This is the step that separates professionals from amateurs. This is the step that compounds on itself and changes your life. It’s easy to do anything inconsistently. It’s easy to get punched in the face 200 times and then never show up again. Don’t be inconsistent. Tell yourself how easy it is.

Step 8. Watch what happens and let me know. Seriously, I want to know.