One of the many keys to effectively changing your life is prioritization. Everyone has limited resources, whether those resources are time, money, or energy. Since you’re likely limited by your time and energy, it only makes sense to focus your resources on creating those financial habits that will have the biggest impact on your situation.
Try this process to focus on your most important new habit:
1. Where are you feeling the most pain in your financial life? What keeps you up late at night? Is it the lack of savings? A non-existent emergency fund? Too little income to pay your bills each month? A bleak retirement future?
2. Which new habit would have the biggest impact on your finances? Knowing that you need to work on your savings doesn’t necessarily highlight the optimal habit to adopt. Consider the impact each potential new habit would bring to your life.
3. Seek to be average at first. Bring all the parts of your personal finances up to an average level before attempting to be a high achiever. The worst aspects of your financial life are causing your greatest financial discomfort.
4. Do you have what you need to put the habit into place? If not, can you get what you need or start small enough that the habit is viable? If you’re 75lbs overweight and spend every evening on the couch, you’d have to start small if your desired habit was to run 10 miles each day. You’d need running shoes, too.
Time is a limiting factor for everyone, and there are only so many hours that can be applied to building and performing a new financial habit. Ensure you’re spending your time wisely and effectively. The most important habits are often the least appealing. Focus on positive habits to best enhance your finances.