Lately I’ve been thinking about procrastination. Why? Well, I haven’t blogged in a while and so I’ve been thinking about why this is so. I think I love blogging but my posting record does not bear this out. My friend and coach just gives me the raised eyebrow when I start making all these excuses about why I haven’t blogged. My latest reason is “I’m so busy.”  That is the common justification that I hear again and again from people when something doesn’t happen that was expected to happen. “Busy.” I have joined the busy club (I’m secretly a bit happy about this as I felt like I social outcast when I wasn’t busy, but that is another post for another day). Funny thing is, despite how busy I am, I am still powering through a lot of TV shows on Netflix.  So that busy excuse is not really true – it appears I procrastinate when it comes to blogging.

So, I do have time to blog. I could do it at night instead of watching the latest episode or Rake (my current addiction). Blogging actually recharges me but it is still not happening. Nope – how many weeks has it been? Afraid to look.fgvxxvxmti8-andrew-neel

Why now? I have finally reached the point of discomfort where I have to blog. Yes, discomfort or being literally forced to do something appears to be the only way I’ll do something that is not part of my normal routine or habit.

So I let myself get to the point of discomfort before doing something that I actually like and I know is of benefit to me.

Are you the same as me? Do you only start doing something that is good for you when you are forced to or when you get to such a point of discomfort that it is more painful not to do it?

What do you procrastinate on? Exercise? Eating well? Taxes? (I see that last one a lot – please don’t do that to your poor accountant if you have one).

Do you procrastinate when it comes to your finances?

Or more specifically, do you procrastinate on preparing a personal budget (or spending plans as some of us financial people call them because the word “BUDGET” sends some people running in the other direction)?  Spending plan sounds hopeful and it has the word spending in it which some people are attracted to (often the people who don’t like the word budget).

I have been helping quite a few people with their spending plans these days (this is part of the reason I’m so busy).

Is the general population suddenly realizing that their financial health is important and getting proactive? Is that why I’m seeing more people about spending plans?

Nope, I cannot think of any client of mine that has come to me because everything is fantastic in their life and they want to be proactive about their financial health.

The people I am helping are only seeking me out because they have reached the point of discomfort in their lives where it’s harder not to start looking at their spending.

I imagine this is how personal trainers feel. I’m sure many of us finally hit the gym when we get on the scale and realize that the scale and mirror weren’t lying. Guilty as charged.

So I have been helping more and more people with spending plans.  What I have noticed is that everyone (ok, almost everyone) says – “well, that was pretty simple and straight forward once I started.”

The other thing they say to me is “I feel better – lighter somehow.”

In fact after I’ve gone through a spending plan with someone, I notice that they seem calmer, more relaxed.

So with that in mind, I decided to focus on that observation when attempting to do a blog post today.

And do you know what? That heavy weight I’ve been carrying for the past few weeks is suddenly gone. I do feel lighter.

So now I’m going to challenge you to start looking at your personal finances before it gets uncomfortable and you are forced to do so.

But I realize I can’t just leave you to that with no way to start so I’m going to tell you something else I learned from a good friend this past week. She has recently lost a lot of weight and has gotten healthy by completely cutting out sugar and dairy from her diet (yeah – that’s not going to happen for me). How did she do this? She started small and changed her eating habits gradually. She cut milk from her coffee first and has spent the past year doing one small modification to her diet every other week.

So – if you have never done a spending plan for yourself, I’m going to ask you to start small. I want you to see how much you spend on lunch this coming two weeks.  I want you to make an envelope labelled “lunch” and keep it with you for two weeks. I want you put all your lunch receipts in there (including grocery receipts that have lunch items on them). At the end of the two weeks, add up what you spent on lunch.

Then I want you to do dinner after you’ve finished lunch.

(I know – easy right – budgeting couldn’t be that easy could it?)

Then, you get to choose what you keep track of.

Go get that envelope right now. I challenge you.

Now I’m going to challenge myself.

Because while I was not blogging, my brain wouldn’t let me stop thinking about it and everything that crossed my path became a potential topic. This actually made it harder for me to start again because I couldn’t make up my mind!

Look for these exciting topics in the coming weeks:

  1. The Divorce Process sucks, why it sucks and how you can do it better.
  2. Living Apart Together (as related to finances)
  3. Agreeing to shared parenting with your Ex and why it’s an awesome choice
  4. More on procrastination because it is tax season
  5. Dating as a single parent (as related to finances – because you know, my clients are not putting it in their budgets but is that realistic? I will discuss)
  6. Being busy