Making your financial triggers physical
There is a famous "Seinfeld Strategy" when it comes to becoming a better comedian. The story behind it is that a young comedian approached Jerry Seinfeld backstage one night and asked if he had any tips for young comedians. He said:
"The way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
This strategy isn't anything to laugh at and can be applied to your finances also. By having a tangible measure to see your money saving success or a representation of what you are working to work off you are able to maintain motivation and financial direction.
The key to using a trigger correctly is to find out what motivates you and place it in a position that you cannot avoid it everyday. A great example of this is the picture at the beginning of this blog which is an example of a "Debt Paper Chain". Alissa from the website Get Rich Slowly explained:
“To get the ball rolling, I decided that I needed a visual reminder of my debt, something I could look at every day. So I made myself a literal paper chain of debt. I made each link worth $100 and each colour group a thousand. Each time I dipped below an amount on a link, I could reward myself by cutting it off. I was so psyched each month when I could cut off more than one link!”
Alissa used a physical object to illustrate how successful she had been in reaching her financial goals. The mind craves justification for the choices i makes and she was providing it easily.
I would love for you to create two things - 1) A financial goal that you would like to attain in the next 6 months. 2) A physical trigger of your own that will highlight where you are in your journey. I look forward to you sharing them with me by commenting on this post. If you are having difficulty coming up with a motivating trigger of your own, connect with me at Stack Health.
Mat - Stack Health Senior Associate Accountant