One of my favoured expressions when coaching clients is to encourage them to ‘take two steps back’ other people use different expressions but fundamentally we’re all saying ‘look at the bigger picture’.
This is never more important than when looking at personal finances. For most of us taking two steps back’ seems an indulgence that we simply cannot justify – we’re so busy trying to manage the here and now. But what happens when we do take a break from coping with the challenges of daily life?
I encourage clients to spend this time looking at why they are doing what they’re doing. Invariably they have a clear answer – whatever they say is the driving forces behind their daily activity – the underlying logic that very often has shaped their daily routines – sometimes for decades.
For some the impact of stopping and ‘taking stock’ can be dramatic – that lightbulb moment that changes everything while for many the established life time ‘habits’ prove almost impossible to change. Two recent examples.
A couple in their 90s who refuse to spend their savings – when asked why – they needed it for their old age! Saving was a life time habit -but they had no idea why!
A 60 year old, with substantial wealth, who was working long hours in a job he didn’t like despite having had a serious heart attached. Working and saving were such engrained behaviours that he had no idea why he was doing it.
In every aspect of life it is worth being clear why you do what you do……