Humans are creatures of habit. Our habits tend to fit nicely into our comfort zones. But sometimes, our habits actually lead to more stress and financial anxiety than comfort. With the holidays approaching, there are steps you can take to change certain patterns and build new, more supportive, and positive habits that will help put you on a path to reaching financial success.
Jane, a divorced mother of two teens, overspends on the holidays out of guilt –trying to make up for the emotional disruption in her children’s lives. She knows that come the middle of January when the credit card bill comes in, she will experience terrible anxiety.
Peter and Marie love the holidays; they put their all into making it festive and fun. During this special time, their agreed upon yearly budget is tossed away as they feel the need to buy gifts for everyone in their large extended families. They are very conscious of disappointing their twelve nieces and nephews, six siblings, and parents. Every year, they overspend their budget. Every year, they pay the price in stress, finance charges, and post-holiday misery.
Sharon and Al have sufficient resources; spending more than usual over the holidays is not a problem. But what really makes them crazy is to see the holiday focus on “things” that are broken, discarded, devalued, or ignored once the holiday has passed. They struggle with the feeling that their money is not being well spent.
The good part about habits is that, while they are embedded in our behavior, they can be reset with intention, consideration, and specific action steps. When we take the time to evaluate whether or not our habits are indeed moving us in a positive direction, we might see patterns that we’d like to change or improve. If the following stories or similar situations feel familiar, consider taking these steps.
5 Steps to Rethink Your Habits to Reduce Holiday Stress
With well-defined boundaries, open and forthright communications, and a plan that you feel confident about, you can look forward to a holiday season that doesn’t end in misery. You deserve to celebrate fully and happily without the January bomb or feelings of regret. You can make new habits and enjoy the holidays by making small steps to a better and happier outcome. Wishing you all the best!