Do you have any bad habits? Things you do all the time but wish you didn’t? What about something your partner does that really annoys you? We tend to view habits as negative – something to be broken – and along with that goes the guilt and frustration when we can’t quit our bad habits.
But what about good habits?
We recently got the whole Monarch team together for a professional development session and the topic was ‘Improvement as Habit’. As facilitator, Paul Jones, pointed out, a small adjustment to our mindset can make a huge difference to our day to day lives. For example, what if we made a habit of developing our skills or broadening our knowledge? How much better would we feel about ourselves for having cultivated a habit that was good for us? Not only do we have the end result of having learnt something new, we also have the positive feelings that go along with turning something good into a habit.
In terms of finances, a good habit could be saving a little bit of money out of our pay each fortnight, or contributing extra to your superannuation. The money will add up over time, but even before we get to our goal, we have that nice feeling of seeing the amount go up each fortnight. We have a regular reminder that we’re doing something positive for our future, rather than beating ourselves up for something we haven’t got around to.
The other thing that helps people to develop good habits is having a coach to help along the way. Someone to keep you accountable and push you through that period from when you first start doing something until it genuinely does become a habit. That’s essentially the role of a financial planner. We introduce you to the things that can make a positive difference in your financial future – building a plan, investing, contributing to your super – and then work with you until those things become a habit.
The relationships we have with our clients are transformational, not transactional. We’re here to help you make a plan and keep you accountable to it. We want you to reach your destination having learnt a whole lot of good habits along the way. If you know someone who is not getting this from their current advice relationship, maybe it’s time to steer them in our direction.