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Let Go, ACT, Achieve

December 10, 2009

This post was contributed by Michael Roush, National Project Director for the National Disability Institute and “Chief Financial Officer” of his family.

Recently my sister-in-law, Laura, shared her experience of losing over 120lbs (awesome!) using Weight Watchers. Part of the process included letting go of the guilt of her past and the negative attachment she had with food; a negativity that was preventing her from celebrating the success she was achieving and as a result, maintaining.

Laura’s experience got me thinking about the guilt and negativity that sometimes follows past financial missteps; from accumulating credit card debt to not having enough in your Pay Yourself First account to the devastating experience of losing a home, it’s easy to let things get out of control. It’s even easier to continually beat yourself up about it. But how do you break the negativity cycle, like Laura did, in order to move forward?

In a recent post, Certified Professional Coach Christine Ng masterfully outlines three essential components necessary for kicking old habits and learning to let go of your past — financial or otherwise — in what she calls the ACT Method:

1. Acknowledge the past as an experience to enrich your life. In other words, celebrate the negative as a learning experience. $3600 Eye-Opener anyone?

2. Commit to change. Now that you know, it’s time to take action. Stay loyal to your goals — whether it’s losing 120lbs or keeping a daily spending diary. Stick to it. You can do it!

3. Time yourself. Set a date to achieve your goal. This will allow you to monitor each step towards success, no matter how big or small. And remember, change takes work and time. You want to succeed so give yourself a realistic timeframe in which to do so.

Lastly, no matter what your challenge, it’s important to have patience and compassion for yourself. Letting go can be hard! Whether it’s going over your Weight Watchers point allowance or splurging on a cappuccino, we all occasionally veer off the path towards our goals. But as both Laura and I discovered, by learning from past negative experiences, the commitment to change and achieving your goals becomes much easier.

Here’s to achieving yours in the new year!

Michael

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