slashing-tiresStick-to-itiveness … what a great made-up word, and a great description of what it takes to succeed at achieving a goal. Sticking to it like glue. We use perseverance and determination, rewards and celebration.

Only 8% of people who make a New Year’s Resolution are successful in keeping it. About 49% of people have infrequent success. I suspect that means that they stick to it some of the time. Goals around money and diets seem to be the most popular.

I was talking with a colleague about food cravings. She said when you are sticking to a diet and you mess up with a craving, that it is all part of the healing process – part of recovery. It made a lot of sense to me. If you give into your craving, and then follow a certain set of actions to get back on track, it can be part of the learning process and actually be helpful in the long run.

Spending cravings are not unlike food cravings. You are trying to stick to your budget and you mess up – you buy something that wasn’t in the plan, something happens for which you didn’t have money set aside. When you fall off the budget wagon, don’t beat yourself up, compound the error. “Well, I am already in so much debt, spending more felt like a drop in the bucket.”

Three things you can do when you have a spending craving:
1. Don’t go to the store. If you are at the store, put the item down and walk out to the car or a bench outside.

2. Review your goals – what do you really want? Why are you following a money plan and what will be the result if you stick to your goals?

3. Do something fun and free. Spend time with the kids, go for a walk, make bread, call a client, pat your dog, hug a tree. Whatever works to give yourself a bit of love and take the focus off the craving.

Recognize where you fell off the Better Money Life wagon and give yourself a huge pat on the back for hopping back on.

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Personal finance expert, Karen Collacutt is founder and CEO of Make Friends with Your Money. Karen works with ambitious people who are making good money but are wondering where it all went at the end of the month. She helps her clients to get clear on their money life challenges and opportunities, matching their money to their goals. They build a plan, confidence and peace of mind around their money. Certified Money Coach and Certified Financial Planner, Karen brings over 15 years of finance and business experience to her clients. Coach, speaker, author and change catalyst for those ready to create a positive and empowered money life, Karen delivers a fresh perspective on how to make friends with your money.

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