Money. We think about it more than we want, and it's not always in the most positive light. If this sounds like you, you’ve got company. 72% of Americans feel stressed about money every month.
But brains are powerful tools. That’s why setting financial intentions is a great way to change your thinking about money. They can even positively affect how you spend it (weird, right?).
Intention setting is a practice shared by CEOs, athletes, etc. And there’s evidence to support that it can even help retrain your brain to accomplish more than you expect.
Everything from how you process and store information to how you feel about your circumstances is influenced by your intentions. And that’s why intentions can be helpful when you’re stressed about money.
Think about it
If you’re about to jump off a diving board and can’t stop thinking about hitting the water like a splayed starfish, chances are it’ll all end with the smack heard around the world.
But, if you jump with the mindset that you are a graceful swan capable of anything (which you are), you’re likely going to execute a more graceful splash, and have a more positive experience.
You might hop up that ladder and do it all again because you were such a badass swan the first time!
So why can’t that be true for money stuff, too?
You don’t have to strap a crystal to your credit card (though that would be cool) or shout endlessly into a cracked mirror (plz don’t do this). You just have to change your money mindset with a few simple mental check-ins.
Disclaimer: Are intentions magic? No. Will you instantly have more money because of them? No. Is The Secret real? Probably not. Are intentions a cool way to transform negative feelings by focusing on more positive ones? Yes.
Either way, it’s important to remember finhealth isn’t just about your dollar, it’s about your mind and level of money stress too.
BUT WHAT ARE MONEY INTENTIONS EXACTLY?
So, they’re not goals. Intentions are tools to achieve goals. They actually don’t create a new ability or skill, but they might give you better access to the awesome stuff you’re already capable of.
And unlike goals, there’s no way to screw them up because they’re by definition just... a general direction. It’s all about focusing your emotional energy with the intention of going there (I am the swan!)
What’s important to you? What do you want to accomplish with your money? Telling yourself that you deserve that, that’s an intention.
The key is to keep them doable (none of this I’m gonna make a mill by 30 jazz) because they should make you feel better about yourself. Not scare the sh*t out of you.
Whatever they are, they are for you. Intentions should feel good and realistic. 💪
OK, THAT’S NICE, BUT CAN I HAVE AN EXAMPLE?
They sound like the stuff a friend would say to remind you how dope you truly are, only you’re saying it to yourself. What you want from money: you’ve got that! You can! Set your mind like you’re already doing it.
I know. It sounds silly.
But it really can help you feel better! And feeling better can make us do better.
Because intentions are broader than goals and should be visited frequently, it’s good to create a little sound bite or motto to remind yourself of what you’re after.
For example, if your intention is to feel better about your spending habits, you can say:
Today I’m allowed to feel good about how I spend my money
If you want to save money, but worry that it will encroach on your litty lifestyle, you can remind yourself:
I can save money and still have fun
If you have debt that feels like a ghost chasing you through the halls of life you can say:
My debt does not determine my worth
If you have trouble sticking to your budget you might put on repeat:
This is my new budget and even if I mess up, I’m still doing well because I’m trying
You get the idea.
Now we can’t sit here and tell you to “Not stress out about money”, because everyone circumstances are different, but whatever your situation, we’d suggest breaking it down to the things that you can control.
Asking for a raise. Not living too far into the future. Applying for that scholarship or a new job.
Even something as simple as “I will take the actions I need to improve my financial life” could help.
HOW DO I ACTUALLY USE THEM?
🏁 Decide to start: It’s the hardest part, and by reading this you’re already on your way! But, be kind to your past self as you move forward.
👁 Visualize: Be real with yourself about what you want from your money. Again, not specific goals, but the general direction you want to move in and how it will make you feel.
💬 Make your statement: Get a lil motto going so you can remind yourself of where you’re trying to go.
🖋 Write it down: Put it in your pocket. Your phone. Scribble it on a mirror in lipstick like an olde tyme movie star. Just make it accessible to your brain and keep the flow going.
♻️ Speak it: Carve out a time where you tell yourself regularly (hopefully daily 🤞 ) that you’re going to be better at the thing. This gives you power over your negative thoughts and can create a more positive mental association with money. It’s amazing the way our brains respond to positive self-talk. It’s not a cure-all, but what do you have to lose?
⏰ Clock it: Check-in with yourself, whether it’s through a journal or just in your head, on how you’re doing as you practice your intentions. Remember, success isn’t just a bigger balance. It’s also feeling better and more hopeful about the future. More money isn’t the only marker of building your finhealth!
💙 High-five yourself: This stuff isn’t easy! Small wins are wins, so keep an eye out for those, too. This isn’t a magic wand, but it’s a great way to make yourself more aware of all the cool stuff you’re capable of achieving. Plus, you deserve to feel good.
SO WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
That we’re all secretly wizards! No.
It means that simply practicing belief in your ability to do better is a valid form of taking charge of your financial health. And to do it you just have to, like, sit there and be nice to yourself.
So go forth, graceful swans who are capable of anything! Think those positive thoughts, set those intentions, but most importantly, allow yourself the space to grow into your financial wellness mentally as well as financially. And with money intentions, you can start to take on anything, even money stress, from the couch.
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