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Your thoughts create your life

Living Debt Free

[Pearls of wisdom like this come from Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School’s podcast every single day.]

Does it get any more straightforward than that? What you think = your results. I know I’m making this sound so easy, but in some ways it truly is just that easy.

Change the way you think if you want your life to change.

In a future post I’ll dave a deeper dive into a little more of the science behind this but for now, let’s look at this as oversimplified as we possibly can.

Let’s dream for a minute. What do you want your life to look like?

  • Do you want a business that is more successful?
  • Maybe you are tired of under earning and want to change this.
  • Become a better, more patient parent
  • Living debt free
  • Move to France or embark on some other life changing adventure

Whatever you want your life to look like is completely available to you. But you need to remember these two very important points.

  1. You decide your outcome.
  2. Your thoughts determine your life, good, bad or indifferent

A few years back, I woke up one day and said to Keith that I am done being in debt. Out of nowhere I made a statement, I’m finished. Now we will be living debt free.

I was exhausted from moving money around, always seeming to be coming up short every month. None of it made any sense, how could we be making a good living but only making minimum payments and not saving a dollar? (I will definitely go through this story more in depth at a later time)

That day I drew a line in the sand. I made the decision to stop being reckless and irresponsible with money. (why I had limiting money beliefs is a whole other story!)

I decided (which became ‘we’ because Keith was immediately on board) that:

  1. Become debt free as fast as possible
  2. Never use credit or credit cards (besides our mortgage) again. We would cash flow all purchases, no matter how large or small
  3. We would never turn back. This was it. We were going to be fiscally responsible and leave a legacy to our children.

My thoughts had changed overnight. In the blink of an eye we went from ignoring our financial health to deciding ‘never again’.

Did we do it alone? Absolutely not. I listened to podcasts (Dave Ramsey became my new best friend), I read books, I journaled, I cancelled credit cards, we cut back on extras so that we could pay down this debt as fast as possible.

Fast forward several years and I can proudly tell you that we continued down this path. I decided my outcome. We are debt free, have a 6 month emergency fund, are actively saving for retirement, our kids have healthy 529s in place and we weren’t financially stressed when COVID struck.

My thoughts about getting out of debt propelled me. My decisions caused a change in habits. My mind became open to the possibility that being debt free and saving for a secure future was what I (and my family) deserved.

I changed the habits in my brain that kept telling me all sorts of bullshit. Overspending was a bad habit. Not saving was a bad habit. I let my new thoughts decide my outcome.

What is your goal right now? What is your dream? What is something you want to change?

Grab a piece of paper and write it down. Then write 3 small steps that you can take right away.

I’ll use my financial mess as an example.

When I was tired of being in debt, it wasn’t like I could just write a check and erase it all. I had to have a plan. I had to start with a first step.

My goal: To be debt free for the rest of my life

3 Steps:

  1. Write down the list (it was so ugly – the reality was much worse than I had in my head) of all my debts smallest to largest (Dave Ramsey snowball style)
  2. Call all the credit card companies and cancel my cards.
  3. Listen to a reaffirming podcast or read a book every single day. I needed to do this to keep me focused and determined. A reminder that I could do this.

That’s it, that goal and those 3 steps are where living debt free life all started. Nothing earth shattering. But simple, actionable steps to get me going. Something attainable and sustainable because you need the small wins when you are just getting started on anything.

If you set high, unattainable goals initially, you run the risk of getting discouraged early on.

I’m a huge believer in big goals but let’s start by walking before running.

Start by changing the way you think, it will change your life.

“Become the person you are ready to be”. Jen Sincero from Bad Ass Habits, page 195

Never forget, you are meant for more.

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