Juice cleanses are so last year. If you want a new path to wellness, try a Money Cleanse.
Instead of changing your eating habits to reduce toxins, curb cravings and perhaps shed a couple pounds, this cleanse involves changing your toxic beliefs so you can reduce stress, curb emotional spending, and feel energized when it comes to managing your money. What better way to start the spring season!
And luckily, like other forms of detoxing, it won’t require a lifetime sentence of deprivation, demanding that you forego all spending forever or resort to drastic measures like cutting up every credit card you own. All you need is a commitment of seven days and a dedicated notebook or journal. Then, simply follow each step below:
Step 1: Track Your Cents and Your Sensibilities
Using your notebook, track every time you spend or save anything. Record the transaction in your journal, noting the date, the amount and a brief description. But more importantly, include how the transaction made you feel on a scale from -10 to +10 (with 0 being neutral). For example, finally investing in that sales training may feel great and warrant a +8? On the other hand, buying take-out for dinner because your meeting runs late and you are rushed may result in a feeling closer to -3?
The point is not necessarily to change your behavior but to bring awareness to how it makes you feel. Checking in and noting how your emotions impact your spending/savings and vice versa provides the much needed pause that allows you to think twice and make more mindful choices around money.
Step 2: Practice Gratitude
All negative thoughts around money stem from two main causes: fear or shame. To combat either, you need to practice gratitude. For the next week, use your journal to note three things that you are grateful for before you do anything relating to your personal finances. Practicing gratitude daily turns feelings of lack and scarcity into feelings of abundance and having more than enough. As a result, you will be more motivated to tackle those stacks of bills, get your tax files in order, or whatever financial tasks you may have been putting off.
Step 3: Find Your Money Story
Finally, for the next week, spend ten minutes a day writing down any significant money memories that you have from childhood. We all received messages about money that we inherited as children and shaped how we approach our finances today. Dedicating just a few minutes to reflecting about what those are can help you decide whether they still hold true for you as an adult, or whether it’s time to create new beliefs that are more positive or resonate more with the person you have become.
After seven days, you may find that a simple Money Cleanse based on mindful spending/saving, gratitude and reflection is just what the doctor ordered. You’ll be on your way to creating a healthier, happier relationship with your finances once and for all.
Your Money Cleanse Checklist:
1. Buy your new Money Cleanse notebook.
2. Put an inspirational quote in the front of your journal, such as “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” -Eckard Tolle
3. Tweet what you are grateful daily. Hashtag #savor!
4. Enlist a friend or partner to cleanse with you. We are stronger together than apart.
5. Comment below and let me know which step is most impactful for you and why!
This article was originally published on Dream, Do, Savor in March 2014.