Research by Oettingen (European Review of Social Psychology, 2012) suggests that if we’re working on building a healthy new habit, we might benefit from the “WOOP” exercise. Although it sounds like a fancy new dance step, it’s really just a quick mental strategy that helps you to predict what problems might get in your way […]

When we’re trying to change a difficult financial behavior, the obvious question we ask ourselves is “What is getting in the way of doing the right thing?”  This helps us identify and problem-solve through barriers and obstacles. What we often forget, though, is another important question: “What is allowing the wrong behavior to continue?”  This […]

Imagine that there is a slight twist on the old magic genie scenario, and the genie offers to answer three questions for you. Committed as you are to your financial change efforts, you decide you are going to use your questions strategically. You want the answers you receive to accelerate your progress toward your financial […]

“I’m broke.” You probably know a friend or coworker who casually slips that sentence into a conversation on a regular basis. You may even use it yourself. If you don’t use “I’m broke,” it may be some other self-definition such as “I’m just middle-class,” or “I’m not cut out to be an investor.” The problem is: If […]

In the last two posts, I’ve explained how people who feel “stuck” on a particular financial goal are often not quite ready to take action. They have some work to do at an earlier stage, called the contemplation stage of change (stage two), in order to shift the balance in the direction of change. One […]