On January 1, positive feelings surround the clinking of the champagne glasses and the vow to make changes in the new year. For a moment, our feelings of self-disappointment, defeat, and frustration get replaced by hope and optimism. But are we using the promise of change to fix our feelings and NOT to fix our […]

We know that people vary in their ability to choose successfully between conflicting desires and impulses. We also know that the road to success often requires self-discipline, or choosing long-term gain over short-term pleasure: resisting a decadent piece of cheesecake in the service of losing weight, enduring the hardship of homework in order to achieve […]

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 […]

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 […]