Photo by Dave Dugdale; Wikimedia Commons

Need to work on changing a money habit but finding it hard to get going? Consider increasing the level of tension associated with your poor financial habits.

As a human being, when you encounter a truth that makes you feel uncomfortable, your natural tendency is to ignore it, suppress it, or push it to the back of your mind. However, discomfort can actually be motivating. If you find a way to hold the discomfort in a prominent place in your mind, you can use it in the service of change.

Try calling to mind your moments of discomfort. You know the ones—they are the moments that you are embarrassed to admit to yourself, let alone share with your friends and family members. Have you had to borrow money to cover your monthly bills? Has your credit card been rejected at a store? Do you get calls from debt collectors? Do you ever purchase a “want” when you can’t even cover your needs? Do you spend more than you earn?

Now, as you focus on your moments of discomfort, notice what feelings arise. Do you notice fear, self-disappointment, or dread? Great! These feelings can create a sense of urgency and get you moving toward your goal before it’s too late. Better to experience these emotions now when you still have the opportunity to change your behavior, rather than later when the emotions are compounded by regret.

How do you create a sense of urgency for your money goals? For more thoughts on this topic, check out this week’s blog post at