I was reminded just how complicated when I was doing an end-of-year office clearance. At the beginning of 2020 money goals were strong across ages. By the third quarter, the year that took more away than it gave, had beaten back goals across all spectrums. Blocking out the wider perception of the years collateral damage and deadlines being compromised from the delay had contributed to some thinking they’d let themselves down.
Sitting with my mug of coffee, attention wandering from the task in hand to chocolate biscuits, I reassure myself. A regular 10,000 steps are no problem, but summer willpower disappeared along with the third sweet treat and then a thought glides past. There is something inherently wrong with me. Counting steps was not being confused with a high-level fitness regime. I joked with others about my reluctance and in doing so had unintentionally found help. It was a relief to realise that I wasn’t alone in my attitude of avoiding the dreaded steps-regime by finding other distractions. Bizarrely, interest was reignited.
Stop Beating Yourself Up
Ironically, that from someone who is always talking about it being healthy to seek out other opinions it never struck me to do so. I understand the necessity for exercise and was annoyed with myself because I couldn’t be bothered to start. Winter lockdown had become a complex mix of irritation and guilt.
A sense of vulnerability leads to fear. With fear comes avoidance and from there it gets complicated when the wider context isn’t taken into consideration. Uncertainty was a common theme of 2020. It was a damaging time, it left gaps and shifted goals. For those with money goals, without exception, goals were shifted. Some in a positive way, others not so. Some began the path to their goal; others reviewed their strategy and one (or two) didn’t feel ready for strategies to reach their goal (they wanted it now!).
Gradually Navigate Uncertainty
Of all the years I’ve known, uncertainty was never more pronounced than in 2020. This year, 2021, is the one that’s the most likely to have us looking in the mirror critically judging ourselves. Which is wrong, unfair, and debilitating especially as I am someone who believes that money management is a life-skill for everyone. I now have a different attitude to tackling my exercise management. I realise it will take a bit longer to reach my goal, but the goal is back in sight. Nothing is certain but the mantra that has always got me and my clients through is: Plan, Strategy, Review.