Saving money is hard. If it wasn’t, so many people wouldn’t be in debt. You struggle to save money and pay off your debt because it’s painful to put restrictions on yourself.
The real problem though, is that you missed a crucial step.
The most important step in getting out of debt and creating a life you love is figuring out what your values are.
For example, if you would say that your friends are a priority to you, think about one of your happiest memories involving one of your best friends.
Is that memory of the time you saw she updated her Facebook status to say “A pint of butter pecan, Netflix, and a couch. #bingenight”?
Or is it of the time you went out with her on her last birthday, got drunk on chocolate cake shots, convinced the whole bar to sing her happy birthday, met Jude Law (well, it looked like him anyway) and don’t quite remember how you got home that night?
I’m guessing your favorite moment was when you actually spent time with her, not just checking her social media updates, right?
I get it, believe me. It’s so easy to get stuck spending our time on things that don’t actually matter, or that don’t make you happy. We all think we enjoy checking our Facebook feed, but really it’s a compulsion, a fear of what we might be missing.
I don’t think you’ll look back on your life when you’re on your deathbed and wish you had spent more time on social media. At least I hope not.
So, let’s do a couple exercises to figure out what your values are.
First, list the different areas of your life that take up your time or that you put focus into. Keep these categories general for now. You’ll get more specific later on.
For example, your general categories might look like this:
You can add to the above list or change some of them, but keep it to six parts if you can or no more than eight. You don’t want this to get too complex.
Now, take this list and try to list them in order of priority. This can be a little difficult, but if you’re stuck between two of them just go with your gut feeling.
Now you’re going to figure out what your core values are. If you need some inspiration, click here for a list of common core values compiled by James Clear.
Write down every value that comes to mind as important to you. Don’t worry about how long the list is at this point.
Narrow down your list until you get to just 6 core values. If you’re starting from a long list, narrow down a few times until you end up with the 6 most important ones. If you have trouble with this, just go with your gut and remember that you are not stuck with this list forever, and it doesn’t mean your other values aren’t important. This is just a place to start.
Congratulations! You are now well on your way to creating a life you love!
By living and loving your life, you’ll have a much easier time getting out of debt because you’ll be spending smarter and won’t need to use as much willpower to hold onto your hard-earned cash.
Next week, we’ll compare your values to the life you’re living now and make a plan for how you can incorporate your values into your life and start living a life you love.
Until then, I’d love to hear what your 6 top values are! Leave a comment below.