By Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®
Practicing gratitude can help you become more aware of what you have and it gives you the chance to count your blessings. Even though there will always be someone else who has more than you, or earns more than you, comparing yourself to others only takes away from all the things you do have.
Focusing on what you currently have instead of what you don’t can make a dramatic shift in the way you feel about your financial standing today — and give you a chance to truly enjoy it or improve upon it.
Here are some easy ways to practical financial gratitude this holiday season, or any time of year.
Change Your Wants Into Haves
It’s fine to want more and have more, but focusing so much on what you want — because you don’t have it right now — can make you forget about all you do have. If you find yourself complaining about not having enough most of the time or you always feel like you’ll never have enough, you’ll be stuck in a mindset of ‘not having enough.’ Catching yourself complaining or wanting more, and shifting your attitude to one of gratitude for what you do have, can improve your outlook. Interestingly, this positive mindset can put you in a position to allow things to improve your situation so you can have more of what you want.
Make a Gratitude List
If you always seem to never have enough money (or at least feel like you don’t), make a big list of everything you have, the things you can call your own that you’ve paid for with your own money. Start with one room and simply write down all the items you see and how much you paid for them. This can take some time, but looking at that list will give you a good visual reminder of all the things you have that have monetary value and are yours.
You can also consider and write down all the things you have the money can’t buy — your health, your family, your friendships, your memories. These are all things that many of us take for granted but few could put a price tag on them.
Identify Your Real Wants and Needs
After doing the two exercises above, you’ll have a fairly accurate idea of what you have and what you are hoping to have next. Make a list of what you truly “need” versus what you simply “want” (i.e. things that would be nice to have, but aren’t mandatory). The act of writing this list down on paper can help you prioritize your spending and also, cut out non-essentials in order to get a very clear idea of what you have and can do without. Think of it as taking inventory of your blessings. This can help you make the shift to focusing on all the amazing things you have in your life so you’re less likely to feel like you’re being deprived of financial success or happiness.
Shifting your focus to practice financial gratitude from time to time can make what you have feel more rewarding and valuable. Try it for yourself this season and you’ll notice how ‘rich’ you truly are.
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