Financial problems are behavior problems. We are locked into behaviors and thoughts that have a negative impact on our finances. We let our emotions decide how we spend our money. The way out of this situation is changing our behavior.
The foundation for good finances is gaining good self-control . Self-control is the ability to influence our behavior by overriding our emotions. The individual takes control of his emotions or behavior, and comprises the success or avoid harmful consequences.
Three factors describe the composition of self-control: Goals, self-monitoring, and willpower. Goals consists of our living standards, ideas and state. Our goals are crucial when we want to change less desirable behavior or situations.
Self – monitoring is a way to measure our success. We review our situations and feelings again and again to assess whether we are successful in gaining our goals.
The most important part of self-control is will power. Our emotions have the biggest affect on our willpower . When we are tired or feeling down, experiencing hopelessness or lack of knowledge our willpower is intentionally small. The better we understand our emotions the more likely we are to respond properly to the situation. If we rest properly, eat healthy, and seek knowledge on how to react to any given situation we will be better fit to work towards our goals and more willing to self-monitor our behavior. Self-control is then like a muscle that reaches faticue if it is only exercised and not rested and nourished properly. Goals and monitoring are then meaningless if we forget to take care of the powersource.
Traditional financial advice is based on the first two factors, goals and monitoring of success. But these two factors do not last long if we do not know the reasons why we begin every path with good intentions, but constantly lose our willpower and fail even simplest tasks. Like a car we run out of gas and fail to perform or achieve our goals.
Financial therapy combines all the factors of self-control. We review our financial position and get an overview. We set goals to reduce debt and start saving. But we take a look at our selfs personally and learn who we really are and how we can change our behavior and find in ourselves the willpower needed to fix our financial situation permanently. We learn that we are human and make mistakes. We learn to deal with fatigue and lack of knowledge. We get tools and powersource to improve our lives permanently, in more areas than just financially.