Resolutions: Finding Your Why

Counseling services: Individual, Couples, Family, Marriage, Group Counseling

With January comes all sorts of resolutions.  Our “should” voices start trying to exert themselves … “Lose Weight…” “Get organized…” “Get your finances in check…” 

While all among the Top 5 resolutions, it is not surprising that each of them mean different things to different people.  Weight loss can be about self-esteem or health.  (We’ll tackle that one next week, btw).  Organization can mean a sense of zen, or stress relief, or time-savings so you can easily find that second sock.  Financial health is no different.  Some might approach financial resolutions as saving for a first home, others as retirement planning, still others as a means for day-to-day subsistence.  Whatever your motivation to address your financial health, KNOWING WHAT that motivation is, is the first step.

Therapists often sound like 2-year-olds when we ask “why?”  “Why do you think that is?” Why do you think you felt that way?”  “Why do you think this is still coming up for you?” These open-ended questions help us help you explore your motivations behind behaviors.  Motivations behind resolutions are no different.

You might ask yourself: 

“What do I want to accomplish?”
“How have I been going about it?”  (Often, it is, “I haven’t…”)
“Why have (or haven’t I) been addressing it in a certain way?”                                                                                  
In other words, “Why do I want to approach my finances differently?”

Sometimes this kind of goal setting can motivate a behavioral change. Sometimes it takes a few jumpstarts.  You might need to dive deeper to process your relationship with money before you can manage it.  How did your family value money?  How was it managed?  Do you have the same values?  Do you want different values?

From there, maybe you’ll want to do more work with your therapist, or maybe you’ll want to start tackling money matters with some of the experts.  (Suze Orman and Lynnette Khalfani-Cox are popular ones.)  

But first, stop and ask yourself, why?

Written by Rachel Honig, MHC-I