Through my work in the Credit Counseling industry I often find comparisons between budget health and physical health. It seems that in many cases some of the same types of processes contribute to the problem and parallel solutions can be used to correct problems.
The recent activities of the famous country-style cook Paula Deen got my attention. I am not a big critic of hers. The truth is I think she is highlighting a problem that is within all of us. She’s just in the uncomfortable position of being spotlighted.
One of the statements that came out of the interviews with Ms. Deen was that “small changes” are what is needed to manage her disease that billions share. I disagree. I also think it points to an overall problem with financial and health problems in America.
America thinks that because it CAN [insert verb here], that is SHOULD be able to [insert same verb here]. I think/hope we’re taking steps away from this mentality, but we have long to go. We should be a little grateful to Ms. Deen for confronting us with this problem. She’s helping us see that good, nice, lovable people just like Paula Deen need to tune in to a new way of thinking and being!
I think if the problem is small, the change can be small – but do you really think our problems are small? I really don’t.
A few months ago – after many many failed diets and exercise regimes (involving small changes), my husband and I made a drastic change in our eating. We changed to an entirely plant-based diet, limiting oils and including occasional fish. (Please don’t stop reading, I have a point! J ) The change was so drastic that it was actually easier to do than other diets or plans we had adopted and failed. The fact that it was extreme – made it easier to do! We haven’t lost all the weight we want to lose, but we know we are doing our part and the process will lead to good results.
I can apply similar success stories to finances: Look at this story from MoneyTalksNews.com. This person took an honest look at their life, made some important, thoughtful – and drastic- changes and paid off $37,000 of debt in one year.
Small changes have their place…
If you are making them or thinking about making them to your life – that’s a good sign! It could me that you are building on your readiness to change. But don’t stop there. Realize that you need a spiraling up process that works for you! See the chart below from Adultmeducation.com for an idea on how we make changes.
…but the BIG CHANGES are the ones which will make a difference!
They will be uncomfortable; take some tears and temptation; success and failure, but believe me. Meeting your goal will mean more to you and be more important!
The number one way you will know if you are ready for a REAL life-change whether it is in health or in finances is to be able to make this determination and line up your actions:
“It is not so much what I CAN do, but what is BEST for me – body and wallet.”
Cristy Cash is the Director of Counseling and a Senior Certified Consumer Credit and Housing Counselor at CCCS of Central Oklahoma. She lives in Edmond, Oklahoma with her Husband Matt, young son Jackson and her dog Bear.
CCCS is a non-profit Credit Counseling agency with offices in Oklahoma City, Bethany, Enid, Stillwater and Tinker Air Force Base. Contact us at http://www.cccsok.org or 1-800-364-2227