Start accruing small wins: Instead of focusing on big and lofty goals such as paying off a monumental credit card debt or your house, or building a hefty emergency fund when you begin your journey, think small. Start with a small win and then go from there. As the popular adage goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” To paraphrase Dave Ramsey, we need quick wins in order to stay pumped. When we accrue wins, we activate the power of momentum aka Big Mo. And with momentum on our side, we stay motivated and our financial success becomes inevitable. Small wins such as knocking off your tiny debts or socking away a certain percentage of your income in a savings account each month can help propel you to big wins over time. As Vancouver-based educator Mehrnaz Bassiri says, “Small wins have a transformational power. Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion to favor another small win and another small win until the combination of these small wins lead to larger and greater accomplishments.” Focus on progress, not perfection. Recognize your atomic money habits and celebrate the small wins that they enable.
Play the long game: As we work towards cultivating financial optimism, we must remember that setbacks and adversities are temporary. This is not easy and can be incredibly challenging in the face of major blows such as the Coronavirus pandemic that we are all going through at the moment and all its economic repercussions. It’s human and natural to have our hearts racing when we see fearful stories on media and news channels. But we must not let fear and panic influence our financial decisions. If we want to win with money, we must play the long game. Freaking out and acting on impulse only leads to negative consequences. Of course, the stock market will take a hit. But guess what? It will bounce back sooner or later. It always does. Don’t let your emotions control you. Investing is pretty much like riding a roller coaster. And that’s why jumping off it in the middle of the ride is never going to lead you to any good. The bottom line is that you have to focus on long-term wins. Don’t give in to fear, anxiety, panic, greed and other negative emotions, and invest consistently. Adversities that feel unconquerable in the moment will seem more manageable when you zoom out and look at them as temporary blips. Don’t let the bumps in the road discourage you and lower your resolve. Whenever you feel the fear of the unknown overpowering you, just focus on this essential truth: Investing is for the long-term, not the short-term.