At the end of 2014, I read the book “Wheat Belly”. The book discusses the dangers of consuming gluten and preaches a gluten-free lifestyle. After reading the book I was very intrigued by the ideas. I talked to some friends and family members about what the book said about gluten and a lot of them said things like “that (avoiding gluten) sounds terrible” and “why would you do that to yourself?” I wanted to get the 2015 New Year off to a healthy start. Having just read about the values of a gluten-free diet I figured why not give it a shot? I decided to go gluten-fee for the first 15 days of the year. I knew I could never give up gluten for good, I like pizza way too much. However, I figured what’s the harm in trying something new. It was definitely a tough adjustment and the first few days were admittedly miserable. However, after about a week or so I started to feel really good and I wasn’t as hungry. It’s amazing how much less food you can eat when you only eat when you are hungry instead of letting the clock tell you that it is time to eat. I did this as a 15 day experiment and I learned a lot about myself and my diet. I still eat gluten but I have significantly cut back on it. I found what works for me.
There are a lot of naysayers out there. If you want to try a new thing, these naysayers will tell you all the reasons it won’t work. Many people want to change something about their life but are too afraid to take that first step towards change. Ask yourself, what are you afraid of? What is holding you back from making the change? Realize that if you try something new and it doesn't work, you can always go back to what wasn’t working before.
Maybe you want to build up your emergency savings but have been hesitant to start. As Nike would say, Just do it. Start adding more money, $10, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1000, to your emergency fund. Try it out for a few months and see how having that cushion make you feel. If for some strange reason, you don’t value having more in your emergency fund, you can take the money out.
Don’t let fear, hesitation or procrastination stop you. Decide on an area of your personal finances you want to change and make that change now. Maybe you want to start saving more for retirement. If you have a 401(k) go log-in to your plan and and bump up your contribution 1%, 2% or 5%. See how much that changes your budget, and if it doesn’t hurt that much do more. If the increased contribution amount leaves you with too little money each paycheck, adjust back to what you were doing before. Quit overthinking financial decisions that you know are beneficial. Try a few things out until you find what works best for you.
What’s something you would like to change about your financial situation? Now go and make it happen. After all, what are you afraid of?