25 May

Why Don’t We Just Get on and Do It?


The lockdowns that we’ve had to endure over the past 3 years and now the recession have given many of us the perfect time to reflect on life.  Where we’re going and what it is that we really want. Some of us have resolved to do it, and then done it.  After months of talking about it, weighing the pros and cons, we’ve done it.  We’ve changed how we live our life. Some have opted for a career change and resigned, some have used the time to evaluate their role in their business and have changed their model or have eased back.  Others have taken advantage of remote working and moved out of ‘town’ and immersed themselves into country life.

But others haven’t committed to the intention. Yet.

Why do we arrive at a decision and then not action it? Is there something wrong with us?

No. Apparently it’s relatively normal human behaviour. There’s even a name for it, behavioural scientists/psychologists call it the Intention-Action gap or Intention-Behaviour gap.

We (at Money Mentalist) see it with people and their finances, e.g. setting financial goals and then letting them slide.

We start out with best of intentions, knowing we need to cut back our spending and start saving for that goal we’ve set; the extension, the new deck, new car or boat, the holiday or starting the retirement fund.  Then life just seems to get in the way and our best intentions slip and we don’t get around to it.

This Intention-Action gap thing is pervasive, it doesn’t just relate to our finances. Most of us will have had experienced this behaviour when thinking about healthy eating or exercise – or the lack of them.

“My New Year’s resolution will be to exercise for 30 minutes a day, four times a week,” you say to yourself, eating your third helping of Christmas cake while prone on the couch.  The end of January rolls around and you haven’t got off the couch.

Why Did We Let it Slide?

A couple of reasons: We know that getting into a fitness routine/healthy eating will have long-term benefits but watching the next episode of our favourite TV show is more gratifying in the moment.

Or, the Intention-Action gap can result from being too ambitious.

Simply Knowing What We Need to Do Isn’t Enough, We Need to Take ACTION.

How do we do this?

Accountability Partner:  One way is to have an Accountability Buddy, someone who has ‘nagging rights’. You give them permission to help you keep your commitment, whether it is going to the gym, or sticking to a savings plan. This works even better if you are also helping your buddy be accountable for something they’ve committed to as well.

Commitment Device:  Another way to bridge the Intention-Action gap is to put in place a ‘Commitment Device’. This can be as simple as setting up an automatic transfer to your savings account the same day you get paid so you never see the money.
Have a look at stickK if you want to know more about how Commitment Devices work.

Commitment Contract:  Entering into a Commitment Contract that that says, if you don’t do what you say you are going to do, you forfeit something or give something that is of value to you to a charity. Again, you can set this up with your accountability buddy or you could use an app or website to keep you on track.

For this to be successful and really work for you, you must:

  1. Recognise that there is an Intention-Action gap that you want to do something about it.
  2. Find a commitment method that you know is going to keep you on track.
  3. Remember this is your commitment to change. Not your buddies or the commitment device. If you aren’t totally committed it won’t work for you.

One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time
to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now. Paulo Coelho

The Opportunity for Change.

If you haven’t done it, use this time to rethink your vision of the future – or perhaps to create one.

Now is the time for you to create your vision and see the opportunity for change. During lockdown you’ve had to adapt to a new way of life and have enjoyed the opportunity to rediscover the importance of the home and the heart.

Now is the time to reinvent yourself and change the way you do things so that your future will be bright and full of success.

A great way to overcome blocks and emotional money connections is to chat with someone who understands the psychology behind money.  

And that is exactly what we do. We help people push through money blocks and make their finances work for them.

If you have been rethinking your money over the lockdown and want to change, to do something more positive with what you earn, I would love to help.  Drop me an email or click on this link to find a day and time that suits you to have a chat with me. Best of all, it’s free!