reflections in retirement

How to get out of a funk and level up your investment journey in 2024

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right,   

Henry Ford

I will be the first to admit that the investment journey is not always an easy one. It is a path filled with a lot of sacrifice, part of the process includes self-doubt, encountering losses, a lot of highs and some lows. Periods of feeling inadequate, imposter syndrome and let’s face it, generally wanting to give up altogether. 

That’s why I decided we need to address this big issue because no matter what kind of funk you are in, giving up is not an option. So, we review what we need to do level up especially when we are feeling discouraged to work on our financial wellness

  1. Assess your situation.

What has you feeling emotionally defeated. This exercise requires utmost candor, you have got to be brutally honest with yourself.  For some people it will probably be the never-ending cycle of debt, either you just can’t seem to restrain yourself from getting further into debt or you are faithfully paying off the debt but the end doesn’t seem to be near and so you start to despair. 

Perhaps it’s that you are so behind in your goals you can’t seem to catch up. Mind you the essence of this exercise is not so you have a pity party, nope. It is so you get perspective. Understand exactly what is making you be in low spirits in your investment path.

 2. Review what you can do now.

Granted the mountain maybe huge and intimidating, but what is the first step you could take? What is in your power to do now to salvage the current situation. It may involve things like reviewing what your current income is, tweaking your budget so that you can adjust it to what you are facing presently. If debt is overwhelming, you what can you do to restructure it? 

 I’m not a proponent of debt swaps and consolidation but in some dire situations you may not have a choice. Do you need to adjust your financial plan, so that you are less strained? Work through all the options you have and choose the best for you.

  3. Create a new roadmap for your future.

 Check whether the reason why you were in a funk in the first place is because your initial plan was overambitious? Scale it down but make it a bit of a stretch so that you are not working at your comfort level. Part of what you need to work on in this step is the basics such as ensure you have your emergency fund topped up. 

This may call for looking for a hustle to supplement your current income, by all means go for it. Also, you have to rethink or affirm your why. Why did you choose the plan you have, do have a compelling enough reason, because ultimately that’s what will push you on especially when you don’t feel like it.

   4. Deal with your mind.

Half the battle you have to win is in your mind, you have to believe that you can get out of the funk. You must be willing to work at your goal, you have to be willing to let go of some anchors that weigh you down. For instance, you may need to let go of some friendships to progress, deal with habits that are against your goals, create and get new habits. 

Also, it is at this point that you will need to forgive yourself for your previous mistakes. I tell you this may not be easy, but you need to.

investment and growth

5. Create a financial plan for yourself.

It will be a comprehensive plan that guides you and, on your finances, and investments. Take into account your investment disposition, are you a risk taker, risk averse or neutral? Review this so that you get investments that do not cause you sleepless nights but have a mix that balances your investment returns as well.

6. Create an accountability system.

Without accountability it is quite easy to fall off the wagon. You need to have a system and people who help you to stay in check. Here I do not recommend trying to go with your willpower only to effect change, because chances are when you don’t feel like it you will most likely revert to your old habits. Try to take the decision making out of the way for yourself. This is so that where you can, automate the process of say putting aside your money for savings and investments. Decide what your budget will look like in advance and stick to it. Delegate shopping if you believe you will go over the budget limits, if you do it yourself.

Having an accountability partner will help. Walking this journey together with someone who cheers you on is definitely a plus so get those helpful friends on board so that you get a lift, especially when you feel like it’s getting to be too much for you.

7. Reward yourself.

 Appreciating yourself and the progress you are making is genuinely a key that will see you go far. Perhaps what you need to repair is your credit score due to the amount of debt you have that has messed up with your credit score. The road may be long and winding in trying to get rid of the debt but for you to have the necessary energy and stamina you will need to recognize your efforts periodically by rewarding yourself. 

And it does not need to be something extravagant, however it needs to be something meaningful to you. It could be something like getting yourself a present, a staycation somewhere or a big trip once you hit a huge milestone.  Rewards energize us, because as human beings we respond positively to being affirmed.

Being in a financial funk is not a good place to be in but there is a way to work your way out of it especially if you know the root cause of your financial problems and are willing to work towards finding solutions. My view is if you work on your mindset and change your habits, you can definitely work your way out of a financial struggle. Remember I’m rooting for you.

To your success!,

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