By Darlene Arechederra
Recently, a close friend wanted to lose weight. He had psyched himself up, and he was ready to go. Until his doctor suggested he had to restrict his calories, that is. "No way!" he said. He left his doctor's office, determined to never return there.
You can relate, can't you? Chances are that cutting back, phasing out, or even eliminating things you enjoy will not inspire you for long. The very thought can leave you feeling as if you're facing an uphill battle.
The words, *giving up something* are fighting words for some! I mean, can't you just picture the boxing gloves coming out? The good news is that you truly can make changes without giving up those things that bring you pleasure. Let's look at how you can win the battle, hands-down!
I love coffee (especially hazelnut.) I love the smell of coffee brewing. It brings me to a standstill. The earth could slip off its axis, but I'd only worry about it once I have that fresh cup of brew in my hands. Then, and only then, am I interested in moving on.
You know what I mean, don't you? Perhaps for you it's eating out. Or chocolate. Books. Shoes. Clothes. Perfumes.
If it's something you love, there's a slim chance you'll give it up easily. There has to be a mighty fine reason to do so. Right?
A Mighty Fine Reason
I had set a goal for myself of learning to live on one-half of my paycheck. It required fine tuning my spending (in many areas). And that's where the coffee came into the picture. You see, I was purchasing two to three cups a day -- and spending about fifty bucks a month for my pleasure.
Ah, the moment of truth! So, what were my choices? I could eliminate. I could reduce or cut back. Or I could keep my fresh coffee, but have it cost less.
I chose to keep the coffee, but make it *less expensive.* For me, the trade off was to keep what I love, but do it for a reasonable cost. This meant no more drive-thru coffee for me.
The Trade Off
A trade off allows you to get the job done without feeling deprived. Here's an example of how you might set up a trade off for yourself, based on my own.
To keep my coffee but have it cost less, I bought a proper coffee pot and a travel mug for my car. (I spent a lot of time in traffic back then.) I then found a delightful blend of hazelnut coffee and ground it fresh at the store. Cost? About eight dollars per month (compared to fifty.) I buy several bags at a time while on sale, saving even more money. I freeze it to retain its freshness.
In hindsight, it was such a simple solution, but it didn't *click* until my goal became extremely important to me (live on half my paycheck so I could save the rest for my future business.) Now, isn't that much easier than the dread that comes with thinking you have to *give it up?*
Three Quick Steps to Immediate Success
1) Know the reason you want to make changes. To have this work, you must have a specific reason. What is your very special purpose in *trading off* something you love?
2) Determine the first, small change you will make to set up your trade off. Choose something that will leave you feeling great about your decision. Deprivation doesn't work for the long haul.
3) Tuck away every cent you save, once you begin your plan. Put it up to have it for your own special purpose. Quickly reaping your rewards will provide motivation and keep you saving.
So, what's your pleasure? Is there something on which you spend a bit too much money? Set your timer for just five minutes, and do some brainstorming on ways your pleasure can cost you less.
Remember, the idea is to meet your goal without feeling as if you're *giving up* something!
You can do it!
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