How to clear brain clutter when planning finances – Daily News

on Aug8
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This month, Women, Money and Mindset articles have focused on the overwhelming nature of financial planning and related situations that can keep us confused, frustrated and perhaps making poor decisions.

This week, I’d like to invite you to take an inventory of those areas in your life, such as money and finances, health and wellness, your career, love and romance, friends and family, and any other categories of life that you hold important.

Why? Because you may have areas within these categories where the “overwhelm” is keeping you from living your best life. It might also help uncover hidden places that you had not thought to address – but which might not be necessary.

Where is your overwhelm originating? It can come from many sources, but the main three culprits are often overthinking, avoiding and overcommitting.

Overthinking is exactly what it sounds like. If you analyze, then consider, then analyze again, and repeat this cycle endlessly without taking action, you are overthinking. This process fosters stress, as you agonize over what might be the best decision, and as you recognize there are decisions taking place, whatsoever. As the stress builds and your mind continues to spin in this way, the overwhelm is next, which can feel like helplessness, upset, being trapped and other defeating emotions.

If you are an overthinker, here are 5 steps to help you flex your decision-making capabilities:

Identify the issue. What’s the real question? If your car continually needs repairs, is the question whether you can come up with the money to repair it again, or is it that you need to consider the purchase of another car?

Identify who else needs to be involved and include them. Once you include voices from those who will be impacted, you can gather a lot of key information that will help you avoid and redirect potential problems coming from the solution.

Gather your data. Do you have all the information you need to make a decision?

Identify your choices and ask yourself the impact of each.

Make the decision out of confidence that you have exercised your best thinking and approach to do so.

Avoiding is another key means of becoming overwhelmed. If you are skirting a particular issue, situation or relationship that needs resolution, this is a sign you are avoiding confrontation and dealing with the problem. Not confronting the situation drives stress higher while reminding you that it is unresolved. Once again, overwhelm sets in due to the combination of stress and inaction.

Here’s a quick mental checklist to help you decide whether avoidance is worth the effort:

1.  What or how much is avoiding the issue costing you? List out how avoiding the particular situation at hand is negatively impacting you personally.

2.  Imagine the issue is resolved. How would your life be different? What would the benefits be to you personally? Other?

3.  What do you fear might happen if you confront this issue? Does the outcome you fear outweigh the benefits you would reap if the problem was solved?

This process does not bring easy answers, but it does help you to confront what inaction is costing you, which can often be the impetus to move forward toward resolution.

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