I transitioned from being a traditional financial adviser to a financial coach partly as a result of asking myself this question: 'Why don’t we do what we know we need to do?'. I became interested in opening my doors to people who had challenges and blocks when it comes to money. My research since then has been focussed on ways I can provide, not only practical solutions, but also address the obstacles that get in the way of financial success.
That was why I became interested in the ‘Do Something Different (DSD)’ approach. Professor Karen Pine, with whom I co-wrote Sheconomics, is one of the founders.
DSD have created a range of innovative online behaviour change programmes, designed by Psychology Professors and delivered by text and email. Each cost £14 for a 6 week programme. The principle behind it is that our brains are wired in a way that helps us create shortcuts to save us time and energy. We form habits that become familiar, automatic ways of responding to any given situation. But sometimes these habits aren't helpful and can limit our potential. We have a toolkit of useful behaviours, yet repeatedly carry on in autopilot doing the same things we’ve always done, and wonder why our results aren’t changing. By becoming more flexible in your behaviour you have the opportunity to choose how you behave, and do things differently.
I worked with the inspirational Do team to help them develop a new online programme to add to the successful range they’ve created so far. It’s called ‘Do Money’ and is fun, light and easy, encouraging behaviour change in tiny steps.
‘Do money’ is built on pillars, including things like the ability to talk about money or take responsibility for your finances, and helps you take action for your future while gently helping you overcome any emotional barriers you have to financial management.
As soon as you sign up, you’ll be asked a range of questions around each pillar to assess how you currently behave.
For instance, ‘How often do you…?’
‘…feel uncomfortable when the topic of money comes up in conversation?’
‘…find you’re faced with unexpected bills and expenditure?’
‘…get into debt?’
‘…buy something and regret it later?’
These diagnostics ensure that you have a unique programme tailored to your needs. You are then sent ‘Dos’, by text and/or email, 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Each Do is a small action to encourage a new behaviour. For example, ‘ Spend 10 minutes today starting one financial job you've been putting off. Play your favourite music as you work and tap along to the beat.’
That’s the beauty of the Do. It’s in the moment - something for you to do that day in response to the text message. There’s an immediacy about the action that’s such a contrast to lengthy discussing and planning and deliberating over change. You just do it – changing your behaviour without having to rely on willpower.
While you’re on the programme an online ‘Do zone’ gives a space to keep track of your activities and share experiences and encouragement with other ‘Do-ers’. You also get online diagnostics at the end of the programme to help you measure your progress over the 6 weeks.
Click here if you want to get back in control of your money, let go of some of your bad habits and develop some better ones