Posted by: Cathy | January 29, 2014

Coach nibble – Financial Habits

Today is our first coach nibble! If you missed the “new features” post, let me explain again what this is:

A “coach nibble” is a mini coaching session, giving a specific tool or exercise to help with a specific topic submitted by a reader. See below if you’d like to submit a topic of your own.

This month’s topic comes from a reader, I’ll call her Norma:

“I would love for you to do a specific Coach Nibble on finance trouble. How can one improve one’s relationship to money and unlearn bad spending habits while learning/encouraging good saving habits? That’s something I’m trying to focus on in the new year, and I can use all the help I can get!”

To help with this issue, I recommend trying this Time Travel Exercise. I’ve provided a PDF worksheet you can use, or a blank piece of paper will work just as well.

On the worksheet, you’ll see three circles marked “Past”, “Present”, and “Future.” Since the unhelpful spending habits were learned in Norma’s past, and she wants to cultivate supportive habits in the future, I think this is a great tool to try.

In the “Past” circle, make a little doodle depicting your past relationship with money or your past unhelpful spending habits.

In the “Present” circle, make another doodle depicting your current relationship with money or how you are currently trying to improve your spending habits.

In the “Future” circle, make a final doodle depicting how you would like your financial future to look.

Take a moment and look at your three doodles. Try to be objective and write down any impressions you get from your doodles in the “Notes” section under each circle.

Here is my version of the worksheet as an example:
Coach Blog 012914

Under my credit card statement image for “Past” I wrote: boxed in, busy, static.
For my piling savings in the “Present” I wrote: piles, orderly, grouped.
And for my abundant cornucopia in the “Future” I wrote: variety, filling, and harmony.

Now, let’s use my example to work through this tool, and see how it works for your own doodles and key words.

In the past, my relationship with finances was boxed in, busy, and static. The future I want with my finances is variety, filling, and harmony. How can I add more variety and harmony into my finances in the present? If my present is orderly and grouped piles, I need to mix things up a bit.

How can I mix things up financially? Perhaps I can set aside a small amount of money to try a new investment. Perhaps I can change my credit card to one with a better interest rate or a rewards program. Or perhaps I can take my fruit image literally and try growing my own produce to save some money.

Do you see how this is working? The doodles give you clues on how to move forward. By using doodles instead of brainstorming with words, you access your subconscious mind, which might have more interesting suggestions than your conscious mind. If your conscious mind could figure out the problem, you wouldn’t have the problem!

This way, you’re tapping into your own deep wisdom instead of me telling you to create a budget and save 10% of your income. When you realize the wisdom is already inside of you, I think you’ll be more apt to follow the advice. And since it’s within you, you can ask yourself for more advice anytime!

This Time Travel Exercise can help with many different kinds of issues. Try it the next time you find yourself wondering what to do next.

I would love to hear if this exercise helped you! Please leave a comment, or send me an email if you’d prefer to keep it private (exploringyourdepths

If you liked working through this coach nibble and would be interested in one-on-one coaching with me, check out my coaching information page and F.A.Q. and email me if you have any questions!


I’m accepting submissions for next month’s coach nibble. If you would like to give me a topic you’re dealing with, please email it to me! (exploringyourdepths I’d love my examples to directly help people. You can give me a code-name or I can just say the topic is from Anonymous for your privacy.

Everyone who suggests a coach nibble topic each month will be put in a drawing for a free 15-minute coaching session! (One entry per person per month.) You would be amazed at what we can uncover in 15 minutes, so don’t poo-poo it. When I select which topic to post that month, I’ll see if there are any common themes; or if there aren’t, I’ll select one at random, and the free session drawing will come from those who were not answered in the blog that month. (So you either get your topic posted in the blog or you get entered to win a free 15-minute session.)

If I get lots of coach nibble topics each month, I will consider doing them more often.

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