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When people are struggling financially they want to change their situation. They want to make more money – or any money. They want to/need to reduce their expenses. And too often people think they have to do this on their own.

In previous articles and a podcast, I covered six money myths that keep you broke. You can listen to the podcast episode at https://wealthonanyincome.com/podcast/episode-009/

Today I’ll describe a no-fail six-leg structure of support that you can use to get out of debt and/or create wealth. Using all six of these areas of support or influence can even allow you to end smoking, overeating, repair a rocky relationship and even end substance addiction without leaning on willpower.

Those six areas are:

  1. Personal Motivation
  2. Personal Ability
  3. Social Motivation
  4. Social Ability
  5. Structural Motivation
  6. Structural Ability

This structure is described in detail in the book Change Anything by Kerry Patterson and four other co-authors. (Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler)

This book demonstrates how anyone can change any behavior from what they don’t want to what they do want. It includes real-life stories of how individuals made the changes that were important to them and cites numerous scientific studies on how and why their approach works.

And creating a structure to achieve Complete Financial Choice™ would be one of the easiest changes to make. In this email/post we’ll go into some detail based on a blank graph you can request just by sending an email to me at Rennie@WealthOnAnyIncome.com. Just put Six Areas in the subject line.

First, we need to understand that willpower has nothing to do with the achievement of our goals. It is the weakest behavior to rely on and it is far outweighed by other influences all around us, and the biggest block to our success is our feelings, like fear; fear that we can’t do it right, or that others can do it and we can’t.

Relying on any one behavior or criteria, be it willpower, our values, a coach, friends, books, or a mentor, is insufficient to create a lasting permanent change or transformation in our behavior or habits.

As an example, if you wanted to row a boat to, let’s say, Paradise Island, would it be easy if you were the only one to row the boat? Or would it be easier if you had six people all rowing the boat in the same direction? The answer is obvious.

If we rely on only one method to change a behavior, it is the same as relying on one person to row the boat. When we use all six areas of influence to change our behavior, now we have the ability to create a lasting new positive behavior because we have a strong support structure in place.

Now we’re going to go over the details of each of those six areas of support. Again, those six areas of support or influence are as follows:

1. Personal Motivation: Here you need to find out what your triggers are by examining your own behavior like a scientist, and you’ll be studying yourself. As an example, when you are standing at a checkout counter do you make impulse purchases? Do you use your credit card or cash? Do you use a debit card or a check? Do you make a record of your purchases? Change starts with awareness. You’ll learn how to transform your impulses and unconscious thinking and acting into new choices that bring you pleasure.

How to Change Anything Personal Motivation

2. Personal Ability: When it comes to creating Complete Financial Choice™ there are money skills that are required. These skills are almost never taught in school, and parents can’t teach what they don’t know. Things like how to complete a balance sheet, an income and expense form, and how to track spending that provides feedback are all examples of skills that can be taught and mastered. Other examples involve how to invest, understanding stocks, REITs, and various investment alternatives. And, you’re not limited to stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

3. Social Motivation: Changing behavior requires support from the people who surround you. You’ll need to determine if the people around you want you to stay the way you are or are willing to see you change. As an example, if you are surrounded by smokers or shopaholics, and you want to quit smoking or impulse buying, those people might fight your desire to change because they’ll be losing a friend and ally in their bad behavior. Bad habits are so often a social disease; if those people who surround us encourage bad behavior, like spending freely, we will most likely fall prey and model that bad behavior.

4. Social Ability: You may have to change these accomplices of your bad behavior into the friends who will support your new behavior. Maybe they would like to change also and you can support each other. Or you may have to add new friends to your circle. This process alone can increase your odds of success by as much as 40%. If you can’t find support from those around you, you might have to hire a coach.

How to Change Anything - Social Ability Blog

5. Structural Motivation: There are so many conversations about how people are inclined toward instant gratification. This is a behavior that you will have to reverse and create a higher present cost to the behavior you want to change and make the deferred gratification more rewarding. You can set up rewards for the behavior you want to create.

As an example, I bet my wife $1.00 that I could accomplish something she would like me to achieve but doubted that I could do it. The principle of losing this bet is a great motivator to me. Another example would be to make a donation to an undesirable entity or charity if the new behavior is not achieved. This can be measured on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It could be that you change from using a credit card for purchases to using real cash.

6. Structural Ability: Madison Avenue, and 99% of all advertising, whether print, TV, radio, your computer, or smartphone are all geared to control your behavior. We are usually blind to the ads that influence us. There are mountains of scientific studies that determine what the best colors are for a store, what fragrances or music to pump in that will induce more spending, and what words the salespeople use to create larger purchases. You can’t even watch most YouTube videos without having to watch an ad based on your search history.

Until you recognize these environmental levers they will continue to control you.

I get angry when I hear a commercial suggesting someone can refinance their home and take cash out to go on a “much needed” vacation. That is NOT how to use the equity in your home.

An example in the Personal Motivation sector could be to raise $15,000 for ShelterToSoldier.org that would cover the 18 months of costs for training, vet bills, and food to prepare a rescued dog to become a service animal for a war veteran with a Traumatic Brain Injury or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This charity rescues dogs from being killed in a shelter and prevents another veteran from committing suicide, currently happening at the rate of 22 suicides per day.

This was an example, and a blatant plug, to purchase any of my Wealth On Any Income programs, products, or coaching because 100% of the profits are donated to ShelterToSoldier.org

An example for creating Complete Financial Choice™ in the Social Ability sector could be to set a lunch appointment with two CEOs and ask them to become your mentors, or at least provide feedback on your plans. Ask them for referrals to other CEOs that might be willing to support you.

Opportunity to Grow: Request the free blank graph you can use to write out the six areas of support that would work for you to achieve your financial goals. Just send an email to me at Rennie@WealthOnAnyIncome.com and put Six Areas in the subject line.

To Your Prosperity,

Rennie