This week I was reminded of a time when I was paralyzed by student loan debt and high rent. At that point in my life I felt like I couldn’t spend money on anything. How was I going to manage this debt and still do the things I love to do? Let’s be honest, I couldn’t even afford to go to lunch. I realized that I had to take a hard look at my finances and set some goals. If I didn’t, I was never going to feel like I was making progress to living the life I wanted.

Does this sound familiar? Do you find yourself stressing about credit card or student loan debt? Or worrying about having enough money until the next paycheck? Maybe you’re a small business owner and your pipeline looks a little depressing?

The good news is that I am in a better place and you can get there too. Let’s save you from one kind of adventure and create a new adventure filled with good things. I want you to experience more of what you love, explore new things, and be happy.

The following exercise is intended to get you thinking and start experiencing small changes. Do this each week:

  1. First, write down what you want to accomplish this week. For example, ask for a raise or call on a prospect. Think of this as something you know will help you with your finances, but the weight of the unknown has been too heavy.

  2. Next, think about your bucket list. Not the kind that happens when you are retired. The kind that happens today! What adventures would you like to experience? Is it learning to play the piano? Or running a half marathon in Croatia? Write these down too, and be specific.

  3. Post these in a place that you will see every day. It might be on your phone or a sticky note on your fridge. Pair up with an accountability partner, and discuss it each week. Ask yourself what other resources you need.

  4. Give it a try for the next month. Note the changes you experience.

The goal is to change your thinking, lift the stress, and get on with living the life you want. If you only worry about finances, rather than set goals and change your thinking, you will be stuck in a rut. Life is way too short to be caught in something that we actually have the power to change. It takes just a little focus and some planning to turn things around.

Now, get on with planning your adventure!