We’ve all been there. Failed diets. Failed budgets. Find out why this keeps happening, and how to start succeeding at your diet and budget!
Some things in life are just hard: passing all your college classes, getting a job, planning a wedding (amiright?), running a marathon…you get the point.
You know what else is hard? Saying no to that cookie. Or saying no to that vacation.
In other words: Dieting is hard. Budgeting is hard.
I’m betting every single one of us has tried to diet AND budget at some point in our lives….tried and failed….probably several times over.
Why do we keep failing at BOTH dieting and budgeting. And how can we start succeeding?
1. You delay your start date
Why you fail: We’ve all said it: “I’ll start tomorrow..next month…Jan 1st…”
I am the QUEEN of doing this! I’ve always started diets, budgets, fitness plans, projects on the 1st of the month (or year….I started this blog on Jan 1st). I have wasted so much time!
How to start succeeding: The best day to start is today. There is absolutely no reason for you to postpone positive changes to your life. Start succeeding by starting today.
2. You don’t track your calories/dollars
Why you fail: It’s a lot of work to track your calories/dollars. It takes time and effort and sometimes you just don’t feel like it.
When you first start dieting or budgeting, you’re on top of your game – each crumb gets recorded into your calorie tracking app, each vending machine purchase has a spot in your spending log.
But then you get a little lazy and stop tracking one day…two days…three days….oh no, the whole month is shot now! You head to the mall to shop and find Cinnabon!
How to start succeeding: You need to make tracking your calories/money a priority.
Take the time to find a system that works for you. I must have tried 20+ calorie tracking apps and budgets before I found ones that worked for me.
Set aside 5 minutes of every day (right after dinner, right before you go to sleep – whenever) and record your calories or spending.
3. Peer pressure got you!
Why you fail: Peer pressure happens…even to adults.
You may have friends that just want to go out to eat and then head to the bars…not great for your diet or your budget. You struggle to say no because they are your friends…and your social life.
How to start succeeding: Take the lead of your friend group and start planning outings that are better for your waistline and your wallet.
I bet your friends will love that you are taking charge and inviting them to new experiences. Try hiking, free local events, game night, organize a volleyball game…the possibilities are endless.
4. You’re plagued by perfectionism
Why you fail: You’re a little bit of a perfectionist. Everything has to be juuuust riiiight for you to feel comfortable.
The second that you mess up your diet or budget (you slip up on tracking your calories/spending or you have a weak moment and indulge with a cupcake/new dress), you just quit.
How to start succeeding: Just give up the perfection. There’s always something you can nitpick. Just forget about the mess-ups and don’t let it interrupt your journey. Admit to yourself that you just aren’t perfect…nobody is.
5. You are overwhelmed with all resources that are available to you
Why you fail: There are so many budgeting and dieting tools out there – apps, books, blogs, spreadsheets, printables, programs, etc.
You don’t know where to start…or maybe you’re like me and start with EVERYTHING.
You read/buy/download everything and soon you are tracking the donut you ate for breakfast in an app, your daily planner, your bullet journal, a post-it note…it’s everywhere….and nowhere at the same time.
How to start succeeding: Pick ONE, and only ONE, tool to use. Make a promise to yourself that you will use that tool exclusively for one month.
If after the month, you feel like it’s not working, then you can try something else. But you have to give the tool a chance.
Try these free budgeting printables (you get three over the course of three days) by entering your email address in the box below!
6. You haven’t acknowledged (and fixed) your triggers
Why you fail: You don’t know what your triggers are. You don’t know what is causing you to overeat or what is causing you to overspend.
How to start succeeding: Take some time and think about what’s really causing your bad habits.
Do you get stressed about work and then eat away your worries? Do you go to Target and spend away your paycheck?
Identify your triggers. Then, brainstorm some ways you can avoid those triggers. Can you reduce your stress at work by organizing your day better? Can you just…stop going to Target?
7. You’re enticed by magic solutions
Why you fail: There are some craaazzzzyyyy diets out there. The Baby Food Diet, anyone?
There are also some crazy budgeting tips out there too. Year long shopping ban?
You hear about these radical solutions that worked for others…and you try to do it too! But you fail…because these fad diets/bans hardly (if ever) work!
How to start succeeding: You have to tell yourself that there are no shortcuts – fixing your situation is going to take work. Forget about the magic solution and put in the hard work.
8. You can’t stop yo-yo’ing.
Why you fail: You get motivated for a couple of days or weeks and you are rocking the diet/budget. But then you get distracted, bored, or impatient and your diet/budget suffers. You’re in a cycle…you yo-yo diet/budget.
How to start succeeding: Make a promise to yourself that you will stick with your diet/budget for a certain amount of time – maybe it’s a month, maybe 3 months.
Tell yourself that you won’t let anything get in your way for that time period – you will accomplish your goal.
If it helps, set up a reward at the end of each month that you only get if you’ve stuck with your diet or budget.
9. You never learned good habits
Why you fail: They don’t teach nutrition or personal finance in school and you may never have learned good habits from your parents.
How to start succeeding: You might not know a lot now, and that’s okay – your journey is just starting.
Find books and blogs that can help educate you (uh, this blog is a great start!!), mentors that you can learn from, and friends that you look up to. You’ll start to develop good habits soon!
Fixing Your Waistline and Your Wallet
Dieting and budgeting can be hard. And you might lose the battle a couple times, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.
You can start succeeding at your diet and your budget if you take the time to identify why it hasn’t worked for you in the past. Knowing why you failed will help you win in the future.
What are some of the reasons that you have failed your diet or budget? Can you think of other ways that dieting and budgeting are strangely similar?