Money Mondays is a series focused on the intersection of finances and well-being. We believe money is one of the last taboos in the wellness world: Why is it that we can talk about our sex lives and not our salaries? With an underlying drive to empower, we’re aiming to address all your burning questions about making money (and making more), saving it, spending it, but most of all, how to use it to power the life of your dreams.
Patience is one of the greatest virtues, but the universe does love speed. When debt becomes overwhelming, it can stop universal momentum in its tracks. I’ve worked with thousands of entrepreneurs over the last decade, and what I know to be true is that debt carries major psychic weight. You can read all the money books and listen to all the podcasts, but until you experience the drowning power debt can have over your soul, you can’t know the emotional distress associated with it.
Debt and stress go hand in hand. According to a 2016 study, the average U.S. household with credit card debt has balances totaling $16,748, and the average household with any kind of debt owes $134,643.
A study conducted by The American Psychological Association reported that 72 percent of Americans said they felt stressed about money.
I postulate that debt stress is taking a toll on our overall well-being, and yet we still don't talk about it, which exacerbates it. If you’re "sick to debt" right now, I’m thrilled to share my seven-day debt detox to ease your soul and your security. This detox is simple in nature but does require a personal commitment to move past debt and up-vibe your life. Here is a simple seven-day protocol that is sure to leave you feeling lighter and less debt-ridden. The intention is to cleanse and reset, the same way you would cut out certain foods.
Day 1: Make peace and a plan.
To create a great life and experience synchronicity, you need clarity. The very first thing you should do? Make a vow to yourself to remove blame, shame, and guilt around your current debt load. The past is gone and the only thing that will align you with your greatest personal power is living for now. This is a great place to start even as you prep for your debt detox.
It’s never about the money; it’s what’s behind the money and the spending.
You’ll also want to create a very specific plan today for how you can fast-track debt reduction. Write out your plan in crystal clear language. It should include living off cash for the next seven days so that you can get a better understanding of where your money hemorrhages lie and where you could save or earn more.
Here's what your plan should include:
A date with your calendar. Schedule your debt payback dates and dates when specific debts will be paid off (your credit card, your line of credit, your tax bill, etc.). Creating these future debt-free dates in your calendar creates intention and commitment, and it feels exciting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Remember that unpaid bills that rack up interest only add to the psychic weight in your life. Over time, this psychic weight can manifest physically, and we want to avoid this!
Set intentions on real checks. Another powerful tip is for any bills that you don’t yet have the cash to pay, write out checks to pay them, get them ready to mail (with a stamp), and intend to mail them over the next week. Even without sending them (unless the money comes your way, of course), watch how this powerful intention attracts cash.
Pay cash for everything and keep your receipts. This practice alone will improve the respect and gratitude you have for every dollar you earn and attract. You can also keep a money diary, in which you record all of your expenses, if that's more your speed. I like this method because it captures even your most unconscious spending habits.
Find your money mentor. Your plan should also include a conversation or a meeting with someone who is where you want to be financially. Be a wisdom sponge in all areas of your life that call you. Book a meeting today with a financial adviser, money mentor, or someone who is exactly where you want to be.
Day 2: List, declutter, prioritize.
Without any judgment or emotion, make a list of absolutely everything that is weighing you down financially or in other areas of your life, big and small. It might include piles of clutter you have been meaning to purge, unhealthy or lazy habits that are messing with your energy, unpaid bills, debts, messy money practices, dreams you have put aside, actions you are afraid to implement, fears that are holding you back in life, negative self-talk, etc. Your list may include things you commit to paying off, stop doing, or start doing. Feel free to add anything that intuitively comes up for you that I may not have mentioned. There is purpose and symbolism to this list. It’s never about the money; it’s what’s behind the money and the spending. Release that energy on paper and let it out of your cells. You will instantly feel a little lighter.
Your money is creativity in action, and where you have money blocks, you have creative blocks.
Once you have your list, prioritize it to the best of your ability and identify the three top priorities to complete first. As you start to direct your energy, positive money momentum will seem to "magically" unfold, but this is awareness at work. You will also likely be able to lean out the list by completing the low-hanging fruit items fairly quickly. Some of them can likely be completed today, such as donating a bag of clothes, giving away items to friends, selling a few things for quick cash, or paying a utility bill.
Day 3: Choose consciousness over chaos.
Simplifying your life will result in more money, hands down. It’s amazing how much it costs to live frantically and chaotically. When we’re still and simple, we don’t need much and our inner world experiences true freedom and abundance. When we’re chaotic we tend to spend more money than we make and then stress about our debt. See the cycle?
Make a conscious choice on Day 3 to choose peace over panic. It might be difficult at first and feel like you're missing out, not doing everything you "should," or you might even experience pockets of boredom. That's good! Use that time to clarify how your money making can become more peaceful and purposeful. This might mean a career shift (may be time to go freelance, or go full-time!) or it might be a simple step toward living with greater courage and purpose (ask for that raise!). Living intentionally often requires choosing to purchase one thing over another (not both) or delaying larger purchases in favor of saving more or paying off more debt.
Day 4: Change your language.
Remember that the words you speak become the atmosphere you live in. Change your earning ability by choosing different words that are in alignment with truth, possibility, and abundance. Remember that violent thoughts about ourselves or our money can never result in true abundance. Your money is creativity in action, and where you have money blocks, you have creative blocks. Cleaning up your language is a perfect way to start, with yourself and your colleagues. Spend the day today speaking only words of love, nonviolence, joy, and abundance. It doesn't have to be overly positive! Choose non-negative words that feel authentic to you.
Day 5: Listen to your body.
As you become more and more connected to your body, you can use it as the most beautiful tool for feedback and evolution. Listen to your body on Day 5 and find out where you may need some fine tuning. It may be as simple as the fuel you feed it. There may be some subtle tweaks in your mindset or belief systems that must be questioned. Flesh it out. If you desire great wealth but think mostly thoughts of debt and despair, for example, there is a misalignment. If fears are in the driver’s seat of your life, today is the day to choose to act from safety.
Your charge on Day 5 is to find out what you need and find a role model who has done it before. Make a call today to someone who inspires you to be your best self. Feed your soul with a juicy book, video, or audio that makes you feel like taking a big leap in the direction of your dreams.
Keeping the end goal top of mind is important for long-haul debts. Pay off a small debt today, even if it's one credit card payment. Everything we desire physically starts off energetically. When you pay off a bill, get organized, and set clear intentions, you're inviting the right kind of energy to free yourself from debt.
Day 6: Sell, donate, cleanse, and do a money fast. Minimalism is the key.
Create space and lightness by getting rid of what no longer serves you, and watch how this pattern you've created reappears in your money world. Don’t spend anything today. This is a tough one. You'll see very quickly that we are addicted to spending. When we have nothing to buy, we still need to spend. It’s as if we have so much hyper energy in our bodies just waiting to project out, and purchasing something is often our vehicle of choice for releasing that energy. (Hint: It's easy!) Instead of spending today, use that energy to detox your life in small ways. Nothing crazy. Go to a cardio class or yoga class—or both—and cleanse your body. Eat well, load up on water, and tackle those lingering home projects.
If you’re up for an extra challenge, choose Day 6 to be technology-free or even be silent for a day. Be still in a way that challenges you but feels right. I left my phone at the airport last week and chose to go a full week before getting a new one. Needless to say, it was life-changing!
Day 7: Get creative with cash flow.
Being obsessed with debt just creates more debt. Be responsible but also remember that focusing your life force on cash flow is key. When you block creativity, debt typically follows. It is a universal truth that what we focus on and feel, we attract.
The challenge with debt is that it’s really tough to feel free and prosperous when you feel financially sick to your stomach. We can become a victim and a slave to our debt. The gift in this is that we often need these experiences to evolve and see universal law in action. My greatest evolution happened when I was in debt. You often don’t get universal law until you very clearly witness it in action in your own life. I firmly believe that where you have debt, you have a block of creative energy in your body.
Start with a baby step but convert some creative energy to cash today. You have dozens if not hundreds of ways you can serve the world. Get creative! Where in your life have you disconnected from your creative abilities and gifts? Where in your life have you gotten lazy with your creativity? Here’s a hint…you already know the answer. You just might be resisting it. If you don’t release your creative energy, someone else who is will get the money. There is money to be had! You will be left with the debt.
I wish for you a week of lightness, genius, creativity, and courage. You have everything you need right now to make financial freedom your reality. One baby step at a time, you will design a life worthy of a big smile and many tears of gratitude. Know with every cell of my body, that this seven-day detox comes from my heart, my experience, and my deep desire to serve you.
Leanne Jacobs, MBA, is a clinical nutritionist, pilates and yoga instructor, holistic wealth expert, and author of Beautiful Money. She lives in Toronto, Canada and received her master's in business administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Jacobs is a regular contributor at Forbes, Entrepreneur, Glamour, Women's Health, Women's Day, and more.