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Snowballing Life

I'm sure that many of you have heard of Dave Ramsey before. He’s not exactly an unknown name these days. I am currently in the process of “snowballing” our family debt based on his budgeting plan. Without going into too much detail about his plan, since this post isn’t a financial one, I want to tell you how I’ve also begun to apply it to my coaching philosophy!

In the “Snowball” concept- Dave suggests that you put your debts in order from least to greatest- with the smallest one being the one that won’t require as much money, time or effort to check off as completed. Once you’ve paid that one off, you’ll now have all the resources you were sending to that debt plus the “minimum” payment you were already sending to the next largest debt. You keep doing this until all of them are paid off.

Now I’m wondering if this method would work in other areas of life besides the finances.

For instance, in life coaching I start off with many clients by looking at the different areas in their life that determine one’s overall sense of well-being. We look at 6 different categories:

  • Joy and Quiet Balance

  • Relational Skills

  • Spiritual- Interactive Relationship with Immanuel

  • Maturity Tasks

  • Emotional Health

  • Passion (career/hobby)

My clients rate these areas on a scale of 1-10 by how satisfied they are in regards to their levels of success in that category. (Email me to join my waiting list if you want to do this entire exercise as a coaching client)

As we look closer at each one, many people have a tendency to look at the one with the lowest score and say, “Let’s work on that one”.

But is that always the best route?

I’m wondering if perhaps it’s actually wisest to apply your time, effort and energy to increasing the higher numbers up to 10 first! Then this will increase your capacity to tackle the smaller ones later.

Let’s look at a "Snowball" scenario:

Let’s say my “emotional health” number is a 2- and everything else is over a 6. The idea of tackling my emotional health in all its LACK is a bit unnerving to begin with. This tends to mean that I’m going to end up procrastinating actually applying my time, effort and energy on it!

So, instead I decide to increase my Joy and Quiet Balance from an 8 to 10! I already have an 8, so this is a pretty good category for me and it won’t overwhelm me to spend some extra time and effort on it… in fact it might even increase my energy a bit!

Then once I’ve mastered the balance of Joy and Quiet, I move onto a different category that I’m a little closer to completing as well. Eventually, when all my categories are looking and feeling really solid, I can now apply my INCREASED energy and effort on repairing that low emotional health area. I may even discover that the number in this category has already increased on its own as the other areas increased!

I believe this concept will really help many of you who are getting stuck even thinking about how to tackle these big deficits in life.

So give it a try! Let’s start setting some goals in our already pretty successful areas of well-being and “top off the tank” so to speak.

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