10 Positive Things You Can Do To Prepare For An Economic Downturn

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Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.
–William Pollard

We’re in an uncertain time right now in the world—but don’t panic! There are many low-cost things you can do right now to improve your life, your skills, and your outlook. Your ability to navigate the periodic personal and world economic downturns depends on you maintaing a proactive and positive attitude, and here are 10 suggestions:

10. Downsize & Simplify: As George Carlin once pointed out in a famous routine, our lives seem to often revolve around our Stuff. How much Stuff do you really need? How much room is all your Stuff taking up? Can you sell some of the stuff you don’t really want? Is some of the stuff you want available cheaper used or even free? And once you inventory all that, go through all your Digital Stuff (especially stuff you subscribe to and autopay for).

9. Learn A New Language: The act of acquiring a new language will, if nothing else, occupy your mind and keep it sharp. But it is also inevitable that we are moving towards an increasingly global economy, and knowing more than one language can really add value to what you can offer your own business or another company. It also isn’t 100% out of the question that at some point, moving temporarily or permanently to another country might make financial/vocational sense.

8. Practice Natural Stress Reduction: Don’t wait until things become super hectic to learn mindfulness techniques and other methods of natural stress release. Whether it’s yoga, reciting personal mantras, jogging, petting your cat or what-have-you, discovering and cultivating these skills are crucial to get you through tougher times. Once you get caught in the treadmill of drinking, prescription tranquilizers, and so on, it’s hard to get off—especially if you are struggling financially and/or have other worries.

7. Strengthen Your Connections: Don’t wait until you’ve lost your job to start looking up your old friends and business associates. Refresh those connections now and keep them open. Ask yourself what you can offer to your friends and family, rather about making the focal part of your contact how they might help you. By following this advice you can maintain a vital and organic line of communication with your network that will be invaluable.

6. Expand Your Friend Base: In addition to strengthening your preexisting contacts, you want to expand into new social areas to increase your pool of connections. Of course, this increases your ability to find opportunities, but it’s more than just that. Opening yourself up to new activities and friend circles gives you a greater perspective on life; a perspective that will naturally pick up your mood and expand your consciousness.

5. Eat Healthy & Exercise: You have enough potential obstacles—don’t make your diet and lifestyle be one of them. What you choose to eat is something you can have complete control over, unlike the state of the world economy. You can’t complain about the “man” and then eat a bunch of highly-processed unhealthy foods cranked out by corporations. Ditto for overindulgence in alcohol, etc. Before you can really get a grip on your finances, you should get a grip on your physical fitness—because it’s all interrelated. And exercise is of course going to increase your self-confidence and lower your stress level.

4. Learn New Skills: Whether you are brushing up and expanding your current skill set, or learning something completely new, it is vital that you keep learning something. Much like when you study a foreign language, such an activity positively engages your mind and keeps it sharp. It also makes you better able to adapt to a changing marketplace by aligning your talents closer to what is most needed. But don’t just see this as a utilitarian thing—sometimes a new skill pursued out of pure enjoyment can end up yielding great opportunities!

3. Weed Out Unnecessary Expenditures: Much of this can be filed under the “Downsize & Simplify” category, but it’s of course a lot bigger than that. Do you fully use every digital streaming service you are subscribed to? Can you buy a really good brand of coffee and brew it at home rather than continually purchasing it pre-made? Can that coat go another winter if you mend those buttons? Public transportation or Uber to get to that party? Penny-pinching shouldn’t be an obsession…but rather a very calculated set of logical decisions.

2. Share With Others: Since the post-war period in the U.S., we have been taught to move away from communal activities and instead embrace the American Dream of being completely self-sufficient—a nuclear family living in huge houses, shunning “hand-me downs” and used items in favor for “NEW!” products at the mall, and so on. But that was all just a tiny blip in the face of all human civilization. For thousands of years, people shared stuff, bartered for stuff, lived together in groups, etc. It would be a good idea

1. Get Your Personal Values In Order: To me, this is the #1 most important thing you should do—before anything else. Determine what it is you stand for, and what your personal mission is on this planet. What you value the most, and what really isn’t important to you. Once you get straight who you are and what you want out of life, it’s going to make it a lot easier to attract situations and opportunities that are in alignment. Alternatively, when you are conflicted about your life purpose and values, you often attract situations that are ambiguous and even harmful to you—and these mixed signals can also lead to you feeling “stuck.” So take a day, a week, or longer to sit down and get to the heart of you!

More to read about on Butterfly Language:
The #1 Key To Significantly Changing Your Life For The Better
10 Low-Cost (Or No-Cost) Resources For Self-Improvement
Small Changes Lead To Big Changes