Whether you’re starting your emergency fund, paying off debt or saving for retirement or a house there is no doubt that achieving your money goals can be tedious. While it is crazy satisfying to see that debt balance fall or your savings increase, the sacrifice and hard work can be a bit wearing. It might be hard for you to stay motivated because you’re a born spender or because you really want that new iPhone that just came out (p.s. I won’t be spending my hard heard bucks on that bad boy… my iPhone 5 works just fine, thank you very much!). It might also be difficult to stay motivated because well, it can be really hard work! This week I’ll share some goal setting and motivation tips that might help you in your journey!
First and foremost, if you haven’t yet, write your goals down. Like, do it now!! Wow, that was bossy… but it’s really important. The likelihood of you achieving those goals is much higher if they are actually written down. Make sure your significant other is on board with said goals and can easily access them too. If you’re single, share your goals with a confidant or mentor. It’s all about accountability people.
When setting goals, I like to set some short-term goals (a year or less) and some long-term goals (two plus years out). Heck, you can even start with your wildest money goal and then work your way down. Maybe you want to own an island in 25 years? Sounds pretty epic to me! Write that down and then write down what you need to do in 20, 15, 10, 5, 2 and 1 year to achieve that epic goal. Not sure what you want to do in 10 years? That’s ok! Just set some goals, both big and small. Make sure those goals are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based).
Now that your money goals are set, you’ve got accountability from someone who knows some of those goals (at least the most recent), set a plan to execute those goals. I know that I’m a broken record here but that plan better include a budget! You cannot, I repeat, cannot achieve your money goals without a budget. I talk about budgeting on my Budgeting 101 post and also provide my budget templates for FREE when you subscribe to the blog. Now you have no excuse, so set a budget and get to it.
As you’re achieving your money goals you may find yourself in a rut. While it’s awesome that you’re slaying your goals, sometimes that’s just not enough. You’ve got to take some steps to maintain your focus – keep your eyes on the prize if you will. Below are some quick tips that might help!
Make your goals visible – We have a chalkboard up in our kitchen that tracks the progress of our current goal. It’s nothing fancy; I think we bought it at the dollar store. You can do the same this with just a piece of paper even. The point is, put your current goal somewhere you’ll see every day and can get excited about updating. It really takes the monotony out of it.
Keep tabs on your phone – I love the notes program on my iPhone. I keep a list of goals in there for my quick reference. It also makes it super easy to update so that’s a win too. I also have a picture that symbolizes our end goal on my phone. Remember that island I mentioned above? So if that were you, you’d have a picture of that island! Set it as your screen saver so that you can remember quickly why you’re working so hard and sticking to that budget!
Check-in with your spouse or mentor – Remember that person keeping you accountable with your goals? Check in with them and keep them up to date on your progress. Celebrate the wins and discuss the losses. This is a great way to keep your focus!
Find a support group – Now, I caution against having too long of conversations about money with friends and family. Speaking from experience, I’m pretty sure we annoyed the heck out of our family during our debt payoff… That said; find some folks that are working toward wild money goals too! Maybe there’s a group online or a local meetup or something. Having folks around you that truly understand is priceless.
Celebrate – I’m not talking about going out and buying something expensive but find a way to celebrate your wins in a way you’re comfortable. Even something as simple as a rare trip to the coffee shop might be a good way to let off some steam and bask in the victory.
Educate yourself – Start reading blogs (like this one, thanks for being here!!), books and take in other content that aligns with your goals. You’ll gain some great inspiration from folks that have or are achieving crazy money goals too. You might learn some new tricks that could even help you achieve your goals faster.
Get to work – I started this blog during our debt free journey. It was an inexpensive way for me to eventually create another stream of income. It afforded me the chance to chronicle our journey, walk alongside many of you in your journey and learn a ton! It also takes a lot of time so I’m not out shopping or doing other things that contradict our goals. My point, increase your hours at work, start a side hustle, anything! Make yourself busy with something that can help you achieve your goals faster. You might even have some fun in the process.
If you’re interested in starting a blog, which I highly suggest (I am having a friggin blast!), check out Bluehost for your web hosting! With plans currently as low as $3.95 a month, now is the time to secure that low price and get started! Check it out here…
Remember your why – Create a why statement! Why are you working your butt off? Create a “why” statement that is short, sweet and to the point. Your why can be as simple as “I don’t want to ever worry about covering the grocery tab again” or “I want to live a life where money isn’t a problem”. Keeping that why in focus can help you when things get difficult. It can realign your thinking to push you over of a hump!
Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to achieving goals. We doubt, we compare ourselves to others and we get into a funk. As Dave Ramsey says, “The bad news is, you’re the problem. The good news is, you’re the solution.” You’ve got to pull yourself out of any rut, press on and work toward your goals with an intensity that people will question your sanity over. You’ve got to be your own biggest champion and light your own fire to get it done. Find what works for you, what keeps your spirits high and you’ll get there!
Until next time, spend safely.
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