Every Sunday I promise myself that I’m going to do better…starting on Monday.
I’m gonna work out, eat better, and get fit!
And you know what, I actually do good for a little awhile. But somewhere along the line everything goes to hell in a hand basket and it’s a wrap!
I start thinking about the gazillion years its going to take to get my body the way I want it, or the delicious cookies I can’t have, or the fact that I’m giving up precious sleep to work out (yuck) and just like that, I fall off the bandwagon.
Recently, one of my girls was asking me about this very thing. Her and the hubs have been working to pay down their debt over the last few years, but she’s totally over it and ready to throw in the towel.
From my own experiences and our quick convo, I realized that there’s two key problems that most people face when it comes to accomplishing any HUGE goal like losing weight, or in our case, becoming debt free.
- Their end goal or the tangible results are so far off into the future that it seems impossible, which is really just code for “pointless”.
AND / OR
- All of the temptations become even MORE tempting the instant they commit to change.
These two things can quickly kill the motivation of even the most hardcore Dave Ramsey fan! And if you don’t know how to keep your momentum going they can steamroll your goals too!
HOW TO ESCAPE THE TRAP
It’s all about understanding what motivates you and figuring out how to get more of that in your day…EVERYDAY! Yes, you need to stay motivated every single day. Because if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready!
Here’s some things that work consistently for me, try one…try em’ all. Find what gets you lit and stick with it!
- Quick Wins– If you find yourself getting discouraged because it seem like its gonna to take a million years to get out of debt, then this one’s for you. Go for the quick wins! Low lying fruit is still fruit boo!
Got a credit card with a small balance…pay it off first! Medical bills driving you nuts…go for it! Have a particular hatred for a nasty lender…get rid of em’!
I PROMISE that as you begin to kick the crap to the curb, the emotional payoff will keep those fires burning hot!!!
Many of today’s financial gurus will advise you to pay off the debt with the highest interest, or the largest balance, or whatever. But this is YOUR journey, so do YOU!
- Celebrate & Reward– Celebrate the heck outta every accomplishment! In epic fashion, every…single…one. Treat yo’self! Before you even get started, choose how you want to celebrate and reward your wins.
The benefits of this are two fold, first you’re cementing in your mind that the habit of paying off your debt is worth keeping, and two, it keeps your motivation tank on FULL. #winwin
***Caveat, you CANNOT put your reward on a credit card lol, I see you.***
- Get A Truth Club– Henry Ford once said, “If everyone is moving forward together, the success takes care of itself.” Similarly, Sonia Ghandi advised that, “Together we can face any challenge as deep as the ocean, and as high as the sky.”
Get an accountability partner or group! They can stand in the gap when you have weak moments, cheer you on when you’re feeling discourage, give you tough love when you need it, or just listen when you’re frustrated.
Whether this be through a Facebook group with others paying down their debt, or a close friends you trust…your truth club is invaluable!
- Visual Representation– I geek out over the stupidest little things. My workout tracker gives me these little awards for every day that I complete a 30 minute workout…and I LIVE for them! No joke, I have gotten up to workout at the butt crack of dawn just to make sure I get my award for the day…can’t break my streak!
There is some about SEEING your progress that is completely satisfying and keeps you motivated to push forward. You can apply the same idea to your debt! Post a huge tally board somewhere you’ll see it everyday and update it as you pay things down.
Get creative and make it fun…love pie charts and graphs…Excel it up baby…wanna grab some markers and make an old school thermometer poster…DO IT! What is fun will always get done.
- Keep Living– Don’t forget to live your life! Sometimes we can get tunnel vision and go so hard on our goal that we forget to actually have fun in the process.
Just because you have made being debt free a priority in your life, it doesn’t mean all the sudden you stop enjoying the things that bring happiness to your life. That, my friends, is a quickest way to burnout, which is one short stop from quitting.
So if doing fun things with the hubs, or going out to lunch with friends, or antiquing on the weekends, or geeking out over the new Harry Potter line at Target *GRIN* brings you fulfillment…then do it, don’t feel guilty and enjoy it!!! Just make sure to put in your spending plan, no worries.
- Make A Vision Board– < ——-Ooooo weeee, this one right here is my JAM!!! First because of I LOOOVVEEE arts and crafts, glue, glitter, scissors, pretty paper….gimme gimme gimme! The kid in me does back flips. And second, it truly works.
For this one to work, you need to have your WHY cemented in your mind. Why is this goal so important to you? What’s driving your desire to be debt free?
You NEED to figure this out and it needs to be something that you have a BURNING DESIRE for, something that causes an emotional response in you.
If you don’t believe in your why, if it doesn’t make you want this so bad you can taste it, then you’ll never be debt free.
No…I’m not being melodramatic, I’m being real with you. Because it won’t always be easy, there will always be something trying to trip you up.
Your WHY is what will pull you through the tough times, but only if means something significant to YOU!
Uncover your why and make a visible reminder that you see every day. You want to ditch your 9to5 to be at home with your baby…then get OBSESSED with everything baby. Make a board that reminds you of all the precious moments you’ll have when you’re home. Focus on what it will FEEL like.
It’s when you make this emotional connection to your goal and experience it everyday that the magic happens!!!
WE ALL GET CAUGHT UP, ARE YOU READY?
To be honest, even the most dedicated and motivated person can fall prey to these traps. We don’t get into debt overnight, so we can’t expect to get out overnight. Sometimes we get so focused on how long the journey is going to take that we kill our own mojo. Or we get sidetracked by all of the shiny things littered on the way.
But if you know these traps are headed your way, then BE PREPARED and you’ll find that nothing can kill your vibe! As I always say, stay ready, and you ain’t gotta get ready!
Hit me up in the comments below and drop some motivation knowledge on me! What tip and tricks do you use to stay motivated while paying off your debt?