1) Set a goal. The goal should be attainable and measurable. For instance, “I want to pay off debt this year” is not a goal that can be measured properly. Make your goal very specific with a time line attached, such as, ” I will put $100 from each paycheck towards my Visa bill so the balance will be paid off in 15 pay periods. I will not charge any further items on this card.” This way you can specifically track your success per pay period as well as at the end of your timeline. Attach a sentence stating how you will feel when the goal is accomplished. For example, “When I am free of this debt I will feel a sense of freedom, and relief, and will be able to sleep better without that worry of outstanding debt.” This makes the goal personal, attaches emotions to the goal, and gives a reason why you want to accomplish it.
2) Write the goal down.
It is statistically proven that written goals are far more effective and more likely to be achieved. Write it down, hang it up on a mirror, or put it up at a place where you can see it regularly and be reminded of it.
3) Share the goal with someone and ask them to hold you accountable. You will be more likely to achieve a goal if you have to report your progress to someone. Set up an accountability system or find an accountability partner who you report your progress to regularly. A tip for finances is to set up auto bill pay to pay off credit card debt faster without having to write the checks out yourself. That follows the theory that we live within our means, so if a bill is automatically taken out of the bank account then we don’t have the opportunity to spend it…a system we set up for accountability!
4) Celebrate accomplishments! When you accomplish a goal reward yourself. We don’t want to reward ourselves with chocolate cake if we just lost 10 pounds, or a new outfit that we can’t afford when we just paid off our debt. But think of things that make you feel good that are not counterproductive to the accomplishment of the goal. Maybe reward yourself with a day at the beach or an event with a friend. Be proud of yourself and celebrate your success!!!
Happy New Year!!!