It’s not the actual number that probably moves you; it’s what that number means. What does your number mean? Does it mean you can retire early? Maybe you want to purchase a house or travel around the world or do both at the same time.
But I’m not even sure that is the heart of the matter – I think it’s the feeling that we’re chasing after. Gretchen Rubin with her aptly entitled The Happiness Project book discusses “Being Gretchen”, the idea of accepting who she is and pursuing her chosen passions. She chooses to be this and not be that, she does A and not B.
Debt Payoff: What moves you?
It’s this very decision-making process that allows us to pursue our chosen goals, like debt payoff, with the single-minded passion that I’ve seen from the many PF (Personal Finance) bloggers that I’ve had the honour to get to know through their blog.
Following your passion helps you choose the Yes and No that support your goals. You want the freedom, the choice, the security, or the adventure that comes with debt payoff and/or saving your money.
Goal-setting with Debt Payoff
There are a lot of goal-setting strategies out there and the few I’ll stick with today are about keeping your eye on your prize through thick and thin.
What keeps your strong in your weak moments?
– In my moments, I like the ‘Rather Factor’ that the Smart Cookies talk about in their Guide to Making More Dough and Getting Out of Debt. For example, you keep a picture in your wallet of your dream or goal and then use that as your “Would you rather buy the cute little skirt or go on that trip to Spain?”
– Have smaller goals and smaller rewards that I can build towards since my goal will take years to fully realize. For instance, if I stick within my budget for a month, I can reward myself with that Groupon pedicure that I bought.
– Be thankful for what I have in the moment. If I take the time to appreciate the goodness in my life right now, it will be less pressure to fill the gap I feel I need to fill with that far-off goal. An illustration: if your trip to Spain is planned with friends, don’t forget to spend times with your friends here. Go out for appetizers – instead of dinner- with your friends and enjoy the good company.
– Create a vision board: I am a visual creature – as many of us are – so creating my vision board was always a positive reminder of my “big picture” – friends, family, meaningful work, etc. See this article from Oprah.com to find out why these things are great and how to make one. Read more here about debt payoff and goal-setting.
These are just a few ideas, what do you do to stay on track with your goals?
I like the idea of keeping a picture or even just a note in my wallet as a reminder or even on the refrigerator. My mate over at Nurse Frugal they use a vision board for the mortgage. Every time they pay a certain amount a piece comes off the board. You should check it out I think you would like that. For us, we use the budget as it’s the one thing that really shows us where we are in the present and where we are heading in terms of making it towards our goals. I also enjoy posting our shops in our grocery game challenge as a visual for example as we can see exactly what we bought and where the money was spent. I think most of my fans that post their shops would agree the visual is what helps them as well as other factors that I presume are personal to each and every one of them. In our weak moments we stick to the smaller goals and remind ourselves that we are human and will make mistakes. We take it all in baby steps and learn that where we need to go isn’t going to be the fast track. It all takes time and patience and the ability to live and enjoy life along the way. Great post.
Lindsey D says
I’ll check out Nurse Frugal, for sure! I like the idea of of the mortgage as a vision board and being to remove little pieces of it as you pay it down – great visual! Your grocery game challenge is a great weekly visual for budgeting on food – and the consistent accountability doesn’t hurt either! Thanks for the comment!
Just got around to reading this, I’m woefully behind on my blog reading 🙁
For me the motivating factor to paying off my debt is freedom! The freedom to have all my money be mine, not owing anything to anyone. Using all my money for whatever I want and not having to pay interest.
Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility says
Freedom is huge, I totally agree! I can’t wait for the day when my paycheck is mine! Except for the mortgage, I don’t mind that as much.
I’d love the opportunity to work part time if I wanted, or to take an extended trip somewhere, or even just to go back to school to get my Masters full time. That’s the important thing to me – the flexibility to make choices that will end me up on the street!
Thanks for posting!