If your progress toward your money objective has slowed, stopped or even reversed, maybe you need to examine your goal and re-commit.
We all struggle from time to time with focus. I know I’m struggling right now with some extra pounds. I can rationalize the why in 10 seconds flat – you know the holidays, the windy colder weather that doesn’t invite a good ride, been too busy to eat right, blah blah blah. The real reason I’ve put on these pounds is that I lost sight of my goal.
Losing weight and paying off debt are both about changing our behavior. If our old behavior did not include overeating and/or under exercising we probably don’t need to lose weight. If we had not over spent in the past, we wouldn’t have the debt. When we get tired or anxious or somebody bakes delicious brownies, it becomes very easy to fall back into our old behaviors of overeating or overspending.
Step 1 – Awareness.
Ok, my knees hurt, my pants don’t fit and the scale is registering numbers I haven’t seen in quite a while.
You pull those credit card bills out of the mailbox and tally them up.
Are you now painfully aware? I know I am.
Step 2 – Give a hoot.
Do I care that my knees hurt and my clothes don’t fit? Yep, I do.
How about you? Do you care that you’ve backslid from your goal?
Step 3 – Give enough of a hoot to do something about it.
This is the hard one. Do we care enough to make the difficult choices to give up something we want right now in order to get something we want later?
It depends on what the later is. You and I both need to clearly define that long-term goal. You gotta make it something worth struggling for.
My long-term goal is to be fit enough to hike the Grand Canyon down and back with my grandchildren. Since I don’t have grandchildren and I don’t have any say in the when; I’ll have to choose an intermediate goal that I can attach a date to.
Here it is. On or before May 1, I will ride my bike on a single trip for 100 miles in less than 8 hours. OK, so maybe this doesn’t sound like a weight loss goal; but it is. There is no way I could do a century carrying extra weight without my knees (and maybe my lungs) exploding. So, to achieve this goal I need to: a) ride a lot in the coming 100 days and b) eat carefully. If I do those two things the weight should take care of itself.
As shorter-term goals I’ll do a 50 mile ride on or before March 5th in under 3 1/2 hours and a 75 mile ride on or before April 2 in under 6 hours.
OK, that was scary; now it’s your turn. What goal are you working on?
What can you do in the next 100 days that will firmly put you back on track to your goal? What will you accomplish by March 5? And by April 2?
In the coming days every time we feel the urge to backslide, we need to visualize that long term goal. Are we really willing to jeopardize that goal for this immediate want?
OK, now that we’ve got our new goals in place, we need to commit to them. One way to do this is to tell somebody. I think I’ve got that covered; how about you? You could just leave it here in the form of a comment- that would work. Get your friends to log on and do the same. Let’s do this together.