Can you believe it’s already 2019?! It’s time to set a smarter goal!
Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday we were celebrating the start of 2018. It’s time to start goal setting and making New Year’s resolutions.
However, the new year is not just about goal setting, but also sticking with them.
If you want to know the secret to follow through on your goals, then you need to read this post!
Take It One Day At A Time
There is a saying that the only way to eat an elephant is to take one bite at a time.
This might sound a little weird, and I don’t encourage anyone to eat an elephant. But the metaphorical phrase is right when it comes to following through on your goals.
When it comes to achieving your goals, you also have to take it one bite at a time. That means you have to break them down to their lowest (smallest) form. Yes, setting a smarter goal.
Divide them down to the day.
It’s easy to break down your goal into smaller pieces when it comes to numbers such as savings goals or debt payments so that you can see tangible progress.
That way you can focus not only on the overall goal in total, but, more importantly, what you can do each day to help move closer toward your goal.
For example, I broke down a goal of collecting PENNIES each day into a sheet to hang on your fridge which allows you to have almost $670 by the end of the year (yes, collecting PENNIES!).
Schedule It In
When it comes to your goals, you can’t always achieve them in a day or even a week. If they can then, by all means, get started!
Just like you have to schedule a doctor’s appointments or meetings, you have to plan the time to work on your goals.
These are real commitments and just because they are personal doesn’t make them any less important.
The first real step is to take action. If you don’t make time for taking that action, it than it doesn’t matter how motivated you are, you won’t get it accomplished.
Make an appointment with yourself, and then protect it with your life.
Figure Out Some Rewards
We are motivated by rewards. And I’ve found that goals that take a while to achieve, require regular rewards to keep the motivation going.
If you are trying to save money, then it might seem counterintuitive to spend some of that money on a reward. But there are plenty of fun celebratory things you can do to reward yourself without it costing extra money.
What if you spend less than $5 on a special treat for yourself (such as a pack of macaroons in the photo above). Or pack up a family lunch and take it to the beach? Maybe you organize a movie marathon day? Or a special hour of quiet time to take a bath? (okay, that might better relate to a weight loss goal reward… but you get the point)
As you are making a smarter goal, figure out a fun reward to go along with the benchmarks as you complete them. That will keep you highly motivated to continue moving forward with your goals.
Create Good Habits
If your smarter goal is to put more money into savings, then your going to need to start making good money saving habits.
I use Qapital to set up “rules” that automatically transfer money into savings each day. One rule I set up was to “round up” every purchase that hits my bank account by $1 and deposit that money in my savings account. Another rule is to add $2 to your savings every time you go to Starbucks. (That way, when Qapital sees a charge to Starbucks, it automatically knows to transfer $2 to your savings account). Smart, right?!
You could also make it a habit to take your change out of your wallet each Saturday. (Set an alarm, or mark it on your calendar.) And put that change in a jar to bring to the bank once a month.
If you create small simple habits for yourself and weave them into your daily life, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to follow through on your goals (because you don’t have to force yourself to think about them!).
Find An Accountability Partner
Once you have your goals set in stone, tell people about them!
Tell your friends, your cat, and even your neighbor. Tell as many people as you can what you are working on.
Hang something on your refrigerator to remind yourself that you have a smarter goal you are working towards and keep up the motivation!
Having an audience will not only keep you motivated to reach your goals but also help you through tough times.
Having a support group can help you work toward your goals when it’s hard, and celebrate your success when you reach milestones.
Try to find someone with a similar goal and find ways to keep each other on track.
If you don’t have end dates in mind for your goals, you’ll never get them done (at least I won’t).
When things get busy what is the first thing you do? You find the items that aren’t due yet and push them off for later.
While your personal goals may not necessarily make the emergency list, they should still have deadlines attached to them.
If you are paying off debt, you should have deadlines for any milestones. This will help keep you motivated to work at it and make sure you don’t just blow it off.
If you are trying to save money, hanging out with people who have free time to go to the movies or shopping can make it really hard to keep saving money.
While I’m not saying you can’t hang out with them, you shouldn’t if it’s going to make you disregard your goals. Tell your friends about your goals so they can help support you and help you figure out free ways to still have fun while helping you meet your long-term goals.
If they are your real friends, they will understand what you’re going through and support you where they can.
Avoid any distractions that are going to make reaching your goals hard, and you’ll find it’s easier to follow through on them.
Setting a smarter goal can be easy. Setting up a plan to make it happen is even easier, but sticking with it is not so easy. If you follow these steps, you’ll have no trouble following this year’s new year resolutions, and you may even surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.
Your Homework: Find a budget buddy if you don’t already have one and share your goals for the year with them! Comment below once you’ve done it to hold yourself accountable! 🙂
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