5 Simple Steps to Get What You Want
Now that our 1 Month Money Makeover is coming to a close I want to leave you with some simple steps you can take to stay motivated and reach your goals — for your money and other areas of your life.
Write It Down
A study conducted with the 1979 Harvard MBA graduates found that only 3% had written goals and plans; 13% had goals but they were not written down and 84% had no goals at all. Ten years later the same group was interviewed again and the results are stunning.
Graduates in the 13% who had goals but did not write them down were earning twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals but the 3% who had created written goals were earning ten times as much as the other 97% of the class! While this study only looks at income results other studies have confirmed that those with written goals far out perform their peers in every area.
Your first step to success: write down specific goals for your money and your life.
Writing down your goals will place you far ahead of most people but if you want to increase the odds of being successful make your goals visual. I have provided several tools in the 1 Month Money Makeover printables mentioned in previous posts but an even more effective way to visualize your goals is to create a vision board with photos and words representing what you want to accomplish. (Click here to see How to Create a Vision Board).
Seeing your goals on a regular basis greatly enhances your ability to reach them.
Writing your goals and visualizing them will lead you to success but to be truly effective you will need to break down your goals into smaller, achievable tasks and stay focused by reviewing those tasks and your progress regularly. To make this process more automatic find an organizational system that works for you.
For financial goals I stay on track by using my Money GPS/Budget Binder (click here for details) and I have also developed a daily habit of reviewing our financial goals and checking our account balances. For other goals I use my Joyful Life Planner and schedule a weekly planning session to review and update my goals and vision.
My system may not fit your style or personality but finding a system that does work for you is essential to your success.
Plan for Problem Areas
As you start paying more attention to your goals and what you want to achieve you will begin to notice behavior patterns that are sabotaging your efforts. Once you discover a problem area it’s time to create a solution.
If, for example, you realize that you are spending way too much on eating out you could focus on creating a weekly meal plan and using 1 Hour Freezer Cooking so you have a backup plan when you don’t feel like cooking. If you are tempted by clothes shopping change your weekend plans to include outdoor activity instead of heading to the mall.
You don’t have to eliminate all the fun from your life but you do need to decide what your real goals are and what you are willing to sacrifice in order to meet them. (By the way, if you are married you will need to be in agreement with your spouse on these goals and strategies.)
Celebrate Your Success
Many people skip this step but part of maintaining your motivation is seeing your progress and celebrating it. I have a section in my personal planner that I call “Celebrate Last Week” where I write down my successes, no matter how small, from the previous seven days. As I have continued this simple habit I have increased my gratitude, my hope and my motivation to continue to work hard to reach my goals.
Enjoy your achievements, give yourself a small reward for achieving your goals and you will be much more enthusiastic about continuing.
Today’s Money Mission: Begin or continue the process of reaching your financial goals.
- Decide what you want.
- Write down your goals.
- Create a visual reminder of your goals.
- Break goals into small achievable steps.
- Review your progress weekly and monthly.
- Celebrate your success.
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Click here for a list of all 1 Month Money Makeover posts.