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8 Simple Tips for Staying Motivated with Your New Year’s Money Goals

January 24, 2018

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Did you ring in the new year eager to rock your money goals?

I know I did. I felt absolutely sure that this was going to be my year to get things done. I promised myself that we would stop spending our money on take-out and use it to pay off debt. We were going to use every bit of my freelancing money toward our goal.

But, it’s only mid-January, and I already feel like I failed.

So, now what? Should I give up because it’s three weeks into the new year and I have failed miserably?

Absolutely not! I still have the entire year ahead of me. As easy as it would be to throw in the towel, I know that three weeks does not have to dictate how the rest of the year will go.

I just need to dust myself off, reassess my goals, and remember why it was that I was so motivated to reach these goals in the first place.

It’s easy to feel confident that you’ll be able to reach your goals through sheer will-power and motivation. But, the truth is, will-power isn’t enough.

So, if you start to feel like your motivation is lacking, use these tips to help you reinvigorate your drive to reach your resolutions or money goals.

1. Give Yourself Some Empathy

Paying off debt is my number one money goal. I hate how much money of our paycheck goes toward debt and interest each month, and I want to pay it off as fast as possible.

But, I also need to realize that life doesn’t always happen the way you expect it to. You have to move forward with the hand of cards that life deals you.

So, if you feel like a big, fat failure, give yourself some empathy. You’re human. Mistakes happen, and life gets in the way. Dust yourself off and move on.

2. Remember the “Why” Behind Your Money Goals

If you’re starting to lack the motivation you need to reach your goals, it’s important to remember your “why.” What made you decide on money goals in the first place? What was your original motivation?

Are you saving money to pay off student loan debt? If you feel tempted to spend money on take-out or Amazon wish-list items, try to think about how much you’ll enjoy that first month after you’re free of your student loans. Then you’ll be able to use that money how you like, completely guilt-free.

Is your “why” a vacation or a new car? Think about sunning yourself on a beach in the Bahamas when you’re tempted to add those Oreo cookies to your shopping cart.

Think about the big picture when you’re tempted to spend money on small everyday items that you don’t need and won’t help you reach your goals.

3. Post Inspirational Quotes

Look on Pinterest for inspirational quotes from your favorite authors or celebrities. Print out your favorites and post them in the places where you know you need a motivational boost.

Tape motivational quips in your wallet, on your bathroom mirror, inside your fridge, or on your car’s dashboard. Having those words of wisdom available to you throughout the day can really help you when you feel like you lack motivation.

4. Switch Tactics

If your plan of attack isn’t working, switch tactics. For example, if a blanket ban on something isn’t working to help you accomplish your goals, then work that item into your budget instead.

For example, I realize that I won’t always be able to say no to take-out food. There are some days where ordering Chinese food is the only way I will be able to accomplish my work, take care of my kids, get their homeschooling done, and deal with all of their appointments.

Some days are crazier than others, and that’s fine. If Chinese food is the thing that helps keep me both sane and productive on that one absolutely crazy day a month, then I will see it as the tool it is and not beat myself up for using it.

5. Keep your Money Goals Fun

Meeting money goals doesn’t have to be a dreadful process. Make it fun!

Turn your money goal into a competition between you and your spouse, or you and your best friend. Bet each other on smaller goals, like who can put more in their savings account that week.

Have the loser pay for a cup of coffee for the winner as motivation.

6. Mark Progress on Your Visual

It’s when you feel stagnant and like you haven’t made any progress that you feel most like throwing in the towel. So, don’t forget to mark your progress in a visual way.

Fill in a paper thermometer that has your goal at the top, mark Xs on the calendar, or use paper chains. Whatever you decide to use, seeing that you have actually made progress towards reaching your goal will help keep you motivated to keep going.

7. Treat Yourself

Don’t forget to treat yourself. Just like with weight loss, if you go through complete deprivation, you’re more likely to quit working on your goals.

Give yourself a cheat day once a week or once a month. Buy a Starbucks coffee, order take-out, or purchase that thing you’ve been eyeing on Amazon.

Whatever works well for you, you need to allow yourself to indulge every once in a while, so you don’t lose your motivation to keep going. Just make sure the indulgence is a special treat and doesn’t become a too-frequent habit again.

8. Don’t Give Up

Forgive yourself for making money mistakes and move on. Empathy goes a long way towards helping you to keep your motivation to reach your money goals.

If your current methods aren’t working, switch tactics, but don’t give up.

You have the entire year ahead of you. Don’t let three weeks decide the course of the whole rest of the year.

Have you struggled with your goals for this year? Have you been tempted to give up?

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Kristi Muse

Kristi Muse is a freelance writer, blogger, police officer’s wife, and millennial mom to two beautiful children. She loves homeschooling, organic gardening, sustainable living, and cooking from scratch. To hire Kristi as a freelance writer or to read more about how she lives a balanced life, visit her website moderatemuse.com or follow her on twitter @moderatemuse.
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10 responses to “8 Simple Tips for Staying Motivated with Your New Year’s Money Goals

  1. Thanks for this post! Visual reminders and vision boards are really effective with me. I put a large piece of artwork by our kitchen table which serves as a reminder for one of our stretch goals this year.

    I think it’s somewhat easier to push a bit harder to your goals once people start falling off the wagon. You are ramping it up while others are giving up. That’s pretty inspiring!

    1. Well, I think it’s the easy way to simply give up. To keep fighting the battle to reach your goals is much harder. Even if gains are only inches at a time sometimes, they are still gains!

    1. We all have our failings from time to time, believe me! It’s easier to just give up but so worth the effort not too when you have money goals. Hang in there. Don’t let setbacks prevent you from continuing to work on your financial goals!

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