It seems like common sense, right? Practice makes perfect. Hard work pays off. Consistency is key. I’m sure you can think of more idioms and colloquialisms to describe the benefits of staying vigilant. But, as with many things, sustaining financial motivation is easier said than done.
I spent nearly 12 weeks earlier this years consumed by researching financial theories, debt reduction strategies, budgeting techniques. I built spreadsheets, downloaded apps, set up savings accounts, established automatic savings plans, calculated my “wiggle.”
Hell, I even went above and beyond and got psyched up. I set up this blog, invented my own financial happiness tool, created a companion Facebook page, and went public with the shame I had shouldered for so long.
And you know what? I achieved all of my short-term goals. I paid off the debt to my friends. I bought a car. I moved into my new apartment. I furnished my new home with a stunning mix of vintage and contemporary pieces. I even took an amazing 10-day vacation. And best yet, it had all been planned ahead and properly saved for. AMAZING, really. (Even now, I’m quite proud of myself.)
Then you know what happened? Nothing.
I got lazy. I fell back into my old, sloppy financial habits and starting seeing the same symptoms of my underlying dysfunction (bounced checks, overdraft checking account, scrounging for gas money, etc.) And, of course, when you add a self-loathing attitude to financial stress you likely get depression. Depression begets inaction. Inaction begets avoidance. And so the cycle of financial dysfunction once again returned to drive my life.
But this time, instead of moping around about it, I faced it and held myself accountable. I gave myself a proverbial slap in the face. Then,I forgave myself and put plans to move forward. You see, I was on the right path, I just slipped off for a bit.
For me, the takeaway to maintaining financial motivation was the tying of life goals to my money. I need a blend of short-, mid-, or long-term goals, too.
It’s important to know the things that motivate you and your progress toward a profitable life. The irony here is that I already knew the importance of financial goals. I just forget.
So now the challenge becomes for me to establish a new set of life goals.
And, hey. How fun is that?