Defining goals and putting a plan in place is essential to personal financial success. But that’s only part of the battle. Maintaining attitudes and behaviors to get you to those goals takes effort. But it doesn’t have to be grueling. There are techniques you can adopt to make the journey quicker and easier.
Visualizing yourself enjoying the achievement of your goal can help you remember why you’re doing it in the first place. For example, if your goal is to replace you current junker with a new vehicle, imagine yourself enjoying a stress-free cruise down the road with a breakdown the furthest thing from your mind.
Give yourself rewards along the way
If your goal involves saving $5,000, build into your plan little “presents” for yourself as you reach certain plateaus. Like for every $1,000 saved you get to put $20 toward a fun shopping item.
Make it a partnership
Is a loved one also trying to reach a goal of their own? Make a pact to regularly check in with each other to monitor progress and offer encouragement. If you there isn’t someone close to you suited for this job, look for a financial support community online. If your goal involves other family members, do your best to not only include them in tracking progress, but get them excited about the process.
Build in reminders
Maybe it’s a Post-it note inside a cabinet you open regularly. Or perhaps it’s an electronic reminder sent via a computer scheduling application. Either way, it never hurts to get a reassuring hint that your goals are there for a reason. If you’re a highly visual person, consider putting a picture of your goal where you will see it a lot, like at your desk or in your car.
Treat setbacks as learning experiences
It’s unlikely that you will ever encounter entirely smooth sailing on your way to a financial goal. Because of this, it’s important to have the right attitude about the obstacles that spring up. If you get too discouraged, the whole plan could be lost. By treating unexpected jolts as opportunities for sharpening your skills, you put yourself in a better mind frame for ultimately reaching your destination.
Financial goals take work, but it doesn’t have to feel like work. By developing techniques to stay dialed in on the process of achieving your goals, you may even find the experience enjoyable!