It’s finally the weekend and you’re shopping at your favorite clothing store. Out of nowhere, your stomach feels off, but it’s not the food you ate it’s the feeling of doubt. You realize that you don’t remember your account balance and now you’re swiping your phone like a ninja checking your banking app.
None of your checking accounts have enough money to cover your purchase so you decide to use your credit card. You have a bittersweet feeling knowing that you have a new pair of shoes but at the cost of more in debt. (sigh)
This isn’t the first time that this has happened to you, and you’re beginning to lose hope of finally becoming debt free. You think to yourself-I will never become debt free unless I make more money.
The truth is…
You’re not doomed to live with debt your entire life, and you haven’t failed just yet.
The problem isn’t the debt paying strategy you’re using it’s your motivation fading away. It’s easy to feel pumped about crushing all of your debt the first few days but this quickly disappears.
Here are 3 tips to prepare you for those HARSH times.
1. Know Your WHY Like Your Life Depending On It
Many thought leaders would agree that knowing your WHY is important. When you have intention with your goals you’ll make a bigger impact. Knowing your WHY can help you start a business, write a book, and even pay off your debt.
To help you get started to answer the following questions:
- How does my ideal financial future look like?
- How will I reach my goal? (break down your debt payment into monthly payments)
- How can I pay my debt faster? (start a side hustle, ask for a raise, etc.)
- What will happen if I don’t complete my goal? (brainstrom your worse case scenario: i.e.I’ll always be stressed about my finances)
Answering these questions will give you a better picture of WHY paying off your debt is worth the sacrifice.
2. Change Your Perspective About Failure
What does failing mean to you?
If it means that you’re never going to succeed then think again.“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael… Click To Tweet
You need to change your perspective about failure so that you can crush your debt once and for all. View failure as a learning process, or as feedback of what not to try next time.
It’s inevitable to avoid failure. By conditioning your mind to view failure as a learning opportunity you’ll increase your odds of succeeding in the long run.
3. Strengthen Your Motivation
Have you ever woke up feeling confident with tons of motivation that made you feel like you won the lotto?
Maybe you slept like a baby, or the sun just happened to strike at the right angle that morning ;). You don’t know exactly why, but you just crushed every task that came your way.
This is awesome, but how often does this happen?
If you’re lucky maybe a few times a year (ugh). While I can’t guarantee you’ll always wake up feeling like you won the lotto I can promise the next best thing. That it is to wake up more motivated and intentional than most people.
At the very least you will crush your day whether you feel like it or not!
You’re probably thinking –How the heck can you promise this?
Then answer is in your morning rituals. It sounds cliche but the first few actions you take each morning can dictate how the rest of your day will go. Think of rituals as a fancy way of describing your habits.
So this is what you do:
- Wake up 20–30 minutes before work
- Do Affirmations 5–10 minutes
- Journal for 5–10 minutes
- Add other rituals once you get more comfortable
Now, let’s go into more detail on what the heck affirmations and journaling are, and how they will help you crush your debt once and for all.
Affirmations Can Train Your Mind To Create Success
Similar to your muscles in the body motivation needs to be exercised daily to become stronger. Affirmations are simply a 1–5 sentence statement. They can work well in many different areas of your life outside of personal finance as well.
No, you don’t have to shout your statements at the top of your lungs at 6 am in the morning, but you should read them loud enough for yourself.
Affirmations are effective because they program your mind into believing the stated concept. As smart as your mind is it can’t tell the difference between what is real or a fantasy. With affirmations you’re really speaking to your subconscious mind who will act as a catalyst.
In other words, your subconscious mind will start creating actions that will ultimately make your statement a reality. Pretty cool right? However, don’t expect immediate results or for anything positive to happen without putting in the hustle.
You can create your affirmation by listing the following:
Past negative thoughts: I’m not earning enough income to pay off my debt
Goal: Become credit card debt free in the next 2 years
Affirmation: I have an abundance of income and completely debt free.
Feel free to tweak this to make it more unique for yourself.
A great book that will help you create a strong morning ritual is the “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod.
How Journaling Can Help Stay On Track With Goals
Regardless of how motivated you are, you’ll never succeed without working on tasks that take you closer to your goal. A journal can help you visually see which tasks need to be accomplished daily to do just that.
Start by breaking down your goal into smaller chunks. For example, if you want to pay off a $500 credit card break it down into the next 3–6 months. So one task could be to budget $167 each month for 3 consecutive months.
You can learn how I paid off $5,500 in credit card debt here.
You would then break this task down to $42 each week, and so on until you know what needs to be accomplished daily. Other tasks can include reducing expenses or starting a side-hustle.
The first thing you’ll do when you wake up each morning is to jot down what needs to be accomplished that day. You may go over your budget one week, and that’s ok. Since you’re now keeping track of your progress you can take actions that can help you recoup from those off days.
At the very least you will know where you stand with your goal, and won’t have to second-guess yourself.
A journal that I personally use is “The Freedom Journal”, by John Lee Dumas. I’ve been able to launch Smart Budget Life Blog and stay laser focused on other tasks that matter to me the past 100 days.
Accomplish your #1 goal in the next 100 days.
Crush Your Debt Without Mercy
The next weekend you go out shopping at your favorite clothing store you’ll have just enough to cover your purchase. You won’t even have to view your checking account balance because you’ll know it down to the penny!
Although you’ll still have more debt to pay off you’ll be more confident about your financial future. That’s because you’ve created a plan to become debt free, and have been exercising your motivation daily.
The above scenario can be you in the next few weeks if you decide to take a different approach in paying off your debt. You know have 3 solid strategies that will help you accomplish any goal you decide to tackle.
I challenge you to take action today on the following:
- Create your affirmation
- Decide which debt you want to pay off first (don’t tackle all your debt at once)
- Break your goal into daily tasks
- Write your tasks in your journal
- Set your alarm 20–30 minutes earlier and don’t hit snooze more than once 😉
Go and crush your debt…