As we begin to speed up for our sprint to November and completing our debt snowball marathon, I can’t help but feel excited and uneasy all at the same time. We are 16k from being debt free and 8 short months. We have paid off 93k over the last 45 months. The 93k is an amazing accomplishment even if we stopped today. We have no plans of doing that, the end is just in sight. That what has me worried. I don’t want us to fall into the trap of being so close that we end up falling off the budget wagon. Three months into 2014 I feel like we have a little bit. Our spending has loosened up a bit, we went a little over board for our son and daughter’s 15th birthday. We’ve become a little careless. It feels like the first few months of our debt repayment, we were finding our way not completely sure of what we were doing. The good thing is that we’ve realized it and will address it. We don’t want to have come so far to fall flat on our faces now.
Avoiding the Trap
Here are some of the things we are doing to stay on track as finish our debt repayment goal. I think these can be used in general for staying on track for completed any goal.
Stay Focused – 53 months or 4.25 years is a long time to be working on a goal, we knew this going in. No matter how long it takes you to accomplish your goal you need to stay focused throughout. This starts and continues with reviewing realistic completion time, reviewing goal progress often and understanding there will be bumps along the way.
Don’t Get Lazy – For us we set up our debt repayment many months ago. It would be foolish to set it on auto pilot and walk away. We review our budget monthly.
Don’t let the routine fool you – We let the “We are paying our monthly debt repayments” so we are on track fool us this year as we dipped into over e-fund and let it dwindle when Murphy came knocking. Review your overall plan often and make sure all goals are on track.
Celebrate the Wins – Reward yourself when a goal is completed, this will help keep you motivated for the next one.
Back to Basics
We plan to get back on track very simply and it starts today, not tomorrow, not next week, today! Get back to the things that have made us successful in the past. Reduce our spending, prioritize needs over wants, meet at least monthly to review budget, and keep the end goal in mind. We will be debt free in 8 months!
How do you stay motivated with goals that take multiple years to complete? What tips do you find work best to keep goals on track?