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Stay the course: how to maintain motivation with your financial goals

How are those new year’s resolutions coming?

As anyone who’s ever made goals for the year knows, setting them is easy. Following through, however, is another story. This can be especially true when it comes to financial goals. We all want to build a nice savings cushion or pay off debt, but sticking to your plan can be very challenging as the weeks and months roll on, and new expenses present themselves.

To help you stay focused, check out these tips for achieving your financial goals this year:

Save with a friend
It’s always easier to stay motivated when a friend or partner is trying to meet a goal as well. You can keep each other accountable, offer inspiration when one of you gets discouraged, and share the highs and commiserate about the lows of your parallel journeys.

Plus, if you’re the kind of person who’s motivated by competition, you can even turn your goals into a friendly game. Set a timeline and establish a (low-cost) prize for the person who achieves their goal first.

Make mini-goals
It can be easy to become overwhelmed and lose focus if you just dwell on the big picture. For example, if your goal is to save $1,000 by July, don’t fixate on that dollar amount. $1,000 can seem so far from $0.

Instead, break it up into mini goals. Your first big accomplishment might be to save $250 by the end of February, which is a more attainable and less panic-inducing objective. When you hit your mini goals, treat yourself to a modest reward like going to the movies. Setting smaller goals and reaping their rewards will reinforce your dedication.

Get help from a coach
Just as you might consult a personal trainer to help you get in shape, a financial coach can strengthen your money habits in order to attain your goal. A coach is particularly helpful if you want to take control of your finances but aren’t sure where to start, experience frequent setbacks, or need assistance with staying focused.

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