Lending Club Blog

5 Ways to Succeed with Your Financial Plan

In a recent post, I wrote about how to make a plan for your financial goals. However, I’m sure you’ve made plans for other things, as well – such as losing weight, studying more, and other things. Chances are, you’ve failed a few times. Everyone has, and financial plans are no different than any other goals. How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions for this year?

#1 – Break it down

You won’t be able to succeed if your goals are huge. I suffer from this problem – if I have a huge project in front of me, I won’t even get started! I’ll just procrastinate and leave it alone. With a goal like “Solve my financial problems,” I have no chance of succeeding. However, if I break down the goal to something manageable, such as ‘Send an extra thirty dollars with my bill payment,” the goal is a lot easier to achieve! In fact, this is an excellent way to pay down your debt faster.

#2 – Try not to do it alone

Do you have any other friends who are in the same situation with their personal finances? If you know anyone – even your spouse will work, but other friends are even better – who wants to work with you, meeting your goals will be a lot easier. A partner will offer encouragement, help, and advice as you follow your plan. Even online groups, like http://43things.com, are great! (I follow a group on 43things to break procrastination habits).

#3 – Set reminders

You should be reminded of your goal every time you are in a position of temptation to break it. For example, I have a bad habit of cracking my neck, so I wear a bracelet on my hand that reminds me of my goal whenever I feel the urge. I even turned it into a game – if I fail and do crack my neck, I move the bracelet to the other wrist. If I don’t have to move it once in a day, I win! You might put a reminder in your wallet, which you will see every time you are about to spend money. Think of the areas where you can improve, and make sure the goal will be fresh in your mind when the situation arises.

#4 – One step at a time

Always have a next step: a goal is achievable if it is simple, clearly designed, and realistic. Every time you complete a step in pursuit of your goal, make sure that your next step is obvious. What exactly do you need to do next to improve your financial situation?

#5 – Declare WAR

When you make the decision to succeed, to break your old habits and to meet your goal, you are declaring war on your old ways. I have a giant sign taped to my computer that simply says “WAR” – it represents my war on procrastination. When you make the decision to fix your financial situation, you have made a huge step towards winning. You have to keep that enthusiasm with you always if you want to achieve your goal. Remember: it’s war! War against your old self, war towards your goal.

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

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