Financial Life
7 Ways to Stay Motivated While Crushing Your Debt
17Oct 2017
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Written by Jessi Kohlhagen

Setting the intention to get out of debt is great… but is it enough?

Plenty of us have declared with passionate motivation, “Starting today, I will no longer charge anything to credit, I will increase my monthly payments for every bill that I owe, and I will crush my debt within the next year!!”

Then, over the course of a few weeks or months, we slowly lose our motivation and fall back into old habits.

Sound familiar??

Whether it’s credit cards, student loans, or a home mortgage — eliminating debt takes time, patience, loads of discipline, and perhaps most of all, consistent motivation.

Only by staying motivated can we win the goal.

Here are 7 ways to stay motivated and crush your debt, once and for all:

1. Take Responsibility

The first step on any journey is recognizing that you alone are responsible. No one is coming to your rescue (especially when it comes to paying off your debt), and the situation will never, ever improve by itself. You alone have the power to create the changes you wish to see. Remember this each time you experience the impulse to quit.

2. Get Crystal Clear

Before you can begin, you must get crystal clear on exactly what your debt goal is, WHY it’s important, and how you’re going to tackle it. In perfect Lifebook fashion, you’ve got to get your PVPS in order (Premise, Vision, Purpose and Strategy).

This level of crystal clarity will ensure that you not only have a plan, but that you can easily adjust course if need be, instead of giving up and sliding back into old patterns if things don’t work out 100% like you planned they would.

3. Stop Using Your Credit Cards. FOR REAL.

Most of us continue to use our credit cards, even as we’re trying to get out of debt. And it’s pretty easy to justify having them in case of an emergency. But the truth is — if you have credit handy, you will end up using it.

If we’re truly committed to staying motivated and getting out of debt for good, we have to stop charging to credit. Just put down the crack pipe! Learn to save and plan for emergencies without the use of credit, and make the commitment to going 100% credit-free.

4. Develop New Habits

Along with eliminating the use of credit, you must also develop new habits that will serve your on your quest toward debt-freedom. Clearly you can’t continue enabling the same old habits that got you into debt in the first place, right?

It’s time to start developing new habits such as using cash only, budgeting ALL of your expenses, not spending your money before you’ve earned it, eating out less, repairing/reusing items instead of buying new, etc.

Changing your habits not only changes your actions and behaviors… it rewires your brain and re-patterns how you perceive and experience your world.

5. Keep Your Goal In Sight DAILY

In order to maintain that daily dose of motivation, you have to keep your goal clearly in your sight… every single day. Out of sight, out of mind. If you get clear and make a plan, and then wait until the 1st of the month until you think about it again, chances are you’re going to lose your steam pretty quickly.

Keep your goal front and center, by adopting some simple daily habits, such as; reading debt-free affirmations, saying a debt-free prayer, listening to a financial audiobook or podcast, watching videos, reading articles and books, finding small places to save money, making small but responsible financial decisions, etc.

6. Find an Accountability Partner

An accountability partner will encourage and support you along the journey and, if you choose someone who has already tackled their debt, they can symbolize a beacon of hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

Debt is often heavily tied to shame, and social transparency can be a powerful antidote and tool for empowerment. Finding someone you can count on to encourage you and hold you accountable to your daily, weekly, and monthly goals can be the number one difference between your success and your failure.

7. Celebrate Every Win

The journey toward debt freedom can feel long, arduous, and incredibly boring at first. But over time, as your hard work begins to build on itself and show noticeable signs of improvement, it can create an unparalleled momentum and sense of motivation. You just have to get over the hump.

To do this, it’s important to continually remember your WHY, and notice (and celebrate!) each and every milestone you hit. Take a moment of gratitude EVERY time you chip away at your debt, make a responsible financial decision, save a little money, use cash instead of credit, notice a positive new habit taking root… any and every chance to honor your progress is a powerful opportunity to stay motivated and ultimately achieve your goal… to be 100% DEBT FREE!

Are you already out of debt, or on your way? Do you have any strategies or habits you’ve put in place that you’ve found particularly powerful?

Please share your wisdom with the Lifebook Community by commenting at the bottom of the post!

Here’s to creating financial freedom and achieving our extraordinary financial life visions!

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