Every year people make New Year’s resolutions about saving money and losing weight, but after a couple of months they fall off the bandwagon. This post will guide you on how to accomplish your goals even when motivation is lost. The key is to make a plan and to have an accountability partner.
Create a goal that is :
- a set amount
- Has a time frame
- can be days, weeks, months or years
- Has a purpose
- you’re saving money, because… (a vacation, big purchase, retirement, etc)
- Can be reinforced
Here’s an example:
You want to put aside $5,000 for a vacation next year.
Plan: Define next year- You want to save $5,000 by February of next year which is 10 months away.
Now, you divide the amount by the time and see that you need to put $500 aside for each month.
Next, create your milestones. This can be putting aside $1,000 every two months. So you have 4 milestones.
- Have $1,000 after 2 months, $2000 after 4 months, $3,000 after 6 months and $4,000 after 8 months these deserve positive reinforcements.
- Didn’t accomplish them in this timeframe have negative reinforcements
- Don’t put this amount to the side, take away your favorite activity for a week or a month. If you love shopping, then don’t shop for a month. If you love fishing, don’t fish for a month. Whatever is some type of a sacrifice, use that as a negative reinforcement.
When you accomplish your final goal, let it be a celebration.
This is how creating measurable goals can help people succeed. When you add an accountability partner and let them know your plan, they can really keep you motivated throughout the process.
In the example above, the accountability partner can call the saver once a month to see if they are reaching their milestones. If they are frugal, they can give tips and encouragement. This why having someone who really knows who you are is important for accountability. They will know how to encourage you without annoying you excessively. Join a frugal community, it could be this or it can be on Google+ and use their stories as motivation to keep you going.