Goals

Ten Strategies for Staying Motivated Toward Your Financial (and Other) Goals

Goal-setting plays a pretty major role in my life. Over the last several years, setting and sticking with goals eliminated all of our debts, bought a home, and enabled a career switch – and those are just the financial goals. At the same time, I’ve failed at more goals than I’ve ever achieved. I’ve tried …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals

Slow and Steady in an Instant World

Right now, I can buy almost every book I can think of with a few clicks of the mouse. In fact, I can find almost any product I can imagine and easily have it delivered to my home in just a few days. It just takes a moment. It is so easy to begin to …

Categories: Goals

Make Failure Into a Stepping Stone, Not an Excuse

Whenever I push myself into a strict diet or a strict exercise regime or a strict set of personal finance rules, I find that I thrive in the short term. For the first week or so, I’ll hit every benchmark I have within those strict rules. I’ll exercise. I’ll eat incredibly well. I’ll avoid spending …

Categories: Goals

Making Better Choices Today And Not Tommorow

Today, I’m going to go on a walk. Although I’d rather curl up with a good book, it’s not a huge sacrifice to spend an hour walking instead. In fact, if I use a treadmill, I can prop a book up on it and read (although a bit slowly) while walking. If I make that …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals

What Did You Accomplish This Year?

2013 has been a pretty good year for me. I lost about 25 pounds. I wrote a pretty good first draft of a novel that’s currently “resting” (meaning I intend to drag it out again in a few months to start editing it and figure out whether it’s worth trying to publish it). I launched …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals

If You Want a New Year’s Resolution to Actually Succeed, Start Now

Many people make New Year’s resolutions – I do it myself some years. They’re usually made with the best of intentions, with the hopes of creating some level of self-improvement. They also usually start off like gangbusters and then fall by the wayside by the start of February. Why does that happen? For starters, resolutions …

Categories: Goals

Setting an “Impossible” Goal

My goal over the next eighteen days is to write a first draft of a novel. Eighteen days to get about 150,000 words of a rough draft down on paper. That’s on top of writing articles for The Simple Dollar and all of my other life responsibilities. I’ve had this idea in my head for …

Categories: Goals

The Justification for Failure

Virtually no one likes to think of themselves as a failure. It’s not a good feeling. Whenever we do fall into that trap, there’s usually some self-loathing and sadness involved. There’s also usually some serious justification involved. It’s my boss’s (or my supplier’s or someone else’s) fault. The goal is impossible. My spouse/friends/family didn’t support …

Categories: Goals

What Would I Do With a Large Windfall?

It’s a natural human dream that many of us have. Something happens and suddenly a substantial chunk of money falls on our lap – enough to change the dynamics of our life in some fashion. For a lot of people, a windfall would be used to pay off debts. That mortgage would disappear, as would …

Categories: Goals

What Am I Doing with My Life?

I have a list of things I want to achieve in my life. I want my children to be curious and independent people who can stand on their own two feet and can discover on their own the answers to the questions that life deals them. I want to have a marriage strong enough so …

Categories: Goals

Your Wish List

If you’ve read The Simple Dollar for very long, you’ve learned that, in my opinion, one of the most important things in personal finance is setting goals. Where do you want to be in a year? In five years? In twenty years? Establishing those goals gives you something real to work towards and makes a …

Categories: Goals

The Year-Long Plot

Where do you want to be a year from now? Would you like to have some debts paid off? Maybe you dream of having finished an art project or a major home improvement project. Perhaps you dream of having a social circle to participate in. We all have things we’d love to accomplish, things that …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals

Connecting Big Projects and Goals to Today

Quite a few people emailed me about my recent post where I encouraged people to live for today by actually achieving enough that you go to sleep happy about the productive day you’ve had. The part that seemed to generate the most interest is the translation of enormous projects into individual tasks that can be …

Categories: Goals

Today Matters. Nothing Else Does.

You might think that with such a goal-oriented perspective and a self-control perspective, I might not focus that much on the value of today. Actually, I believe that today is the only day that really matters. Today is the only day you have to be sure that you’re moving forward on your goals. Right now …

Categories: Goals

Personal Finance Tactics Change Depending on Your Goal

Pretty much everyone I’ve met who has a solid grip on their personal finances has some sort of vision for what the future holds for them. Some of them simply strive for debt freedom and a decent emergency fund, then they want to stock their retirement accounts. Some would like to retire as early as …

Categories: Goals

My Resolution Revolution

In years past, I’ve started off the new year by listing some goals for the coming year. Last year, I set a weight loss goal (which went really well for most of the year until medication issues completely knocked me for a loop) and a writing goal (I have a novel in the editing process …

Categories: Goals

If Goals Make You Miserable, Eliminate the Misery

Recently, I found a very thoughtful article by Danielle LaPorte entitled “Why I Gave Up Chasing Goals.” The idea behind her article wasn’t that she wasn’t moving forward in her life, but that she viewed the idea of goals as a burden: I want to feel good more than I want to check accomplishments off …

Categories: Goals

Setting Clear Long-Term Financial Goals

When Sarah and I first began our financial turnaround, we discovered that it was very easy to set and complete very short term personal finance goals and microgoals. We’d agree to spend a weekend without spending any money. We’d agree to spend a day or two going through our DVD collection and eliminating 60% of …

Categories: Goals

Microrewarding Yourself

In order to encourage everyone in our family to get outside and exercise as much as reasonably possible this summer, Sarah and I instituted a family program called “Mileage Club.” Here’s how it works. At the start of the summer, Sarah and I made a giant pile of punch cards, each numbered one through twenty. …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals