Have you ever set a goal for yourself that you felt super pumped about at the start like:
“This is the year I’m going to run my first marathon!”
“Say goodbye debt. I’m wiping out $10,000 of credit card debt in 6 months.”
“I’ve always wanted to write a book and now I’m going for it.”
Once you set your goal, you can’t wait to dive right in and make all sorts of progress.
The first week of running, cutting expenses or writing feels so easy…so natural…like you were born to do this.
You’re motivation skyrockets and you wonder why you waited so long to work toward this goal…it’s going to be so amazing when you achieve it!
You can almost taste the victory now!
But then, week 4 comes…and week 5…and life gets busier and more demanding.
You’re still focused on your goal but it seems so far out of reach…like you’ll never get there…and it feels so HARD.
Before you know it, you just don’t want to drag your butt outta bed at 5 am to log those miles anymore…
…and you start to think you’ll never get out of credit card debt anyway so you take the extra payment and splurge at Crate and Barrel…
…and the time you were using to write your book has now been filled with folding laundry and binging on New Girlepisodes.
Why does this happen?
Focusing on the goal itself, rather than the habits required to achieve it, sets you up to fail.
In the beginning, all goals are sexy…exciting…crushworthy…
…and when you think about how you’ll feel when you reach your goal…
…you’ve got a fire lit under you and a burning desire to make it happen.
But just like the warm fuzzes and butterflies wear off after the romance stage of a relationship is over…
…the motivation and inspiration to keep working toward your goal does too…
…which is why so many people struggle to pay off all their debt, build an emergency fund and save enough for retirement.
So when people ask me:
“How did you pay off $87,000 of debt in two years?”
“How did you multiply your income x 5 in eight months?”
“What did you do to save $40,000 in an emergency fund?”
“What’s the key to getting rich?”
I tell them this:
Don’t focus on the goal of getting rich. Focus on who you’ll grow into as you work to become wealthy.
When it comes to success, it’s really not about achieving the goal; it’s about becoming who you want to be.
It’s not about running a marathon. It’s about becoming a runner.
It’s not about getting out of debt. It’s about becoming financially free.
It’s not about writing a book. It’s about becoming a writer.
And to become who you want to be, you have to focus on the daily, weekly and monthly habits you need to do CONSISTENTLY to get there.
Doing a habit consistently means you don’t flake out…slack off…or give up.
You don’t just do the work…put in the time…or show up when you feel like it.
You run at 5 am whether you feel like it or not.
You save the money instead of getting the daily lattes and lunches out even when all you want is a cup of Starbuck’s goodness and a pick-two combo from Panera Bread.
You write 15 minutes a day even when you don’t know what to write…have zero ideas…and feel like a grumpy cat.
The key to getting rich is developing good financial habits and sticking to them…for the long haul.
And the reward isn’t that you’ll be rolling in a ton of money (although, you might be able to)…
…the real reward is that you’ll become a better version of yourself as you grow wealthy.
So, how you start developing good financial habits?
1. Schedule weekly money dates.
A money date is simply time set aside to make your money a priority. Take one hour EVERY WEEK to learn about money, work on your spending plan, make short and long term plans for your money, or research investment options.
2. Treat your money like a friend and not an enemy.
Think about your money as a resource that’s working WITH you, not against you. Speak about it respectfully and treat your money like you would your spouse or furry best friend. See your money as a lifelong companion that wants to make all your dreams come true.
3. Get an accountability partner.
All good things require time and self discipline…and we all have bad days when we want to say “to hell with it”. Getting an accountability partner can help push you along when you feel like giving up and give you the support and motivation you need to stay consistent. Plus, life is more fun when you have someone to share it with.
Not sure what kind of money date to book? Looking for an awesome accountability partner to cheer you on?
You’ll find money date #inspo, money love gossip and super cool peeps in the Date Your Money Facebook Support Group. Come on over and join the fun!