Why your goals to get out of debt are not working.
I will start this post by explaining my inspiration for this blog post. My inspiration comes from a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. One quote from the book that really struck me, “People do not rise to the level of their goals, they fall to the level of their systems” It is one of the most common New Years resolutions and all too often people are doing this year after year without results. This is frustrating, but if this is you, you are not alone.
Let me drop a truth bomb on you though. It wasn't that your goal wasn't good or that it didn't meet the essential SMART requirements. The problem is that you do not have habits that help you get there. You need to identify your behaviors and learn what you can change to help better hit a goal. Every client that I work with has habits that need to be planned out to help them hit goals.
As I was reading this book, I found profound information on how to make habits stick. Goals need to be obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying. Let's say you are trying to get out of debt, how about we come up with some example habits that will help you.
Obvious- There are a few options on how to get this one. You will want to put cues around you to remind you, but also to make it deliberate, "I will sit down with my spouse to go over the bills on Tuesday after putting the kids to bed." For me making it obvious was to put it right out in front of me. I had put a note on my microwave so as I was cooking dinner it was on the top of my mind.
Attractive- This one is super easy, take the things that are part of the progress that you do not like to do and make a rule that you can't do something you love. So maybe you will call a creditor and ask them to help you move a payment date to a different day of the month to accommodate your budget better, and after that is done, you can relax and watch Netflix.
Easy- When I work with clients it is my job to guide them toward getting out of debt easier and faster. As a person looking to get out of debt, I encourage people to make the habits easy by figuring out what method works best for you instead of trying to make a complicated process your only way. If it is natural, it is more likely to stick.
Satisfying- I tell people that when they are getting out of debt or saving for a big goal one of the best things that they can do is create a visual representation of their progress. Want a fun way to do it check out our payoff printables. We have trackers that show you the progress of your work to pay off various types of debts like credit cards, student loans, car loans, or saving up for that down payment for the house. Check them out here.