We make resolutions to keep them. To make them stick, we need some help.
How often have you made a resolution you just couldn’t keep after more than a few days? Admit it, I won’t tell. You’ve snuck that cookie. No worries, we’ve all been there.
But when it comes to your financial resolutions, you’ve got to take a stronger stance. After all, your future is at stake.
To maximize your chances of keeping your resolution to get out of debt, just follow these steps.
Recognize The Difficulty Of Getting Out Of Debt
You’ve got to be honest when it comes to getting out of debt – this isn’t going to be quick or easy. There are going to be backslides, times when you pull out the plastic for “just a small purchase.” You can beat yourself up over it, or you can accept it and give yourself parameters.
Take all but one card out of your wallet, and put that card on auto-pay through your checking account for a set amount per pay period. So long as your debt goes down by the end of the month, you’re good to go.
One Day At A Time
Those of us who use credit cards are addicts to debt. We can’t get by without using plastic, and it ends up harming us and those around us.
Sounds a bit like alcoholics and other addicts, doesn’t it? So why not take a page from the 12-step book by agreeing to take it one day at a time?
Rather than quitting your credit cards cold turkey, quit for today. If you can get through the day, consider it a success and repeat the pattern tomorrow. Over time, the pattern of not incurring new debt will be just as powerful as was the pattern of charging to the hilt.
Publicize Your Resolution
We’re more psychologically inclined to remain consistent to our commitments if we publicize them. To accomplish that goal you may email all of your loved ones and let them know you’re committing yourself to getting out of debt in the new year. If you don’t want to resort to email, feel free to post it on your Facebook wall or send out a message on Twitter.
Remember when Gold Five kept encouraging Luke Skywalker to “stay on target” as he approached the Death Star? It may have been annoying, but it definitely helped. When we pay attention and keep a goal in mind, we’re more likely to stay focused on that goal. Stop thinking about it, you’re less likely to accomplish it.
You’re going to need to be mindful of your goal to get out of debt, and you can’t waver in that mindfulness. Meditation helps, but if you’re not into it then consider putting up a vision board to help you focus. Whether you believe in the power of the Law of Attraction of not, keeping it in sight means keeping it in mind.
Keep At It
Like I said, this isn’t easy. You built up your pile of debt over a long period of time, so there’s no reason to believe that you’re going to obliterate it overnight. If you stumble, pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. Be sure you’ve put together a workable plan including a reasonable budget. Review your plan of attack regularly.
Image credit: Ontario Wanderer