As we zoom towards the new year, I thought it might be beneficial to write a few posts about “starting over” – and finding renewed enthusiasm for both debt reduction and saving money.
It’s easy to lose our initial zeal for debt reduction. Making extra payments, and the more extra payments, and then more extra payments, can become tedious. Throw in a couple of new charges on the old credit card – or a month or two of wasteful spending – and it can get down right difficult to get back-on-track.
Be honest with yourself and acknowledge that there is nothing that can be done to erase past mistakes and missteps. Then, acknowledge that there is much that can be done to prepare for future progress and success!
Think back to what motivated you to get out of debt in the first place. For me, I was motivated by a strong desire to set a good example for my kids and and real belief that my debt was an emotional burden. I find that a good mixture of anger and optimism really helps keep me motivated. Remember why getting of of debt was important to you!
Get back to the simple things. It’s very easy, especially when it comes to money management, to outsmart our own selves. Be sure you have an emergency fund. Be sure you are current with all creditors and bills. Focus on the next payment that is due. Find the center and aim for it.
Remove the clutter and get organized. I did this, just tonight. After a month of simply “putting off” dealing with bills and financial matters, it was time to clear away the junk and start moving forward again. Go ahead and deal with the stuff that needs to be dealt with. Procrastination simply leads to future frustration. Take the time, today, to make things better for your future-self!
If you feel like you are spinning your wheels – reflect on the progress you have already made. The months, right in the middle of your debt reduction plan, can be the longest and most difficult. You have already zoomed through the “I’m excited about getting out of debt” stage, but you haven’t quite reached the “my goal is in sight” stage. Push through! You will be so glad that you did.
December can be a difficult month to reduce debt – but a great month for planning. Take some time, right now, to lay a solid foundation for 2012. I, for one, am super-excited about what the new year holds, and I’m already planning for January 1. If you have been stuck, now is the time to get unstuck. Now is the time to focus, re-energize, and move forward. You rock!
The above was the in-brain conversation I had with myself, today, in an effort to rebuild enthusiasm for the coming months. It worked for me – I hope it worked for you! This post was written without much concern for continuity between paragraphs. Instead, it simply reflects what I was thinking, today.