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10 Tips to keeping intent on achieving financial freedom
“Save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter!” Proverbs 6:5
That gazelle has one thing and one thing only on it’s mind.
ESCAPE. Escape or death.
What would happen to our finances if we viewed getting out of debt with the same mindset?
Most people in our society today are comfortable with debt. It is now an accepted lifestyle. In fact, I’ve heard many people argue how important having a good FICO score is. Do you know what a FICO score means? It means you are in debt to someone.
“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Proverbs 22:7
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound acceptable to me.
When obstacles are seemingly insurmountable, it can be daunting. However by setting, consistently working toward and achieving goals, it gives us fulfillment and makes us much happier as a whole.
So how do we maintain our focus while working toward the goal of financial freedom? Here are 10 tips to help you maintain tunnel vision.
1. Train your brain like you train a muscle
This requires commitment every day. Think of exercising to become fit. It means fatigue, sweat, and focus. It’s not fun, but if you remember the end result of what you are striving to achieve, you have the strength to go on. And whoever finished a good workout and thought, “I sure wish I had not exercised today!”? No one. Because they are one step closer to the end goal.
2. Identify your priorities
An absolute must if you are going to stay the course. What will financial independence mean for your daily life? Are you prepared for a financial storm? (Loss of job, home, change in economy, etc.) Are you able to look toward retirement with confidence? Will you have the ability to bless your progeny by leaving an inheritance?
When you take a good look at these (yes, they are achievable) goals, suddenly the vacations, the toys, others “things” that vie for our attention and pull at our desires fade. Why? Because they will come back into our lives after we have achieved financial freedom.
“Live like no one else now, so that later you can live and GIVE like no one else!” -Dave Ramsey
3. Eliminate distractions
This is a key element of staying focused. What is distracting you from your goal? How can you eliminate it? Examples of financial distraction could be:
- Focusing on the success of others
- Extracurricular things that demand money and attention
- Prioritizing the wrong things
Which brings us to…
4. Create a strategy
How are you going to accomplish your goal?
“If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.” Zig Ziglar
You cannot win with money unless you have a plan. YOU WILL NOT WIN WITHOUT A BLUEPRINT. That gazelle? His one goal at that moment was to outrun the cheetah.
The best way to be strategic with your money is to implement a budget. Does budgeting intimidate you? It needn’t, because there are so many tools available to help you. Every Dollar is a free resource that enables you to have a budget set up in no time!
Remember, practice makes perfect. It won’t be perfect the first time around. Have you ever played the board game Settlers of Catan? It’s a game of strategy, the more you play, the more you win. Learn to look ahead. Think of cause and effect.
If your strategy isn’t working for you, tweak it. Change things up. Find out the best way to keep you on your path, and stick to your guns no matter what.
5. Take action
All the planning in the world won’t help you one iota if you don’t implement action. Everything above has brought you to this point. You’ve identified your priorities, you’ve eliminated distractions and you’ve come up with a strategic plan. Now act on it! Take the first step. Pay off that first debt, set up the budget, put money in savings.
You can do this!
6. Remember your end goal
Oh, the beauty of remembrance. I believe this is one of the most powerful tools to help you achieve success.
After we worked through Financial Peace University and paid off all of our debt, I found it too easy to relax a bit. To challenge myself to maintain the drive, I often pulled out and listened to the course over again. This reminded me not only of how far we had come, but what direction we were headed.
Take time to dream! What will your life look like when you have achieved financial security? Think of the things you will have the freedom to do, the places you will go. Imagine the joy of giving lavishly to others. The work you are investing now WILL have results. Remember, remember, remember!
7. Have a positive mindset
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” -Winston Churchill
This starts out with a decision. Are you going to be positive about this challenge?
I am a woman of faith. God’s word influences everything in my life. May I share some words from his book with you that have helped me with a positive mindset in this journey?
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Let your eyes look directly ahead toward the path of moral courage and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Consider well and watch carefully the path of your feet, and all your ways will be steadfast and sure.” Proverbs 4:23-26
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8,9
“The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.” Hebrews 13:5
8. Create visuals
Visuals can be be very stimulating and are great for maintaining focus. Here are some ideas for a visual to keep your goal in mind:
- A debt payoff printable to color in
- A dream board of the life you are working toward
- Positive quotes to place in areas you frequent
- An effort tracker – spreadsheet or app
Now place it somewhere where it will get your attention on a daily basis!
9. Continue learning
There are so many people out there who have so much to give. And with access to the internet, you have almost unlimited resources available to you. Learn as much as you can about debt, finances, investing, growing your net worth, and income.
Knowledge is power!
10. Find community
Don’t go at this alone! Find an accountability partner to bounce your budget and ideas off of. Join groups on Facebook with others working toward the same goal. Take the Financial Peace University class and talk with your class mates! Spend time each week with your partner discussing failures and victories as you work your plan.
Personally, one of my very favorite ways to do this is at least once a week, listen to a debt free scream on Dave Ramsey’s radio show. Seriously, it gives me goosebumps and drives me to tears every single time. You know why? Because I realize again that we are not at this alone.
The struggle is real. But SO IS THE VICTORY.
Allow me encourage you. You will get there. Let me repeat that. YOU WILL get there! Millions of people have achieved financial freedom and success and it is the folks who took the bull by the horns and said “ENOUGH!” to debt. The fact that you have read this far means you are serious about making a change, and you will win with money.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I will try and answer them as I can.
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