Now that I’ve survived the “no sweets” mission for the past 40 days (a miracle!), I’m wondering if I should harness all that energy and willpower into another goal to keep it up? All our habits form from egging them on over a certain amount of time, and the idea that I could still have a POSITIVE habit going on every new month is rather quite exciting!
And I’m not talking about “collecting” all the goals one on top of another either – that would be maddening (and a good recipe for just giving up altogether!). But rather, taking on a brand NEW goal each month and sticking to it, only to move on from it the next month and pick up another goal in it’s place. Kinda like short-term missions for the A.D.D. ;)
I got this idea from a fellow reader of this blog (Kurt @ Money Counselor), and here’s how he laid it out and inspired me:
Each week (or maybe each month–you choose), give up just one thing you spend money on regularly that’s unnecessary, a bit of a luxury or a vice or indulgence. Kinda like Lent. You’re only giving it up temporarily, for a short period, so it’s not too hard! And each period you choose something different, so you get your indulgence back soon. Less spending = more savings!
I love it! And I bet you $10.00 that over time some of those things you give up end up fading away by accident too. That’s what happened when I gave up shopping 4 years ago. I had no idea it would forever alter the way I spend money! (I used to go to the mall or Best Buy or Target 5 times a week – mainly for fun. Now I go once a week, if that). Of course other things I gave up like sodas and cursing are still back in the game plan again, but if you’re constantly swapping out one vice for another, at least you’re not on 100% of the time, ya know? I think that’s what I like the most about this idea – it’s giving things up for the SHORT term to give you small wins and rewards. And it’s hard to really burn out if you’re always switching it up every month too!
So I’m gonna give it a shot starting today, and replace my junk food omissions for not buying lottery tickets in April ;) Which will of course be hard as hell for me – I love those things! – but it’ll be a good thing to try out too. And then we’ll swap it out for a new one on the 1st of every month going forward. I think the hardest part will be coming up with new and different things to give up over time, since most of us only have a few major pain points we never seem to get rid of.
But maybe that’s okay too? There’s nothing saying you can’t do older goals too every now and then since it’s YOUR rules. Maybe you swap in lunch expenses one month, and then move to dinner expenses the next – and then right back to lunches again? You’d always be giving up *something* relating to money (or health/relationships/etc), so the main point of you improving your life still remains the same the whole time.
I like this whole idea a LOT. Short bursts of goals that always change at the first of the month :) I’m totally going for it. And maybe you should too! What do you think about these shorter-term goals? Think you could do them? Or do you work better with longer, more permanent ones? If you wanna give ‘em a go with me, let me know and we’ll all give it a shot together :) It never hurts to have MORE motivation behind us!
(Photo by Rob React)