I read this on another site but thought it might fit well for folks that are thinking about setting up some financial resolutions for this year.
What really motivates people to get things done, and to follow through on their plans? Some folks are self-motivated and have no issues getting things done once they set their minds to it (I call those people nasty names, but let us not go there today), but many of us have issues remaining on track with our financial plans.
When I was in High School, I was a loud mouthed know-it-all (as opposed to now, where I am an old loud-mouthed know-it-all), and I guess my Grade 8 Math teacher really had enough of me, so one day he laid in to me. He told me I was useless at Math and that I would never succeed with Math. I took this as a complete and utter insult, and from that point on I dedicated myself to working hard and proving this teacher wrong. In the end I did get a Mathematics degree, and many times I felt like I wanted to give up I remembered that teacher’s comments. This type of negative feedback is what motivates me (I will prove someone wrong).
All of us have a friend, or a family member who you either really admire, or loath hearing their constant commentary on your shortcomings, and failures, and they can be the magic bullet to keep you on track in terms of financial plans.
What if you told that key person in your life, your plans for the year financially? They may act as your motivation to stay on track with your plan.
If you tell your Mother-in-law (yes I will go to that ham-handed comedic device) that by the end of 2013 you are going to save $4000 in your RRSP account and you will make extra payments on your mortgage of more than $2000, would that motivate you to get it done this year? If you see your Mother-in-law every week for Sunday dinner or something like that, I’ll bet you will be a lot more motivated to stay on track, in case she asks you how your plan is going, won’t it?
What if you told your Dad your financial goals for the year, would that help? If you look up to your Dad, maybe you wouldn’t want to let him down by failing, so you might be more motivated?
However you do it, figure out what can keep you motivated, and for the love of J. Paul Getty make some attainable goals or you’ll end up getting sarcastic about your goals (like some of us do).