Inside: When you’ve got debt snowball fatigue, it seems like your fight will never end! But a few small changes can make all the difference in your motivation.
Probably the most frustrating thing about paying off debt is that there’s no magic wand to poof that will make it disappear in an instant.
When the day comes that we’re ready to face our debt, we want the fight over as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. (Unless you’re lucky enough find a nice windfall!)
Because paying off debt is such a long process, it’s easy to lose your motivation and even wallow in self pity from time to time. That’s perfectly natural! But it’s not an excuse to continue to wallow for long.
I’d give it a day, tops.
Once you get past the bellyache of too much ice cream indulgence from your pity party, it’s time to try again. Use these ideas to help you get over the humps when you’re having a bad day.
Are You Set Up For Success?
If you know you have a solid plan in place (you’re just sick and tired of it!!) then scroll down to find a list of motivational ideas to keep yourself on track.
Otherwise, let’s make sure you aren’t shooting yourself in the foot.
First things first, make sure your goal is SMART. If you haven’t defined a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound goal, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Without each of those components, how can you tell if you’ve made it or not?
And make sure there’s just the right amount of challenge in your goal. Don’t defeat yourself before you start…but don’t sell yourself short, either. A good challenge gives us a dose of healthy ambition.
Tricks to Get You There
It took us 27 months to dig out of a ton of credit card debt. Here are a few tricks we used to help us win the fight against this debt:
Break Up Your Paycheck: Learn how separating your paycheck can be a simple way to make a big difference!
Live By A Motto: Our #yearofno was a mantra that helped us to stay the no spend course even when it got hard.
Be a Little Crazy! Here are over 40 crazy things we did while digging out of debt!
Motivational Ideas to Kick Debt Snowball Fatigue to the Curb!
1. Write This Down
If you haven’t written down your whole goal, what are you waiting for? Study after study shows that just the act of writing down your goal makes you more likely to achieve it.
2. Your Choice
It’s not enough to choose to get out of debt once. Choose to do it every single day. Remember how much easier it will be to reach your goals once the debt is gone.
Choose debt payoff over those impulse buys and you’ll be there in no time.
3. The Long Haul
According to one study, people who focus on long term gains rather than short term gains are more successful.
Yes, it’s good to break up your big goal into smaller chunks. Celebrate every small win! But never forget your main goal: to lose all of the debt.
4. Move It!
Play some tunes! Keep a playlist of motivational songs to listen to when you’re feeling down. This is a good distraction. And, as long as you use music you already have, it’s pretty much free!
5. Watch Your Language
Forget the word “should”. Consider it a foul four letter word, and don’t allow it to slip into your mind or mouth!
Saying “should” tells your brain that you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to do. Instead of making you feel ready to get it right, “should” just brings on more guilt.
6. Say This Instead
Your brain responds differently to the phrases “I feel…” and “I am…”. According to one article, using “I feel” language tells your brain that a situation is only temporary.
So if you feel sad or angry about your debt, use “I feel” language.
If, however, you want to shift your thinking, use the more permanent “I am” talk. “I am motivated to get rid of this debt!” It’s empowering!
7. Get Inspired
Borrow someone else’s motivation! Even if you can’t seem to drum up your own positive thoughts, that’s ok. Motivation is catching!
Do you know someone with great money habits? If not, you can find positive communities online (including our own Living That #YearofNo Life Facebook group!).
8. Bet You Won’t
Make a bet! Promise a friend that if you haven’t paid off a certain amount of debt by a date (not too far in the future!) you’ll do a chore that you hate doing for them.
9. Think Ahead
Pack your lunch the night before whenever possible. That eliminates the “guess I’ll have to buy lunch today since I didn’t have time to pack” excuse!
If buying a lunch isn’t your favorite splurge, then think about what you tend to impulse buy. Then plan ahead to set yourself up for success the next time you’re faced with that temptation.
10. Sign On the Line
Make a contract with your family. You have to work together towards this goal! Get everyone to buy in and understand why the sacrifice of spending less is worth it.
Debt snowball fatigue is a thing of the past!
And if these 10 ideas aren’t enough for keeping you in the fight against debt for the long haul…how about 14 more ideas? Check out How to Get Debt Free: 14 Ways to Stay Motivated.
How do you get motivated?