In 2014, I actually stuck to a big resolution and lo and behold I accomplished it! I paid off my student debt and all my accumulated start-up debt that was made up of a credit line, 2 nasty maxed out credit cards and a loan. #boom. Debt-free at 32…I guess it doesn’t have the same ring as debt-free at 30, but hey I will take it!
It wasn’t easy! For about 10 consecutive months I didn’t go out or do anything fun other than go to the gym and play with my nieces. But, after a whirlwind few years, I was ready to just hibernate and take some time to get myself back on track. I worked from home on freelance projects and unsuccessfully looked for a “real” job. After a few months, I indulged and had a protein shake at the gym. But that was it, I didn’t allow myself to get any new clothes or eat out at all. To make up for my lack of money, I learned how to cook and did all of the household chores. I finally felt like an adult who could take care of others and also take responsibility for my actions.
Here’s some tips on how I did it:
- Daily reflection. I reflected on my bank account and finances almost on a daily basis, writing down figures and going over monthly goals. I had a figure in mind that I had to reach, which I wrote down, stared at, and burned into my skull. I imagined my loans going to $0 before I went to bed. It was almost an obsession, I even imagined myself celebrating. Funny how when I finally reached my goal, it didn’t feel any different because I imagined it so many times.
- Don’t announce your resolutions to the world, especially big and ambitious ones. Keep them close and alert only immediate friends, family, and those who will support you. You don’t want any negative vibes around you, just positive and high vibrations.
- Reward yourself along the way! Celebrate your victories and successes with something special!
- Don’t give up and don’t compare yourself to other people. You will have many people question your habits, intentions and even make you feel bad about your lifestyle choices. There is no point trying to defend yourself or argue, just keep focused on your goals.
Another thing I did was ensure that my goals were actually based on real life. you might have heard of this before. Its called SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). I also added an “E” to the end for emotional. You need to put emotion behind the final result of what it s you’re trying to achieve as well.
Here’s an example of how to use SMARTE goals:
Goal: Be debt-free!
S – specific: Pay off all the money I owe from student loans, Y and, Z.
M – measurable: This equals X amount of dollars in total.
A – attainable: I will do this by renting out my extra room for X amount of dollars a night on Airbnb.
R – realistic: Yes, this is completely realistic as I have the extra room that I can rent out for X dollars a night (based on what is available currently on Airbnb. If I rent it out 3 days a week, I will be able to be to pay off my debt by December).
T – timely: I will be debt-free by December 31st, 2016.
E – emotional: I will feel a profound sense of freedom, independence, and relief. Also, I can achieve anything in life once I put my mind to it!
Putting it all together:
Pay off all my debt which is X amount of dollars by December 31st, 2016 by renting out my extra room for X amount of dollars a night on Airbnb. I will feel a profound sense of freedom, relief, and also that I can achieve anything in life once I put my mind to it.
Use my free Mindset Worksheet to help you map it out and be super clear on your intentions and goals –> Mindset Worksheet.
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