It’s silly to assume that you’ll set a financial goal and achieve it perfectly on your first try.
I mean, who does that?
So plan ahead. Get a little Debbie Downer and start brainstorming all the things that could derail you from achieving your goal. Then, think of all the ways that you can overcome those events! That way, when the inevitable slipup happens... you'll already know how to fix it and get back on track :)
For example: Let's say you set a goal to track your money. (which is basically the best goal ever, FYI ;) )
Ways you might slip up tracking your money:
- Family or friends come to visit: you spend all your mental energy being a good host and you don’t have your normal downtime at the end of the day to record your purchases.
Forgetting to track your money for a whole week and knowing that you missed SO many transactions and being so overwhelmed that you just don’t want to do it, so you keep pushing it off.
Buying something that you feel guilty about, and you feel so guilty that you want to pretend it didn’t happen and don’t want to record the purchase.
Okay. Now that you have some ways things can go wrong, let’s plan ahead for how to solve those issues.
Ways to get back on track after those (potential) slipups:
Example 1: Forgetting to record purchases while family & friends are visiting.
Possible Fix: When you know life is going to be crazy and you won't have your usual downtime at the end of the day, put a pad of paper next to your bed; before you go to bed, take 5 minutes to brainstorm all the places you spent money that day. Also, when you’re making purchases throughout the day, keep your receipts! When everyone leaves, take 15 minutes to yourself (maybe make a cup of coffee or tea to make it exciting!) and log all your transactions to get back on track.
Example 2: Slipping up for a whole week. (oops)
Possible Fix: Set aside 15 minutes ASAP (like really... ASAP. The longer you wait the worse it'll be!) to sit down and review your credit card and debit card statements from the past week, and use those to reconstruct your purchases. Pull out your planner and review your schedule from each day to help remind yourself of what you did that day- that will help you remember where you went and where you might have spent money. Feel free to estimate if necessary. It’s okay if it’s not perfect- just do the best you can.
Example 3: Not recording a purchase you feel guilty about
Possible Fix: Take a deep breath and RECORD IT ANYWAY. It's like ripping off a band-aid. And I mean... you're already feeling guilty for the purchase; why make yourself feel MORE guilty for not recording the purchase?
Slipups are a NORMAL and totally expected part of goal setting. There's no need to beat yourself up for it; just plan ahead, know that they're going to happen, and be ready for them!
You got this :)
BTW- Budget Coaching spots for March are closing TODAY! If you want to get some help setting up your financial life and tackling your financial goals, (and overcoming slipups!) I'd LOOOOVE to work with you! :)
What financial goal are you working toward? What are some potential slipups you might encounter?
I'll help you brainstorm ways to overcome them!!