June was an interesting month. Although I did not get majorly off track with my financial goals, I let a lot of things slide, and I *felt* like I was off track and losing focus. And when I feel like that, it is easy to let myself slide a little more and a little more until I become completely set back. This didn’t happen, because by the time July rolled around I realized what was happening and made some changes to get refocused and ready to move forward. If you start to feel off track with your goals, here are five things I did that helped me to get right back on track.
1. Keep records. Looking at my budget sheet was the easiest way for me to see where things were going off kilter and come up with ways to correct it. Between visitors and medical procedures in June, it was easy to not keep track of what we were spending, but I did keep receipts and eventually sat down and caught everything up on my budget worksheet. Then I could look at what we had and where we were and explore ways to get us back on the right track.
2. Reassess your goals. This is not to say that your goals need to be changed. rather, reassessing your goals puts you back in touch with them and reminds you why you have them in the first place. A goal that you are invested in is a goal you’re more likely to care about meeting.
3. Remind yourself that a setback is not cause for failure. In the past, once I got off track I used that as an excuse to continue to be off track and get further and further away from my original intention. This time, instead of saying “Oh, well, I’ve already X so why don’t I just Y” I looked forward to where I wanted to be and used that as motivation not to go further off track.
4. Take small positive steps in the right direction. Sometimes, we just need a little nudge. Taking small positive steps to get back on track – like making an extra snowflake – can get us refocused and back on task.
5. When all else fails, institute a 5 day spending freeze. Sometimes a shock to the system is what is needed. If you need a drastic measure to jolt you back to reality, institute a spending freeze. get yourself out of the habit of spending money without thinking about it. Think about everything.
Hopefully, you’ve stayed on course with your financial goals, but I know it is easy to slip a little, and the key is to not let a little slip become a huge landslide. And even if it becomes a landslide – you can pick up and move forward. Don’t let a misstep completely derail your plans and goals for the future.