When it comes to learning how to crush financial goals, you’ve probably heard all of the sage advice before.
“Shoot for the moon! Even if you fail, you’ll still reach the stars!”
But if this is all that it takes, why do studies show that approximately 92% of people start a goal but fail to finish them?
I think a lot of it comes down to this one, key word that is missing.
Have Some Fun With Financial Goals
That may be the key that changes everything for you this year.
As I write this post today, it is a cold, January morning. I am looking out of my office window and it looks frigid. In fact, it looks anything but fun.
We are midway through month #1 of the new year and I imagine there are many new faces at the gym this morning. I am imagining it because I am not there. I am here. Writing about the people who are there.
Because I’ve had my moments at the gym on a cold, miserable January morning when I told myself that, “This is the year! I’m going to crush my weight-loss goals (or fitness goals)! Watch out world…Nate is focused and ready! This time it’s REALLY going to happen!”
As Paul Harvey used to say, “You know the rest of the story.”
I was there for a few weeks and slowly slipped out and never stayed with it. At some point, my motivation waned and I gave up on the goal.
We’ve all been there before.
We all have had goals in front of us and we told ourselves that this is the year for us to crush them and break through the barriers that have kept us back.
But in the end, we still found ourselves stuck, lost, or lacking that special something that other people seem to have but we don’t.
That “special something“, I think, might be the word “fun”.
Here’s what author Simon Sinek said that says what I’m thinking:
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress.
Working hard for something we love is called passion.”
For the majority of us out there trying to reach our goals, we feel mostly stress. It’s no fun and the motivation to stay with it eventually falls apart.
I see it all of the time in my work.
As a Christian Financial Coach, my job is to help people connect their faith and their finances and to help them see progress in the area of their personal finances. But so many of my clients (like approximately 92% of the people reading this) get inspired and still end up failing to do what they set out to do.
A big part of this, I believe, is because the goals that they have set for themselves are stressful and are simply no fun.
So what can we do?
How can we break through and accomplish more of what we set out to do?
Make your goals more fun.
Jon Acuff, in his book Finish, suggests a simple way to do this. Simply ask yourself this question:
“How can I make this goal more fun?”
Groundbreaking stuff, I know. But think about it. In fact, do more than just think about it. Try it and see for yourself.
Pick a financial goal that you’re shooting for today.
Maybe its to get out of debt or to save $10,000. Whatever it may be, simply take that goal and ask yourself how you can make it more fun.
For me, I am motivated by competition. So maybe I would be motivated to call up a friend who has the same or a similar goal as me and see if we can make a friendly wager on who could reach the goal first.
That, to me, would make the goal more fun.
Or maybe you could take your financial goal of paying off a credit card or getting that will in place that you’ve been talking about for two years and make it more fun by setting up a simple reward for yourself.
For example, “If I can accomplish my goal by the end of the month, I’ll take my wife out for dinner and a movie.”
The reward doesn’t have to be big or even cost you any money. It may simply be the satisfaction of knowing that completed the task that you’ve been putting off and bragging about it on social media.
The point is that the missing ingredient for many of us may be that we don’t have fun when we’re trying to get ahead or crush our goals.
Somehow we believe that reaching a goal has to hurt and involve a lot of pain and suffering. But that’s not always the case.
In fact, I am arguing that a simple paradigm-shifting question such as, “How can I make this goal more fun?”, maybe all that you need to move away from the 92% and into the 8%.
Try it out.
Pick a financial goal right now and ask the question.
What can you do to make reaching that goal a little more fun?
Tag me in your responses. I’d love to see what you come up with. Use the hashtag, #92%, when you do.
It’s time to crush your financial goals and time to have a little bit of fun while you do!