When the going gets tough? You quit. At least you want to quit. This past month has been rough financially. Things have broken left and right and our extra funds went towards replacing items and repairing them. That is tough. On one hand I am extremely grateful that we had the”extra” money to pay for these items and not go further into debt. On the other hand I am extremely disappointed that those monies weren’t used to remove another item from our debt snowball. All of it has left me feeling a little…blech.
It’s easy in the beginning to have motivation and fire. There was excitement in the journey towards debt freedom. A feeling of victory over telling our money where to go instead of it telling us. Then the “every days” start to accumulate and before you know it you start thinking “we’re never going to be debt free” and “it’s too much work” and maybe even “it’s not worth it.” I know that these are common thoughts for me. These are lies, however. We can do this. It is so worth it. But it is true that it is hard work. However, the things that are worth it always require more work and dedication. Much like parenting. Raising children requires much patience, consistency and doing the same thing every day. It is so worth it and someday so will being debt free. It just won’t be today or at the end of August or even at the end of 2014.
How do we stay encouraged in this journey? How do we “do it again” today?
1. Decide what is most important.
My worth is not in stuff and you and I definitely don’t need more of it. My treasure is in God, my husband and my children. If anything we have too much stuff, as evidence by the mess that is our daughter’s room and the rest of our house. I don’t want “stuff” to be what I leave behind when I die. I want my words. The love for others. And the reflection of Christ in me to be my treasure. These things cost nothing, but are worth everything.
2. Start small.
I’m overweight and out of shape. It would not be possible or logical for me to drive to Mt. Everest and start climbing today. However, I can make choices to eat less today. To lose a pound by the end of the week. To take a 30 minute walk with my kids. Debt is the same way. After paying down our debt a little we are now facing a $299,035 money Everest. I can’t eliminate that today. But I can focus on this half of the months budget. Shopping within our envelope allowances. Snowballing our next debt…another medical bill.
3. Stay away.
When you start a journey of weight loss, one of the first things you need to do is purge (this is not a bulimia endorsement!). Get rid of the things that cause you to overeat. Throw out the chips, candy, and ice cream. So if you overspend every time you step into Children’s Place. Stay away. Even Superman had kryptonite. I have my Kohls. Or Target. But what if I need toilet paper? I send Shawn. He is immune to the hypnotic powers of clearance racks and sales aisles.
4. Stop hiding.
It’s easy to lie to ourselves but not to others. If I tell Shawn what we need at the store and then see something I “want” often I tell Shawn how good a sale it is and he tells me NO. And I do the same for him. I often find it hard to say no the the “gimmies” but if someone else tells me NO, I listen. Find accountability partners. Share your journey like I am, or start a Facebook group of friends who you trust. Be okay with others calling you out and give them permission to do so.
5. Hit refresh.
We’ve financially hit a “rough patch.” Should we give up? I overate at lunch. Should I stop trying to lose weight? My kids don’t listen to me. Should I give them away? Of course not. But that is what we do all to often. Have one bad minute, day, week and say “I’m done.” I don’t know about you but I’m not done. Debt, my weight, constancy with my kids, and even my anxiety will not win over my determination and God’s plans for our family.
Do you need to hit “refresh” today? What other ways can we stay encouraged and “do it again” today?
I’m always happy to receive encouragement, feedback and questions. Please comment! If my words resonate with you, please share it with others! Thanks!