I’ve been living under a new mantra these days, and as obvious as it’s going to sound, I’m still gonna share it with you anyways ;) Mainly because it’s Friday and I want you to go into the weekend feeling good about yourselves than the opposite.
Today’s topic is about accomplishing your goals. Or, rather, not giving up on your goals.
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
- You get super excited to accomplish _____.
- You make it a priority and get all hardcore about it!
- You last an entire month without slipping up at all
- Then one day you DO slip up and you cry a little inside
- You make up for it the following day, and now you’re back on track again…
- Until you slip up again.
- Then one day becomes two, two days become three, and eventually you’ve given up entirely.
- But hey, you “gave it a shot!”
If you set New Year’s Resolutions, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about :) How are those going by the way?
I call this the “all or nothing” mentality. The second your slip ups go into two-day territory it all becomes a downhill spiral, making you feel more and more like a big fat dummy wondering why everyone else has their $hit together but you. But here’s a hint: they don’t. They only put the GOOD stuff on Facebook.
Now I’ve done this with my money, I’ve done this with my projects, and most recently I’ve
done this almost done this with my health.
Well, I’m here to tell you there’s been a new revolutionary strategy invented. It’s called:
“Do the best you can, dummy!”
Where you, *ahem*, do the best you can and not give up. Because when you give up you get zilch in return and ANYTHING is better than zilch, unless we’re talking about STDs (and I’m pretty sure we’re not talking about STDs, are we? Am I accidentally posting on ProtectionIsSexy.com again?).
Here are the rules to the game:
- You genuinely do the best that you can
- You adapt to life’s curve balls and only cry a little about it
- You don’t berate yourself for not accomplishing everything like a Mr./Mrs. perfect goody two-shoes
- And, most importantly, you DON’T GIVE UP
I’ve been following this strategy for three months now, and I can assure you it’s been a much more rewarding experience than simply going big or going home. It feels a little like winning a 3rd place ribbon, if you will. It’s not quite the best place to come in, but it’s a helluva lot better than getting “honorable mention” ;) And your parents will still buy you an ice cream cone later.
If you recall, my personal resolutions for 2014 were to cut out sugar and salt, and start exercising more to manage my blood pressure. So I set out to exercise every single day for at least 30 mins (hah!), check my blood pressure daily (worked for a good 3 months), stop eating stuff with massive amounts of salt in it (extremely hard), and then cut out my sugar intake (easier than salt, but still pretty hard).
For two months I was pretty solid, giving myself high fives every other second, but then the “slippage” started happening… First I missed a day or two cuz of work loads, then I skipped a week cuz I was feeling pissed off about it all and just wanting to give up, and then we had our 2nd beautiful baby boy and you can only guess what happened next. I gave up on everything entirely, until one day I snapped out of it and realized I needed to jump back on the ship. If for nothing else but my family.
Here’s what my “do the best you can, dummy!” habits look like now:
- Work out 1-3 times a week, whatever I can pull off
- Stop obsessing about the sodium levels on every package of yummy food and just cut back (Also NEVER eat at Taco Bell again – do you know how bad that place is for you??)
- Stop wondering how many spoonfuls of sugar I should eat daily, and instead limit my portions. (Though I have stopped putting it into my coffee every day and surprisingly don’t miss it a bit!)
- Enjoy a more stress-free, semi-healthier, lifestyle
“Semi-healthier” because I still have a long way to go in this area, but again, doing a few things every week vs NOTHING is much better in the long run. And I think that’s the part most of us miss. We get so dang down on ourselves, that “doing just a little” doesn’t seem quite worth it. We want to win the whole freakin’ race, and we want to be doing it now!
Perhaps this new strategy comes off as being complacent, it could be, but again when you compare it to the alternative of giving up it seems like a world of a difference. Kinda like when some of y’all got mad at me for drinking bottled water a few years back, even though it was the only method that got me to drink it. You told me to “just drink tap water – it’s free!” and “you’re being bad to the environment – stop it!” which were all indeed valid points, however after 30 years of trying all kinds of tricks and tips it just wasn’t happening. So I had to ask myself if drinking 0 glasses of water a day to save money was better than ultimately being healthy. And I bet you can guess which route I took.
(I’ll have you know, however, that I DID finally find a solution that solves all problems going forward! I’ll be blogging about that soon – I’m pretty psyched about it :))
So. All this to say that it’s OK not be perfect with every single goal you set. If you’re having trouble saving that $1,000 for your E-Fund, or nixing your $3,000 of credit card debt, that’s all fine and normal – just don’t entirely give up!! Continue stashing $10 here and paying off $20 there when possible, and if you happen to cross a nice streak of fortune down the road (whether mentally or financially), you can tweak your plan from there. Just never ever give up!
So please, bring back those goals of yours you set in January and let’s get this party started again! Only this time try simply doing what you can, dummy. No more going hardcore and burning out in the end. DOING SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING!
//End motivational speech
/// Goes to grab sugar-free coffee and check his blood pressure
[Photo cred: Jonny Hughes]
Killer resources and apps:
- Best Budget Templates & Spreadsheets (FREE)— The best free budget templates from around the community! Including the ones I use :)
- Personal Capital* (FREE) — A great app to track your investments and net worth. You can see an in-depth review we did here from a millionaire who checks it daily 😂
- You Need a Budget (YNAB)* (FREE TRIAL, then $14.99/mo or $98.99/year) — One of the BEST budgeting methods in the space, with new users saving $600 on avg their first two months, and more than $6,000 over their first year! Check out my friend Vic’s review of YNAB here that went on to completely change his finances 💪
- Digit (FREE 6 mo. Trial, then $5/mo) — This is one of my favorite apps for automatically saving money, and I even came on board as an advisor I believed in them so much! You can see my full review on Digit here.
- Acorns* ($3-$5/mo) – Similar to Digit, this app helps you automatically INVEST money by rounding up all your transactions to the nearest dollar and then investing it right away for you. My full review of Acorns can be found here.
- Honey (FREE) — By far my favorite coupon service out there! Click the Honey button any time you're about to buy something online, and BOOM - any discounts it finds will be automatically applied at checkout. You can see my write up on them here.
- Credit Karma* (FREE) — An easy way to check and monitor your credit score AND report! See my full review of these guys here.
- My Favorite Blogs + Books < -- Click here to see all my other recommendations!