More Tricks to Accomplish Your Goals Faster

A couple of weeks ago we blogged about the power of writing down goals. The response from people was pretty good, but even *better* were some of the other tips and tricks people do to help them reach their goals faster! So rather than keep them buried in the comments for 1/100th of the world to see, I wanted to pimp them out today in hopes it helps some of y’all out as well.

First up, we have Mel from Here’s what she’s currently doing:

One of my goals for 2014 is to lose some of the weight I put on while I was on tour. I write it on a white board and slapped it up on the fridge. And I add my weight at the end of each month to it. It’s pretty much the first time I’ve ever committed to losing weight and having it work.

This is not the first time we’ve heard of the “fridge trick,” but it always bears repeating. Karen from Money Saving Enthusiast once wrote up an excellent piece on using the refrigerator to your advantage, only with tacking your *receipt* on it instead. Which “serves as an informal inventory for what is inside. It lets everyone in the house know what was purchased at the store. So if anyone asks, what is there to eat, they can check the receipt. It takes the work out of searching for items to eat [and] helps to not waste food.” I always think about that now anytime I ask my wife what kind of snacks we have to eat around here ;) It drives her crazy…

The second and third tip I wanna shed light on both come from Mr. John Wolf. Here’s his first one:

“I have a white-board at work that tasks get written on and I have some little magnetic frames with things I want in them… garage, pool, seadoo, etc. Well, while I really would like a garage, I’ll probably not get one unless I get a new house. Same with the pool. The Seadoo just adds to the problem. My debt problem. Now, in one of those frames, is a picture of a person jumping in the air with the words “Debt Free”. I’m happy to say that I’ve paid off three of my low-hanging credit card bills so far. I look at that little picture every day. I know it helps.”

Again, a fairly common one, but obviously one that works pretty well! As evidence in our last post on this subject too. But this SECOND tip of him I found to not only be unique, but VERY very awesome. And, quite hilarious for some reason :)

“One extra thing I do though, is create actionable passwords to log in to my work computer; such as: “Payoffbills”, “Payoffcredit”, or even “Workoutmore” (that one didn’t work!).”

Haha… Imagine changing all your passwords to goals?? I know tons of women who like to reference their boyfriends or kids, etc on them (“ILoveJohnny”, “babysue2013” etc), but I’m digging this action-oriented approach even more. If I were to follow along, I’d probably change my bank passwords to “DollarDollarBillsYall” and my mortgage pass to “SUCKIT!!!!”

Lots of fun you can have there ;) (Now don’t go trying to hack my accounts!)

I then thought I’d ask Twitter for their tips on reaching goals faster. Here’s what they said (and you can follow me here too if you’d like: @BudgetsAreSexy):

  • @Ice_Monk said: “Get up 30 minutes earlier everyday.”
  • @Studenomics said: “Set small daily goals to help you reach a huge monthly goal.”
  • @OnTargetCoach said: “Put your TV in the closet. That was the only semester I made honor roll in college”
  • @BudgetForMore said: “Have someone to hold you accountable and be your cheerleader” – Yup! And do you know what one of the biggest ways to do this is? Sharing it with the world on a blog :)
  • @EllStar said: “Ensure success. Have a savings goal? Make automatic withdrawals to your savings account. Have a debt repayment goal? Same.”
  • @WiggleChicken said:” Set “process” goals instead of big/scary/ugly regular goals.”

And then some from the jokers in the room:

computer monitor sticky notes

Personally, I like to use sticky notes on my computer monitor to keep me motivated and remembering goals. Every few weeks/months I swap them out, and often times they’re sayings or phrases too instead of actual financial goals. Here are some of the past ones I’ve used:

There’s also a sticky note method of budgeting too we blogged about a ways back, good stuff…

So yeah – tons of different ways to stay motivated and accountable! And many of them relate to writing them down somewhere, and then being able to see them as often as possible so you don’t drift away. Here’s the link again to our original post if you missed it: The Power of Writing Goals Down

Keep hustlin’, everyone! You get closer to the dream with every day that passes!

[Passwords pic by Stiftelsen / Computer pic by Eric E Castro]

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  1. Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way April 28, 2014 at 5:39 AM

    These are all great tips from my favorite bloggers! I’m more into “Set really low goals”, since I’m taking a baby steps to reach my goals and be financially independent someday.

  2. A terrible husband... April 28, 2014 at 5:49 AM

    Love the password idea. I use sticky notes around my computer, but this is so much more fun.

  3. downunder sugarglider April 28, 2014 at 6:52 AM

    You are psychic! I soooo needed to read this one today. This is the 2nd time today someone suggested to me an accountability/cheer squad buddy. The universe is talking to me. The password idea is soooo cool – nice.

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      Haha well good! Now hopefully you run with it and make it happen! :)

  4. Jon @ Money Smart Guides April 28, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    Great ideas from everyone. I like the idea of changing your passwords to your goals. For me, it’s all about visualization. I have reminders of my ultimate goal all over my house and as my lock screen on my smartphone. The more I can keep my goal in the front of my mind, the greater the chance I will reach it. After all, the old saying out of sight, out of mind is true!

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      The lock screen is a good idea!

  5. Aldo @ MDN April 28, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    I always thought writing down goals was silly until I decided to actually write down goals. I quickly found out that writing them down helped me accomplish them faster. I like all the different ideas from everyone, maybe I’ll try some of them. Mine is simple, just write it on a whiteboard at work and I have a notepad with my goals written down at home. I started with a simple “save $500” goal written on the whiteboard, which I had told myself on multiple occasions before but never was able to do it for some reason, once I met that goal I got so excited that I started writing more and more goals and meeting some of them. I now have so many goals, some short term, some medium term, and some long term goals. It’s really cool when you start crossing off things from that list.

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Exactly!! The crossing off part is the best of it all! :)

  6. No Nonsense Landlord April 28, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    A daily to-do list helps me. Looking at my financial goals at work also helps, to remember why I am there. Sometimes I even look up vacation spots, or “for sale” homes in those same warm areas.

    If you can vision the Goal, look for the steps to get there, and live the goal.

  7. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life April 28, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    I’m in need of a little motivation right now. Mostly, to get up and do stuff when I have time rather than squandering my life checking facebook for the 50th time and pretending I’m trying to increase my social media reach.

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Facebook is the worst for that, haha… I’ve deleted my entire personal account cuz it was annoying me more that I was enjoying it :)

  8. Camille @ Challenge Mantra April 28, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    Very cool with the password idea! I also like the white board idea from brokegirlrich. Making your goals visible makes you more aware of them.

    Thanks for the tips, J!

  9. Shannon @ Financially Blonde April 28, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    I put sticky notes on the mirror in my bathroom so every morning/evening when I am brushing my teeth they are staring back at me, judging me and motivating me until I can rip them off and add a new one.

  10. John @ Sprout Wealth April 28, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    As a few others have said, I love the password idea! I sort of use that with our online banking as we have several accounts with our main bank and gave crazy names to them. The funny thing is the bank can see them on their end which meant my wife got to have an interesting conversation with someone at our local branch recently because of that. Now that we both work from home the accountability/cheer buddy works big for us.

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      Haha I didn’t think about that part of it ;)

  11. Brian@ Debt Discipline April 28, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Great ideas! I’m passing this one along to my children – “Put your TV in the closet. That was the only semester I made honor roll in college” I made add phone and ipad to the list too.

  12. Even Steven April 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Really like the password goal, great idea. As much as I struggle with passwords I will have to pass. I’m still sticking with the boring old write it on a post-it note/notebook and cross it off the list when I’m done. Besides writing them down on the blog, best accountability ever!

  13. Wunderwriter April 28, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    WOW, so much great stuff today! I was already procrastinating on changing all my passwords, but after reading that idea I absolutely am going to put that one into practice today!

    I’m still writing stuff down the old fashioned way (maybe not that old fashioned, I’m using an Excel spreadsheet), and I continue to find that works best for me, but anything that gets me motivated to hit my emergency fund number by June 30 works for me.

    Great input today, thank you (as always) for reminding me that I’m a work in progress and I don’t have to be perfect today, I just have to keep moving forward.

    BTW, I put a stickie on my computer screen: PAY DOWN HELOC $1000 PER MONTH

    I haven’t been able to crack that nut, let’s see if this helps.

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      I hope it does!! Keep me updated, okay? You can email me anytime :) j @ – glad you’re enjoying the blog still!

  14. @WilliamLipovsky, First Quarter Finance April 28, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Haha, my passwords are sometimes my automotive reminders: remember to check oil monthly, check tire pressure monthly, change fuel filter, etc.

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:13 PM

      Haha nice

  15. Jennifer April 28, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    I thought I came up with the password/goal idea! We’ve wanted to go to Europe to see my best friend for a few years now but getting out of debt/having a baby/etc have got in the way. As soon as we finished our debt snowball in September 2013 I changed one of my regular passwords to be about going to Europe in 2014! And guess what, we went in February with everything paid for in cash and had a great time! Then we spent even less than expected there of our cash and were able to come home and put in new Pergo floors in our living room/dining room with that cash in March, much sooner than expected. Now I am just planning out our next goal/password…besides having baby boy #2 in May or early June!

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      Rock on! Love hearing that.

  16. EL @ MoneyWatch101 April 28, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    I set up future reminders on my cell calendar months ahead with the goal written down, that way if I happen to forget its a quick reminder. Passwords is a great tool to use.

  17. Christine @ The Pursuit of Green April 28, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Nice timing for a Monday morning… I’m sure you intentionally did that! Thanks J$! I think I’ll go ahead and stickify my screen until I’m forced to peel off goals so I can see my screen.

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      I did, haha…

  18. Bobby April 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    I don`t want to jump on the “write down your goals it totally works” bandwagon but does really work.

    Something I have found extremely useful is to work out your goal you want to achieve. Then break it down to smaller pieces and then break those pieces down into daily things you have to achieve.

    Keep a journal only for your daily to do list for your goals. Then as you complete each item/s you have done for the day scratch them out. It gives you great momentum when you can see ,even just on paper that what you did that day took you closer to your goal. It also keeps your goal in your mind the whole time and makes you feel accountable to yourself. The trick is also to keep the journal open the whole time on your desk, so you are forced to see what you have to do for that day.

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      Yes, I like the “keeping it open” part for sure. I always forget to do stuff like that so it’s a good way to trick yourself into remembering :)

  19. Natalie @ Financegirl April 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    It seems like we are on the same wave length this week! Great post right in line with mine on vision. I think that all these tricks will definitely help people. I’m trying to stick to getting up earlier than normal, but it can be tough sometimes – sleep is important, too!

  20. Kristin W April 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    This kind of goes against the topic, but I’m so obsessed with organization that I spend almost as much time thinking about my goals, organizing them and writing them down than I do actually working on them. So my “trick” lately is this: when I get the urge to organize, map out or hack my goals, I stop what I’m doing and just work on them instead. And then I organize them afterward, if I still feel the need.

    1. Kathy J April 28, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      @Kristin W

      I hear ya sister! I keep pinning & writing down organization tips too and end up not implementing them. A few weeks ago, I started to forgo the “pre” organizing process and just start purging! What an amazing and freeing feeling to get rid of stuff.

      It had been about 4 years since I’ve purged clothes out of my closet & I ended up with three bags in about 10 minutes. I’ve been making calls to find a local consignment shop because most of the clothes still have tags (wasted money! – I don’t do that anymore!).

      Does anyone know a local consignment shop in/near Glendora/Covina/San Dimas California? All of the ones’s I’ve called want “brand names” and I don’t have the funds to shop Tommy Hillfiger, Chanel, etc…

    2. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      HAH! At least you’re aware of that :) Good problem to have though as organization = SEXY!!

  21. Done by Forty April 28, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    “Set really low goals”. Ha! Only half a joke, I think. Success breeds success, so I actually think booking some early wins is a way to break a slump.

    I like that password idea, too. Sneaky good!

  22. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer April 28, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Love the jokester tweets: funny!!!! I’m a huge fan of post it notes too: but lately, all I have to do is think about my kids and my motivation to pay off our debt just keeps on rising. Gotta do this for the kids!

  23. John Schneider of Debt Free Guys April 28, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Fun and rewarding read! I’ve actually used the goals/password strategy for years. As I often have weight and money goals, it’s easy to hit the letter/number requirements. I, also, set goal reminders on my phone. If possible, I time them when I think I may be weak, such as setting a reminder in the mid-afternoon to avoid snacking.

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      Great trick!! Phone alarms are great since they’re always with us 24/7 :)

  24. Mel @ brokeGIRLrich April 28, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Thanks for the mention! So excited the PF blogosphere knows I’m chubby now :oP

    Lots of great tips though. I totally do the computer monitor thing too, although sometimes they get so layered, they become nearly useless.

  25. Debt and the Girl April 28, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    These are fantastic tips! I’ve never heard of some of them before, such as the password trick – how clever! Personally, I like the idea of setting goals, but I often struggle to achieve them. I wonder if it’s due to “forgetting” about them, or not making them as much of a priority as I should be. Perhaps I need to try out some of these.

  26. Will S. April 28, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    “Get up 30 minutes earlier everyday”? So tomorrow I get up at 6, the next day 5:30, then 5, then 4:30… after a few days I won’t be getting any sleep at all! ;)

    1. J. Money May 5, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      You should probably stop at 3:00am :)

  27. Marie @ My Personal Finance Journey April 30, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    I’m a big fan of sticky notes too! I also downloaded desktop reminders, especially if my client asks me to remind him/her for specific dates.

  28. Karen @ Money Saving Enthusiast May 7, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Hey Gansta of Budgets, Thanks for including me. Here’s my sad lil’ rap attempt:

    It was all a dream,
    I used to read J$ magazine(blog)
    Salt and Pepa (S&P), and Heavy D up in the limousine.
    Hangin’ budgets on my walls
    Every Saturday Rap Attack, Suze Orman, Marley Mall
    I let me tape rock, ’til my tape popped.

    . . . .and if you don’t know, now you know.

    I thought I’d give you a good laugh! I hope you and the family are doing well. Say hi to J Penny : )

    1. J. Money May 9, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Haha…. way to tweak one of my all-time fave songs EVER! You gangsta, you.