In 2009, I decided I wanted to be debt-free. I was swamped with a credit card bill, medical bills, and student loans totaling about $83,000. Well, six years later, I have about $18,000 left!
Has it been difficult? Ah, yeah!
Is it worth it? Ah, double yeah!
Can anyone do it? Absolutely!
It all starts with making a decision and sticking with that decision.
Making a decision is way more than simply saying, "I want to be debt-free." Although, making that declaration is a start, the real work is in making all of your habits line up with that decision.
For starters, I made the decision not to be a victim and to stop feeling sorry for myself. After reading an article by Dave Ramsey, I began to follow his steps on snowballing debt.
After that, I didn't accummlate any other form of debt....clearly I already had enough debt! I made my habits of careless spending and temptations to acquire more debt take a back seat. I stopped making excuses for why I should foolishly spend my income. My habits took a shift.
My financial shifting gears moment was when I had a money breakdown in 2009. I had this overwhelming feeling that I would never be able to get out of this debt trap! I decided to make the decision to change my hopeless thinking and do something about my situation.
Whether you want to be debt free or reach some other goal, you have to shift gears (change your way of thinking and overall approach) because whatever you are currently doing...is not working.
Here are 3 ways to make the shift:
1. Get your priorities in order.
Pick the area that you want to focus on. Write it down with action steps and completion dates. Stick to your list. Sure, life will happen. I had to buy a new car while in the midst of paying my debt down (When I say buy, I mean with cash. Not a car note. A car note would delay my goal). As a result, you may have to change some dates. Overall, stick with your plan as much as possible.
2. Stay focused.
Keep the main thing, the main thing. If you are starting a business, stay on that goal. Jumping from goal to goal to goal will leave you FOREVER JUMPING. You will never finish anything. Use affirmations and journaling to help you stay on track. Remind yourself of the end goal and the "why" you are doing what you are doing. That will ground you.
3. You need an A-Team.
Your A-team is your inner circle. I don't care who you are, me against the world is played! Certain people are placed in your life to keep you on track. Just go with it! A close friend of mine paid off all of her debt by the time she turned 30. Her story motivated me to do something different in my life. I have empowered her to keep me on track with my debt free journey. Empower trusted individuals to help you stay on task.
Answer these questions in your journal today:
So what area do you need to shift gears in?
Out of the 3 ways to shift gears, what can you work on this week?