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motivation - and where to find it - a guest post

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Today’s guest post is from fellow m-network member paidtwice over at I’ve paid for it twice already… where she blogs about her progress in snowflaking her way out of debt. If you like this post (which you will) why not subscribe to her feed.

One of the biggest ways I personally have found to be successful in managing my money is to know myself. And in knowing myself, know what types of things are motivating for me versus what types of things discourage me. What is one woman’s motivation is another woman’s downfall, after all. That’s why there can be so many different financial gurus giving their own personal spin on basically the same types of advice, and be a market and an audience for a good number of them.

A healthy dose of reality is essential for all of us, but if all that reality does is depress us and keep us from moving forward, there’s no reason to wallow in it. For some, a constant reminder of how far they have to go is motivating. For some, it is defeating. Know yourself and which you are, and be true to it. You’ll make much more progress that way.

My motivation comes in micro-goals, and it took me a while to figure that out. I know my overall picture, but I don’t spend a lot of time focusing on it. $30,000 in debt is a whole lot and the number is so large as to seem unreal to me. But breaking that number into smaller micro-goals works to keep me motivated and focused on the overall goal without setting me up for depression and anxiety. I focus on one debt at a time, and just think about reducing that total while paying the minimums elsewhere. That, of course, reduces the overall total as well, but until I got dangerously close to getting under that $30,000 mark, I really didn’t give that big number much thought. And once I am under it, I’ll stop thinking about the total again until it hovers near $20,000.

I also work at making small changes. Those small changes add up to a big difference, but I simply focus on the small changes. I don’t try to figure out ways to apply an extra $1000 to debt. Or even an extra $100. I find ways over and over again to apply an extra $10 here, and extra $20 there, and over the course of a month that adds up to more than I ever imagined.

Small things motivate me. Large things overwhelm me. I’ve learned to not ignore the big picture, but to not completely focus on it and focus on the small things I feel I can accomplish, and let the big picture take care of itself.

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7 comments for “motivation - and where to find it - a guest post”

  1. Thanks for publishing my post! Hope you are having a great vacation!

    Posted by paidtwice | November 28, 2007, 12:32 pm
  2. I like microgoals as well. Like knowing that I have to write a certain number of words for an assignment this week is feeling overwhelming. But if I think that I have to write a bunch of shorter pieces, it’s easier.

    Posted by Mrs. Micah | November 28, 2007, 6:49 pm
  3. Nice post. It is good to discover how we operate, what motivates us, what discourages us, etc. Thanks for sharing what you’ve discovered about yourself.

    Posted by Ryan Healy | November 30, 2007, 2:20 pm

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