goal setting http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10145/all en-US You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_map_000041834602_0.jpg" alt="man accomplished goals within a year and traveling with map" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are days when I feel incredibly productive, and others when I do not even get off the couch. Can you relate? On those couch days, I enjoy marveling at the accomplishments of others.</p> <p>Imagine what you could achieve by stringing together a few of those productive days&hellip;or even 365 of them! Here are a few incredible, inspiring, productive things your fellow humans have done in a year. Let the motivation begin!</p> <h2>1. Stroll the Continent</h2> <p>There are a number of people who have either run or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_walked_across_the_United_States">walked across the United States</a> in less than a year's time. Many embark on such an adventure to raise awareness of certain medical or social causes. Take Louis Michael Figueroa, for example. He was only 16 when he ran from New Brunswick, NJ to San Francisco, CA as a promise to a friend who was dying of bone cancer. Figueroa became the youngest person to make the trek &mdash; in just 60 days. It makes that recommended <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-walk-more">10,000 steps a day</a> seem like not such a big deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-adventurous-things-you-should-do-before-you-die?ref=seealso">7 Simple Ways to Get Motivated for Your Workout</a>)</p> <h2>2. Sail the World</h2> <p>Here's another distance feat: Francis Joyon <a href="http://www.worldrecordacademy.com/sports/fastest_round_the_world_sailing_world_record_set_by_Francis_Joyon_80127.htm">sailed around the world</a> solo in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes, and six seconds back in 2008. To put that in perspective, he made that wicked fast time journeying nearly 21,600 nautical miles. In less than two months. Alone at sea. Whoa.</p> <h2>3. Pay Off Debt</h2> <p>I am majorly inspired by the story of Jackie (<a href="http://thepaleomama.com/2013/08/how-we-paid-off-more-than-27000-of-debt-in-6-months-and-still-ate-paleo/">The Paleo Mama</a>) and her husband. The duo were able to pay off more than $27,000 in debt over the course of just six months using the Ramsey Method and some smart planning. Along with taking a hard look at their budget and bills, the family made some big modifications to their lifestyle as a whole, including selling one of their cars, buying most things second hand, canceling cable and expensive smart phones, and using a cash system for most purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt?ref=seealso">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Raise Millions</h2> <p>We've all heard of crowdsourced fundraising campaigns, and some are certainly more successful than others. Take the GoFundMe campaign for <a href="https://medium.com/@vonwong/my-video-raised-2-million-in-less-than-a-year-heres-how-you-can-do-it-too-46c0ed26b6fe">Eliza O'Neill</a>, a beautiful four-year-old girl with a degenerative brain disease called Sanfilippo syndrome. The amazing story, as told by photographer/videographer Benjamin Von Wong, raised more than $2 million in less than a year. This money will all go toward a clinical trial to find a cure.</p> <h2>5. Plant a Forest</h2> <p>In September 2010, a Pakistani soldier named Muhammed Yousuf Jamil <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/culture/pakistani-soldier-plants-20101-trees-in-one-day-sets-new-world-record.html">planted 20,101 trees</a> in just 18 hours and 40 minutes. As you can imagine, this accomplishment set a new world record in the Guinness book. For those of you curious about the math, that's a whopping 18 trees per minute. The previous record? An impressive 15,170 trees, held by Canadian Ken Chaplin back in 2001.</p> <h2>6. Lose All Fear</h2> <p>I first heard the term &quot;rejection therapy&quot; a few months ago on <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/01/16/377239011/by-making-a-game-out-of-rejection-a-man-conquers-fear">Invisibilia</a>, but concept has stuck with me. <a href="http://fearbuster.com">Jia Jiang</a> claims he completely broke through his fears of rejection through requesting crazy things from strangers for 100 days straight &mdash; so, less than a year. He is now featured on everything from Ted Talks to The Huffington Post to Forbes for this unusual, effective method of self-rehabilitation.</p> <h2>7. Read Books</h2> <p>Many of us set some reading goals for the new year, but I've never heard one quite like Nina Sankovitch's. She <a href="http://www.readallday.org/blog/tolstoy-and-the-purple-chair/">read a book per day</a> for an entire year after her oldest sister died of cancer in 2005. That's 365 books by 365 different authors in 365 days. Sankovitch chronicled this chapter in her life by writing a memoir called &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061999857/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0061999857&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WNMAEHTFW46MELLC">Tolstoy and the Purple Chair</a>.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Please share your favorite inspiring story &mdash; maybe it stars you!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours">Successful New Year&#039;s Resolutions Have This One Thing in Common — Does Yours?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-go-for-inspiration">10 Places to Go for Inspiration</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-more-eureka-shower-moments">How to Have More Eureka! Shower Moments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don&#039;t Want To! Secrets to Self-Motivation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity goal setting goals inspiration persistence Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1358025 at http://www.wisebread.com Successful New Year's Resolutions Have This One Thing in Common — Does Yours? http://www.wisebread.com/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new-years-resolutions-notes-Dollarphotoclub_73113952.jpg" alt="new years resolutions notes" title="new years resolutions notes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>About <a href="http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/">45% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions</a>, little wishes with wings sent out into the universe on high hopes that they'll come true. Yet only 8% of all resolutions are successful before the year's end, and more than half of them are forfeited within six weeks.</p> <p>It's a grim forecast, but don't be dissuaded. Research shows that we're more apt to achieve our goals and aspirations if we set out to do so on the first of the year. Chalk it up to the &quot;fresh start effect&quot; &mdash; <a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2204126">that little boost of willpower our psyche lends us</a> when we attempt something new or difficult on a clean slate. Timing isn't everything, but when it comes to achieving our goals, it's truly half the battle. So just by timing your resolution with the new year you're giving yourself an instant leg-up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-most-effective-times-for-setting-a-new-goal">The 4 Most Effective Times for Setting a New Goal</a>)</p> <p>But how do you ensure that your New Year's Resolution lands among the successful 8%?</p> <p>Here's the scientifically-backed secret.</p> <h2>The Secret Is Focus</h2> <p>What all successful resolutions have in common is that they are focused, singular goals (not a long laundry list) equipped with a step-by-step plan of execution. (Hope is not a plan, as the saying goes.)</p> <p>Here's why this formula works.</p> <p>Most resolutions (eat healthier, exercise more, make better financial decisions, call Mom once a week, etc.) require that a person <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/hea/29/4/374/">break one habit and replace it</a> with a healthier or more desirable one. In order to adopt a new habit, it's crucial to have a game plan outlining exactly how this new, desired behavior will be integrated into daily life. And <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201212/why-new-years-resolutions-fail">it must include small steps</a> that will eventually lead you to reach your end goal.</p> <p>So when you sit down to brainstorm your resolution, remember to settle on just one goal, and make is specific. Examples of specific, singular goals include quit smoking (versus adopt a healthier lifestyle), host a monthly family dinner (versus spend more time with family), join and become active in an online dating community (versus fall in love), and build a $5,000 financial safety net (versus spend less, save more).</p> <h2>Next Comes the Plan</h2> <p>Once you've hacked any semblance of vagueness out of your resolution, it's time to map out your plan of attack &mdash; complete with benchmarks, timetables, and rewards.</p> <p>If your resolution is to lose 40 pounds, decide exactly what exercises you'll do, where and when you'll do them, and what behaviors you'll nix in their stead. For example, you might decide that you'll go snowshoeing around the park for 45 minutes three times a week with a podcast in your ears rather than watch your usual morning television news show from the couch. And don't forget to reward yourself with a new purchase or fun weekend outing for each month of 100% success. Even the smallest of rewards goes a long way to motivate a difficult change in behavior.</p> <p><em>What are your resolutions this year? How will to stick with them? Please motivate us to complete ours in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-productive-things-to-do-in-january-to-start-the-new-year-off-right">31 Productive Things to Do in January to Start the New Year Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-saving-new-years-goals-that-you-can-actually-keep">10 Money-Saving New Year&#039;s Goals That You Can Actually Keep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-resolutions-you-should-skip-this-year">4 Money Resolutions You Should Skip This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-bite-sized-money-resolutions-to-make-2015-your-biggest-year-yet">25 Bite-Sized Money Resolutions to Make 2015 Your Biggest Year Yet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development goal setting goals new years resolutions Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1270662 at http://www.wisebread.com The 4 Most Effective Times for Setting a New Goal http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-most-effective-times-for-setting-a-new-goal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-4-most-effective-times-for-setting-a-new-goal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-exercising-98353364-small.jpg" alt="woman exercising" title="woman exercising" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a bit of science behind birthday wishes and the resolutions we make on New Year's Day.</p> <p>Research shows that we're more apt to achieve our goals and aspirations if we set out to do so at the start of a new month, the first of the year, or after we celebrate a birthday. Chalk it up to the &quot;fresh start effect&quot; &mdash; <a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2204126">that little boost of willpower our psyche lends us</a> when we attempt something new or difficult on a clean slate. Timing isn't everything, but when it comes to achieving our goals it's truly half the battle. Be it dieting or a pledge to call Mom more often, our odds for success are increasingly favorable if we begin the challenge with a tabula rasa. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-steps-to-achieving-all-your-goals?ref=seealso">6 Steps to Achieving All Your Goals</a>)</p> <p>Read on for step-by-step guide for figuring out the best time to start chasing after your next personal or professional ambition.</p> <h2>Give Yourself a Fresh Start</h2> <p>We're more likely to tackle our goals with vigor and a heightened level of commitment if we start the journey on the day after a holiday, the day after our birthday, New Year's Day, the first day of the month, or the first day of the semester on the scholastic calendar. Researchers have found that we reach our goals more readily when we create a new beginning, thereby distancing ourselves from our past failures and false starts.</p> <p>&quot;Framing certain days as opportunities for fresh starts may help people make choices that maximize their odds of achieving their aspirations,&quot; concludes the study on the &quot;fresh start effect.&quot; &quot;For example, employers could potentially reframe transition points in the workplace (a desk move or a return from vacation) to increase the adoption of aspirational activities.&quot;</p> <p>However, it's important to note that we tend to lose steam as we move farther in time from our fresh start date. But if we survey and savor all the little successes that nudge us toward our end goal, we'll be more apt to stay on track.</p> <h2>Is Your Resolution Related to Your Health? Start on a Monday</h2> <p>Research shows that <a href="http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=74703">we're more likely to think about our health and well-being on a Monday</a>. So, why fight it? Use this opportunity at the start of the week to assess your diet, exercise habits, and lifestyle choices. Make changes and set goals accordingly.</p> <p>For example, Lisa Bonchek Adams, a Connecticut-based mother of three who <a href="https://twitter.com/adamslisa">famously tweets her experience living with stage four breast cancer</a>, is the creator of #mondaypleads, a social media campaign designed to encourage people to make a doctor appointment they've been putting off every Monday.</p> <h2>Break Bad Habits, Start Better Ones After a Change in Circumstances</h2> <p>We can more easily break bad habits like smoking or adopt new positive behaviors like catching up with the news each morning if we <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15982113">begin the process after experiencing a major change in lifestyle or environment</a>, such as a move to a new house or the start of a new marriage or job. Research shows that altering our lives in significant ways helps facilitate new changes to our routine. For example, if we aspire to become a more diligent student, it'll be easier for us to adopt a stricter study schedule while cutting down on our time spent watching television if we transfer to a different college, change our area of study, or move into a new living environment.</p> <p><em>How do you decide to start on your next goal?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-4-most-effective-times-for-setting-a-new-goal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-men-carry-these-7-things-around-with-them-do-you">Successful Men Carry These 7 Things Around With Them — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-millennials-do-later-than-previous-generations-did">5 Things Millennials Do Later Than Previous Generations Did</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ambitious-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Ambitious People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-youre-not-reaching-your-goals-and-how-to-change-that">10 Reasons Why You&#039;re Not Reaching Your Goals (and How to Change That)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips achievement goal setting goals success Thu, 25 Sep 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1219251 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/meditation-4958740-small.jpg" alt="meditating" title="meditating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is an old adage that says &quot;if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.&quot;</p> <p>In other words, change is good.</p> <p>Of course, implementing real change in our lives isn't always easy. We are a culture of habit &mdash; equating the familiar with the warm and fuzzy concepts of safety and security, even if the &quot;familiar&quot; isn't necessarily good for us. As a result, we resist change as long as we can, all the while talking about it, wishing for it, and promising to do it tomorrow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today" target="_blank">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>The solution is to find a way to introduce change gently, to incorporate it into our daily lives in a way that makes it as minimally invasive as possible, so that by the time we realize we've made a major change, it's already become a comfortable habit that we've learned to embrace instead of dread.</p> <p>And as with so much else in life these days, there's an app for that. Several in fact, and I've listed some of my favorites here. Use them to introduce some small changes into your day and let the momentum carry you on to bigger and better things.</p> <h2>1. Simply Being</h2> <p>If mindset is truly the key to success, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fsimply-being-guided-meditation%252Fid347418999%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">then this little app</a> will help you open that door. Choose how long you want to meditate &mdash; 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes &mdash; and then start your day with a guided meditation. You can also choose to add nature sounds and/or music to your meditation, as well as listen to just the music without the voiceover. Available for <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fsimply-being-guided-meditation%252Fid347418999%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iPhone, iPad</a>, Blackberry, Windows, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004VSIEL4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004VSIEL4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">Android devices</a>.</p> <h2>2. Duolingo</h2> <p>I've mentioned this app before, but I'm mentioning it again because <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fduolingo-learn-spanish-french%252Fid570060128%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">it's definitely one you should have</a> in your arsenal of mobile tools. Duolingo is a free app that gives you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-learn-a-language" target="_blank">language lessons</a> and in exchange, you help to translate the World Wide Web (when you're ready of course). Currently they offer French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Italian. I'm learning the first three simultaneously (which is a challenge) and absolutely love this app. Each lesson takes 8 to 10 minutes tops, making it easy to work into your schedule. The unique interactive interface almost guarantees that you remember what you've learned. The app is available for <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fduolingo-learn-spanish-french%252Fid570060128%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iPhone</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.duolingo" target="_blank">Android</a> devices, or you can use the web-based interface if you prefer to expand your horizons from your PC.</p> <h2>3. Workout Trainer</h2> <p>Okay, how many of you had &quot;work out&quot; or &quot;get in shape&quot; on your list of resolutions this year? And now, how many years has that resolution been on your list?</p> <p>The problem with working out is that it's addictive...but you have to actually do it before the addiction kicks in, and getting over that starting hump isn't always easy.</p> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fworkout-trainer%252Fid395686735%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Enter the Workout Trainer</a>. This is by far the best workout app I've found to date. There is a pro version, but the free version offers more than enough to get you up and moving on a regular basis. Choose from a variety of workouts, add your favorite music, and you're ready to go. No equipment is needed, detailed instructional videos for each move are included, and you can connect with their workout community or share your progress via email and social media platforms. Available for <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fworkout-trainer%252Fid395686735%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iPhone, iPad</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007QV1H7G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007QV1H7G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">Android devices</a>.</p> <h2>4. Nike+</h2> <p>The <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fnike%252B-running%252Fid387771637%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Nike+ app</a> uses the GPS on your phone (no extra devices or plugins required) to track your workout and show your progress. I've started walking in the morning, taking my dog along with me as part of his leash training. It's a simple app, but effective, and I get excited when I hear the computerized voice tell me that I've reached my goal or when I see that I've knocked two minutes off my time. (Of course, that's probably because my 90-lb dog is pulling me faster than he did the day before.) You can &quot;friend&quot; other Nike+ users and see how you measure up, which is good for those of us who have a competitive nature. And did I mention it's free? <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fnike%252B-running%252Fid387771637%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Click for iOS</a> or <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nike.plusgps" target="_blank">Android here</a>.</p> <h2>5. YOGAmazing</h2> <p>It's not always easy to make it to the yoga studio on a regular basis or, as in my case, to even find a yoga studio that's nearby. <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fyogamazing-yoga-video-app%252Fid323302717%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">YOGAmazing is the solution</a> to that problem, and you won't need a player or a studio to make it happen. The app includes 50 yoga sessions designed to increase your flexibility and bring a little body-mind-spirit balance. Each session is 25 minutes long, and you can favorite the ones you like best for easy recall. Available for <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fyogamazing-yoga-video-app%252Fid323302717%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iPhone, iPad</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0062AC5C8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0062AC5C8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">Android</a>.</p> <h2>6. Office Yoga</h2> <p>Can't get away for a full yoga session? Then use this app to do some <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Foffice-yoga%252Fid326458639%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">beneficial poses at the office</a>. The app includes 75 sessions, organized both by time of day as well as situation, so you'll find stretches you can do while on the phone as well as more invigorating exercises designed for your walk to lunch. Available for iPhone and iPad.</p> <h2>7. Lumosity</h2> <p>I'm sure you've seen commercials for this app by now, but I'm going to list it anyway, just in case.</p> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Flumosity-mobile%252Fid577232024%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Lumosity is a wonderful collection</a> of brain games designed to test your mental acuity and give your gray matter a serious workout. There is a more comprehensive web-based version, but the app offers a free trial that includes five sessions of three games each and a pro version of the app for $9.99 per year. Even though the app version isn't as robust as the web-based version, it's still well worth the 10 bucks.</p> <p>Use it daily to improve your memory, increase your observation skills, and just generally make yourself smarter.</p> <h2>8. Lifetick</h2> <p>Want to get more in touch with the &quot;real you?&quot; <a href="http://lifetick.com/index.html" target="_blank">Lifetick offers a goal setting app</a> that doesn't just track your progress, it also helps you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-with-storytelling" target="_blank">establish your core values</a>, i.e., what's really important to you. The result is that your goals become more personalized, and by using the SMART goal-setting method, you can track your way to success. There's also a journal feature and status widgets to help keep you inspired and on track. There's a free version available, and it's $20 a year for the pro version. You can also create a bucket list for your long-term future and you can share your goals with other members for extra motivation. Available for iPhone and Android devices.</p> <h2>9. Lift</h2> <p>If <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-changes-or-small-changes" target="_blank">you want to start small</a>, this is the app for you. <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Flift-goal-tracking%252Fid530911645%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Lift allows you to choose simple habits</a> you'd like to implement &mdash; from flossing your teeth to going to bed before midnight &mdash; and then you can &quot;check in&quot; every time you perform that task.</p> <p>The app tracks your progress and other users can give you kudos for your follow through to add to your feeling of satisfaction. <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Flift-goal-tracking%252Fid530911645%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Available for iPhone</a> right now, but the website promises a web version is on the way &mdash; you can sign up for future updates to know when new versions are released.</p> <h2>10. Instinct</h2> <p>This <a href="http://getinstinct.com/" target="_blank">last one is currently web-based only</a>, but the creators say they're working on a mobile version, and it's just so darn cool, I felt like this list wouldn't be complete without it. Instinct is the new (and fun) way to learn guitar. It uses the built-in microphone on your computer to listen to the notes you play and correct you as you go. It can teach you both songs and riffs, and it also has a tuner to help you find that perfect pitch for each string. It's free and offers a range of lessons to suit both beginners and advanced players.</p> <p>Incidentally, I regularly tweet about my adventure with change and love to cheer others for doing the same, so follow me on <a href="http://twitter.com/happygokate" target="_blank">Twitter</a> if you'd like to expand your support network, and we'll evolve together.</p> <p><em>So, there's my list...do you have a favorite app or resource that helps you be all that you can be?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself">6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and Goals: Don&#039;t Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity apps goal setting motivation online tools self-improvement Fri, 24 May 2013 10:24:32 +0000 Kate Luther 974240 at http://www.wisebread.com Tips for Accomplishing More in a Day http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-accomplishing-more-in-a-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tips-for-accomplishing-more-in-a-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/multitasking_brushing_teeth.jpg" alt="Man multitasking" title="Man multitasking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Take a look online, and you&rsquo;ll no doubt find a gazillion methods for staying on task and getting things done. Many methodologies are available but accompanied by a price tag. From affordable e-books to costly professional help, there are a lot of options for getting more done.</p> <p>Beyond the obvious problem of not getting things done, wasting time goes hand in hand with wasting money. If you are not making the most of your time, you are likely in a rush. Being in a hurry generally translates to making financial mistakes. If you are not planning out a chunk of time to take care of bills and balance the checkbook, your finances can go downhill fast.</p> <p>For consumers who are busy, there is a tendency to look for the &quot;easy button,&quot; no matter what the price. However, there is no need to spend a small fortune to get yourself in gear and actually accomplish what you set out to do in a day. Here is some free advice for getting more done without forking over the cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-time-by-spending-time">10 Ways to Save Time by Spending Time</a>)</p> <h3>Preplan in the Evenings</h3> <p>A written visual of all you need to do is the core of getting things done. Commit to sitting down for at least 20-30 minutes each evening with a blank sheet of paper and list all of the things you need to get done the following day. Transfer tasks to a daily planner sheet, allocating times for each task. This will allow you to clearly see what you can expect to complete during the hours you are awake.</p> <h3>Break It Down</h3> <p>For the big jobs you face, create an outline that breaks down tasks involved in getting the job done. For instance, cleaning out the garage involves many tasks that can be done over time and still result in one larger, accomplished goal.</p> <h3>Stop the Distractions</h3> <p>During those blocks of time you have scheduled for certain tasks that need your undivided attention, including those at work, stop the distractions in their tracks by turning off your cell phone, avoiding email, and asking unexpected visitors to your home or your desk to come back at a more convenient time for you. If your goal is to accomplish more in a day, you have to stick to your guns about interruptions and your desire to stay focused.</p> <h3>Use a Timer</h3> <p>You can use your cell phone, set the timer on the microwave, or buy a portable timer and literally set time limitations on the tasks you need to do. The time may serve as a strong motivator to get moving and not sit down for &quot;just a minute&quot; while you are in the middle of a job. Timers are also a great introduction for teaching children <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-hacks-from-a-work-at-home-mom">time management</a> skills.</p> <h3>Get Others Involved</h3> <p>When you take on more than is necessary, it is no surprise you can&rsquo;t handle the load. Learn to ask for help on the job. At home, hash out responsibilities to family members by creating a visual chart of responsibilities you can no longer handle on your own. For everything else, learn to say no when you are short on time.</p> <h3>Expect the Unexpected</h3> <p>Realize from the get-go that no matter how well you plan, things will not always go as envisioned. Don&rsquo;t let that ruin your day or your motivation. Remember to stay flexible but focused and find ways to work around the unexpected.</p> <p>Time management does not come naturally to many people and efforts need to be made to ensure you stay organized and acknowledge just how much you can actually accomplish in a period of one day. Having too many unrealistic expectations of yourself gets old fast and probably won&rsquo;t produce the desired results.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-accomplishing-more-in-a-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-get-motivated-today">25 Ways to Get Motivated Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-youre-wasting-time-without-realizing-it">10 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Time Without Realizing It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity accomplishing tasks goal setting motivation saving time Fri, 02 Sep 2011 10:36:13 +0000 Tisha Tolar 685905 at http://www.wisebread.com My One Favorite Frugal Living Tip http://www.wisebread.com/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000016767145Small2.jpg" alt="Girl holding up one finger" title="Girl holding up one finger" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="170" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the Editor of a frugal living website, I read a lot of suggestions about how to have a less-expensive, more-fulfilling life. Every day, on both Wise Bread and on other frugal living and personal finance sites, I come across dozens of inventive and useful ways to save, spend, reuse, and live better for less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Frugal Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>But there is one suggestion that is more important than all of the others, one that I will share with you now, if you&rsquo;ll allow me to be a little crass &mdash;</p> <p>Nut up.</p> <p>Or, if you prefer: bite the bullet, grow a pair, hunker down. Be the tough that gets going.</p> <p>Basically, don't give up.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to read about living frugally in the same way that you might stare jealously at the toned cover model on this month&rsquo;s issue of Shape. If you just try an ab exercise or two, you&rsquo;re never going to look like that woman. She probably spends hours and hours a week working out &mdash; because that was a decision she made and <em>stuck with</em>. She likely does crunches to the point where her abs scream with exhaustion.</p> <p>Similarly, it is highly unlikely that you will achieve your frugal goals &mdash; or, really, any goals &mdash; if you don&rsquo;t make some serious, occasionally painful, and most importantly, <em>consistent</em> effort.</p> <p>Of course, consistent, painful effort isn't easy, and it can seem even more difficult when you try to follow suggestions or techniques that simply aren&rsquo;t right for you. Yes, it&rsquo;s not hard to feel like a failure when you just can&rsquo;t stick with what seems like very sensible advice. But you also have your own priorities, your own beliefs, and your own ways of working that are most likely to lead to success for you. Not every good-sounding suggestion will actually improve <em>your</em> life.</p> <p>For example, let me admit something &mdash; even though I have been passionate about frugal living for several years and ultimately made a career out of it, I can tell you that I lived without a budget for an embarrassingly long time. Even though I lived frugally, my finances suffered.</p> <p>Why no budget? Because I had tried making a couple of very simple spreadsheet-based ones, and they simply didn&rsquo;t work for me. I thought that meant I was hopeless when it came to sticking to the numbers. What it really meant was that I needed a more intensive system for tracking my funds. I tried more ways of tracking my budget, and eventually found a method that worked great for me.</p> <p>When trying to achieve any goal, there will be trial and error. There will be setbacks. The most important thing is to keep at it.</p> <p>Wise Bread, of course, is here to help you. In addition to giving you new ideas for ways to spend smarter, save better, and enjoy life, there are also several articles specifically about sticking with it. Follow Sarah&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-kept-secret-to-frugal-living">best kept secret to frugal living</a>, read about Philip&rsquo;s comparison of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-a-tactic-but-also-a-goal">frugality as a tactic and a goal</a>, and Julie&rsquo;s piece on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed">goal setting, deconstructed</a>.</p> <p>And don't give up.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-the-savvy-life-a-review">Living the Savvy Life: A Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-proactive-things-you-can-do-right-now">12 Proactive Things You Can Do Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-scientific-reasons-to-ditch-the-luxury-brands">5 Scientific Reasons to Ditch the Luxury Brands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Personal Development achieving goals financial choices goal setting Thu, 09 Jun 2011 10:36:16 +0000 Meg Favreau 572761 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Save Money in the New Year http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-money-in-the-new-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-save-money-in-the-new-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/scott_change_jar_new_year.jpg" alt="Change jar" title="Change jar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What better way to start 2011 than with an action plan on how to save money? Here are five easy ways you can save money without changing your lifestyle.</p> <h3>1. Use Your Smartphone for Deals</h3> <p>Do you have a smartphone? If so, be sure to download apps that will search for mobile coupons. For the iPhone, download <a href="http://www.getyowza.com/">Yowza!!</a>, <a href="http://www.mobiqpons.com/">MobiQpons</a>, and <a href="http://www.savebenjis.com">Save Benjis</a>. With these apps, a barcode appears on the screen of the iPhone, and the cashier will scan the barcode and give you the discount. No need to print the coupons! For the Andriod, download the <a href="http://www.google.com/mobile/shopper/">Google Shopper</a> app, which allows users to scan the barcode of any item in the store and the app will compare prices among different retailers. And for the BlackBerry, visit <a href="http://8coupons.com">8coupons.com</a> and <a href="http://couponwinner.com">CouponWinner.com</a> (if you have Internet on your BlackBerry).</p> <h3>2. Improve Your Credit Cards</h3> <p>Call up your credit card companies and ask them to lower the interest rates on your credit cards &mdash; ask to speak to a supervisor if necessary. By making this phone call, your rates should be lowered by 3-5%.</p> <p>Also, if you have <a href="http://helpsavemydollars.com/2010/05/how-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt-2/">credit card debt</a>, try to pay more than the minimum payment on your credit card bill, even if it's only a few dollars. This will get you out of debt sooner and you'll save money on interest payments.</p> <h3>3. Track Your Expenses</h3> <p>Do you know how much money you spend each month? In order to begin to save money, you need to know exactly, to the penny, how much money you spend. This will allow you to determine where you are wasting your money. For example: Are you spending $150 month on coffee each month? Are you spending $200 each week by eating out at restaurants? To help you figure out how much money you spend, use this free <a href="http://helpsavemydollars.com/2010/11/expense-calculator/">Expense Calculator</a>. Also, if you have an iPhone, for $4.99 you can download the <a href="http://www.ixpenseit.com/">iXpenseIt</a> app, which enables users to take a picture of their receipts after they make a purchase. The app stores the receipt's data, allowing users to easily track their spending.</p> <h3>4. Shop with Cash Only</h3> <p>When shopping, leave your credit cards at home and use cash instead. At some point, you're going to run out of cash, which will force you to stop shopping, whereas with credit cards, there are no boundaries and you can easily rack up thousands of dollars without even realizing it. Plus with cash, you don't have to worry about interest rates, late fees, or <a href="http://helpsavemydollars.com/2010/05/credit-scores/">damage to your credit score</a> by accumulating debt or by not paying the bill on time.</p> <h3>5. Set Goals</h3> <p>You probably have a few New Year's resolutions. If it isn't already, make one of your resolutions for 2011 to save money and be conscious of your spending. Challenge yourself! For example, promise that you're going to use cash only for the next three months. After completing that challenge, chances are you'll stick to cash and never go back to credit cards, which is a huge financial success.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/scott-gamm">Scott Gamm</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-money-in-the-new-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip">My One Favorite Frugal Living Tip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living credit card interest rates goal setting smartphone apps tracking spending Fri, 14 Jan 2011 15:00:12 +0000 Scott Gamm 431207 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Reasons to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Today http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-make-your-new-years-resolutions-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-reasons-to-make-your-new-years-resolutions-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/writingresolutions.jpg" alt="Writing New Year&#039;s Resolutions" title="Writing New Year&#039;s Resolutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="300" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One more cookie? OK, January 1st is when you&rsquo;ll start your diet. Spend another $25 on a gift? Why not, you&rsquo;ll turn things around next year.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s the end of the year, and we all tend to compromise with ourselves at this point in the game. Why? Because we&rsquo;ll set resolutions soon, and next year will be different.</p> <p>However, I propose that mid-December is actually the best time to sit down and sketch out your goals for next year. Here&rsquo;s why.</p> <h3>You'll Put Life in Perspective</h3> <p>Chris Gillebeau at Art of Non-Conformity advocates <a href="http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/how-to-conduct-your-own-annual-review/">conducting your own annual review</a>. It&rsquo;s not just about setting goals for the next year, it&rsquo;s about reconsidering the past. Right around the holidays it can be difficult to put your life in perspective because so much time is spent with friends, family, and coworkers, comparing your life to theirs. For instance, think of some of the holiday letters you get &mdash; you know the people &mdash; &ldquo;Happy Holidays &mdash; We hope you&rsquo;ve had a wonderful year! This year we celebrated our 30th anniversary on a private island surrounded by piles of money and our oldest son got married to a supermodel...&ldquo; Don&rsquo;t compare yourself to them. A healthier perspective is comparing your own life to your own goals.</p> <h3>You&rsquo;ll Slow Down</h3> <p>It doesn&rsquo;t matter if you&rsquo;re encountering year-end work deadlines, taking finals for school, shopping for last minute Christmas gifts, or shoveling out from a giant snowstorm &mdash; this time of year is busy for everyone. When each day passes so quickly, it&rsquo;s necessary to stop and enjoy the moment. Writing your goals will help you do just this.&nbsp;Need more inspiration for slowing down? I love Gretchen Rubin&rsquo;s video <a href="http://www.theyearsareshort.com/"> &ldquo;The Years are Short.&quot; </a></p> <h3>You&rsquo;ll Eat Less, Spend Less, or Do _____</h3> <p>If you want to set a resolution that actually sticks, you can&rsquo;t just reboot on January 1st. If you set your goals today, you&rsquo;ll find yourself making conscious choices over the holidays.&nbsp;Yes, maybe you&rsquo;ll eat the extra cookie or spend that extra $25, but you&rsquo;ll be more likely to take a walk around the block afterward or sell that extra microwave on Craigslist (that you&rsquo;ve been meaning to list for months).</p> <p>So go ahead and enjoy the splurges or the holiday season &mdash; just make sure that you're aware of your goals and making conscious choices.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-make-your-new-years-resolutions-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip">My One Favorite Frugal Living Tip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/successful-new-years-resolutions-have-this-one-thing-in-common-does-yours">Successful New Year&#039;s Resolutions Have This One Thing in Common — Does Yours?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development goal setting new year's resolutions perspective Mon, 20 Dec 2010 14:00:11 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 395046 at http://www.wisebread.com Goal Setting, Defined and Deconstructed http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/goal eclipse.jpg" alt="solar eclipse " title="solar eclipse, reminds me of focusing on one goal, very real but faraway and sometimes fuzzy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people are setting goals for the new year. I&nbsp;have been thinking about my goals: ones that I am contemplating now; those&nbsp;achieved in the last year; some abandoned; and a few unattained but possible. I realized&nbsp;that the type of goal, rather than its real or perceived difficulty, is a good predictor of&nbsp;fulfillment&nbsp;or frustration. Here are ways to&nbsp;define goals,&nbsp;deconstruct them, and plan for success.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Process vs. Results-oriented Goals</h2> <p>Process goals&nbsp;are like resolutions. I might resolve to&nbsp;do strength training two times each week, and run or go to a cycle class&nbsp;three times per week. Or, I might decide to eliminate&nbsp;chocolate and ice cream&nbsp;from my diet, all but one time per week. A job seeker might decide to begin <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/networking-basics-for-regular-people">networking</a> a few hours each week and set up at least four <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-informational-interview-what-not-to-say-and-more">informational interviews</a>&nbsp;each month.</p> <p>Results-oriented goals are usually&nbsp;dependent on&nbsp;processes&nbsp;or a series of actions but are considered achieved based solely on the&nbsp;<em>outcome</em>.&nbsp;Examples are&nbsp;a certain weight lifted, race finished, or pounds lost. A job seeker may be successful if he or she lands a position&nbsp;with a&nbsp;certain organization&nbsp;or a specific salary (or gets any job at all).</p> <p>Unless standards are set very low, the process goal&nbsp;is&nbsp;more readily achieved than the results-oriented goal because processes are more controllable than outcomes.&nbsp;However, if you are knowledgable about what it takes to&nbsp;achieve a certain result, then you can easily&nbsp;design your activities to assure that you'll reach your goal.</p> <h2>Independent, Cooperative, and Competitive Goals</h2> <p>Some goals can be attained alone while others may require (or benefit greatly from) cooperation among teammates, family members, or colleagues. Still other goals involve achieving a certain competitive position.</p> <p>For example, one year, I set an <strong>independent </strong>goal of reading Pulitzer Prize winning books in the fiction category, inspired by the online catalog at my library.&nbsp;All I&nbsp;needed to do is set aside time to read the books, or so I&nbsp;thought. Sadly, not all of these books were available from the library; however, I redefined my goal&nbsp;to read all the titles&nbsp;that I could borrow, buy, or trade.</p> <p><strong>Cooperative</strong> goals might be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-steps-to-eliminating-your-debt-painlessly">debt elimination</a> or&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/resources">money savings</a> of a certain amount for a couple or family.&nbsp;Decisions on spending,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-home-without-a-20-down-payment">buying a new house</a>, setting aside money in an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">emergency fund</a>,&nbsp;and earning more through <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one">freelance jobs</a>, part-time work&nbsp;or a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">new job</a> probably need to be made on a joint basis.&nbsp;Extra money needs to be designated for debt reduction or a savings account so that one person doesn't spend what the other earned or saved through savvy shopping or sacrifice.</p> <p><strong>Competitive</strong> goals are trickier to achieve. Examples are&nbsp;producing the most sales for your company,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-small-scholarships-for-a-big-payoff">winning a college scholarship</a>,&nbsp;finishing first in a road race, or even landing a new job. Though&nbsp;I would never discourage anyone from setting aggressive goals, newbies may want to set intermediate goals:&nbsp;establishing a list of prospective customers,&nbsp;writing and submitting&nbsp;an essay for a scholarship,&nbsp;or running a&nbsp;race for the first time. &nbsp;</p> <h2>Multi-step or Project Goals&nbsp;</h2> <p>Some goals require multiple steps.&nbsp;A goal that I have is to make a brick sidewalk to replace various pieces of slate placed in a path from my driveway to the front entranceway. I have no experience in this area&nbsp;but have attended a brick-laying demonstration and watched a video on building&nbsp;a sidewalk. My goal has multiple phases:</p> <ul> <li>acquire the knowledge and skill to design and construct a brick sidewalk</li> <li>obtain the money needed to purchase brick and tools and/or rent tools</li> <li>design and plan the layout of the sidewalk</li> <li>set aside an entire weekend (or more) to create the sidewalk</li> <li>convince my family that I&nbsp;can actually make the sidewalk without causing irreparable damage to my home, yard, and self.</li> </ul> <p>Deconstructing this goal by&nbsp;breaking down specific actions&nbsp;is helpful in defining individual steps and achieving the finished result.&nbsp;And, even if I don't accomplish the entire project this year, I could&nbsp;save the money and plan the project, and then complete the sidewalk next year.</p> <h2>Life-list Goals</h2> <p>Start by making a list of life goals. Some may involve setting aside time and money; others may be more complicated and require&nbsp;developing an expertise&nbsp;and getting some experience.&nbsp;</p> <p>For example, Jeff Rose may want to&nbsp;take&nbsp;another&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-over-1000-on-your-next-backpacking-trip">backpacking trip</a>, and just has to carve out vacation time and find travel money.&nbsp;&nbsp;My son,&nbsp;a Boy Scout who will likely be going on an extended backpacking trip in a couple of years, needs more&nbsp;preparation.&nbsp;I think it is good to start planning now by&nbsp;going on hikes, getting in shape, figuring out which gear works best in what circumstances, learning to set a fire without matches, and honing wilderness skills. Similarly, you may or may not be ready to tackle your life-list goal this year but can take steps now to get there in the future.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Summary:&nbsp;Tips for Achieving Goals</strong></h2> <p><strong>1) Define what you want to accomplish</strong>.</p> <p><strong>2) Deconstruct your goals by figuring out what is needed to achieve them:</strong>&nbsp;time, resources (time is also a resource but tools, materials, and gear could be listed here),&nbsp;specialized skills and knowledge. Understand that&nbsp;goals may have various&nbsp;elements that complicates deconstruction: for example, my sidewalk dream is&nbsp;a results-oriented goal but&nbsp;still&nbsp;involves processes,&nbsp;multiple steps, and cooperation.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3) Plan ways of achieving goals</strong>, which may involve setting aside time, taking a class, finding an expert, or just getting support from your family.</p> <p><strong>4) Redefine goals if necessary.&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;You may need to figure out if you are in the position to&nbsp;achieve a competitive goal. If you are reasonably accomplished in a certain area and now just need finesse&nbsp;or a creative boost to get to a certain level, then you are ready to set a competitive goal. If you are just getting started in a new field, then it might be best to set basic competency goals.</p> <p><strong>5)&nbsp;Go for your goals.</strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-scientists-say-you-should-be-committing-the-7-deadly-sins">Why Scientists Say You Should Be Committing the 7 Deadly Sins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies">10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make for Pennies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks goal setting Mon, 04 Jan 2010 14:00:07 +0000 Julie Rains 4319 at http://www.wisebread.com Goal Setting: Getting Out of Debt Once and For All http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-getting-out-of-debt-once-and-for-all <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/goal-setting-getting-out-of-debt-once-and-for-all" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/getting out of debt once and for all PIC.JPG" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">It is easy enough to say that you have a goal of being <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-steps-to-eliminating-your-debt-painlessly">debt free</a> in &ldquo;x&rdquo; months or years. You have crunched the numbers, and your plan is realistic and achievable. But why is it so hard to actually put into practice?</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Isn&rsquo;t it interesting how impatient and short-sighted we generally are? A friend of mine has gads and gads of consumer debt &ndash; the worst kind, with high interest rates and very little to show for it at the end of the day. And yet she is also the first person to whip out her credit card and dig an even deeper hole of debt in the name of &ldquo;treating&rdquo; herself. She is tired, she works hard, and she has been good. Time for an expensive dinner. Sadly, the expensive dinner (along with a host of other similar &ldquo;treats&rdquo;) will haunt her for years to come as she continues to try to get out from under this increasing pile of debt. Every time she is faced with the reality and magnitude of her arrears, it seems she makes yet another purchase to drive the stake in even further, seemingly having lost hope that she&rsquo;ll ever get out of debt and figuring that at least she&rsquo;ll have a good time going down in flames.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">At first blush, I would say she is not motivated enough. Given enough motivation, you can truly do anything, and I believe that. (Look at the people who are maimed in car accidents, told they will never walk again, and in the face of such predictions they are walking inside of six months. Those are motivated individuals).</p> <p class="MsoNormal">As a financial planner, I watched a couple with a modest income purchase and pay off a large house in five years. In the name of preaching balance in life, I constantly questioned their actions and suggested they at least diversify their savings and have the house paid off just a little bit later. But they only had eyes for a mortgage-free house, and despite logic or any other argument, they had to have it. They didn&rsquo;t mind all the corner-cutting and super frugal living they had to do in order to have that house paid off, because every time they were faced with a potentially distractive &ldquo;want&rdquo;, they simply <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/vision-boards-dream-big-play-with-pictures-and-watch-your-life-change">envisioned</a> a mortgage-free house, and were able to keep their goals in perspective.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">But I believe there is more to my friend&rsquo;s debt quandary than basic motivation and goal setting. I believe the <strong><i>types </i>of goals</strong> she is setting is the catalyst for her failures. What did the couple above get at the end of the day for their five years of sacrifice and effort? A mortgage-free home. That is a pretty big goal, and a reward they immediately reap the benefits of by having extra money each month which doesn&rsquo;t have to go towards a mortgage. It shaped other life goals they had such as <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/hitching-a-ride-on-an-airplane">travel</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-and-your-spouse-planning-the-same-retirement">retirement savings</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-afford-to-have-a-baby">having children</a>, and taking career breaks. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">What is my friend&rsquo;s goal, and why is it not giving her that special something our mortgage-free couple had to hang on to? My friend&rsquo;s goal is not lofty, and not unrealistic; it is simply to be out of debt.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>But it is in the basic simplicity of the goal that my friend goes awry</strong>. What does it mean to be out of consumer debt? Not much. It is basically a &ldquo;return to 0&rdquo; scenario; one which doesn&rsquo;t hold much excitement or reward at the end of the day. Sure &ndash; she won&rsquo;t have a mass of debt hanging over her head like a dark cloud, and she will have extra money to play with that formerly serviced her debts. But it is obvious <strong>that these benefits are not strong enough to give her the proper motivation to make the sacrifices now for the benefits later</strong>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">So how do we fix this? <strong>Here are a few ways you can set financial goals that create a better sense of motivation and ultimately help you to attain them.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><strong>Shoot for the Stars, Hit the Moon</strong></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">If my friend decided not only to be out of debt, but also to have a down payment saved for a house, she might have a little more pep in her step. With this new goal in mind, she isn&rsquo;t focusing just on debt, debt, debt, as <em>there is a school of thought that says as long as you focus on the negative (even if it is to eliminate it), the negative is all you will get</em>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Instead, she is focusing on something she can only dream of having right now: a property. <strong>When faced with that expensive dinner out she would like to have, she can focus on living in her comfortable new home,</strong> and maybe that <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/vision-boards-dream-big-play-with-pictures-and-watch-your-life-change">vision</a> will be enough to curb her appetite for impulse spending. Or maybe the focus can be having children. She wants children, but would like to be on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-afford-to-have-a-baby">solid financial ground</a> before getting pregnant. If she focuses on the day she is out of debt as being the day she and her husband will try for children, she may be more successful in her debt-reduction plight. <strong>Having a vision to hang on to that is more emotionally charging than simply being out of debt can be very powerful.</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><strong>Reward Yourself Along the Way</strong></h3> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>The longer-term your goal is, the harder it will be to achieve it without getting sidetracked.</strong> Hence, the bigger your debt load is, the harder it is to see the forest through the trees. So although it may initially sound counter-intuitive, create rewards that you can enjoy when you reach and surpass certain debt-reduction goals. Enjoy that nice dinner out each time you pay off &ndash; and cut up (or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-guaranteed-way-to-avoid-impulse-credit-card-purchases">freeze</a>) &ndash; a credit card. Buy that new game you want when you reach the halfway point to being debt free. Yes, this reward may involve a backwards slide initially, but if the milestone and reward you set is alluring enough, it may just be what is required to keep you on track on a course you may otherwise not have had the discipline to maintain.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Getting out of debt is the plight of many people, and the goal in and of itself is the downfall of many more.</strong> Instead of focusing on the mistakes you have made or the crappy hand life dealt you to land you in this position, try to look forward, move on, and find the silver lining. By making <a title="Guide to Using Credit Cards Wisely" href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-guide">getting out of debt</a> a simple by-product of a different and more exciting goal, you too can get out of debt once and for all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-getting-out-of-debt-once-and-for-all">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-talk-to-your-friends-about-debt">Can you talk to your friends about debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-debt-free-getting-by-in-the-new-economy">Beyond Debt-Free: Getting By in the New Economy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management Lifestyle Shopping consumer debt debt free debt goals eliminating debt goal setting treating yourself Tue, 16 Dec 2008 21:11:59 +0000 Nora Dunn 2652 at http://www.wisebread.com