Mark those milestones! Keep the motivation…

Hey budgeting people,

Today, lets talk about one of the most important parts of goal setting. Whether it is money related, health related, or any other goal, celebrating positive movements to the goal is essential. In my opinion, marking milestones, and celebrating your success is just as important, if not more so, than goal setting.

It is important to celebrate reaching milestones of your goals – whether it is weight loss/gain, money goals, graduating school, getting a good grade or getting a promotion. The simple reason for this, is it positively reinforces the behaviour.

You cannot change your habits of a lifetime, because one day you wake up and think you should. You need without consistent planning, and consistent actions to fit in with what you are trying to accomplish.

You cannot pay off £40,000 of debt without consistently putting money to those accounts. You cannot lose 10 stone without consistently making sure you are eating healthily and consistently exercising.

However, consistent behaviours, especially if they require hard work, or against your natural inclination, in order to reach goals is not fun.

Marking the milestone is all about splitting huge, sometimes daunting goals and making them easier to reach mini goals, rewarding the smaller increments when you accomplish them. It doesn’t need to be a big or flashy but did does need to be something which will remind you of how far you have come. It is to remind you what you sacrificed in the process to achieve it. It also needs to be a reminder that it was worth the work or will be when you reach that milestone.

Achieving milestones needs to be marked in a memorable way. One that will keep you motivated and to keep you on track to reach your goals. For some people this could be just as simple as posting on social media what you have achieved. Others may keep their tracker up to see all that they have managed pay off while they work on the next one. Or you may get a trinket or take a trip or get a tattoo.

It is up to you, to decide what the reward is to mark the milestone. But I wholeheartedly recommend you do it.  Whatever it is, make sure it keeps you on track for the bigger goals. When you have achieved those larger goals, do something even more memorable. For me, writing this blog, that was part of my reward for reaching a goal. But for you it will be something different.

Most people I have seen online, who mark the milestones, tend to give themselves an amount of money to which they can spend to mark their achievements.

This is a great idea as you can then set the parameters in what you can gift yourself before you get to the actual spending part. This gives you something tangible to look forward to, while you work towards your goals.

If you are spending money on the milestone, I recommend that:

  1. it is budgeted in for,
  2. reasonable in terms of price (for what it is and what you can afford)
  3. something you will love and have positive memories of for a long time. 

There is no point spending money on something you will not love in a few weeks or worse, it breaks.

The amount doesn’t matter, as long as it isn’t taking away from the goals you are working on.

For my milestone markers, I have split them into paid off my overdraft, paid off my personal loan, and paid off my personal loan 2. My student loans are going to be broken up into intervals. Most likely every £5,000. The others, I am doing will be those paid off in full as they are all under £5,000.

The biggest reason I am a huge supporter for marking the milestones, is because when I paid off my credit card, I didn’t mark the occasion.

I chose to not mark paying off my credit card to “save money”. Which didn’t work and I got lazy. Then 3 years passed before I got back on the budgeting wagon, and one more year after that to start paying my debt again.

Sometimes you must spend a bit, to save more. While this usually applies for good quality items, it works with motivation too. If you are constantly denying yourself then you will lose the point of the goal.  

I am currently trying to compile the list of the things I want for each milestone. Let me know in the comments, what rewards motivate you?

While this blog is finance based, and I wrote it with financial goals in mind. Marking the milestones can be for any goal. If you are aiming to achieve it, you deserve to be rewarded for it.

Keep in mind, the reward shouldn’t derail you. If you are paying off debt, spending thousands on a reward is counterproductive. If you are losing weight, buying the biggest chocolate bar you can find is also counterproductive.

May your reward be in line with your goals but special enough that you will remember the achievement tied to it.  

Let’s all celebrate together!

Thank you for reading, much love!

Comment time questions!

What milestones have you reached recently?

What was the biggest milestone you have reached ever?

What reward did you get to go with each?

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