Time has infinite momentum. No matter what life throws at us, job changes, birth of a child, challenging relationships, death, time keeps moving. Time doesn’t pause and life doesn’t say let me give them a break. It is easy to get caught up in what happened and lose sight of your goals. Believe it or not I can relate.
I have always wanted my student loans to be paid off. I thought the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program would be a great way to get rid of that debt. If you read “What is my financial journey?” you know I have a knack for getting other people to spend their money and keeping mines. That was one of the reasons I accepted a full-time job with a state agency. I shared with my supervisor about nine months in, “I cannot do this for ten years.” I worked for a state agency for three years then gave a non-profit a try.
I realized working at this non-profit would not be able to fund my audacious goals. I would have to work for a great federal or state agency at a very high level to support my dreams. Despite having almost four years invested in the PSLF program I could no longer stomach the pay cut and barely making a livable wage for the next six years.
I transitioned to the private sector and have not looked back since. I am still working towards paying off my student loans, however, I have a more pressing dream I am working towards. Once that dream becomes a reality I will resume crushing my student loan debt.
Below you will find some tips on how to stay focused on your goals.
Create a vision board and place it where you can see it every day.
Hang it on a wall, take a picture of it, save it as your computer or phone screensaver.
Engage your goals daily.
If your goal is to be a homeowner but you are not in a position to buy now, look at homes every single day! I mean every single day. One day it will be yours.
Continually track your progress towards your goals.
Calculate what you can achieve in six months or a year. Works towards meeting your monthly goal or book me for an Individualized Financial Plan (IFP) and I can do it for you. Every action and inaction counts no matter how small it is. Be sure to evaluate how effective you are and if you are meeting milestones.
Accountability is everything.
Choose one fiscally responsible friend, share your goals with them, engage in conversations prior to making decisions that are not aligned with your goals or book me for accountability sessions.
Ask for help.
You are not knowledgeable on all things nor will you always have the most experience. Ask those in positions you want to be in for guidance and what would they do if they were in your shoes. If you have the most knowledge and experience broaden your network.
Be open to change.
After I exceeded my savings goal in 2019 I was on a cloud. A portion of the money was the down payment for my home. I had a conversation with my financial dad, in so many words he told me I was losing money every day. The interest rate on my student loans was 3 times higher the interest rate on my savings account. That was a painful conversation. I was advised to take that money and put it on my loans. I was crushed! I remember the morning I did it and the emotions I had.
Embrace change with grace.
The decision to use my home down payment money to pay debt was smart but still a bit of a challenge. I felt as if my dream of home ownership was deferred and it was going to take me longer to get a home because of my student loan debt.
God did not say no, He said not yet.
The bible is full God’s promises. A great illustration of a dream deferred is the story of Joseph. Long story short he had a dream his father and siblings would bow to him. It took him being betrayed by his brothers, thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, being lied on, and imprisoned before the dream he was given at least 10+ years ago to come to pass.
Revelation comes later.
When you are dealing with disappointment(s) and weathering a storm it can be difficult to have a positive outlook. You may question why and how you will get the desire(s) of you heart and/or what God promised you. After you come out of the valley you will see how you grew during that time and and an understanding of why things happen when and how they did.