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Setting realistic goals

May 24th, 2008 at 09:04 am

Being overly ambitious tends to be a problem of mine. I'm just one of those types of people... for example, when I tell people I got my bachelors degree in 2 1/2 years - most times they think thats already ambitious.

What I don't tell them is I tried to finish it in 2 years. How? For my associates I finished that in a year with the help of online courses and in person classes... I was able to complete 23 credits in one semester (with the college's permission of course which they let me since I was taking 18 credits and had a 4.0). But my original goal was to graduate in Summer '04... not Fall '04. But yes, I did overload myself and towards the latter part of my degree had to drop/withdraw from a few courses in order to keep my GPA up. Hence, it took me a semester longer than I hoped.

So I'm trying to set realistic goals for myself in this "get out of debt" process. And I find it extremely hard to do.

My thought process goes... OK, I can comfortably pay $400/mo and put DH's bonus to pay down the card.

BUT if I can pay $400... why can't I just put an extra $50 to help pay it off sooner... and before I know it I've set a goal to pay $750/mo to have it paid off by the end of the year and I'm eating ramen noodles and spaghetti.

I really need to work on this. But small progress doesn't seem so large cause I always feel like I could be doing something more... be doing better... then I get overloaded and I don't meet the initial goal. I've done this with my weight loss too.... my initial goal was to lose all the baby weight when my little one was 3 months old.

She is four months and I still have 10 lbs to lose in order to fit back into my pre-pregnancy 4s. Now the goal is to lose the weight by her 6 month checkup.

So I wonder - how do you set realistic goals and just stay content with that? I know part of this has to be my mindset.

I need to come to terms with the fact the CC will likely not be paid off this year. Things will come up but if I can get the CC down to below $5K this year, that is paying off $9K in one year which is a good feat. Meanwhile, I've still managed to save $800/mo for retirement.

Yeah... my problem isn't lack of ambition... its too much, all at once. Hence, my username.

Other than that... its a pretty quiet weekend so far. No real plans. Dog must be feeling better since he is no longer having accidents, baby is still a little fussy from her shots but not too bad, and DH is out and about mowing the lawn and fixing up things around the house. Money spent so far this weekend? ZERO.

6 Responses to “Setting realistic goals”

  1. thriftorama Says:

    You are doing great-- even if you don't push yourself to the max! I know how you feel. I tend to overdo and overachieve just like you do, and there are times that in order to meet my sky-high goals I did live on noodles and water!

  2. njdebbie Says:

    You are doing great! I tend to be a little too ambitious myself and to be honest saving 30% of our biweekly paychecks can be real hard at times. For now I am sticking to that percentage but willing to compromise if necessary.

  3. gmckenzie1993 Says:

    If your going to dream, dream big. Even if you don't meet your own goals, you will still make an impact on the world. All of your goals stated here seem to be along the lines of "saving" and "paying off." Those are commendable goals and I personally congratulate you for accomplishing as much as you have. Not many people would. My question to you know is this: Why not start a new set of goals building cashflow? As you build a strong system of positive cashflow, all of the "saving" and "paying off" can be done quicker. It falls out as a natural consequence. Look for opportunities to increase your cashflow and give them just as much energy and dedication as you have given everything else in your life and one day you will realize that you have nothing left to pay off and never again will.

  4. AmbitiousSaver Says:

    Thanks guys.

    gm, good point. I'm up for a performance review next week and DH is waiting to find out in August if he made the next rank. And we raised the rent on our rental by $50 so that should kick in soon... so hopefully we'll have more cashflow from all of our sources soon enough. But I had completely overlooked them in my goal setting so that definitely is something to not forget... thanks for the insight Smile

  5. disneysteve Says:

    Think about how you will feel if you set a really high goal and don't meet it. Will you be disappointed or discouraged or will it make you want to try that much harder the following month? If you would get discouraged, then set more reasonable goals. If you would get even more motivated, then keep those lofty goals.

  6. koppur Says:

    what about planning the $400 a month and if you have extra, throw it on, if not, no big deal; you still hit your monthly budget

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