How To Stay Motivated Throughout the Entire Year
Author: Anna Newell Jones

how to stay motivated

As with many resolutions, made at the New Year and beyond, we start out strong towards a goal. But as time goes by and glitches in the road trip us up, we tend to lose our steam. When our path to debt freedom is sidetracked by an unexpected expense or we fall off the wagon when we see something we just ‘can’t live without!’ we tend to get down on ourselves and blow our commitment towards getting out of debt and staying there.

Staying motivated is possible for all goals – but you have to work at it.

How To Stay Motivated To Get Out Of Debt For The Whole Year…

Be Reasonable

When you set a goal for debt freedom, be reasonable about your goals and expectations. If you are drowning in $20,000 in debt, being debt free within a year may not be reasonable. Rather than think so big, break it down into incremental pieces such as a commitment to reducing your unnecessary spending so more money can go towards you debt. Promise yourself you will find $300 a month put towards debts each month, even if it means bigger sacrifices.

Make a Check List

There is a great power to visual assistance. Make a list of your existing small steps toward the greater goal. You will be able to check off your accomplishments as they happen. Leave room at the bottom of the list so that you have a place to add replacement goals for each one you check off.

Keep Learning

To move forward, you have to be conscious of getting stuck in a rut. Keep using the available resources to learn new ways to do things. Financial education, especially where debt reduction is concerned, is a powerful tool and you should never stop trying to learn how to do better. In this day and age, the Internet has granted us a near-endless portal of information from people just like you as well as the top financial pros in the world.

Watch the Company You Keep

If you tend to hang around with the Jones’ who spend money like water, reconsider how these relationships affect your life. Even unintentional peer pressure can worsen your debt. Take to the interwebs and find inspirational stories of debt relief success from other people’s blogs and surround yourself with people who understand your mission to change your financial life for the better.

Is is your motivation at this point? What are you doing to stay committed to the process? 

(A quick p.s. I’m super excited to be working with this company called Becoming Your Own Bank who is creating a sketch video for ATWS. The video is similar to the one on their home page. The video is all about the whole ATWS story and the motivation behind it so this post made me think about the video. It’s very cool and I can’t wait for you all to see it!) 


in How To, Motivation


  1. Bex // March 11, 2013

    I’ve been paying down my $10k undergrad loans like crazy in order to satisfy my new year’s resolution of getting them all paid off by the end of 2013.

    It’s such a rush — I love getting my paycheck and immediately sending off that little chunk towards the loans. If you transfer it as soon as you get paid, it doesn’t feel like so much of a sacrifice (to me, anyway).

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 21, 2013

      I completely agree with you. If it’s almost automatic then you can’t think, “Oh, I kind of need new shoes or jeans or whatever!” Also, the rush you mentioned= best feeling ever. Who would’ve freaking guessed right.

  2. Katie Beth // March 11, 2013

    My little step goal is to pay off my lowest balance credit card which was around $1200 as a stepping stone toward paying off all my credit card debt and I’m with in $200 of reaching that stepping stone goal! Can’t wait to cross it off my list!

  3. Noel // March 11, 2013

    My goal is to pay off my student loan debt in 5 years. Also I’d like to save up 3 months worth of living expenses so that I can afford to move and start pursuing my dreams. I want to stop living paycheck to paycheck. I feel like this task is overwhelming at the moment, but I know if I budget better I can afford to do all of this!

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 21, 2013

      You most definitely can! Bust through that debt and get to living the life you’re meant to! xo!

  4. Jennifer // March 11, 2013

    This article came at just the right time – I had a weekend of spendiness and the above suggestions are helpful – especially the “watch the company you keep” one. I have a good friend with a better job than me, and the last few months every time I’ve hung out with her I’ve fallen off the spending fast wagon.

    But the best motivation for me is watching my net worth increase every month – maybe it’ll get above zero someday!

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 21, 2013

      It can be tricky hanging out with people who seemingly make more (I always like to remember that we don’t truly know anyone else’s financial situation because they could be affording their lifestyle on credit, etc) but sticking to your guns and maybe even honestly explaining to her where you’re at and why you can’t do the same things as her could help.

      Stay committed to the process and there is no doubt in my mind that you will find success with the Spending Fast! Zeros are in your future girl! xo!

  5. Michelle // March 11, 2013

    I really enjoyed the advice of watching who you hang out with. I have some friends who make a ton of money. They are always up for doing something fun. Sometimes it can be a little expensive. Luckily, they are comfortable doing some free things too.

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 21, 2013

      That’s cool that they are up for free options too. I’ve heard of some group of friends who get into habits of always eating out or doing other costly activities and it could really add up.

  6. CLV // March 12, 2013

    Thanks – I needed a lil motivational nudge today! I’m entering my 2nd year on a very strict spending diet, almost fast, and it’s definitely been much harder to stick to it lately than it was the first year. But, I still have the remainder of this year and all of next year to go, so have to keep finding the spirit to push on. This community is a lot of help with that :)

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 21, 2013

      That’s good to hear CLV! Before you know it you’ll be looking back fonding (or not so fondly;) on your Spending Diet days. I’m so proud of you for taking charge of your financial life. You’ve made the decision and you’re making it happen! That is HUGE! xo!

  7. MLJ // March 18, 2013

    I heard about one person who made a paper chain, and each link represented $100 of debt that she owed. She ripped off a link everytime she made a payment. I think the visual reminder is a great tool!

  8. Rachel // March 18, 2013

    I love the idea of a paper chain. But oog – mine would be soooo long.

    • Anna Newell Jones // March 21, 2013

      I love the paper chain idea too! Could be really pretty (& cheap!) decoration though too… ;)

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  • Anna

    Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Also! We're building a Tiny House and we're going to be on Tiny House Nation. Follow along!!

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