How to Use a 30 Day Challenge to Reach Financial Goals

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During the New Year you can expect everyone to be talking about goals and goal setting.

While there is value in goal setting, I’ve pretty much walked away from goal setting in the traditional sense.  That’s not to say I’ll never go back over to the dark side, but today I  want to highlight the value of 30 day challenges.

If you’re accomplishing all of your goals set on December 31st, then you can ignore this post.  If, however, you set goals at the New Year and they didn’t last more than a few weeks, you might want to keep reading.

What is a 30 Day Challenge?

A single ‘mini-goal’ that you focus on with intensity for 30 days.  The important part of a 30 day challenge is that you never do more than one at a time.

How are 30 Day Challenges Beneficial?

They work better for times of transition.

Michael Hyatt has a free guide on how to develop a life plan.  I’ve read the book and really like it.  The problem is that I haven’t been at a place in life where the concepts have been easy for me to apply.  Over the last year and a half, I didn’t even know what was coming up in the next few months, so that made it hard to look further ahead.  As a result, I’ve enjoyed being able to set 30 day challenges because the time commitment is shorter.

They are easier to accomplish because of the shorter time period.

A few months ago, I decided to go a month without drinking caffeine.  A couple of weeks into it I started to try and self talk myself out of it because I was only drinking a caffeinated cup of tea a day.  However, I started the challenge due to a challenge someone offered me.  In the end, I stuck with it because it was only two more weeks.  If I didn’t have a short time period to experiment with skipping caffeine, I would have only lasted a week or two.

You’ll gain confidence. 

Since this is a short term goal, it’s easier to accomplish than goals you think you’ll continue for the rest of your life.

Remember that feeling when you look back and realize that you didn’t keep any of your New Years Resolutions?  You start to have negative thoughts about how you just don’t have the discipline or self control.  Then the next time you walk into a new setting you’ll already be half convinced that you couldn’t do it even if you tried.

However, when you stick with a small, measurable challenge for 30 days, you’ll remind yourself that you can set and accomplish valuable goals.

30 day challenges allow you explore differing types of goals.

  • Some people say you’ll spend less using cash than a credit card.  Why not try it for 30 days and see if that’s true?
  • You’ll hear that budgeting is a key to healthy finances.  Why not try it for 30 days to see if that’s true?
  • Got debt?  Why not set an aggressive goal for a month to pay off as much debt as possible in that 30 day period?
  • Is there a finance book you’ve been wanting to read?  Set a 30 day challenge to read the book within that time period.
  • Do you have some bookkeeping tasks you’ve been putting off for a long time?  Decide that by the end of the next 30 days you’ll have a will, life insurance, and any other important items.

It just might stick.

After spending 30 days doing something you’ve actually developed a habit.  If the task was easier than you thought or more important than you anticipated, you may just decide to keep up the new habit.  Remember, this is not necessarily the goal.  The goal is to do it for 30 days to accomplish some important things in your life and to build confidence.

If there’s a part of your financial life that is lacking, why not try identifying the issue and set a 30 day challenge to address or remedy that situation in your life?

Comments

  1. says

    I think this is an awesome idea. Most of us have a hard time keeping track of many shifting goals at once, but I think focusing on one would not only give us clarity but might even motivate us to reach that goal, I mean, its just one how hard could it be :)
    I think I will set myself a challenge to track my expenses for 30 days, I usually start on it but end up giving up after some days…this time I will see it thro and perharps even make a habit out of it (there is that research that it takes 21 days to form a habit…) just might pick a good one!

  2. says

    hello my name is eddie Williams I have read the article.this is a very nice article we will definite try it.so far nothing have worked for the Williams family financially.we are still facing financial problems like we were before.we have tried all the articles graig you have sent us,stilll no results.it seems like every other family can get blessed financeally.we are a Christians family to who do the right thing everyday and we pray.we attend church every sunday.we don’t know what else to do to get our blessing financeally.we fell like there isn t hope for us its over because we have struggle for so long and been thru so much.we ask when will our day come when we can be happy like a normal family?thank you graig again from THE WILLIAMS FAMILY.

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