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12 Ways to Stay Financially Motivated

One of the most difficult aspects of getting your finances in order is finding the motivation to do so. Such a task can seem a massive endeavor to undertake. And even if you jump-start yourself into action, it can be daunting to maintain focus.

Here are some basic steps you can take to help motivate yourself to move from merely thinking about improving your finances to actually taking action to improve them.

1. Write a list. While this may seem obvious, it's often the hardest step to take. Thinking about all of the different tasks you need to do can paralyze you into doing nothing at all. If you can write down all of the things you need to do, then you have a list from which to begin tackling the tasks, and it will become easier to motivate yourself to work toward them.

2. Set financial goals. Once you have made your list of the financial tasks you need to accomplish, spend some time turning these into financial goals. One of the most important points when setting goals is to make them specific and to place a time limit on them. For example, "I want to have $25,000 in my retirement account within five years" is a much better goal than "I want to fund my retirement account." The more specific you can be with your goals, the easier it will be to take the steps needed to achieve them and to monitor and record your progress.

3. Create concrete and personal reasons. One of the most powerful forces that will help you achieve your goals is to have concrete and personal reasons why those goals are important to you. The more solid and exclusive the reasons you can list for each goal, the more motivated and dedicated you will be to achieving them. "I want to fulfill my dream to travel to Europe before I'm 65" is a more concrete and personal reason to want to save for retirement than "my financial adviser says it's important."

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