Take The First Step Towards Your Goal Today.

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No, I didn’t forget! Over 100 people joined me in my Make A Goal Experiment and shared their goals. Since they are cached somewhere in a Google database by now, your goals are now a permanent piece of internet history.

Now to make it happen… I’m going to share a little tip my mom taught me. Whenever you are too lazy to study, exercise, or do a chore, tell yourself to just do it for five minutes. If you want to stop after that, fine. But you’ll be amazed. Once you do it for 5 minutes, most of the time you’ll keep doing it. I often do this with jogging. Sometimes I just come home after a circle around the block. But 90% of the time I go much longer.

Most of the goals involved a certain sum of money, be it for a house, debt repayment, or retirement. Applying my 5-minute trick, my suggestion is spend those 5 minutes and set up a small automatic transfer towards this goal today. Open an online savings account. Washington Mutual, Citibank, Capital One 360, whatever – They are all earning around 5% interest right now, are FDIC-insured, and you only need $1 to open. Or depending on your goal, start an automatic transfer into your 401k or an automatic billpay to a credit card.

With most of these services you can set up automatic transfers weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, whenever. No matter what your goal is or what your budget is, you can make some sort of commitment. If you can only do $10 a week, that’s still a start. After a while, that $10 will feel like nothing and you can increase it.

As for me, I am going to set up an automatic transfer of $125 to my savings account every week. This won’t make me reach my goal 100%, but it will get me moving and build some momentum.

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  1. I just want to say what a pleasure it is to read your blog every morning. I, like you, have just gotten done grad school and have a large amount of debt. Most of my debt was through being stupid and I am now paying for it. I wish i read your blog when you did your 3 and 6 month goal post. It is kinda funny that yesterday I posted a one year plan for myself on my blog. If ya get the time check it out and let me know what you think. http://den748.blogspot.com . I will be mentioning your site in my post today.


  2. I don’t know why I have never thought of this, or read about this, but the automatic transfer thing is a great idea for saving money. I am going to set it up right now. I also like the idea of putting aside change for items purchased into savings or whatever. I think I read about this on another post. Keep up the good work.

  3. Remember, the key is that there is no pressure. Just do a small transfer, but do it NOW. You can always cancel them tomorrow if you change your mind.

  4. great idea!!

  5. moneysmartlife says

    It may be a clich? but taking the first step really is half the battle. I?ve found that the first step gets you going and then you build momentum if you stick to your plan.

    It is difficult at first but once you get going it seems to get easier. It’s exciting once you start making progress towards your goal. This motivates you even more and then you?re really on a roll!

  6. Thanks for sharing such a simple trick to take action. I just gave it a try and the result is not bad. 😉

  7. The automatic transfer thing is a great idea, but I even took it a step further – I direct deposit into my online savings account, instead of my checking. All of my bills – rent, credit cards, utilities, and the like – come right out of my savings account. That way, whatever I don’t spend is automatically saved, without losing time on the transfer. It’s worked quite well for me. Admittedly, I probably spend less of my total income than most, so it was more of a matter of not losing the the interest accuring days by directly depositing than a tool to get me to save more, but it’s definitely worked well for me so far.

  8. Financista – That great, but I just want to put out there that savings accounts are only allowed 6 withdrawals each money, and if you go over there may be fees or other penalties.

    I like to schedule the transfer from checking to savings right after my direct deposit hits my checking. That way, it’s even less noticeable.

  9. Jonathon – Great point. Luckily, I only have a couple of bills coming out because my rent and utilities are one bill, but that’s a good point to remember.

  10. I really like that “just-do-it-for-5-min” idea. It’s working for me.

  11. Thanks for the great tips!!
    I also really like that ?just-do-it-for-5-min? idea! I will put that to use with things that I have been procrastinating. I believe it will work.

  12. Excellent tips! Thanks for the info.

    As my father always says:
    “The best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket”


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