Last blog I talked about how people need to eliminate the shame they feel around their debt in order to have the right mindset to pay it off. Essentially, to prepare to pay off debt, you must:
- Be out of survival mode and feeling like life has returned to (somewhat) normal
- Working from a place of forgiveness, not berating yourself for getting into debt
- Feeling proactive about creating structure and clarity around a debt payoff plan
Ready to start paying down that debt you have? Here are the crucial planning steps that you must take if you’re serious about debt payoff once and for all:
Start with your intention. Whenever you start any successful venture, you have to define success. What does successful debt payoff look like for you? How long will it take? How much will you put towards your debt each month?
Gain clarity. You can’t know if you’re making progress toward debt payoff unless you first understand the current situation and define a plan of action. Just like you can’t know if you’re successful at weight loss until you step on the scale. Gather your documents and get some clarity — even if it’s painful at first!
Identify recovery actions. Most of the time, people expect debt payoff to go smoothly, but it never does. Stuff happens. You might have to charge something in an emergency. When you get thrown off your “ideal” plan, have a backup. How will you decide what constitutes an emergency?
Throw off discouragement. Everyone faces obstacles and setbacks, but if you’re resolved, then the obstacles never seem as insurmountable as when you lack confidence in your plan. When you become discouraged by a lack of progress, have specific steps in place to put yourself back on track as soon as you can.
Notice your language. Are you berating or shaming yourself for what you perceive to be money ”failures?” The sooner you forgive yourself, the sooner you can move on to creating the money reality you desire. And BTW, it will never be perfect.
Notice your mindset. Do any of the excuses to NOT pay off debt resonate with you? You might not be ready to change. That’s okay. No judgment here.
Are you waiting? A lot of times, people tell me they are waiting for a raise, to move in with their loved one, or for some other outside condition. If that event never happened, what would be the next step you would take to pay off debt? Now go do it.
If you’re still struggling to get past the shame of debt, I encourage you to not go it alone. Although no one can literally wave a wand and change how you feel, you should approach the situation from a place of facts instead of emotions and move past those unhelpful feelings towards a positive plan of action.
And by the way, if you want some help – we can totally chat about that. You can check out financial planning and we can look at your global situation to see what is best for you.
And sign up for our free resources! That is a great first step to getting more clarity.