You'll find it beneficial to make your financial goal about more than that goal.  If you're working toward becoming debt-free, why are you pursuing that goal?  What would becoming debt-free enable you to do?  How would it make you feel?  Your answer to that question is the real goal; becoming debt-free is the means to that greater end.  

Keep the momentum going. After all the training we did for the past 12 weeks, the last thing we want to happen is to slip back into not exercising.  We need a new goal that'll motivate us to keep running.  We probably won't run another half marathon anytime soon, but we're planning to run a 10k before the end of the year, and we've committed to an ongoing training schedule of five-mile runs three times a week.

Once you accomplish your goal of becoming debt-free, set a new goal so you'll maintain the discipline you developed while getting out of debt.  What will you do with the money you no longer need to send to your creditors?

What other similarities do you see between pursuing a challenging athletic or other type of goal and pursuing a challenging financial goal?

October 1, 2010 

Matt Bell is the author of "Money, Purpose, Joy" (September 2008), "Money Strategies for Tough Times" (April 2009), and the upcoming "Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples."  He teaches a wide variety of workshops, including the MoneySmart Marriage workshop (www.MoneySmartMarriage.net), at churches, conferences, universities, and other venues throughout the country.  To learn more about his work and subscribe to his blog, go to: www.mattaboutmoney.com