Hope for your financial life and beyond

A Trick to Stay Motivated

Hidden Nugget Series #11 – “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  Galatians 6:9

stay motivatedTwo weeks from today several significant milestones will take place in the Luke1428 household. On Friday, Oct. 11th, I’ll be flying to Maryland to compete in the Baltimore Marathon over the weekend. That event will bring to an end my arduous 5-month training schedule that has seen its share of nagging injuries, post-run ice packs and more diet restrictions than I care to think about. (Can I please just have a soda?!)

That same day Mrs. Luke1428 will turn in her final grad school assignment in what has been a three-year vocational transition from teaching high school math to becoming a full-fledged CPA at a private accounting firm. We’ve already celebrated the completion of her CPA requirements and this last class wraps up her quest to secure an MBA as well. I’ve written extensively in my monthly updates how mentally and emotionally challenging this has been for the entire family. I really can’t believe we’ve made it to the end of our long, dark tunnel.

Anything of value worth seeking brings some kind of hardship. Invariably the intense pursuit makes it incredibly difficult to keep moving forward day in and day out. The end looms so far in the distance. Weariness sets in. Discouragement soon follows. And then the questions begin.

Is this good thing really worth it?

Did I make a mistake?

What if I can’t finish the task?

Is this costing me too much?

More than once in the pursuit of these good things our hearts staggered. It’s been tempting to pack our bags, give in and take the easy road home. I mean how insane is it for two middle-age adults with four kids to intentionally put themselves through this mess?

But one thought helped us stay motivated and kept us going. It lifted our hearts every time we felt discouraged and served as the anchor that held us steady when belief in our abilities wavered.

It was the idea that, in due season, we will reap the benefits of our efforts.

I will grant you that it is difficult to project into the future and truly know what those benefits will be. God only knows what awaits us. Perhaps better health and the chance to outlive my soon to be 100-yr. old grandfather? Maybe an upwardly mobile career track? More personal and family freedom to enjoy life? Those are all possibilities that we would surely welcome.

Is the weariness of your good deed setting in today? If so, refocus on the reason you began your journey in the first place and the rewards that await you at the end. You may not see them soon, but they will be there, in this life or the next.

You can make it if you don’t lose heart.

Questions: Does focusing on the end help keep you stay motivated? What other factors/tricks keep you focused through the hard times?

Image by adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Next Post: What’s more Valuable: Short or Long-Term Goals?

Prior Post: Plan Your Budget Around These Five Expenses

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Here are some Luke1428 posts that were mentioned in recent blog carnivals:

“Plan Your Budget Around These 5 Expenses” at My Personal Finance Journey and at Save and Conquer

“High Risk Investing: When I Turned $1,000 Into…” at Fat Guy Skinny Wallet

Thank you to the carnival hosts for including my post.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the post! Skip a dreaded track workout for a speed play session. After 10 minutes of easy jogging, run hard between two telephone poles, then slow down until you pass three. Then see if you can get to the traffic light before it changes, followed by a jog to the next mailbox. There are no set rules, so make it up as you go along.

  2. Congrats on your family milestones and all the best with the upcoming marathon (don’t forget to tell us how it goes 🙂 and pointers on how run a superb marathon!)
    I can relate with keeping the end result in mind, its a great motivator to know that what one is doing today might and will translate into something better in the near or far off future.
    One sits in the shade today because they had the foresight and perseverance in planting and watching the tree grow earlier on!

  3. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    This has been crucial in keeping us on track as we work on paying off our mountain of debt, and it finally feels as if the snowball is starting to pick up a little speed. Wonderful lesson here, Brian, and congrats to both of you for staying the course. Excellent work. 🙂

  4. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    Congrats again to you and your wife Brian. We’ve been there before when both of us were getting our Masters at the same time and again when we started our business. That discouragement can be a real issue to deal with and can easily overcome you – if you allow it. For us, we keep our goal ahead of us and remind ourselves why we’re doing it. That almost always gets us back on track…maybe not right away, but it eventually does.

    • Getting your Masters at the same time must have been something. I can imagine that one day one of you was up while the other was down. And that probably alternated back and forth. It is sometimes hard to see the finish line in the midst of the struggle but we have to try in the effort to keep ourselves moving forward.

  5. Shannon Ryan says:

    Congratulations again to Mrs. Luke 1428 and you. It was a hard journey but you both made and can reap the rewards. 🙂 When I get discouraged, I always go back to why – why did I care so much to set this goal and that’s what I focus on. Good luck on your marathon – sounds like fun!

    • Couldn’t agree more Shannon! Evaluating the reasons we set goals must be done over and over. It’s a vital step in the goal attaining process. I hope the marathon turns out well. I’ve been nervous this go around because my body has not been at 100% through all my training.

  6. I got discourage or frustrated multiple times when I was going through the CFP coursework. Just night after night of studying and feeling like I couldn’t go out with friends or whatever because I was losing time I needed to finish. My wife was a big source of support in those moments, as was keeping an eye on the end goal and why it was important, as you mention. It’s certainly not always easy, but if it’s something that’s truly important to you the reward of finishing will be so much better than anything you feel from quitting.

  7. For me I have to go back and remember how stressed/miserable I felt when I was living paycheck to paycheck and not saving anything for the future. Al I ever focused on was present tense pleasure, and was it really worth it? I’m trying to find SOME balance between the two, but I’d rather be worry-free and save for the long haul then give in and be worried. Good luck with the run!

  8. Taynia @ Fiscal Flamingo says:

    Best of luck on your marathon. I admire you! I’ve tried and failed so many times it’s embarrassing. And to your wife – applause, applause, applause, applause. I will never forget how fabulous it felt to hold my CPA certificate in my hand. I’m not sure who was more excited – me or my husband. He was so happy that I could actually do something other than work and study.

    • Thanks Taynia! I experienced some of those same feelings when my wife received her certificate. What a relief! It’s like we have part of our life back. And I like your 4 applauses…one for each part of the CPA exam. Nice! 🙂

  9. All of us need to focus on the quality longer term goal.The fact that you and your wife are working together toward your goals speaks volumes about the real issue. Strong families overcome their problems. Keep it up!

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