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Making incremental progress feel motivating

Making incremental progress feel motivating

One way to make incremental progress feel motivating is to use graphs to your advantage. You can make a bar graph that shows your payment amounts in small increments on the y axis like in this example:

Bar graph

That way you’ll be able to see that you paid more than the month before, that you have been paying regularly and frequently, and that your payments are adding up. Your payments will also look more substantial to you, which will help motivate you.

You can also pie charts to update your progress, although be sure that you literally focus on the portion of the chart that shows as paid when you look at it!

View Comments (4)
  • Thank you for posting about this! I made a chart at NCN back in January, because if I just looked at the total amount of debt remaining I would feel like I was making no progress. However, right now I can say, “Wow, I’ve paid off THIRTEEN PERCENT of my debt in 7 months!” That’s better than two months ago, when it was only 10 percent, and much better than January, when it was zero. Instead of thinking “I still have 50k to go”, I think about the progress that I’ve already made, and it inspires me to keep going. I think of how good it will feel when 20% is gone, then 50%, then all of it.

  • hmmm. i could make a chain up to represent my mortgage payments. If i keep up with my hefty prepayments, i’ll have the thing paid off in 6 more years….that’s a 72-link chain. could be fun to cut one link off with each mortgage payment

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