Using the Focusing Question to Crush Your Money Goals

Last Friday, Kim spoke about the challenges of balancing commitments and shared some excellent advice about how practicing the skill of saying no can move us closer to our goals.

I, for one, am excited to practice using a positive spin when I “say no to say yes to another commitment!”

In the meantime, I’m also caught up on the challenges of setting and sticking to goals in the first place.

I always get sucked into the excitement of goal setting and resolutions around NYE, but I’ve found my motivation exponentially declines as the year really kicks off.

Or even worse, I’m pulled in all directions because I’ve set too many goals at once!

Having a laundry list of new habits has me either running around in utter chaos or… literally doing nothing at all. 

So how do you pick which goals to focus on and which ones can wait?

The answer to this question feels both a little obvious and somewhat impossible at the same time: by intentionally prioritizing them. 

Ok, I know this is where you may be rolling your eyes, because like… prioritization is hard. 🤯

So I’ll share one of the best tips I’ve seen that made this whole prioritization thing click for me: an exercise from The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.

We can prioritize decisions based on a question they refer to as the focusing question:

“What’s the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” 🤔 

In our Frugal Friends language, those of us focusing on re-aligning our spending with our values (and our budget!) might reframe the focusing question as:

What’s one thing I can give up now so I don’t have to give up as much in the future?” 

Asking the question simply invites you to focus on expenses that are making the biggest impact on your budget so you can do the least amount of work and have the greatest impact.

It also encourages you to reevaluate and say ‘no’ to expenses that you previously loved, so you can make space for new or newly discovered things that you love. 

If I can get vulnerable for a second, I’ll share how this focusing question helped me stick to my goals in February.

I just chose to give up one thing for a few weeks… alcohol.

Instead of feeling like a restriction, this hiatus from drinking freed up a ton of time and energy to focus on my fitness goals and get better sleep, and it was the #1 impact on my grocery and food budget.

Asking and honestly answering the focusing question might require bravery and vulnerability, but it can be a fantastic framework for maintaining momentum toward achieving our goals.

I’d love to hear some of your answers; feel free to respond to this email to let us know how you’re prioritizing your goals! 🌱

Bit by the travel bug? Be sure to check out Tuesday’s episode (Ep 386) to learn more about Best Vacation Destination Dupes (AKA: More Affordable!) with Jen Ruiz.

All these acronyms in personal finance can feel so hard to keep track of. Today’s episode ETFs, & Index Funds, & Bears, OH MY! breaks a couple down. Plus, stick around for the lightning round for an entertaining chat about unreasonable fears related to bears (I knew I wasn’t the only one!).

Tune in wherever you get podcasts and let us know what you thought of the episode over on our latest Instagram post!

 Listen: to The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan on Libby to learn more about prioritizing and focusing on goals!

 Watch: The power of flying solo, one of Jen Ruiz’s TEDx talks to learn more about finding strength in solitude.

 Do: As you’re working to prioritize the things you spend on this month, get the biggest bang for your buck by using the Rakuten chrome extension (or their app!) while online shopping.

Rakuten finds and applies cash back bonuses to qualifying purchases and automatically sends you a check quarterly for the money you’ve made on your spending. Plus get a $30 bonus when you spend your first $30! **

 Meal Plan: I’m still deep in habit formation, so I’m all about simplification these days. I’m loving this Thai Curry Vegetable Soup. I’ve made it even simpler by using ginger paste and canned minced garlic instead of fresh, and I air fry my chicken while pulling together the rest of the recipe. Lots of room for personalization with this one!

Catch ya later,

⭐️⭐️ P.S. Want to share all this goodness with your friends AND earn cool Frugal Friends merch?

**Means this is a sponsored or affiliate section. We may earn a small fee or commission when you choose to try one of our sponsor or affiliate partners. But opinions are still 1000% our own.

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