Stay committed to your goals by creating positive habits

October 06, 2022

Creating better money habits can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with small, easy tips and tricks that will set you on the right path.


Picture this: It’s a Sunday night, you’re feeling motivated, and you’re planning the productive things you are going to do this week. A long walk on Monday followed by an evening of cleaning the kitchen; on Tuesday, a working dinner with a coworker to get ahead on a big project; grocery shopping on Wednesday; event planning on Thursday… and so on.

And then, the day comes, and nothing sounds better than sitting on the couch and watching TV. Does this sound familiar? Especially when it comes to finances, it’s easier to make big plans for productivity when you’re feeling motivated and inspired, but it’s much more difficult to follow through and execute these plans when it comes time. If you find yourself in this financial cycle of struggling to follow through, commitment devices can help.

Commitment devices can help you stay on track by allowing your current self to make decisions for your future self. U.S. Bank Goals Coach Jill Ross says, “Commitment devices help us to make decisions now to put limits on our future behaviors. It’s easier to make these future commitments when we’re thinking critically and logically, and when our motivation is high.”


Accountability partners

Having a partner help you to pursue a goal can help you stay on track. Jill says, “Social accountability is by far my favorite commitment device. Social accountability is basically finding an accountability partner who isn’t afraid to dish out some tough love when you need it, and for me, I find not disappointing someone who is trying to help me highly motivating.”

There are a few options for people you can connect with who can hold you accountable for pursuing your goals.

1. Family or friends: Who is a trusted friend or family member that you can count on? It could be a friend with similar goals, a partner, a sibling or a parent. Have check-ins with them to make sure you’re staying on track and ask them to hold you accountable if you are going off the rails.

Tip: Ask your accountability partner to help you with things that may distract you from achieving your goals. For example, if you tend to scroll aimlessly on social media for hours and put off important tasks, ask your accountability partner to hold you accountable to limiting your screen time until you’ve completed your task.

Jill says, “When I was in my MBA program, in order to keep my mind on my work and my nose out of whatever book I bought over the weekend, I gave all my favorite non-school related books to my friend with specific instructions not to give them back until I finish school. So, even when my schoolwork was done early and I had some spare reading time, my friend would tell me to get started on the next assignment rather than giving me a book. This helped me commit and focus on school.”

2. Trusted professional: Working with a trusted professional when it comes to managing money is a great way to stay committed and get great advice along the way. These are people who can help you create a plan that works best for you and your specific situation.

Tip: Declare your goal publicly. If you are working with a professional to help you with your goal of owning a home within the next two years, tell your family and friends about this goal. When people know your goal, you may feel more responsibility to make sure you stay committed, even when you want to quit.

3. Goals coach: You may be looking for an unbiased partner from whom you can receive tips and guidance to achieve your goals. A Goals Coach at U.S. Bank is a great resource. Goals coaches can help you build a plan to achieve anything, from sticking to a budget to building a business, while sharing tips and tricks to create positive habits along the way.

Jill says, “If you aren’t comfortable asking a friend or family member to be your accountability partner or buddy, try talking with a goals coach. Goals coaches are impartial and ready to help you objectively work through your wants and needs.”

Tip: Make it fun! Create a game out of achieving a goal you’re aiming for. For example, if you have a goal of saving a certain amount of money, promise yourself that if you don’t reach that goal, you’ll do a hard task, like running 15 miles or deep cleaning your storage closet.

Set up an appointment with a U.S. Bank Goals Coach and read more about working with an accountability partner.


Schedule your future

Scheduling your future during times of high motivation can help you follow through on your goals.

1. Pay yourself first: Paying yourself first can be a great way to prioritize saving. To do this, set up automatic transfers or mechanisms into accounts dedicated to savings. That way, you’re adding to your savings before the money can be utilized for something different.

Tip: Revisit the amount you add to your savings every couple of months and try to add more to your automatic transfers as time goes on.

2. Send yourself calendar invites: When you are feeling motivated and want to ensure you follow through at a later date, send yourself calendar invites. For example, if you find yourself on a Wednesday morning feeling motivated to get taxes done on Saturday, send yourself a calendar invite for Saturday to sit down and do your taxes. Jill says, “Inviting yourself to complete a task means blocking a specific amount of time and showing up rather than just another reminder notification that you can quickly flick away.”

Tip: To encourage yourself to follow through on your calendar invites, reward yourself with something you love during or after. For example, get your favorite coffee and donut while you do taxes, or reward yourself afterward by watching your favorite show.

3. Set up appointments with your accountability partner: One of the hardest parts about working with an accountability partner is getting started. An easy first step to financial wellness is to take five minutes out of your day to set up an appointment with a goals coach or other accountability partner.

Commitment devices can be a great way to achieve your goals. Choose one – or several – of the ideas from this list today to help you remain focused on your financial success.


Continue reading for more ways to create positive money habits with tips from goals coach, Jill Ross.



Goals Coaches do not:

  • Recommend or offer any products or services of U.S. Bank or its affiliates. 
  • Conduct financial planning or provide investment advice. 
  • Make recommendations or give advice on matters involving health, including physical, mental, emotional or medical. 

U.S. Bank assumes no responsibility for and makes no claims concerning the merit or sufficiency of your goals and does not assume any responsibility or liability for any losses or other outcomes resulting from decisions made by you, actions taken or not taken by you, in connection with U.S. Bank and U.S. Bank Goals Coaching services.

Related content

How having savings gives you peace of mind

How to use your unexpected windfall to reach financial goals

Dear Money Mentor: How do I set and track financial goals?

How to talk to your lender about debt

Home buying myths: Realities of owning a home

How I did it: Turned my side hustle into a full-time job

Certificates of deposit: How they work to grow your money

What military service taught me about money management

Working with an accountability partner can help you reach your goals

Year-end financial checklist

Stay committed to your goals by creating positive habits

Allowance basics for parents and kids

Finding a side gig to fund your goals

Webinar: Smart habits and behaviors to achieve financial wellness

Key components of a financial plan

How to build wealth at any age

5 tips for creating (and sticking to) a holiday budget

Your 4-step guide to financial planning

6 common money mistakes to avoid

How grandparents can contribute to college funds instead of buying gifts

Friction: How it can help achieve money goals

A who’s who at your local bank

Here’s how to create a budget for yourself

How to use debt to build wealth

Achieving their dreams through a pre-apprenticeship construction program

Checklist: financial recovery after a natural disaster

Credit: Do you understand it?

Personal loans first-timer's guide: 7 questions to ask

How I did it: Bought a home without a 20 percent down payment

Starting your homebuying journey: Tips from a U.S. Bank Goals Coach

How to stay positive when searching for a job: advice from a U.S. Bank goals coach

How to set yourself up for success in your first job

Growing your savings by going on a ‘money hunt’

7 ways for pre-retirees to get ready for retirement

Multiple accounts can make it easier to follow a monthly budget

You can take these 18 budgeting tips straight to the bank

9 simple ways to save

Are savings bonds still a thing?

How to stop living paycheck to paycheck post-pay increase

Do your investments match your financial goals?

5 financial goals for the new year

Money Moments: Tips for selling your home

Parent checklist: Preparing for college

Does your savings plan match your lifestyle?

Do you and your fiancé have compatible financial goals?

Retirement income planning: 4 steps to take

Using 529 plans for K-12 tuition

Investment strategies by age

How to manage your money: 6 steps to take

How to discuss money with your family

4 tips to help you save for retirement in your 20s

Checklist: 10 questions to ask your home inspector

5 things to consider when deciding to take an unplanned trip

30-day adulting challenge: Financial wellness tasks to complete in a month

5 reasons why couples may have separate bank accounts

7 steps: How couples and single parents can prepare for child care costs

Adulting 101: How to make a budget plan

Helpful tips for safe and smart charitable giving

What you need to know about renting

How and when to ask for a raise

How to save for a wedding

How to save money while helping the environment

It's possible: 7 tips for breaking the spending cycle

Tips to overcome three common savings hurdles

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Wedding

Building a financial legacy for your family and community

It’s time for a fresh start: A new way of thinking

Money Moments: 8 dos and don’ts for saving money in your 30s

Bank from home with these digital features

What’s in your emergency fund?

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Building a home

How I did it: My house remodel

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Home renovation

11 essential things to do before baby comes

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Starting a family

Preparing for adoption and IVF

Closing on a house checklist for buyers

How to prepare for a natural disaster

Webinar: Uncover the cost: College diploma

Checklist: How to gain financial independence from your parents

The A to Z’s of college loan terms

Co-signing 101: Applying for a loan with co-borrower

Practical money skills and financial tips for college students

How to build credit as a student

5 things to know before accepting a first job offer

How I did it: Paid off student loans

Webinar: Bank Notes: College cost comparison

Is a home equity loan for college the right choice for your student

How to apply for federal student aid through the FAFSA

Be careful when taking out student loans

Your financial aid guide: What are your options?

Webinar: Mindset Matters: How to practice mindful spending

How to get started creating your business plan

Talent acquisition 101: Building a small business dream team

Make your business legit

7 tips to help grow your business after launch

How to test new business ideas

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.