The Key to Crushing Those #LifeGoals? It’s Grit

Grit is more than just the dirt under your nails. It’s what empowers you to go after your goals, even if they scare the sh*t out of you.   And when it comes to money, grit is what helps you acknowledge that those elusive dollars are nothing more than a tool to support your desired lifestyle.  

Here’s what you need to #getgritty :

A growth mindset.

Research from psychologist Carol Dweck showed that people either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.   Someone with a fixed mindset may unwittingly sabotage their success, saying things like, “I’m just unlucky.”  

One of the key differences between having a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset is how you handle challenges, disappointments, and outright failures.  

You’ll be upset regardless (we’re all human), but someone with a growth mindset will look for the lesson in their mistake—they’ll understand that criticism and failure are a source of feedback for finding the successful path.  

A growth mindset says that you are strong, capable, and intelligent because of your bumps and bruises, not despite them.(Check out our podcast with Dr. Blau for more on mindset.)

A strong interest.

Some of us were blessed with a clear vision for our lives since of the days of elementary school “When I Grow Up” projects.  

The rest of us are likely interested in many things, but haven’t found something consistent and compelling that stands the test of time.   Hey, if you’re here, your “something” might just be the next travel destination (*raises hand*).

That’s the perfect place to start.   Ever heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals? They’re meant to consistently set you up for little wins by giving you specific actionable items.

(Psst! The goals and Auto-Saves were designed to help you achieve your financial goals.))

Here’s how it works:  

  • Specific: I want to go to Nepal.
  • Measurable: I want to go on this trip by summer 2020.
  • Attainable: I will set a savings goal of $5,000 for the trip.
  • Relevant: I will start researching places to stay and activities to do.
  • Time-Based: I will set aside X amount of dollars daily to achieve my $5,000 savings goal by X date (hint: can help with this part!).

When you have a dream like this, all of a sudden you have incentive to shift some of your thoughts and behaviors.

Work ethic.

Or should I say, sustained effort. Think: marathon runner as opposed to sprinter. You’re in pain, you keep trudging, you walk, you run, but most importantly, you finish the race.   And it’s 4th on the list for a reason. Identifying your passions and goals first makes the hard work, sustained effort, and ‘just doing it’ part a lot more fun because you have a motivation and end goal.


Staying on the road to success, no matter how you define it, requires focus and willpower (or “won’t power,” if you’ve sworn off something).   In this age of constant distraction, it’s important to learn how to stay true to your chosen direction even when it’s tempting to take a detour.  

Fun fact: Studies show that sleep deprivation lowers the function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain area key to willpower and impulse control. If you’re getting less than seven good hours of sleep consistently, you’ll be less capable of maintaining your willpower.  

Mind = blown.

The ability to conquer your fears.
Let’s face it, we’ve all got ‘em.
Whether your fear is of physical danger, social rejection, or failure, it’s important not to avoid the feeling.
Sit with it. Get to know it. Avoiding your anxieties can make them stronger. So look into what frightens you, but with gentleness and kindness to yourself.
Say an affirmation to yourself like, “This scares me, but it doesn’t have to stop me.”


For many of us, it’s downright impossible to be kind to ourselves. My trick? Imagine your best friend had the same fear.   Then tell yourself what you would tell that person.

We’re changing the narrative around money with tools that will help you attain those S.M.A.R.T. financial goals inside the money app.

You can download it at Google Play and the Apple Store.

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