When working to change your financial future, implementing a mindset of gazelle intensity can help you make a beeline to your goals. Although it’s not the path of least resistance, taking the principle of gazelle intensity to heart can transform your financial trajectory.
Ready to see how gazelle intensity could change your life? Let’s dive in!
What is gazelle intensity?
Dave Ramsey, the debt repayment guru, is credited with coining the term gazelle intensity.
But his inspiration came from a passage in the Bible. Proverbs 6:4-5 states, “Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler.”
The idea behind gazelle intensity is that you must run away from debt so hard that you are acting like your life depends on it. If in over your head with debt, it’s easy to sympathize with a gazelle running away from a predator, as you do your best to stay one step ahead of debt collectors.
Gazelle intensity can apply to debt payoff but also to many other goals you may have for your finances. When you adopt the gazelle intensity mindset, you’ll kick your focus on money goals into high gear.
How to use gazelle intensity to reach your goals
You may have goals like saving up for retirement or an emergency fund, buying a home, or paying off large medical bills. Whatever your focus is, if you are ready to act like your life depends on reaching your money goals, here’s how to leverage the mindset of gazelle intensity.
1. Dig into your reasons
Although it can, the switch towards this intense way of thinking likely won’t happen overnight. Instead, it will require careful thought about where your financial situation stands and where you’d like it to be.
Before you jump into a mindset of gazelle intensity, it’s important to dig into the reasons why you are in this situation. Be very honest with yourself about your finances. Determine where you are and how you arrived at this point in your financial journey.
Without a clear look into your finances, adopting this extreme focus might be easier said than done. But with compelling honesty, it’s easier to slide into a mindset of gazelle intensity.
2. Set goals
After you’ve put on the mantle of gazelle intensity, it’s time to direct this newfound devotion to your personal finances.
At this stage, you can think of goal setting as positioning a cannon toward your financial future. If you don’t have direction, it’s easy for the cannonball to land off course. But setting clear financial goals will help you avoid wasting your energy.
A few popular financial goals include paying off debt, saving for retirement, building an emergency fund, or covering a major purchase.
When you set money goals, it’s important to decide why they matter to you. Plus, how achieving them will impact your lifestyle. For example, breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is a big money goal that could eliminate a lot of stress from your life.
Need some financial goal inspiration? Explore the idea of financial independence.
3. Analyze your spending
With your financial goals in mind, it’s time to take a close look at your spending. Determine exactly where your funds are going.
With a better idea of where your funds are going, you can readjust with your newfound gazelle intensity in mind. Don’t be shocked if there are some things in your budget that shouldn’t be there.
For example, you might find a subscription that you meant to cancel or discover that you are spending more on groceries than you planned to.
In some cases, you might spot a real overspending problem. But you’ll never know the truth behind your spending unless you dive deep into it.
4. Build a budget
A survey conducted by Debt.com found that 80% of Americans use a budget. Even if you already have a budget, it’s likely time to revamp it in light of your new financial goals.
As you draft your new budget, think about what you could cut if your life depended on it. Chances are there are some things that you are willing to part with if it means you’ll outrun a cheetah.
Use a budget to make the most of the resources you have available. Although this likely means some less than enjoyable cuts, remember to keep your eyes on the prize. The temporary sacrifices will be worth it when you hit your money goals.
Need help building a budget that considers your gazelle intensity? Take advantage of our free budgeting course.
5. Side hustle
Depending on your situation, your current income might not be enough to make significant progress towards your money goals. It’s important to realize that you can change your trajectory with the help of a side hustle.
If you are considering picking up a side hustle, you aren’t alone. According to CNBC, 44% of Americans have a side hustle to make ends meet. But if you need help taking the leap into side hustling, take a look at this step-by-step guide.
6. Avoid choices that delay your money objectives
Life is full of choices. When you dive into a lifestyle of gazelle intensity, you’ll face choices that can make or break your financial journey. If possible, avoid choices that delay your financial goals.
As an example, let’s say you have a goal to be debt-free. In that case, you should avoid taking out any more debt as you work toward this ultimate goal.
7. Sell things from around your house
When you look around your house, you might have closets full of items that used to be cash. What if you could turn those items taking up space back into cash? You can by selling off everything that you don’t use on a regular basis.
After you make a sale, send those funds directly to your financial goals. For example, let’s say you are saving for early retirement. Selling off your old purses could lead to extra cash for your investment account.
Gazelle intensity is a sprint to your financial goals!
When you employ gazelle intensity to reach your financial goals, you’ll need to treat the journey like a sprint instead of a marathon.
For some, this high level of commitment for a relatively short period of time is achievable. For others, living on this narrow financial path for a while is unsustainable.
If you aren’t able to stick with the gazelle intensity pace, then consider readjusting your goals for a more realistic timeline.
In any case, don’t give up on your financial goals. Even a slower pace will help you make progress toward them. You can also find out more about achieving your goals by learning how to focus on yourself and not others or coming up with new goals each month.