A Couple’s Wist List – Motivation For Success

by Debt Destroyer on November 4, 2008

My wife love lists.  She’s always making them:

  • Grocery Lists
  • To-Do Lists
  • Christmas Lists
You name it and she’ll make a list.   She starts her week by making a list of projects that need to get done. Usually her lists are quite handy, unless they are the dreaded “Honey-Do List”.  But there is one kind of list that we can agree on.

The wish list.

For as long as I’ve known her, my wife has always kept a list of things that she wants.   Once we got married we started a couple’s “wish list”.  In fact we keep it on the fridge so we see it everyday.

Here it is:

If you can’t make it out here are a few items:
  • Leather Furniture
  • Area Rugs
  • Desk & Cabinets
  • Bedroom set
  • Hide-a-bed
  • Water Softener
  • Trip to NYC
  • Refrigerator
  • Fence
  • Vacuum Cleaner
As you can probably guess the items that have been crossed out are items that we have managed to get. Now I know what some of you are thinking; that a list like this defeats the purpose of trying to get out of debt and only encourages spending money.

Yes & No.

Yes – If we were just picking off things on this list left & right, then I’d agree with you, a list like this could be trouble.  But we haven’t crossed anything of this list in quite a while.  Actually, we were planning on crossing off the NYC trip this past summer, but as I mentioned in my very first Happy Rock post we came to a financial realization that the trip would have to wait.

No –  Actually this is a good motivating factor for us not to spend money.  It reminds us that every time we spend money on something wasteful, it just delays us from getting to cross off one more item off the wish list.

I’m no expert on “The Secret” but I think I remember watching a part about a guy who put together a “dream board” which was made up of pictures of items that he really wanted.  He’d then focus on them and POOF, he moved into his dream house.  Obviously I don’t think that is going to happen to us (believe me, we tried), but our list serves the same purpose.

It helps keeps our eyes on the prize.

**Tangent** I don’t want it to seem like I’m mocking “The Secret” (even though I am). I do think there is something to “The Law of Attraction”, but I think a more realistic approach was given in another motivational book, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It’s kind’ve like HAPPY ROCK’s recent post about Seth Godin’s blog entry about effort. You have to work for things, not just wish for them.** end of Tangent**

But just to make sure that this list is a motivator for good behavior, and not bad.  We added a new item recently that should help:

  • Get Out of Debt!
Even though we could really use a water softener, I hope that this is the next item we cross off.

What do you want?   What is on your wish list?   Sorry, but the Cubbies winning the World Series doesn’t count as a wish list…it needs to be realistic.

Until next time,


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

fern November 5, 2008 at 5:37 pm

i can honestly say i don’t really have a wish list. Sure, i have financial goals, like paying off my mortgage in 7 years, and eventually i’ll need a new car, but nothing else short-term comes to mind.

that’s becus i’m really trying hard not to spend money on non-ncessary things, so rather than dreaming about wha i want, I simply don’t. I’ve cancelled most of the catalogs that used to come to the house, and if i get one now, it goes in the trash so i’m not even tempted to newly discover something i must have.


Amber C November 10, 2008 at 9:50 am

I have a list that has items that range from small to large in price. I’m in no hurry to fulfill the list but every now and again I’ll see something at a great price that is on the list and I pick it up.


Karla (threadbndr) November 13, 2008 at 2:47 pm

I have a “house” wish list. Some decorating things, some furniture and appliance replacement, paint color ideas, etc. There is a ‘household repair, replace’ line item in the budget and I’m currently saving up for a new washing machine. Every few months, I mark another item off the list.

I also have a ‘books to read’ list (LIBRARY!!!) and a “films” list (NETFLICKs!!)


The Debt Defier November 13, 2008 at 9:33 pm

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

@ Fern – Good for you! I wish we had your discipline.

@ Amber C – There you go!

@ Karla – Our list has basically turned into a house list. Fix Front Porch, new basement windows, a water softener…stuff like that.

The last part of your comment makes me miss my queue :(



Shaw February 22, 2009 at 10:43 am

Motivation is the key to all success. There are many factors in life that determine the amount of motivation we have at any given time. Pain can be a motivator as well as pleasure.


Sharon February 23, 2009 at 1:21 am

Set a major goal, but follow a path. The path has mini goals that go in many directions. When you learn to succeed at mini goals, you will be motivated to challenge grand goals.


Lyndsey February 24, 2009 at 4:21 am

Success in life isn’t all big dreams and inspiring ideas. Daily improvements and small, positive steps are just as critical, perhaps even more so.


Nuclear Success March 31, 2009 at 9:18 pm

lol… poof.

I’m a huge fan of Napoleon Hill and a big believer in the law of attraction. I do believe that you attract things into your life, but not in the sense of just imagining you own something (like a car) and then expecting the universe to rearrange itself to give it to you.

When I say I’m a believer of the law of attraction, I’m talking more along the lines of taking a specific path in life, a definite major purpose as Napoleon Hill teaches. If you have a definite major purpose and have the enthusiasm and determination to do what it takes to achieve this purpose, you will find that things will start to happen, doors will open, people will go out of their way to help you. Opportunities will appear that you would have never thought possible.

Nuclear Success


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