Goal Setting and Planning

Goals are KEY when it comes to your financial success. Without goals you would not be motivated, you would have nothing to get excited about and make life worth living.  Goals can be very short-term in nature and some may be long-term. Even just deciding to make your bed or exercise tonight is a goal. When that small goal is accomplished it can add to your feeling of success and drive you to do more in all aspects of your life.

This infographic reminds you of some of the best ways to plan for a goal, print it and tape it to your mirror!

Click here or on the image above for your printable pdf of this infographic.

By studying goals and how to accomplish them, I have learned from many respected psychologists that there are 4 main items that make your goals most meaningful and achievable:

1)    The goal should achieve a positive outcome. State your goal as a change for good, such as, “I want to work out 3 days a week to make me stronger.” As opposed to “I want to stop being lazy.”

2)    Your goal should be measurable. This allows you to see success and really defines what success means to you.  Know how much and by what date you should achieve your goal.

3)    Your goal should be realistic. Make your goal challenging, but not impossible. Too easy of a goal will not be motivating for you. You can break down your challenging goal into easy steps but they should lead to a rewarding result.  Evaluate your progress from time to time and revise your steps if needed.  It is ok to adjust your steps when life gets in the way, but be sure you hold yourself accountable; maybe set a maximum number of 2 revisions.

4)    Write down your goals.  You can do this more formally with a financial plan, for example, or you can make them handwritten in a journal. For large long-term goals, a formal plan helps remind you why you have specific steps and how to accomplish each one. For simpler goals handwritten paper is fine.  Put the written plan where you see it regularly.  If you stuff it in a drawer, it won’t remind you of the tasks you need to accomplish and why you are doing them.

For goals most important to me, I like to print small pictures that remind me of my goal and keep them where I see them daily. In the car or on a mirror where you get dressed in the morning are great places to see your goals before you start your day. You CAN accomplish your goals! Stay determined and let naysayers motivate you. Keep your head up and remember KNOWLEDGE IS KEY! (see our updated personal finance statements excel sheet, now including a goal planning page for you! Click here to go back and review our post on how to track your income and expenses, assets and liabilities with this sheet.)


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