Writing Down Our Financial Goals Helps Us Achieve Them
No matter what stage of life we are at, or what our financial situation might be, it is important for all of us to have financial goals. If we do not develop and implement specific financial goals, it becomes more difficult to achieve what we would like to accomplish in our lives, both short and long-term. And writing down (or recording) our financial goals can help us achieve those goals.
One of the most important strategies when setting financial goals is to make those goals deadline specific. This means setting specific goals as well as a firm date that will serve as an accomplishment target. Consider the difference between saying “I want to save more money” and “I want to save an extra $20 per week for the rest of this year.”
Anyone who decides they “want to save more money” will need to figure out which steps they will take to make that goal a reality. Saving one extra dollar in a year is technically “saving more money” so, we all need to ask ourselves exactly how much money we want to save in that same year. And we need to be realistic about what it will take to achieve that goal.
If saving $20 each week (for instance) is the set goal, then after a month or two it will be obvious if that goal is being met. This sort of tracking of progress makes it much more likely that the goal will be achieved.
When we write down our goals or set them up in a calendar, we will be reminded of them, and we will force ourselves to be specific about what we want to accomplish, and when.
We also want to ensure we write down both long- and short-term goals. A short-term goal could be something to achieve in the next few months or the next year (such as “I want to save $2,000”), while a long-term goal will be aimed at the next several years and even beyond that (such as “I want to save for my daughter’s wedding”). Write down (or record in a calendar or smart phone) both long- and short-term goals as well as deadline dates for achieving those goals.
Writing down our financial goals (or recording them in a calendar or smartphone) will help us remember them. In fact, numerous management coaches have made the claim that the actual physical act of writing something down really forces us to think about that goal and can make the goal easier to remember. Plus, if we write down our goals in a place where we will often look at them, this can serve as a continuous reminder. Consider storing goals somewhere they can be easily seen. For some people, this might mean keeping a note inside the closet or on the bathroom mirror. For other people, it could mean keeping a list of goals on a note in their phone or a card in their wallet. Find a place that works and store goals there. And review them regularly.
Tracking progress is also especially important. If we do not keep track of how we are performing, it becomes harder to achieve what we want to accomplish. If we write down (or record) a specific goal, we can always go back and see if we are working at it, and if we have reached it. For instance, if I wrote down “I want to save $20 a week” ten weeks ago, it becomes quite easy to see if I have achieved this goal by looking at my savings account statement 10 weeks (about 2 and a half months) down the road.
In the same sense, it is also important to write down (record and track) any progress that is made. For example, I make a note every time I meet a specific goal (such as each time I save the $20 I was planning to save) because this makes tracking much easier, and it offers me a true sense of satisfaction or accomplishment.
I have created my plan and goals. Now it is your turn to create yours! If up until today you have found that you have not been able to achieve the financial goals you had hoped to, then now is the time to create a plan to ensure your future success. If you write down your initial goals and track your progress along the way, it will become much clearer to see how you are doing and what, if any changes, you need to make.
It is also extremely important to not think that having to change a goal is failure. Simply put: The point of setting goals is to “try” to achieve them, and if those goals prove to be unreachable you may not achieve them right away. So rather than struggle with an unrealistic goal, look at your financial situation and set a new, or revised goal that you can more easily achieve.
If you have been struggling to achieve your financial goals and are having difficulty getting your debts under control, the insolvency professionals at Farber can help. Please click below on the FREE CONSULTATION button or give us a call today so we can set up a free consultation for you and help you fine-tune your financial life. We look forward to helping you!