By: Marc C. Shaffer
Happy, financially successful people set out concrete goals and work to achieve them. To start spending your time and money on things that really matter to you, create written goals based around what you value in life. To ensure that you won't stray from your objectives, it is important to write them down.
Why are goals important?
1. They provide us with purpose and direction.
2. They help us convert our thoughts into concrete actions.
3. They give us motivation.
4. They provide us with guidelines, especially in times of confusion or crisis.
I encourage clients to really think about their motivations, and what they want in the short and long term. We go through various exercises to find out what they value and how the decisions they are currently making relate to their values.
The next and most important step is to write the goals down so you can track your progress. Every year, or more frequently if needed, go over the goals to make sure they still relate to your values and to see if you've made progress toward reaching them. We are too easily distracted with life, and goals often take a backseat to immediate needs and wants. Here are a few guidelines to make sure that you achieve your goals.
1. Write the goal down.
2. Create goals that are well defined and clearly relate to what you truly value in life. If there is no true personal meaning behind the goal, you won't have the drive to achieve it.
3. Reward yourself for achieving the goal and reaching milestones required to get there.
4. Share the goal with another person for accountability, help and support.
5. See your goals through to completion – don't keep changing them.
6. Incorporate the goal into a realistic plan that includes measurements, timelines and resources.
7. Remember the acronym S.M.A.R.T. for setting goals. It helps us remember that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and have a Timeframe.
It might seem as if simply setting goals is as hard as meeting them, but I assure you, the effort that you put into planning will pay dividends. With many situations in this world clamoring for our money, we can use our goals as guidelines to know whether we should spend the money or walk away. Our values and goals support us in knowing what choices we need to make.
If you haven't written down your financial goals, you truly should. When you do, be sure to include actions for progress and a timeframe. Review your goals periodically to make sure all are still up-to-date and meaningful to you.
Originally published in AdviceIQ
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