Something magical happens when you write down your goals. It changes the way you see your situation.
This is one of the best quotes I have ever seen even though I don’t know who came up with it yet.
I once read that financial goals are financial priorities that are important to us. I am in total agreement with that statement. Our goals are our priorities. Financial goals can either be short term, intermediate or long term. Proper financial planning starts with goal setting. It is an important step in your financial planning and hence an important step in your financial success. Financial goals will give you something specific to work towards. Before you start taking these steps though you need to bear in mind that your goals must be SMART goals. To mean they must be;
- S – Specifc
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Realistic
- T – Timely
After bearing in mind that your goals must be SMART take the following steps to achieve them;
1. Know where you are
The first step to achieving your financial goals is knowing where you stand at the moment. Think about what you want and the reasons why you want them at this stage. You need that awareness so that at least you can figure out what is good for you moving forward. This can be achieved by doing a thorough examination of your current situation. Figure out such things like ; your income, your net worth, your debts, your expenses, your income tax situation and the like.
2. Establish a budget and stick to it.
Food for thought; is budgetting saving money while using money? My answer is yes I don’t know what your thoughts are. But the real reason for budgetting here actually is to fund your goals. It is the fuel by which the vehicle moving towards the achievement of your goals moves on. Your budget should be a realistic one so you can picture how much money you’ve got coming in so that you can see how much should go out and in the process can you keep some? Then you should use the money saved from budgetting to address your goals. An important thing though: Stick to your budget after making it!
You need to sort out your goals but according to time frames. There are short term goals, intermediate goals and long term goals. Sort what goals are within reach, what goals will take a bit of time to achieve and which ones will require a lot of time to be executed.
After sorting your goals the next step to take is listing them according to their value of importance. Financial goals are your securities therefore you need to decide what is the most important goal of the goals you hope to achieve. Which one do you value most? Then strive to execute them in their order of importance.
5. Make adjustments
At times fate always has different plans for us in store. We are human beings and things do not always happen as we planned since we cannot know what the secretive future holds. You should therefore allow for adjustments when things do not turn out as you expected them to. When certain things happen to you that make you feel like you won’t achieve a goal you set out to achieve feel free to eliminate that goal from your list. There is always a next time and maybe next time you will overdo yourself and achieve greater things.
6. Monitor your progress
Follow up is very important as it helps you keep track. To monitor your progress towards the achievement of your goals ask yourself the following questions;
- Am I where I’m supposed to be?
- Am moving towards the right direction?
- Which goals am I almost achieving?
- Which goals would not be achievable?
- Which goals have I achieved so far?
REMEMBER! Monitoring your goals should be done from time to time as it will help keep you on your toes.