Financial Goal Setting

How To Enjoy The Rewards Of Using A Strong Goal Setting Technique

Many people avoid financial goal setting like the plague. Talking, thinking and looking at our money (or the lack of it) can cause many of us to cringe.

In fact, most people, can start out with the best of intentions when it comes to money. We take steps towards setting goals to get on the right financial track.

But....some how, some way...things seem to get off track and our financial resolutions fail. Again.

However, it doesn't need to be like this! You CAN set strong financial goals that you will be motivated to achieve. Here's how...

Choosing The Right Goal Setting Technique

You must have a good goal setting technique to focus your efforts at making money.

It is one of THE best ways to secure your financial freedom. And, your best chance at financial success.

financial goal setting determines success or failure Goal setting can determine your
financial success or failure.

Meaningful financial goal setting allows you to:

  • have focus
  • track your financial progress
  • visualize your ideal future
  • motivate you to turn your vision into reality
  • allow you to concentrate your efforts for success
  • have long term vision
  • experience short term motivation

All successful people have a clearly defined, measurable picture of what they are working towards.

You can too.

It just takes a little bit of planning.

Sounds logical, right? But, how do you get started on financial goal setting?

One goal setting technique that can be applied to your financial goal setting is the SMART goal setting tool.

SMART Goals are:

S - Specific

M - Measurable or Meaningful

A - Attainable or Action-oriented

R - Relevant or Rewarding

T - Time sensitive or Trackable

If you always keep these guidelines handy, your goals will be ones that will help you move forward, not hold you back.




Your ultimate objective is to define some SMART financial goals that you can work towards. Let's break this down further.

  1. First, you will need to outline where you are now. What are your assets? What are your debts? Your expenses? Your income? In order to set realistic goals, you need to have a clear idea of your current financial situation.

  2. Secondly, you will need to identify the big picture of where you want to get to or what you are working towards. This could be over the next 5, 10 or even 20 years.

  3. Then, you will break this large goal into smaller ones - preferably goals that can be achieved in less than one year.

  4. Lastly, you will establish daily/weekly action steps that move you slightly closer to your goal with each passing day.

All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.

Earl Nightingale

The following financial goal setting tips and resources will allow you to have this financial goal setting 'must do' completed in no time. Let's get started....




Your Current Financial Picture

Figuring out where you are now is critical to formulating realistic goals.







Long Term Personal Financial Goals

It can be a daunting task to figure out what you want in life - especially when it comes to money.

How much money is enough? What amount of money do you need to live on? What amount of money do you WANT to live on? (Our needs and wants can be drastically different!)

These are just some of the questions you may need to explore when working on financial goal setting.

Don't get overwhelmed.

Here are some resources to help you:

Bob Proctor, personal self development guru, has been helping people improve their lives for many years.

His book "You Were Born Rich" and the related workbook and other materials are great resources for thinking about what your long-term financial goals are.

You can get a free copy of "You Were Born Rich" by Bob Proctor at his website. It is a worthwhile read.

Another good read is Zig Ziglar's book, "Over The Top".

Here is how the book is described on Amazon:

Ziglar shows precisely how to achieve what people desire most from life -- to be happy, healthy, reasonably prosperous and secure, and to have friends, peace of mind, good family relationships and hope.




Short Term Personal Financial Goals

Ok, now it is time to break that larger goal into bite sized pieces.

First run it through the SMART acronym.

SMART Financial Goal Setting Example

To have $2000 by Dec. 30, 2011 to use for a vacation.

S - Is this goal specific? Yes, I want to have a specific amount of money.

M - Measurable or Meaningful? Yes, I have set a target date.

A - Attainable or Action-oriented? Yes, I have given myself a long time frame - a whole year to achieve this goal.

R - Relevant or Rewarding? YES! I will thoroughly enjoy my holiday and am really looking forward to it.

T - Time sensitive or Trackable? Yes, it is time bound with a specific date.

Another strategy for breaking down a large goal and brainstorming the smaller sub-goals is to try a free online mind mapping tool.

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Action Steps

Stephen R. Covey's book, "First Things First", is really useful for managing your time. This will be critical to successfully take steps toward your goals.

Also, you will learn how to prioritize that massive to-do list we all have so that you put aside time each day for achieving your goal.

Remember:

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

"First Things First" helps you decide what are the important things off your list that will help you keep moving towards your goal.

For a 15 page summary of this book check out this easy to read FREE First Things First Ebook Summary.

Covey also offers a great online resource for achieving your goals from you financial goal setting process.

Simply sign up for his FREE 'Community' section of his website.

Once you are logged into the community, there is a 'my goals' tab on the top of the page.

This goals section walks you through the goal setting process. (The General category is where you can set financial goals.)




Don't forget to write down your goals and re-read them daily.

This will help keep you on track. And, it will make sure all your financial goal setting stays front and center in your psyche.

Financial goal setting takes work and effort. But, you can do it. And, it will be so worthwhile when you do.

Commit to setting SMART goals by choosing a goal setting technique that suits you.

If you do, you will be well on your way to a successful financial future.

We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we've established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.
Earl Nightingale



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