5 Key Elements Of Setting A Financial Goal
Have you ever had a personal moment when someone asks you what your goals are? You had absolutely no idea did you?
It may sound wacky to some people, but setting yourself a goal to achieve is one of the most important elements of success. Setting a goal like “I want to be as rich as I can be” is so vague, it allows you to give yourself excuses when you get nowhere “as rich as you can be”.
When you give yourself a specific target like “I want to make $100,000 this year”, you start having a real focal objective to meet. And with this specificity, your active and sub-conscious mind starts to create ideas to help you get to your destination.
This mind game could sound like mambo jambo to many people. But once your give it a try and see results for yourself, you will see for yourself how powerful your mind is in shaping your own future. Just give it a go on a smaller scale and see how likely you will take action.
For example, tell yourself that you will go for a jog by the end of the month. You are unlikely to even remember it. However, if you tell yourself to go on a 1 mile run next Monday at 6pm, you are more likely to do it.
Here are 5 key factors to setting yourself a great financial goal.
As show earlier, being specific can make all the difference between success and failure. You are more likely achieve a goal you laid out specifically, than one that does not have a finishing line. It could even be the source of your invisible force pushing your forward in challenging times.
Set a time frame
When setting a specific goal, you also want to accompany it with a deadline. This can help to give you more focus and drive in following a plan. It’s totally fine to set open-ended goals when they are long-term. You can amend them in future. But when you have short term goals with more immediate importance, it will be best to be as specific as possible in setting a time line.
For example, how likely are you to put more urgency into your work when your boss tells you to “finish a report” compared to “have the report on my desk by 7am tomorrow morning”? How about your direct supervisor tell you that you will have to leave the company should you “fail to perform” compared to “fail to hit the sales target by the end of the month”?
You see the power of specific time frames here? The good part is that you can manipulate these mind games in your favor by using it on yourself when goal setting.
You are setting yourself up for failure if you decide to make a million dollar in 6 months when you have never even broke the $3,000/month barrier in your line of work. It’s not that it’s impossible, it just very improbable.
Setting huge goals and dreams can look and sound sexy when you are on a blind date, but you are not being realistic. And when you fail to attain them, failure becomes more and more acceptable to you. That is not a healthy way of “forcing” yourself towards success. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
You will be able to track how well you are faring towards your objectives when your progress is measurable. This can help to spur you on as you start to slowly see clear signs of progress.
For example, if you have set yourself a goal of making $100,000 by the end of the year, you will know that you have narrowly missed your target when you end up with $89,000. This will help you to draw up new plans that will improve on it. While if you reached $89,000 by the end of September, you will know that you are well on your way to attaining your goal. You can then be certain that you are doing something right. This will help your come up with new plans when going for a more adventurous goal.
It will deliver little value when your needs are financial in nature and you set a goal of catching a mega trout on the next fishing trip. This extreme example is used just to drive home the point. Don’t play this joke with yourself. You are just wasting your time and not taking your own life seriously.
The ultimate key to accomplishing your goals is to remove all excuses you could tell yourself when you fail. If you remove the availability of excuses, you can see more clearly what needs to be done to get to where you want to be. You also become more accountable to yourself whether in success or failure.
Other than that, remember to:
Stay focused. Don’t overwhelm yourself with 20 targets to reach. It is easier to stay focused with just a few main ones. You will also face lesser dilemmas of decisions that favor one over another.
Internalize good habits. When you make it a habit to run a mile a day, it becomes something that you absolutely have to do each day. You might even feel weird one day when you skip a session. The best part is that you will start to see yourself getting leaner without even noticing. Changing habits can be challenging. But if you can make changes that play a positive role towards your objectives, it could be worthwhile to internalize them.
Niche down your goals. A big goal can be hard to even look at. But if you can break them down into a few smaller ones, they become that more user-friendly. You become less intimidated and completing them could be all the more easier. The great part is that your huge goal will be accomplished when you finish all the smaller ones.
Patience. Don’t expect overnight success. It takes time to start seeing your financial position improve. You might not notice much changes if you look at the numbers everyday. But you might see positive results by reviewing the number quarterly. Be patience in see results.