The New Year is always filled with promise and excitement. Another year to meet all the goals we didn’t accomplish last year (or the year before that). After all, who among us isn’t haunted by the goals of yester-year that were unfulfilled? How do you set financial goals that stick and aren’t abandoned by March, completely forgotten by August only to be resurrected in October in a last ditch effort to feel “accomplished” by New Year’s Eve?
- Set goals based on your personal desires
For several years, I have set financial goals that I abandoned a few months later. I realized that I was abandoning those goals because they were tied to my true desires but that of the #debtfreecommunity aka “Get rid of all debt as soon as possible.” My philosophy on debt has evolved and was no longer in alignment with the goals I was setting. “Wow! That sounds like a really good goal. Let me make the same goal!” Pause. Everyone’s financial situations are unique. Regardless of the influence, even if that influence is considered “good” make sure that the goals you are setting are aligned with what you want. Some people call this being clear on your “what” and “why.”
2. Brainstorm different ways of achieving the goal
There is more than one route to any destination. Sometimes we get so stuck in one path forward we lose the opportunity of another route. If your goal is to decrease the monthly payments to debt, can you tackle a large debt or a few smaller debts to achieve this? If your goal is to increase your income, can you start a service-based business instead of getting a second job at your local grocery store?
3. Define your check-points.
How often will you check in with your progress? I check my network bi-weekly because that aligns with my paychecks. You may want to check in on your financial goals on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly schedule depending on the goal.
4. Break it down into smaller goals
Define for yourself what small progress at these check-ins you would like to see. For 2020, If you want to save $30k towards a house downpayment maybe you set a monthly goal of saving $2,500. The same goes for debt repayment.
5. Gamify the goal
One thing I’ve found really helpful, whatever my financial goal, is to make the goal into a game. Some ways to do that include:
- Coloring in a picture as you make progress
- Earn “points” as you go through achieving a goal
- Reward yourself at certain levels
6. Share your goal
This one always seems to be the toughest. If you are like me, the fear of public failure can seem overwhelming but the benefits of sharing your goal with a trusted confidante, your insta-fam, or over the internets is that you gain some accountability and support. Best case scenario you have at least one other person to celebrate your accomplishment. Worst case, if you set a goal that you are excited (albeit a bit nervous) about and you don’t make it, you have support to celebrate your progress.
Other articles you might like: