Everybody loves the thought of a fresh start, so as the year is just beginning, people have set aside goals they want to accomplish within a particular period.
According to Tony Robbins, “Setting a goal is the first step in turning the invisible into visible.”
These goals can be set daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly depending on what works for you. Some people start the new year by joining a popular trend (new year new me) without ruminating over this new them that they want to attain. For you to be intentional about setting a realistic goal, you must have some quiet time with yourself. Think deeply about those habits that are preventing you from achieving certain objectives in life, then strategize on ways to amend the hindering habits so as to achieve all that was unachievable in the previous years.
Some of these goals are as follows: To stop a bad habit, to upskill yourself, to live a healthy life, and finally, to set a money goal (becoming financial savvy), which is the central idea of this topic.
Starting the new year with a realistic financial goal and setting out ways to discipline yourself to avoid defaulting is the best way to begin and end the year. It may seem difficult, but here are 5 ways that can guide you to actualize it.
Visualize your dream life
Visualization is a great way to manifest the things you want most. Not only does your brain register that dream life as something that is possible for you, but studies show that you will then make decisions that help get there.
Your goal must have a timeframe
You probably already know this, but the best goals are the ones that follow the S.M.A.R.T criteria. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific. If the goals you create follow the criteria, you have everything you need to succeed. As you think about your money goals for the year, make sure you follow the criteria above so that you set goals that can be attained.
Review your budget
Review your budget to confirm if the goals you have set are realistic or not. Your budget should give you a good idea of what you can reasonably afford to put towards your goals each month. If your goal is too aggressive, your budget will let you know.
Also, as you are divvying up your profit, make sure you are putting money aside for some fun every month. If you are all work and no play, you may end up splurging and that doesn’t help anyone. You should also try to get a side hustle to enable you have multiple means of income to reach your goal.
Stop accumulating debt and start paying it down
Debt is draining. Debt is heavy. Debt is expensive. It is something we should all be working to get rid of. Just think about how much you currently send to your debt payments every month. Imagine if that money was back in your pocket. Imagine if that money was allocated to the things you want to achieve. That is why it is critical to stop accumulating debt (first and foremost) and then start paying it down. The goal is to be debt-free. It may seem like decades away, but that doesn’t mean you don’t work towards it anyways. Do the right things with your money, and the right things tend to work out.
Once you have stopped accumulating debt, you can craft a plan to help you pay it off.
Save monthly, quarterly and half year’s worth of expenses
Everyone is at a different stage of their financial success journey. Because of that, you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin, or focus more time than necessary working towards a goal. If you don’t have anything or much saved, make it a goal to save one month’s worth of expenses. This is a realistic and achievable goal. If you don’t have debt, or you have a handle on it, your next goal should be to save 3 months’ worth of expenses. Depending on how much you currently have saved, this could take some time. This is perfectly fine. You will feel so much more secure when you reach this goal. It is worth the time it takes to achieve it.
Rounding out the milestones is 6 months’ worth of expenses. Having this number in your savings as your true emergency fund will cover you if something major were to happen. There is no better feeling than having your emergency savings fully funded. This should be a goal for everyone. You can even take it a step further and save 1 year’s worth of expenses.
In conclusion, the money goals listed above are things everyone can and should work towards. The goals will help anyone improve their financial situation, no matter where they currently stand. Make it a point to work towards one or all the goals on this list.