It’s the New Year, and you have probably heard and read a lot about resolutions and goals. I can even imagine you have a nice list of resolution and financial goals you would like to accomplish this year. But how are you going to make it happen? Simple! Follow these four easy steps to implement good financial goals into your lifestyle.
- Take Baby Steps: No matter what your financial goal is, break it down into the smallest, most manageable steps possible. Want to save $5000 by the end of the year? Great! What does that break down into? Maybe it means putting $14 in your savings account each day. Perhaps it means finding a side job that will pay you at least $417 per month. Whatever your goal may be, break it down into the simplest means possible. This will allow you to set big goals without becoming easily overwhelmed.
- Be Specific: Give your goals a face and identity. Don’t set goals like “Save money” or “Get rich”. Those are too abstract. Instead, make your goals as specific as possible, like “Save $100 on groceries each month and put the savings in a vacation fund” or “Have $1000 in my emergency fund by April”. Once you have pinpointed your financial goals – put them in sight. I want you to be reminded of your goals several times a day so that you will not fall short of accomplishing them.
- Reassess Your Goals Frequently: It’s not enough to ring in the New Year with a specific goal. You have to reassess and reevaluate it several times before the deadline of the goal. Don’t be the person that realizes they didn’t reach their goal in December. For example, if I want to pay off $5000 worth of debt in five months, I would keep track of every time I put money towards the debt. I would also sit down and see if I am on track with paying off the debt. If I didn’t pay $1000 towards the debt one month, I would look at where I was falling short and discover other areas I could pull the money from (i.e. cutting the cable for 5 months or going on a fast food fast).
- Find Inspiration from Those Who Have Accomplished the Goal: There are many people that have accomplished small and great financial goals alike. Just Google it, and you will find a well of inspirational stories. I just read one the other day of a mom learning how to reupholster furniture, and she became so successful that she was able to work at home and pay off the families’ debts. Motivation is a powerful tool, but it must be used often. Reading other people’s financial success stories can also help you find ideas that you can start using in your own life.
You can accomplish your financial goals this year. You just have to have the proper action plan to do so. It will take time and sacrifice on your part, but you can do it!