At some point in your life, you’ll have already heard about the importance of goal setting and how essential this process is when it comes to getting to where you want to be in life. From big goals about your own life direction to small goals referring to what’s on your to-do list for today, goals are important, but you can’t just make any old goals and hope for the best.
If you’re looking to achieve the best results, you need to be setting your specific, smart goals, not just generalised, generic goals, the difference of which we’re going to be focusing on in today’s post. When you’re ready to get what you want out of life, let’s get started.
- Smart Goals are Defined
A generic goal could be something like ‘I want to get out of debt’, but this is such a broad goal because it doesn’t give you an actionable takeaway that you can follow through on. This is the most important bit of goal setting to remember. A goal is there to motivate you, inspire you, and guide you and your life in the direction you want to go.
The smart goal variation of saying ‘I want to get out of debt’, would be to say something like ‘I want to save and pay off my $35,000 debt within the next four year’. Now you have targets. Now you have something actionable and tangible to aim for.
- Make Your Goal a Challenge
Goals are meant to be a challenge to obtain. You need to go above and beyond what you’re capable of doing to grow in life. Otherwise, you’re going to stay exactly where you are. You could say you’re going to pay off your debt or save $10,000, but over an entire lifetime, that’s nothing.
Instead, saying ‘I want to save $10,000 within one year from today’, this gives you something to really push and aim for.
- The Goal Must Be Possible
While goals must be challenging, they can’t be impossible. Otherwise, you’re simply setting yourself up for failure, and once you inevitably fail, then you’re going to feel bad about yourself and will be knocking your own self-esteem. Instead, go for the wins and keep going. Flow forward in your life with momentum.
- Smart Goals Have Deadlines
MyWealthandInvesment shares that it’s important to have a deadline or time limit with your goal. Otherwise, you’re basically giving yourself your entire life to play around with the goal and, let’s face it, it’s never going to happen. Be direct and defined with your time limit in order to get results.
- Aim for Positive Outcomes
You must take the time to set positive goals that have positive outcomes. You could say, “I want to stop my frivolous spending habits’ but this is a negative statement. Instead, rephrase your goals into a statement like ‘I want to be more in control of money by saving and then rewarding myself once I’ve saved a certain amount.’
Of course, you’ll need to be more defined than this, but you should have a clear idea of what kind of language you should be using to encourage yourself.
Hand in hand with that last point, it’s important to remember that you set yourself financial smart goals because you want to be in a better position than where you are now. You should be encouraging and inspiring to yourself, not just trying to cut all the bad habits out of your life and hoping that good ones will automatically take their place.