On your feet Soldiers! Happy New Year! A new year comes filled with new beginnings. New beginnings come with new challenges. So how do we meet those challenges? We must set goals. Goals are our aims or desired results. There’s something about “aiming” that brings focus. Zig Ziglar once said that “If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.” #Goals Goals help us navigate to places we’ve never gone and do things we’ve never done. This is paramount in managing our money. Let’s explore 5 SMART ways to go about setting our goals.
Goals should be clear and specific. The 5 Ws will help you be as direct as possible:
What are you trying to accomplish?
Why are you doing it?
Who needs to be involved?
Where are you trying to go?
Which resources are needed?
When you lack clarity you cause confusion. Donald Miller says that “if you confuse you’ll lose.” Clarify your goals.
Goals need to be measurable so you can track progress. Tracking progress helps you stay motivated, maintain focus, and meet deadlines, benchmarks, and milestones. A key point for measurement is using metrics or data targets.
Goals should be attainable and realistic. Think stretching the comfort zone, not swinging for the fences.
Goals must be relevant. This ensures that your goals matter, connect to what you do and who you are, and are appropriate, given the proper context.
Goals need target dates. Target dates put a timebox around the outcome you are trying to achieve.
Putting It All Together
A fully baked SMART goal example for your 2019 finances might look like this:
- Specific – I will pay off $5,000 of credit card debt.
- Measurable – I will pay a minimum of $100 each month toward the credit card debt.
- Achievable – I can achieve this if I cut down discretionary spending such as cable, fast food, and subscription services.
- Relevant – I need to reduce my debt so that I have more available money to put towards savings and future goals.
- Time-Bound – I will pay off this debt in 30 months.
Now that’s a SMART goal!
Soldiers, we now know the SMART way to set our goals. Action Plan time. What are your 2019 financial goals? Do you need to clarify your goals? How do your goals line up through the lens of the SMART framework? Oorah!