If you want anything in life, whether that’s a dream job, financial stability, a fancy car or a long loved travel adventure, you need to set goals.
Unfortunately things don’t generally just get handed to you on a silver platter, ready to for you to enjoy.
Without goals, success is unlikely. It’ll leave you lacking focus and direction. Having goals set in place to be successful in whatever area you wish to be, not only provides a benchmark to what you want to achieve, it can provide you motivation, guidance and control.
Having dreams and ambitions in the first place is a great thing (so go you for wanting to grow and be better) however; there’s process when it comes to achieving goals.
You can’t simply say “I want to have $XXXX saved in the bank by $XXXX date” and expect it to happen, action needs to take place! Goal setting is a process.
You need to mindfully think about what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, the process of achieving it and how you are going to reach them!
Here is our “Recipe” for setting your desired goals.
Define the “why”
Firstly, you need to identify the “why”. Why do you want to achieve this specific goal? Defining this will give you they key to achieving your goals, that being, MOTIVATION. Say you have a particular fitness achievement you really want to accomplish. Think about why you want it, do you want it because it will make you feel good and make you a better person or because you think you NEED to do it, or are doing it for other reasons. Make sure what you want to achieve is for the RIGHT reasons!
Begin with the end in mind
Knowing where you are going and why the first step is and is always completely unique to you. Of course finding the why and having a crystal clear vision isn’t always that easy, that’s when talking and discussing that vision with a financial advisor can really assist on helping you find it.
Apply SMART goals
A very popular tool of goal setting is SMART Goals, which you may have heard of before but they can come in super handy when applied! Although there are many different variations of what SMART stands for, the essence is that goals should be:
After defining “why” you want to achieve a certain goal you need to be specific on exactly what that goal is. This will make your goal more achievable if it’s clear and precise, leaving no room to drift or to sway away from what you want to accomplish.
Make sure your goals are attainable and measurable
Look, it’s all well and good to sit there and say, “I’m going to lose 20kgs in six weeks” or “By the end of the year I want to have saved $100,000” but if it’s just NOT possible, then don’t make it a goal. Make goals that are achievable! Setting unrealistic goals will not only leave you feeling disheartened and pretty crap, it becomes more unlikely that you’ll try for the goal again! It’s important to aim high, but be realistic.
Making sure your goals are measurable is another important factor that comes into achieving your goals. Keeping track of precise amounts, dates, figures, percentages and so on will keep you on track and measuring your progress. Without measuring your success you will miss out on the celebration when you do succeed!
When setting out goals it is important to produce an achievable deadline! Having a deadline will increase urgency, give you a “finishing line” and also keep you on track by providing motivation. Remember: Make this time ACHIEVEABLE
Write it down & Make an action plan
With our days becoming busier and busier it’s never been more important to take the time to sit down and write out your goals. This makes it real and will help you apply all the above tools listed above.
While you’re writing out your goals is the perfect time to make an action plan. Write down exactly what steps you’re going to take. Maybe even setting small milestones that you can celebrate along the way, especially if your goal is large, demanding and long term.
If you’re goals are financial a sound comprehensive financial plan include looking at the following: Tax planning, Superannuation Strategies, Cash flow Management, Debt Management, Asset Protection, Insurance, Investment Strategy, Estate Planning, Centrelink Planning, Banking and Cash, and Income Streams. The plan then creates a series of strategies and actions that will need to be done to achieve our goals.
Stick with it but be kind on yourself!
Sticking to your goals and reminding yourself why you’re trying to achieve them is the most important part (especially if their large or a bit harder to obtain). Return to the “why” and “how”, as often as you need. You could have the goal and why written next to your bed, on your mirror or in your car so you see it everyday and use it as a reminder to keep going!
As mentioned previously it’s great to have goals and want to strive for bigger/better things but be kind on yourself! If you don’t achieve your goals straight away or in your desired time frame, rethink, reevaluate and go through the above steps again. There’s no point beating yourself up about something you can’t change. Be gentle to yourself, try the best you can and enjoy the process!
Lastly, review, review review! It’s important you review that your goals are still relevant, that you’re still on track and that your plan/action is still working and leading you into the direction of your goals! Because the world is ever changing, we to will change. Therefore reviewing and assessing is completely essential!
Michele Purvis is an advisor with over 30 years experience working in the accounting and financial services industry helping clients to define and create their wealth.