Keep Reaching for Your Financial Goals
Few things are able to motivate us like self-improvement. But despite our initial enthusiasm, our personal goals can seem like impossible challenges after just a few days.
Financial goals are particularly difficult to accomplish. Spending money is an unavoidable part of modern life and financial goals can easily get lost in other money issues. What’s worse, the feedback from financial goals is blunt and immediate. As soon as we get started, our finances begin evaluating our success with clear positives and negatives. Financial goals also remember our mistakes. A one-time slip-up, like a significant purchase, can disrupt and damage a goal for months or even years.
The success of a goal often comes down to the strategies and tools used to support them. However, valuable techniques are often abandoned as soon as a little bit of progress is made. Can anyone expect to reach their goal if they don’t sustain their plans for meeting it?
Do you have a goal you’ve given up on? Give it another try. It’s never too late to renew your efforts. Use some of these steps to help make your goal a reality:
Be reasonable – It’s always important to be realistic; but for financial goals, it is essential. If you make your goals too extreme, you set yourself up for frustration and disappointment. It’s better to have an easy goal you can reach than an impossible goal that makes you quit. Once you have a little success, you can raise your expectations.
Set solid milestones and celebrate them – Milestones are a great way to track progress and boost your morale, but you need to make them an important part of your life. If you’ve made it halfway to your goal, celebrate in some way and give yourself a taste of what success will feel like. Stay positive; milestones are meant to show you how far you’ve come, not how far you still have to go.
Find some accountability – Talk with an advisor about your goals and having them check up on your progress can massively boost your discipline. Even if your advisor only asks for occasional updates, being accountable for your actions can provide a lot of encouragement to stick to your plan.
Automate what you can – Constantly trying to make the right choices can wear down your motivation.
Automating your target savings or debt payments can help you avoid the potential mistakes and will allow you to save your energy for other challenges.
Limit the number of goals – Reaching goals can be difficult, so don’t try to accomplish several of them simultaneously. Only start one or two financial goals at a time and don’t create new ones until your current efforts have become second nature.
Bend so that you don’t snap – Interruptions are inevitable. Much like setting a realistic goal, it’s important to have realistic expectations for your progress. If there is an unavoidable problem, adjust your goal accordingly and keep trying. Don’t give up on a goal just because of an unplanned setback.
Reaching goals is a skill that takes practice and experience. In accomplishing one goal, you learn which strategies work best with your personality. Even when you fail, you’ve learned more about what it takes to reach success. The important thing is being willing to try again.