5 Easy Guidelines for Setting Financial Goals

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5 Easy Guidelines for Setting Goals

By: Amaris Nickerson

I remember my very first week of college. I forgot most the things they told us during that first week, but the one thing that I will never forget is the acronym S.M.A.R.T. It truly is one of the most practical and life-changing things I learned in college. Keep S.M.A.R.T. in mind every time you go to set a goal and see if you notice any changes!

S: Specific

Your goal should be specific. For example, instead of saying “I want to save money” say “I want to save x amount of dollars in x account”. Crafting specific goals is crucial because it really will help you focus in on what can otherwise be a huge, daunting change. For example, you might want to start being on time to every meetup or event, etc. That’s a HUGE goal. Instead, your goal becomes “you want to show up on time to your yoga class every week this month”.

M: Measurable

This is similar to specific, but you can have more fun with this one! Seeing your goals progress can be incredibly motivating. How are you going to measure your progress? Think of a couple ways and be diligent about measuring your progress along the way. It could be as simple as using an app like Habit Tracker or putting a dollar in a jar each time you do something towards your goal.

A: Attainable

Is your goal attainable? Is this a task or a plan that can be accomplished? For example, your goal might be to have a certain body type. You want to work out to attain that figure that ‘so and so’ has. While working out and getting in shape is a great goal to have, keep in mind what is attainable FOR YOU not someone else. Not only will it help you to relieve stress, but it will make that goal worthwhile and truly beneficial FOR YOU.

R: Realistic

Let’s say you have set a goal to become a better basketball player. You really want to get your free throw down and learn some other skills. That’s a great goal to set if you want to join your company’s basketball team, but no so great if you want to join the WNBA. If your goal is not realistic then you will never achieve it no matter what you do.

T: Time-Based

When would you like your goal to be accomplished by? How long do you estimate it will take you to achieve it? Okay, got it in mind! Now write it down somewhere. On a sticky note, a calendar, anywhere. Write down that date: ‘June 14, 2018’ or ‘September 23rd, 2020’ and put it somewhere you can see it every day. It’s like counting down to a vacation. When you look at the date that you have set it makes it real! It’s an event like anything else that IS GOING TO HAPPEN. And it’s okay if the date passes and you are still working towards your goal: “reschedule” and set another date.

You can achieve your goals, and I hope these five helpful tips will help you to craft goals to you are excited about and that you are going to attain this year: 2018 or in the coming years! Go get ‘em!