Remember, an unwritten goal is just a wish

Think about your goals for this coming year – what do you want to accomplish?

Goals help us understand what areas we need to focus on, provide a framework for action planning, and give us a sense of accomplishment as we work toward achieving them. Sometimes it’s hard for us to imagine the future we want because we are so busy trying to get through the day.

If you do not know where you are going on your life journey, how will you know when you arrive? This is very true about the importance of having financial goals. You need to set financial goals to help you make wise financial decisions, and also as a reward for your efforts. Goals should be clear, concise, detailed and written down. Remember, an unwritten goal is just a wish.

Identifying milestones along the way towards success
Goal setting is an effective tool for personal and professional growth. Think about your goals for this coming year: What do you want to accomplish? Is there anything preventing you from achieving those goals? How can you overcome any obstacles that might come your way? Once you have a clear understanding of your desired outcomes, you can develop a plan for achieving them, including allocating resources and identifying milestones along the way towards success.

Goal setting enables us to stay focused on our end targets while also ensuring we have all the necessary support in place to meet our goals on time. The benefits of goal setting can be seen in almost any area of life, but the most important thing is to choose goals that work for your individual needs and desires while being able to balance them with what you have going on in every other part of your life.

You have probably heard the saying: ‘If all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.’ So it’s important to know when and how to use a certain tool at a given time.

Each of your financial and lifestyle goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound (SMART).

Your financial and lifestyle goals need to be as specific as possible, because otherwise they won’t give you enough direction to follow through. Look at your goals like a lamp lighting the way – the brighter the light, the clearer the journey ahead. If you don’t have clearly defined goals, it can be easy to procrastinate. Think about your life and what you want to achieve, and what action you need to take to achieve the outcomes you want.

Measurable goals are essential for evaluating the progress of your journey. It’s important to give yourself realistic deadlines, to make them action-oriented, but ensure they are realistic with an appropriate timeline. Adding specific dates and values will make your progress quantifiable, enabling you to complete your goals and visualise your destination.

Be honest with yourself and set realistic financial and lifestyle goals. Decide what you want to accomplish. So, start with the highest on your priority list. We know it’s easy to be overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, so we’ll help out with the process. By reviewing your financial and lifestyle goals annually with us, it gives you an opportunity to formally review them, update them and review your progress since last year.

It’s essential to align your financial and lifestyle goals with the direction you want to take. Balancing the alignment will give you the focus you’ll need. If you think about it, a goal is defined as ‘a desired result’. And a resolution is ‘a firm decision to do something’. So they are really very similar. When setting any financial and lifestyle goals, ask yourself what each goal means to you?

Having a destination point will mean you’ll get to celebrate when you accomplish your goal. Having set deadlines gives you a sense of urgency that is lacking when goals are open-ended. In other words your financial and lifestyle goals should be time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible and trackable.

Making additional investments
Do you have the means to make additional investments necessary to accumulate the required assets to achieve your goals? Don’t neglect to consider the effects of taxes on your savings and investments. After considering the foregoing, you might determine that you can achieve some goals in less time. Or you might find that it could take longer. The time horizon is important to setting realistic goals.

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