Taking The First Step

Financial Goal Planning
“The hard part is not the vision.  Anyone can come up with a vision.  The hard part is the holding.” – Bob Burg, The Go-Giver Leader

We are all guilty of setting goals, getting pumped up to conquer them, but then in a few weeks it all fizzles out.  Life gets in the way, priorities change, and before you know it 6 months have gone by and you are no closer to meeting your goals.

So what can be done to change this dynamic?

Figure out where you are going!

You would never book flights or train tickets without knowing your destination.  When you plan a trip, you decide on the destination and then take the planning steps needed to get you there.  Figure out where you want to go and write it down so you have a constant reminder of why you are doing what you are doing.  Things like I want to make more money or I want to be a provider for my family really doesn't cut it.  So be specific.  How do you want to live your life for the next 5, 10, 20 years?  When uncertainty or life’s pressures get in the way, never lose sight of your destination.

How are you going to get there?

Great! You have your destination.  Now comes the hard part – the goals.  If you follow the simple framework below you can’t go wrong.  Don’t overthink it. As the goals come to you write them down.  Once you have a list of goals start grouping them together in categories like Family Goals, Health Goals, Financial Goals, Travel Goals, etc.  Then once they are grouped, start prioritizing them in order of importance as it relates to you getting to your destination.

Goal Setting Framework

Specific – How Long?  How Much? What for?  Be Specific!

Measurable – Monitor Your Progress to Meeting your Goal!

Attainable – Be Realistic!

Relevant – Goals Should be Meaningful to You!

Timely – Don’t Be Afraid to Set a Deadline!

Be flexible and live for today!

When things go wrong or you get off track, don’t let fear or doubt cloud your vision for your destination.  The key to the execution of any successful plan is the ability to be flexible. 

Think about all the things that can come up on your commute to work in the morning.  Emergency road work closes two lanes on the highway – GREAT! This adds 45 minutes to your commute and that 9AM meeting is going to have to be pushed till 10AM, but not everyone is available so it needs to be postponed, but the project has a deadline in two days, and this meeting was critical to you getting the project done.  You deal with stuff like this all the time, but you always adapt and continue to move forward.  So when you get off track with your goals – gather your thoughts, assess the situation, adapt and continue to move forward.

With all of this talk of planning for the future you cannot forget to live for today.  You need to find that balance where you live for today, but do the things you need to do today to get where you want to go in the future!