Everyone sets financial goals throughout their lifetime. “I will start saving money,” “I will be rich when I am older,” “I will read more financial books.” It’s easy to set a financial goal, but how many people actually follow through with the goals they set? For many individuals, few goals are actually completed, or are only completed far past the desired deadline. There are infinite reasons why goals are not reached, but after learning this acronym and using it wisely, there are no more excuses! From now on, before you create a goal for yourself, be S.M.A.R.T. and you will not fail.S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym outlining the five steps to setting a feasible goal.S
pecific: Good goals should contain more detail then, “I will save money.” A better goal would be, “I will save $100 every week for the next six months.” Being specific and providing further detail of your goal gives you more interest into that goal and power over it. Having interest and knowing exactly what needs to be done relieves stress in completing the goal and makes it that much closer to completion.M
easurable: All goals should be measurable throughout the process of completing them. Being able to measure a goal as you go helps you know you’re heading in the right direction and one step closer to completion. Imagine running a marathon without knowing how far you’ve gone, or how much further you have to go. You would have no idea how much energy to use or reserve at any given point throughout the race. Everyday save $20 and simply write yourself a note. Each new day you will see that note and know you are one step closer to completing that goal.
Attainable: Goals must also be attainable for the individual creating it. Setting a goal too high will only cause frustration and cause you to quit early. What would happen if you earned $500 a month but $200 goes to rent, $150 to car payments, $50 to food, and $50 to bills. It would not be possible to save $100 a month when your expenses equal $450. Don’t worry about others goals, know what you’re capable of and set an attainable goal.
Relevant: If your goals are not relevant to your current life and the situations around you, then they are destined to fail. Financial goals must be focused around your current life and its surroundings. Telling yourself you will save $100 a month by driving less sounds like a good idea, but will be difficult while gas prices continue to rise. You may drive less, but with the increase in price, you may save almost nothing. Set goals that are relevant with your current lifestyle and you will have an easier time fulfilling them.
Time-based: Setting a time frame to complete a goal is key to actually completing it. Knowing that you only have so much time to complete a goal will motivate you to get started and keep going. Setting a goal to save $100 with no set deadline may be easily done, but not a proud accomplishment if it takes you six months just to do it. Set a deadline on all your goals and you will be that much more successful in completing them.
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