If someone were to ask you about your goals, how would you answer? Would you be vague and stumble in your response? Or would you have a clearly articulated answer?
I am not necessarily talking about financial goals. I am referring to the goals that motivate you to get up in the morning and drive you to do your best. Your goal might be related to self-education, fitness, health, time, travel, family or something totally different… Generally money is not the goal, but an enabler that helps you achieve your goals.
Without goals it is easy to drift through life from day to day without focus. You may find yourself living from pay cheque to pay cheque, enjoying the here and now without much thought of the future.
You may have heard of the acronym ‘SMART’ in the context of goal setting. Essentially SMART goals are more defined goals that are:
S – specific, significant, stretching
M – measurable, meaningful, motivational
A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-orientated
R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-orientated
T– time-based, timely, tangible, trackable
Rather than saying that you want to travel overseas every year, a SMART goal would be state that you want to travel to Africa in July 2019 at a budgeted cost of $20,000 for two people. This gives you direction to start planning and saving for your trip and a budget when booking airfares and tours.
Or you might want to improve your fitness. To make this goal SMART you would include a baseline measurement of your current fitness levels and what you would consider a measurement for improved fitness. You would state your action plan to address this – perhaps three personal training sessions a week at your local gym at a weekly cost of $100 for a period of six months.
Clients often say that they want to spend more time with their families. To make this a SMART goal you could define this as a goal to take your child/children to a specific extra-curricular activity once per week during the school term. This would involve confirming the arrangement with management and leaving the office early one or more days per week.
Goals Are Not ‘Set and Forget’
It is important that you take time to set your goals and then revisit them regularly.
As a couple you might go away for the weekend once a year to work out your shared and individual goals & agree and commit to making these a reality. Alternatively, you may set aside an hour or two every quarter to switch off the television and focus on you and your future.
You need to choose what works best for you – the most important thing is repetition and consistency. Your goals are not set and forget, they are constantly changing and evolving.
Lastly, to stay motivated, you need to regularly reflect back on how much you have achieved and celebrate each milestone.
At Your Family CFO we want to understand the things that are most important to you. As your ‘architect’, we can help you to define your goals and put in place a plan to help you achieve these.