Setting goals helps you turn your needs, wants, hopes, and dreams for the future into something concrete that you can take steps to achieve. When you set goals, you can:
- Work toward making your future better
- Prioritize how you spend your money so that it goes toward things that really matter to you. - Measure and track your progress toward getting the things you want out of life.
- Take pride in bettering your life and the life of your family.
SMART goals have five important characteristics:
Specific – Ask yourself: What will I achieve? What specific thing will I accomplish? Why is this goal important to me?
Measurable – Ask yourself: How much? How many? How will I know when it is done? You should be able to track your progress toward meeting the goal.
Able to be reached – Ask yourself: Is this goal something that I can reach? Your goal may be a stretch for you, but it should not be extreme or impossible.
Relevant – Ask yourself: Is this something that I really want? Is now the right time to do this? Set goals that matter to you and are a priority in your life.
Time-bound – Ask yourself: When will I reach this goal? Goals should have a clearly defined time frame, including a target or deadline date.
Every goal requires commitment and time. To reach goals, you may also need:
• An action plan – small steps needed to reach the goal.
• Assistance from a profession – this may include regular meetings with a financial coach or counselor who helps you identify goals, build a plan, and decide how to take the steps to reach your goal.
For goals that require money to reach, you will want to know how much to set aside every week (or month) to meet the goal. Goals aren’t something to set and then forget. You need to keep your goals in sight, and you may sometimes need to revise them. To revise your goals, take look at what had changed, and make adjustments as needed.
Remember, setting goals and working toward them is a process that never really ends. If one of your goals has been achieved, it’s time to start the process again and set a new goal. Think about what you want for yourself and your family and create a new goal.
Image Description: Picture of 5 growing plants and coins, starting as a small plant bud on top of a small number of coins, and growing to a large plant bud on top of a jar full of coins with a snail about to cross a finish line at the bottom of the jar. The image text reads Smart Goals. Start with smart. Setting goals to help you turn your needs, wants, hopes, and dreams for the future into something concrete that you can take steps to achieve. Smart goals are specific, measurable, able to be reached, relevant, time bound.