Goal Setting's Big Payoff

How to really stick to goals and resolutions

from daveramsey.com on 20 Jul 2009
 

People who win at anything have written goals. Goals are simply what you are aiming at. Zig Ziglar said, "If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time."

In terms of success, goal setting has a big payoff. A study of Harvard graduates found that after two years, the 3% who had written goals achieved more financially than the other 97% combined! It doesn't always take an expensive education or the right connections to succeed on a big scale. For most of us, all we need are clear, written goals.

Most people have the best intentions, yet often fail to actually write down the specific money goals they desire to reach. Take the time to determine, in simple terms, your short-term and long-term goals, no matter which Baby Step you are currently on.

Short-Term Goals

Short-term financial goals are things you want to save for or purchase within the next month or next couple of years. For short-term goals, you should make a "Needs and Wants" list. Brainstorm what you need versus what you want. List the items. Then ask yourself three simple questions about each listed item:

  1. If I didn't purchase the item this year, would it make a big difference? If it doesn't, it slides over to the "Wants" list.
  2. If I could only purchase one of these items by saving for it this year, which would I prioritize first? Second? And so on.
  3. How much will each item cost? Total the dollar amount and divide by 12 months.

Long-Term Goals

Take a similar approach with your long-term goals, those which you plan on completing at least three years from now. These types of goals can include debt elimination, retirement, college funding, etc. Many of these goals will most likely be necessities and will need to be factored into your budget no matter what. Keep that in mind when you combine your lists of short- and long-term goals.

Now, decide how many goals you can realistically meet in a certain amount of time. How far down the list can you go without breaking your budget?

Other Goals

While you're at it, why not set goals for other areas of your life as wellfamily, physical, spiritual, social, etc.? You will not be disappointed that you did because all areas of your life have a tie to your money. Focus your intensity on these goals, and you'll definitely be on your way to success this year and one step closer to being debt free and building wealth!

Whatever your financial goals, we have resources to help you.

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