6 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals
by Laurie PK, Quips & Tips for Achieving Goals, on Mon Apr 12, 2010
Whether you want to save $500 a month or $25 a week, you need to make sure your financial goals match your personality! Achieving financial goals is easier when you know why you spend money, what your motivation for saving money is, and who can help you.
If you've always struggled with debt and can't figure out why, you might find Your Money Personality: Unlock the Secret to a Rich and Happy Life helpful. And here, three life coaches describe how to ensure your money personality matches your goals -- whether you want to buy a new house or save up for a relaxing month in Maui…
1. Set a financial goal that resonates with you. “The biggest mistake people make [when they set life goals] is picking the wrong goal in the first place,” says Talane Miedaner, author of Coach Yourself to Success . “Never set goals that are over a year old, because they're old and tired.” For instance, if you've been trying to save enough money to retire early for the past 20 years, then you need to retire that financial goal! It has passed its prime. Instead, set a different money goal (which can help you achieve your original goal, but in a different way). For instance, if you start saving $500 per month or even $25 a week, you may achieve your goal of early retirement. You're just working towards your goal in a different way.
2. Create a master spending and saving plan – not necessarily a budget. Determine what you actually need to do to save $500 a month or $50 a week. That's your master plan. Maybe you need to learn how to deal with financial stress , so you don't spend money to feel better about your life. Or, maybe you need to learn how to save $50 a week on your grocery bill . “To succeed, you have to schedule your goals and make them part of your life,” says life coach Laura Berman Fortgang, author of Take Yourself to the Top . “Put a system in place that will support change by giving you the structure you need.” If you need an example of a master spending and saving plan, please ask below…I'd be happy to share one with you!
3. Take baby steps towards your financial goals. “When you break your goal down into smaller parts, it becomes more controllable, less daunting, and more attainable,” says Christa Wagner, professional organizer and owner of Savvy Solutions.com. Lofty goals often feel overwhelming, which leads to procrastination and incompletion. Wagner uses her own life as an example: “I'm developing an eBook series from Savvy Solutions,” she says. “I have about 10 books I want to write. To reach my goal in six months, I've broken it down into daily and weekly tasks.” If you want to save $500 a month but don't think you can (or you don't make enough money to save that much!), then start by saving $25 a week, or even $50 a week. If the money goal you really want to achieve is overwhelming, you need to break it down into small, bite-sized parts...and work your way up.
4. Find your tribe – people who support your goals. “Get supportive folks in your camp,” advises Fortgang. “Join a group of like-minded folks, team up with a good friend, hire a coach or otherwise include people who want the best for you and will keep you on track.” If you know someone who also wants to save $500 a money – or any financial goal – invite her to be an accountability buddy. Then, check in with each other regularly to make sure you're on track. If you're part of a married or common-law couple, make sure you avoid the five financial goals couples should never set .
5. Stay focused on your goals. “I keep my goals on my wall, at my desk and in my planner,” says Wagner. “This allows me to check into them often, make adjustments, and check goals off my list. I always know where I'm going.” Vision boards, maps, lists, and pictures that embody success will keep you motivated to save your money. And, visualizing how you'll feel after achieving your goal unleashes the power of your subconscious mind, which further propels you towards financial abundance. It doesn't matter if you're focused on getting out of debt or saving $500 a month (or both) -- you need to keep your eye on the ball.
6. Reward yourself regularly – but not by spending money! To stay focused and motivated for long-term financial security, celebrate your successes. “I reward myself monthly with a pedicure and quarterly with a massage,” says Wagner. “It keeps me rejuvenated and energized.” But, if you're setting financial goals, don't reward yourself with expensive luxuries too often…or you'll lose all you've achieved.
Our last life coach pushes us out of the nest with a little tough love: “Stop making excuses,” says Wagner. “The biggest mistake I see is that people don't hold themselves accountable. So, get out of your own way – because you're the only person who can make a positive difference in your life!”
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