“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” — Greg S. Reid
Starting is the hardest part. Want to set financial goals for 2016 but don’t know how to begin? Follow the 8 steps below to get unstuck by building a “road map” to your success. Then, each time you reach a milestone, celebrate your accomplishment. Just find a way to do it cheaply so you hold on to that “green stuff.”
8 Steps to Setting Your Financial Goals for 2016
- See Your Dreams– Define your dreams and see yourself reaching them. To help you start, make a financial vision board. Choose two or three objectives you want to focus on and then use those holiday catalogs lying around your house to cut out pictures. After making the board, display it somewhere where you can view it often. This will help you stay focused.
- Prioritize Your Goals– You can’t do everything at once and expect to be successful. So, determine the order of your targets based on importance and urgency. And, if an unexpected expense occurs, deal with it and don’t fret. That’s life. Just be flexible and return to your plan as soon as possible.
- Do the Math – For a specific goal, do the math and see the numbers. Decide the amount and timeframe needed to achieve it. Use a Financial Goals Worksheet to help you with the process. Then, put these figures on an index card and tack it next to the image(s) of your dream.
- Define the Steps – Build the “road map” needed to achieve your dream. Create a plan by breaking the goal down into actions. Also define fun and inexpensive ways of honoring each success along the way. Put this on your vision board and when you’ve mastered a step, celebrate it with gusto.
- Monitor Progress with an App – Follow the SMART process to achieve Specific, Measurable , Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound goals, and use one of the many free apps that are available to help you monitor your progress.
- Remember Why – Keep focused on why you want to achieve your goal by reminding yourself why you want it. It’s not easy to live frugally and sticking to a budget requires sacrifice which isn’t fun. But, every time you feel like you want to quit, remind yourself of the reasons you want this. And, when the going gets tough, study your Vision Board for motivation.
- Review Money Savings Tips – To save requires extra money. It’s as simple as that. Review Omni’s 20 Money Savings Tips blog to “tighten your belt” for some extra cash.
- Let It Go – Although this final step seems like it can sabotage your success, it’s the exact opposite. Obsessing over your plan can tire and frustrate you. So, once you’ve made it, defined milestones, and monitored progress, let it go! Find balance and joy in living for today and this positive energy will help you to achieve your financial goals. Good luck!