Goals, Part 1: How Most Miss the Mark

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Since this is a site dedicated to financial education, it seems the subject of goals is a good one to discuss – after all, this is the Financial Empowerment Network. Unfortunately, many of us either do not make goals at all or go about it in the wrong way. It is no wonder many of us don’t know where we are going or how to get there. Did you know that, statistically speaking, those who have well defined, written goals are far, far more likely to be successful in what they set out to achieve?

It is well worth the small amount of time it takes to sit down and give some thought to what we’d like to achieve in our lives. This applies whether we are talking about finances, health, relationships, education, or whatever else. The important thing is to write these things down. There is something in doing this that begins a real process. It is not simply enough to think about or state what our goals are. We must put them on paper.

The next thing is to define what our goals are. What are my short term goals? The things that I would like to achieve in the next 6 months. What are my medium/intermediate term goals? Those things that I’d like to achieve in the next year or two? And then, what are my long term goals? The things that I’d like to accomplish in the next 5 years or longer.

It is important that we write these things down. We then work backwards from where we’d like to be to where we are now and how we plan on getting from point A to B. Too many people make resolutions at the beginning of each year that are no more than perhaps, at best, a strong desire to change their present circumstances. But a desire, or even a stated resolution, cannot compare to a written plan. This is where many people fail. Who of you would enter a bank wishing for a business loan without a well thought out and written business plan? I guarantee you won’t be taken seriously, let alone receive a dime.

After taking the time to think about what it is your goals consist of, there are 5 other essential parts to well thought-out goals that we should touch on before committing them to paper. I will touch on those in part 2 of this post. Until then, give some thought to where it is you want to be, what you want or need to change, and how you can get there.

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