“If I had a penny for every time I put something off until tomorrow, and never got to it… I’d put them all in a sock and hit myself with it.” Unknown
In our digital age, it has become increasingly easy to create lists of things to do and remember. We can just call out “Alexa!” or “Hey Siri!” and add to a virtual reminder list that, for the most part, just adds more stress and clutter to our lives.
If you’re smiling, you’re not alone. All of us have lists filled with great intentions and a serious challenge regarding follow-through. This is not necessarily because our lists are too long (although that may sometimes be the case); several factors can influence our ability to see our goals through to completion.
Take a moment to breathe in some kindness and let’s look at a couple of tips together.
Whether you’re sitting with a diary for a new week, month or year in front of you, here are some great ways to create goals that are easier to achieve.
Measurability is massive!
Vaguely huge goals, such as “get out of debt” or “go on an overseas holiday”, seem specific, but they’re not measurable.
“My best advice is to write down your goals in SMART format,” says Kate Mielitz, an accredited financial counsellor and assistant professor at Oklahoma State University.
As a reminder, the SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timely. In other words, you want your goals to be something that you can see progress towards and achieve in a relatively short period. This is how goals become measurable.
So – instead of saying “get out of debt”, it is better to set a weekly goal to pay 500 bucks towards your credit cards. Setting something as specific as this helps you determine how sustainable that goal is. If you meet this each week, you might want to increase it; if you can’t meet it, you might want to reduce it, making the goal more realistic and timely.
Visibility is valuable
One of the issues with virtual lists is that we can’t always see them, and they’re tucked away neatly behind an app or in a folder in the cloud somewhere. Many of us are visual beings, and we like to see things. Remember that phrase when we were kids – out of sight, out of mind? It’s true for our goals.
There are plenty of coaches who advocate using a vision board for our goals. This is because it makes our goals super visual and keeps us present to them throughout the week. If a vision board is too grandiose, have a pile of post-its that you can jot your goals on and stick them inside your cupboard. Then, every time you meet a goal, rip off the sticky square and toss it away in the bin.
Another helpful way to meet our goals is to have an accountability partner. Financial goals are no different – having a financial advisor who is in your court, knows how you make choices and what you want to achieve in life is highly beneficial to making your goals easier to achieve.
At the end of each day, remind yourself that you’re not alone and that tomorrow is a new day where you can keep working towards something new and awesome!