Are you looking to get your finances in order this year? Is financial freedom a New Year’s resolution of yours? If so, what I will discuss throughout this article will help you make that possible!
Ensuring you have the right goals in place is crucial to your success for 2020 and beyond. The way to make sure you have the right goals in place is by following the SMART goal format. If you haven’t heard of SMART goals yet, don’t worry… I will go in detail so you can feel comfortable in assessing your goals and resolutions.
Before we dive into what SMART really means, I want to share a recent statistic I read from CNBC. Did you know that roughly 40% of Americans make a New Year’s Resolution to focus on? What really got me thinking was when I learned that only 25% of those who do make a resolution, last after the first 30 days of the year. When I read that in Forbes Magazine, I was honestly shocked. But what REALLY opened my eyes was reading that only 8% of people will actually reach their goal in total.
…Only 8% of people will actually reach their goal…-Forbes
So let’s talk about SMART goals. What does SMART stand for and what does it mean for you? SMART goals are a great format to use to increase your chances of success in anything you want to achieve.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Let’s start with SPECIFIC. Your goal needs to be defined, it needs to be clear and concise. You should be able to answer questions like WHO, WHAT, WHY, etc… Your goal needs to be clear so it can be measured. For example, you may want to save up $3000 by December for a down payment on your first home. That goal gives us enough information to know specifically what we are working towards.
MEASURABLE- How will you manage your goal? How will you measure the success of your goal? Is there a way for you to track your progress and success? For example, can you login to your bank account and check your savings balance to ensure you are transferring money each month? Making sure your goal is measurable will give you the benefit of not only knowing that there is a way to keep yourself accountable, but also being able to stay on top of your progress along the way.
ATTAINABLE- Is this goal something you can achieve? Will this goal keep you motivated and challenged? You can ask yourself, “Am I setting the bar too high? Or maybe not high enough…” Can I hold myself accountable to dedicate the work and effort to achieve this for myself? Make sure you have the resources at hand to help you get to the finish line. Whether there is an app that will assist you in your endeavors, or someone helping you create a budget and spending plan, knowing your resources is a huge help..
RELEVANT- So depending on who is defining the SMART acronym, the R can either stand for relevant or realistic. I believe they go hand in hand, so I interchangeably use them. So when you think of relevance, is this something that really matters to you? Is this in line with your overall focus for 2020? Answering those questions can reassure you that your goal is of relevance to you and is realistic, which will keep you motivated.
Lastly, TIME-BASED- When are you looking to get this done by? What is your overall time-frame? Is this more of a short-term goal you are looking to achieve in 6 months? Perhaps it’s a long-term goal you want to accomplish by year’s end… but which ever type of goal it is, you need to define your time-frame. Knowing when you want to reach your goal can help streamline the frequency of which you re-assess your success throughout.
Setting a goal that is actually something you can track and define is crucial. You want to be your own cheerleader and make sure you set yourself up for success. If you are someone who is TIRED of living paycheck to paycheck, or simply just want to save money for a specific reason, it is totally possible. Let’s change those statistics we discussed and put our best foot forward. Regardless of what your goal is for 2020, be confident and just know that YOU GOT THIS! Even though the #NEWME or #NEWYEARNEWME sayings are cliche, you define your meaning of success and what matters most to you.
So just remember, SMART goals can improve your chances of success and accomplishing your 2020 resolution. It’s important to make sure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
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Thanks for reading!