Author Topic: I am having problems setting a goal  (Read 2850 times)

KBecks2

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I am having problems setting a goal
« on: December 09, 2014, 09:45:00 AM »
Here is my problem, I am sucking at setting a goal.   No goals, no badassity.  Or, not as much badassity as I would like!

2015 is coming up.  What advice do you have for setting a goal? 

I think we should have a finite savings goal for the year??  Which of your goals have worked the best for you?  What helps you set a goal and stay on track with it?? 

KBecks2

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Re: I am having problems setting a goal
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2014, 09:58:24 AM »
I think what I need are some short term goals that I can make more tangible.  Right now I need to save for my children's college, maximize my income and save as much as I can into investments.  They are all loosey-goosey goals. 

mveill1

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Re: I am having problems setting a goal
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2014, 10:07:20 AM »
Why not set a savings % rate as a goal? Not so exciting until you think of the implications for your financial independence date!!

Your can make it a yearly average % if monthly amounts move around too much. Make it challenging but not impossible.

Do you track your spending pretty well?

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: I am having problems setting a goal
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2014, 10:18:54 AM »
Have you heard of SMART? It's an acronym that describes the elements of an effective goal? If so, follow these guidelines to write a good goal. Goals that don't meet these criteria often fail because they're too loosey goosey.
If not, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria

Personally, I set goals that describe exactly how much I plan to put in savings, retirement, and other accounts by the end of the year. I also describe how much I plan to pay off in debts. This allows me to create short term or monthly goals for achieving my yearly goals.

cautiouslyunconventional

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Re: I am having problems setting a goal
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2014, 10:34:21 AM »
Are you afraid of accidentally setting a goal that's too far out of your reach? I think this is usually why I hesitate, when I have trouble setting goals.

Do you always need to have a goal in mind? Setting frugal routines and saving what's left over tends to work for me, so I think not everyone needs goals in every area - but I'm sure some people here will disagree.

RunHappy

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Re: I am having problems setting a goal
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2014, 10:55:25 AM »
Like Tetsuya Hondo, I also use SMART goals in almost every aspect of my life (work, play, weight, financial).

Instead of saying, "I want to get out of debt ASAP!"  you say "I want to be debt free in 2 years".  Planning for "ASAP" is impossible because it is not a set amount of time, but planning for 2 years is easy, because you can break it down and check off every month as it passes.

I have now started to do the same thing with my eating habits (working on reforming my junk food ways).  I've stopped saying "I want to eat healthier" and started saying "For every workday one of my meals will be a salad with no cheese".

I recently saw this post on Lifehacker.com.  Apparently Warren Buffet suggests writing out 25 things you want, circle the 5 most important to you and avoid the other 20 items at all costs, because they will distract you from your top 5 goals.

http://lifehacker.com/prioritize-your-goals-with-warren-buffetts-two-list-sys-1639146039

As far as what keeps me motivated? I have to constantly remind myself to keep my eye on the prize.  I recently almost had a slip up while I was shopping for a winter sweater.  Before I started shopping I knew what I wanted, a neutral color, crew-neck wool-blend sweater as well as a thermal t-shirt.  The t-shirt was easy, but I almost lost it on the sweater.  I found exactly what I wanted....and then some!  I was impressed by the color selection so the next thing I knew I had in my hands the neutral sweater (I budgeted for) as well as the same sweater in 3 different colors (I didn't budget for)!  I had to reminded myself that yes I could "afford" to buy these sweaters, but buying would not benefit me for 3 reasons:
  • They were not in my budget
  • They would not put me closer to my goal
  • I can only wear one sweater at a time

Edit:  Sometimes when starting out, setting small goals is the way to start.  For example:
Goal 1:  Create budget before Dec 31, 2014
Goal 2:  Take credit cards out of wallet
etc.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 11:00:23 AM by RunHappy »

theknitcycle

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Re: I am having problems setting a goal
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2014, 10:59:30 AM »
SMART for sure, as mentioned by Tetsuya. 

Also -- the ability to set (and achieve) clear goals will do more for your life and your 'stache than any other single skill you can develop.  So in addition to whatever financial goals you set for 2015, I am giving you one more: become an expert at goal setting.  Books and recordings by Brian Tracy are a great way to start.  I'd rank him right up there with MMM under "people whose words have changed my life."

Future Lazy

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Re: I am having problems setting a goal
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 11:14:25 AM »
When it comes to savings, I have long term goals, like saving for the down payment on a house, but I also try to have a monthly savings goal of 50%. In action, it's more like a bi-weekly goal, since that's how often I get a paycheck. I don't always meet it, but knowing I want to save $500 out of every $1000 paycheck helps when writing down my bills and my savings. Then I can say, if I successfully meet my 50% goal every month for ten months, I'll be able to buy a house. The small goal supports the larger one.

Other than that..

SMART for sure, as mentioned by Tetsuya. 

Also -- the ability to set (and achieve) clear goals will do more for your life and your 'stache than any other single skill you can develop.  So in addition to whatever financial goals you set for 2015, I am giving you one more: become an expert at goal setting.  Books and recordings by Brian Tracy are a great way to start.  I'd rank him right up there with MMM under "people whose words have changed my life."

+1 to that advice. You could even start with little goals like, "I want to finish reading this book by the end of the week!" or "I want to learn to cook a great meatloaf!" Any type of goal setting and execution will get exercise your ability to set a and meet goals. This is kind of the same as MMM's Frugality Muscles, where he sets a goal to reduce his electrical bill, installs a bunch of LED lights or learns to dry his clothes on racks instead of the dryer, and then, boom, goal achieved.

Just like exercise.