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WHY GOAL SETTING IS THE KEY 

So you don’t have any kids or if you do they spend most of their time with your ex so they don’t occupy your day to day. You’re not married. You’ve been doing the whole working thing for a while and that’s what’s really taken center stage. The hustle and grind to climb the corporate ladder. Or maybe it’s not so much work as it is living for the weekend. Work hard play hard. Whatever it might be we all have something that drives us that motivates us and keeps us going. Understanding it–your goals, your passions, your dreams–is key to your financial success. Why? Because money is at the end of the day just a tool that we use to accomplish a goal, as such money is just a means to an end. Whether that end be covering the bare necessities or saving for a trip to tahiti, we have to know what those goals are before we can truly determine how to we properly manage our money. And so the goal of this article is to help you think about what your goals are and to re-evaluate some of the goals you may already have so you can see if they are the ones you truly want to focus on.

What’s Your Goal?

When we’re thinking about goals sometimes it helps to start with an example? My goal is to retire by 42 so I can work because I want to work, not because I have to. Instead I want to spend more time traveling with family and friends and taking on new academic challenges that would never pay if I pursued them as a career. What’s yours? If you don’t know the answer to this then you’re doing yourself a disservice intently planning and saving without knowing what your endgame is. That’s like hopping into a car and just driving without know what your intended destination is. It doesn’t make sense. So, yes, finance is often very numbers heavy but before you even get to the numbers you need to spend some time think about the qualitative aspects of finance and ask yourself what are your goals.

Getting Started

Now answering that question is a tall order so often it helps to break it down into a more manageable question, especially one that can be visualized. Here’s an excerpt from Jack Canfield’s book Success Principles that explains how:

“What does your home look like? Where is it located? Does it have a view? What kind of yard and landscaping does it have? Is there a pool or a stable for horses? What color are the walls? What does the furniture look like? Are there paintings hanging in the rooms? What do they look like? Walk through your perfect house, filling in all of the details.”

Make Your Future Real For You

The point of an exercise like this is to bring the future to the present, to make the future real for you. This is important because when we are dealing with financial goals often times we are planning 10, 20, 30 years out. However, when you can’t accurately envision where your goal is you will often miss the mark. I want to retire at 42. I can’t imagine myself at 42 because that’s so far off that thinking about it in that sense is useless for me. But by asking myself targeted questions like the one before I can get a clear and vivid picture of what I want to strive for in the future. Once you have that clear goal you can then plan on how to reach that but without it you’re just spinning you’e wheels.

A Sample To Get You Started

I have time to pick up sewing and cooking again. I can collaborate with other entrepreneurs and share my struggles with them and give them insight on their own struggles. I look like a greek god. I can run an ironman, I compete in weightlifting competitions, I do crossfit. No diseases. I want to live for as long as maintaining that active lifestyle is possible. (We’ll re-evaluate when my body starts to fail.) I relax occasionally but my life would be described by others as erratic but I see it as just going from one adrenaline high to the another. I’m super strong from weightlifting but also super flexible from gymnastics and yoga. I eat clean, exercise daily, drink lots of water (no soda).

…You get the picture. Now paint your own.

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