“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein.
We know too well how a new year typically begins. We make resolutions and promises to ourselves, and before the end of January, we go back on our word and fall back into old habits. Change is hard, and not everyone has the desire or discipline to stay committed to the journey or goal.
When it comes to financial goals, emotions get the better of us and we can lose sight of the desired outcome. But here’s the thing - if you want a different life, you must make different decisions. If your life is not where you want it to be or has not turned out the way you would have liked, it is an indication that something is not working. It is time to take different actions.
Goal setting is a powerful tool that can help you to create your dream life. It will not happen overnight, but it is a step in the right direction. So how do you go about setting goals? Life coaches use various tools and techniques to help clients set personal goals that help steer them towards success. One such tool is the wheel of life, which allows individuals to set goals in various aspects of life - such as physical, relationships, career, growth, spiritual and financial.
In my financial education work, I focus on helping my clients to identify and implement plans to achieve their money goals. Here are some tips that I’ll be supporting them in implementing for a successful financial year in 2023…
- Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says to start with the end in mind. Transport yourself to the end of the year and think about what your life looks like. What financial goals have you achieved? What debt has been settled or reduced? How much do you have saved up? What has shifted in your personal finances since the beginning of the year?
- Translate your vision into realistic, achievable goals and work your way backwards. Identify at least three main goals or outcomes you wish to achieve. This could be to reduce or clear your debt; to save or invest more; or to get your financial house in order.
- Do not forget to identify your financial why - the reason why you wish to achieve this goal. You can check out the article all about this in our last edition.
- Next, determine what actions you need to take to achieve each outcome/goal. Break these down into measurable steps or actions and allocate timelines or deadlines by which to achieve each step.
- Create a calendar or use a tracking tool to remind you of action steps and monitor your progress.
- Consider potential challenges or obstacles that may prevent or delay you from achieving your desired goal in the required timeframe. Plan or prepare for solutions to address those challenges.
Goal setting is a powerful tool that can be used to go from where you are to where you want to be, but it’s important to remain realistic. Achieving your goals requires effort, discipline, and commitment. Most people never achieve their goals, because they allow themselves to lose focus, they play the blame game, and they make excuses. If achieving success was easy, everyone would be doing it. The question you need to ask yourself is - how badly do you want to have a financially successful year?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jean is the founder and owner of Money Messages, which offers financial education, wellness, and coaching solutions to help individuals and organisations to shift the way they think, feel, and behave in relation to money. For more information or to get in touch, visit www.moneymessages.co.za.