- Track your goals
Have you ever heard the saying ‘What isn’t measured isn’t managed’? Now those who know this saying will know that this statement doesn’t apply to everything. That said I strongly believe that measuring or tracking your progress in regards to your financial goals allows you to visualise your progress better. I believe the ability to track and visualise your progress will increase your chances of sticking with it, and staying the course.
If you are looking to track a financial goal (eg pay off a debt or save money) there are some great digital trackers available including my Personal Budget and Automated Dashboard (with inbuilt debt, savings goal, mortgage, and EF tracker).
If you are looking to track your habits feel free to take a look at my Digital Daily Habit Tracker.
- Share your goals
Don’t hide away from your goals, make sure you put your savings tracker on the fridge (or in another visible location). My husband thought I was silly placing our ‘100k in 2020 tracker‘ on the fridge at the start of 2020, and colouring in my progress each pay. Over time he started asking me if we could take turns colouring the progress in, and by the end of it he was 100% on board. We also don’t hide it away when friends come over. I still don’t bring it up, but I’m open to the discussion if anyone asks me about it. I’m proud of our goals, and I’m keen to remove the stigma of talking about finances in the hope that we can all learn and share together.
- Make sure your goal is SMART
By this I mean your goal follows the SMART goal criteria
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-bound
If you’re not familiar with the SMART goal criteria there are some great SMART goal templates here to get you started.
By using the SMART goal criteria you improve your chances of success by ensuing you have an achievable plan for your goal, and aligning the goal to your values. There is no point coming up with a financial goal that is vague – eg: I just want to save money. Or one you can’t achieve financially. Or one that doesn’t have a timeframe. Or one that simply doesn’t align with your own values.
- Reward Yourself
I’m a huge fan of the saying ‘Treat Yourself’ once I’ve reached a goal or milestone. I feel rewarding yourself assists with the positive feedback look that progress tracking starts and then helps you gather up the energy for the next goal sprint.
We will be rewarding ourselves with an dinner in one of the best restaurants in town once we reach 100k at the end of the year (and I can’t wait).
- Progress not perfection
No journey to any goal is without hurdles. Hurdles come in all forms:
- Financial – eg. Car breaks down.
- Work – eg. Job loss or hours being cut.
- Animals – eg. Unexpected pet bills.
- Health – eg. Work related burnout or a new or existing health issue.
- Family Issues – eg. Sudden loss of a family member/or friend.
- Unexpected Surprises – eg. a new baby.
When these hurdles come (and trust me they will) you need to remember that its okay to take a moment to review and perhaps readjust your goals.
Let me make this clear ‘readjusting your goals doesn’t mean you’ve failed’
Taking a break, reducing your goal amount or increasing your timeline is the opposite of failure.
All progress towards your goals is still progress even if it wasn’t as quickly as you had planned, or in the way you wanted.
Remember ‘Progress not perfection‘ and let it be your mantra.
If you would like to have articles like this delivered to your inbox subscribe below.