by Angel Lee, Guest Contributor
My brother and I love to lift weights, but lifting weights alone doesn’t help us lose the extra pounds on our bodies. We realized the importance of incorporating cardio into our workouts, but neither of us like using cardio exercise equipment. We decided that we needed a competitive goal to motivate us, so our goal is to run the Mistletoe half marathon in December. I found a half marathon training plan for beginners that works perfectly for my brother and myself. Now we are confident that we will be fitter and leaner through training and accomplishing our competitive goal.
Many of us dream of being financially stable, yet we struggle with achieving this desire. Just like my brother and I needed to establish a goal to motivate us to lose weight, you may need to decide on a financial goal for yourself. Make sure that you set a SMART goal. SMART is an acronym often used in business which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Creating a goal that is SMART helps you to define a genuine goal that is achievable within a certain time period. Once you have decided on your SMART goal, develop a plan towards reaching that goal.
You may need to set many SMART goals over time to achieve your ultimate goal of financial stability. Running a half marathon in December is a SMART goal for my brother and I, yet we do not anticipate losing all of our desired weight by then. We already know that our SMART goal for the spring will be a sprint triathlon. We will continue to establish SMART goals until we reach our desired weight and cardio fitness levels. Even then, we will have to work on maintenance. It is also vital for us to have a training plan for each of our goals so that we can measure our progress and confidently complete our goals. The same idea applies for attaining your ultimate desired financial position. A series of SMART goals and plans to accompany those goals will lead to your financial success. Once you reached your ultimate financial goal, continue to work towards maintaining that position.
Angel’s Tip: Set SMART financial goals and develop plans for each goal.
- Decide on your ultimate financial desire.
- Establish a SMART goal for the next month (e.g. Reduce expenses by 10% by limiting my eating-out to once a week)
- Develop a plan towards achieving that SMART goal for the month (e.g. Make a menu guide for each week).
Need some help with developing a financial plan? The link below directs you to an article on 15 Money Management Apps for Financial Planning
Interesting Info: Based on a survey conducted early this year by Northwestern Mutual, 34% of Americans have no financial plan for their futures. 58% of Americans believe that their financial planning could use some help.
Source: Robaton, Anna. “Study: 33% of Americans Have No Financial Plan.” CNBC.com. April 29, 2015. http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/29/one-third-of-americans-lack-a-future-financial-plan-study.html