Reaching Financial Goals….means setting them first

MP900341322Early in the year is perfect timing to reflect on what you want to see in your life in the next six-months, next year, and even the next few years. You can start on your goal today or this week and through consistent, small steps, work your way up to even that long-term goal. The big question is: what small step will you take today to move you forward toward reaching your goals? The most important thing about goals is to actually write them down – that could be your small step for today. Make your goals specific, positive and uplifting.

An important step to reaching goals is to make an action plan: Why do you want to include this goal? What are your positive reasons for wanting to achieve this goal? What is your target date? How much is your total expected out of pocket cost? How much do you need to save each month?  What will you do today, this week and/or this month, and every week or month to make sure you stay on track to meet your goal? These are small steps you could work on over the next few weeks and months.

If you can go so far as to figure out how much you want to save per paycheck, and can have it direct deposited into savings automatically every paycheck (not into your regular checking and savings account), you will be ahead of the game with another small step. Think about what you want to be, what you want to do, and what you want to have in your life – then write these down and get started using a series of small steps over time. Don’t put it off or you may not get around to it.

You can find an online sample goal setting form at Rutger’s Extension website: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/pdfs/goalsettingworksheet.pdf Missing piece: when it says monthly amount to save, add a column for amount to save per paycheck if you don’t get paid monthly. Remember, your goals need to fit within your monthly spending plan.

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