Updated: Jan 19
Here are the 3 steps to make your goals a reality
Contributed article by : Beverly Wilks – Financial Education Advocate and Blogger at Bacon & Heels
With a new year often comes new goals. Typically, every new year people take the time to make goals, i.e.: starting a family, planning a vacation, starting a business, losing weight, and of course getting their finances in order.
When it come to financial planning people typically create a laundry list of items that they want to do. The most common money goals often include: save a certain amount of money, start an retirement account, open a stock account, pay off debt, or save for a down payment for a house.
The problem with creating a large list is that even though we all have good intentions, by overloading ourselves we can become overwhelmed and miss the mark.
The one word that I would like to share with you this year when it comes to managing your money is FOCUS.
Instead of creating a plethora of financial goals, chose one objective, yes one, and focus on turning this one goal into reality.
Here are the 3 things you can do to ensure that you can achieve your money goal for 2023
Step 1 – take stalk of where you are today
Before you start to set your goal, take a look at your current financial situation and ask yourself the following questoins:
Do I have a regular income? How long could I pay for living expenses if I lost my job/income sources?
How much debt do I have? What is the interest rates that I am paying on this debt?
Do I have a budget/spending plan?
What is my net worth?
Answering these questions will give you get a better understanding of where you stand and can help you to decide on the one financial goal that you would like to tackle.
Step 2: Write down your goal
Write your goal down on a piece of paper and place it where you can see it every day.
You need to be specific. For example, it’s not enough to say you want to get out of debt or put money into a savings account. You must be specific. Let’s say your financial goal is to save $10,000 by Dec 31 2023. You could write something like this:
“My goal is to save $10,000 in 2023.
I will save $385 each and every payday by having my bank automatically transfer this amount from my checking to a savings account.
I will celebrate when I reach this goal with a bottle of champagne.”
Step 3: Set up milestones and have a check-in with yourself every 2 months
Milestones and deadlines are important because they create a sense of accountability.
Every 2 months, check in and see how you are doing with your goal. Create a spreadsheet on your PC or create a note on your phone to capture your progress.
Taking the example from above, 2 months into the saving goal you should have $1,158 saved. If you are on track, do a happy dance. If you are behind, see where you slipped, you may need to modify your goal or your actions, so that it is achievable.
Here’s the bottom line:
Experts say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and 66 days for the habit to become automatic. By picking one financial goal for 2023 and following the 3-step process, you are more likely to be successful in the long run.  How Long Does It Really Take to Form a Habit? 7 Things to Consider (healthline.com)
To learn more about Beverly and Bacon & Heels, read the "Power 5" interview that we did with her in September 2021 - you can read the full blog post HERE.
Thank you for your contribution Beverly!