As we near the end of another year, inevitably you will begin to think about the next 12 months and what you want to achieve when it comes to your career, finances, fitness and relationships. I’m no exception, and in the coming weeks I’ll be reviewing my 2011 goals, seeing which ones have been achieved, and what I want my new goals to be for 2012.
Last year I set a variety of goals, some related to my blogging, some related to fitness, and others pertaining to our finances and how much I want to save and invest. I’m happy to report that I was able to meet most of my goals last year, but it was in no small part due to how I set them.
First, I set SMART goals. I set goals for the year that were specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (thus the Acronym SMART). I set goals that I knew were possible to achieve, and that had an actual goal to reach – not some amorphous “I want to save more” or “I want to lose weight”. They were specific goals like “I want to invest in my 401k to the maximum allowed limit” and “I want to lose 10 pounds.”
While the goals were achievable, they weren’t easy, so I gave myself an incentive to reach the goals. If I was able to meet all of the goals I would allow myself to buy that 50” plasma TV that I’ve been wanting for so long.
As you set your new year’s resolutions make your finances a part of them, because sound saving and investing will allow you to achieve other goals as well. Be specific about how much you intend to save and invest, and in what time frame. Giving yourself a SMART goal, and a reward for meeting it, will ultimately improve your chances of success.
Check out my post and others in the “Blogging For A Better New Year” event over at the Betterment blog!