How to Maintain and Achieve Your Financial Goals

money-2212965_1920We’re almost halfway through the year which means it’s the perfect time to check in on your financial goals, see where you stand, and review your progress.

Financial goals are the key foundation to achieving financial stability. If you don’t set goals, you won’t be able to save 6-months worth of expenses in your emergency fund, pay off debt, or save up for a downpayment on a new house.

These things just don’t happen randomly which is why you need to set goals. Setting goals puts you in charge of your money and your life. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re on a journey to maintain and achieve your financial goals.

Ask Yourself How You Can Use Money to Curate the Life You Want

When setting goals, you have to be 100% honest with yourself about what you want your future to be like. This helps you establish realistic goals and keeps your motivation high. You may not know the answer to this question right away so take some time to really think about it. Do you want to be debt free? Do you want to retire at 45? Do you just want to be financially independent and earn a living doing something you love?

My ultimate goal is financial independence of course and I want to have the freedom to stop working when I please. I want to earn a living doing what I love (writing ? ) and I want to work only 4-days per week at the maximum.

I don’t want to have to choose between working and going to the doctor for a checkup. And I definitely don’t want to have to give all my hard earned money to bills and debt payments whenever I get paid. I don’t need a mansion, an exotic vacation every month or 3 cars, I just want an average, balanced and stress-free life.

This is just my example, but you have to do some self-reflection and figure out what you want your life to look like.

When you determine what it is that you truly want out of life, you can set a realistic goal and develop a process to help you achieve it. Sometimes your goal may be too broad – like financial independence for example – so you’ll have to break it down into smaller chunks.

Setting smaller goals like paying off debt, increasing your income, starting a business etc. can help you reach financial independence. And even those goals can be broken down further and so on.

Stop Being Afraid of Hard Work and Sacrifice

It takes lots of hard work and determination to reach your goals, especially if you set high expectations for yourself. You will probably have to change your lifestyle in one way or another. The journey toward financial stability can be long, tough, and hard. It’s important to be prepared and motivated enough to put in the work and make the sacrifices needed to reach your goals.

As you reflect on the financial goals you set this year, be honest about whether you’ve been trying to cut corners or haven’t been as motivated to take action.

I love how people (especially on social media) always want to look at the end result of someone’s success instead of the overall journey. I slightly cringe when I hear a person call someone who is successful ‘lucky’ or look at them like they did something special or out of the ordinary to reach their goals. It turns out that successful people are not lucky or much different from the average Joe. The only difference is they worked hard and put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to meet their goals which is something we are all capable of doing.

Use a Goals Worksheet or Planner

One of the best ways to maintain the financial goals you set throughout the year is to stay organized. Just saying your goals aloud is not enough to keep you on track. You’ll need to determine how you will track and assess your progress and you’ll also need to decide on the projected date you wish to accomplish each goal.

Using a planner or goals worksheet will keep you organized throughout the year and help you stay on track. You can record your progress from week to week and check in monthly or quarterly to stay on track and readjust your goals for the year.

Even if you’re not a big fan of worksheets and planners, this is an area where you have to be organized in order to succeed, trust me. If you ever wonder why everyone else seems to be successful in reaching their goals while you just seem to be going in circles, it’s time to start using a goals worksheet.

Don’t Be Afraid to Adjust Your Goals and Be Accountable

When you set your goals, tell someone about it and report to them periodically about your progress. Being held accountable by someone can go a long way when you set financial goals. Whether it’s your spouse, best friend, or your critical grandmother (that means well), find someone who understands your goals and wants you to succeed. You need to team up with someone who will hold you accountable and call you out if you if need be.

Teaming up with someone who has similar goals can really help as well because you both can motivate and push each other to succeed.

After a while, you may also notice that your priorities have changed and don’t match with the goals you set in January. This has happened to me a lot over the years and there’s nothing wrong with changing your focus and adjusting your financial goals over time.

You just have to be honest with yourself so you don’t waste time and energy trying to work toward a goal that you either already met or is no longer important to you anymore.

Have you done a mid-year check up on your financial goals yet? How do you plan on maintaining your progress and meeting your goals?

Posted in: Money

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