For most of us, the act of setting goals is easy. It’s the challenge of staying on track and following through with these goals that’s much more difficult. This is especially true when it comes to financial goals, which require ample amounts of patience, discipline and sacrifice.
4 Tips for Staying on Track
Financial goals are unique because they require your full focus. If you’re trying to cut down on spending, you constantly have to be aware of your current situation. If the objective is to obtain a new job in which you get a 15% raise, you have to follow through with specific steps in order to put yourself in a position where you can get the promotion.
There’s no room for slacking — you must have a plan. The following tips can help.
1. Surround Yourself With the Right People
When entrepreneur Sam Ovens found himself struggling to build his business in New Zealand, he decided to move to the United States. As he explains, “Americans are much more encouraging and hungry for life improvement.”
And while he may not explicitly say as much, Ovens’ decision was based on motivational speaker Jim Rohn’s principle that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
You may not have to move to a different country, but if you want to accomplish your goals — as Ovens did just a few short years after moving — you’ll have to surround yourself with like-minded people.
This will help you stay on track and avoid getting distracted.
2. Set Achievable Checkpoints
The problem a lot of people have with financial goals is that they set objectives that are too far out in the future. They’ll say something like, “I want to be a millionaire in 10 years.” While that’s an admirable goal, the lengthy window of time makes it difficult to stay motivated.
One thing you can do to make your goals more realistic is set checkpoints along the way. Using the previous example, you may set up a timeline where you want to have a net worth of $250K within three years, $500K within five years and $750K within seven years. This makes the end goal much more digestible.
3. Flexibility Is a Good Thing
You must be willing to budge on your goals a little bit. Things will change, and everything won’t go according to plan. If these little variances fluster you, it’ll be hard for you to ever accomplish anything.
Your plan shouldn’t fall apart when something unforeseen happens. Instead, you should have the wherewithal to pivot and adjust accordingly. Not only will this increase your chances of being successful, but it’ll also diminish the risk of getting frustrated and giving up prematurely.
4. Maintain Perspective
At the end of the day, perspective is your best friend. Sometimes your disciplined pursuit of financial goals is more important than actually accomplishing them. So what if you’re trying to become a millionaire in 10 years and you only amass a net worth of $850K? You’re still making progress!
Goals aren’t always “all or nothing.” There’s a lot to be said for setting challenging goals and working hard to accomplish them. Sometimes you’ll learn more in failure than you will in success.
Don’t Lose Focus
The worst thing you can do when it comes to your financial goals is to lose focus. You aren’t going to accomplish your goals immediately. Avoid feeling frustrated over minor setbacks and continue to push forward.