In the first article, we discussed the importance of setting goals. We also touched the introduction for a SMART goal. Now, let’s dig further how we can set a SMART goal.
Goal must be Specific
A specific goal is clear and easy to understand. This dissects the differences between reality and dreams. For example, a vague wish that I should think of while on my way to financial recovery is like “I want to have lots of money”.
A more specific way is to say I want to “have a million dollars”. You have given the amount you want, and not wishing for lots of money. Well, $100 is a lot of money, so as $1,000. What happens if you have an unspecified goal is that you just keep on drifting by.
Goal must to be Measurable
Let’s see how we can make a goal measurable. Since the goal is to “have a million dollars,” that would be easy to measure. Simply look at your bank statement and see how much you already have after a period of time from the moment you set your goal.
Having your goal measurable allows you to keep track of your progress.
Goal must be Attainable/Achievable/Assignable
When you set your goal, you begin to figure out ways you can make to achieve your goal. Don’t set too high, frustration will eat you up if you can’t achieve it because you set the hurdle too high. A goal to “have a million dollars” is a noble goal; and it’s achievable. You may know somebody who has done it. Maybe it’s one of your friends. Maybe that’s the reason why you are motivated to do it yourself, too.
Start where you are right now by making an audit of yourself. Find out about what you can do and what you will have to do achieve the goal. This is the price you are willing to pay in exchange for the attainment of your goal.
Don’t set your goal too low, as well. Don’t set a goal of “have a million dollars” if you are already earning $200,000 a month. You know you can easily achieve it without giving any effort at all. You should set a goal that will allow you to grow and expand to match yourself to be worthy of it. What’s more important is the process of achieving your goal is what you become, not the price you will get when you reach your goal. The process should develop you the traits and personality that will allow you to possess that goal.
Goal must be Realistic/Relevant
A goal to be realistic, it must represent an objective to which you are willing and able to work. It would be unrealistic to “have a million dollars” without doing anything; not unless you are hoping to win the lottery. Even so, you have to make the effort to go to the shop to buy tickets. It would be unrealistic to win the lottery without buying even at least one. Of course, I am not advising you to buy lottery ticket; I’m just showing a simple illustration.
An example of a realistic goal is to “have a million dollars by keeping 20% of your income every month and put it on stock investments”. To reach your goal, that does not mean that you will compromise other things like your values, your family or other important aspects of your life.
How to set your goal to be Time-Based
To set your goal timely, you should put a specific deadline. Without a set deadline, you will not be compelled to put efforts to move forward. You will always be making excuses for not doing anything today about the accomplishment of your goal. You will always procrastinate, saying to yourself that you will do twice as much tomorrow.
One good example is when you are going to catch your plane for a trip to the Bahamas. Your plane leaves at 5:00 pm. You should be at the airport at least two hours ahead. But since you did not put a specific deadline when you should be at the airport, you allowed yourself to be bothered by anything except going to the airport. And finally you headed to the airport. Due to the heavy traffic, you arrived at the airport at 5:10 pm. Your plane has been long gone.
To sum up, your goal should read: My goal is to “have a million dollars in 10 years by keeping 20% of my income every month and put it on stock investments.”