Are you ready to make some real money moves?

2020 will be your money year! You set your goals, and you are ready to make things happen for your finances. Here are four steps to make sure that your goals are ready to take you to the next level:

Break your goal into small steps  

Ambition is needed to push your goals to the finish line. But don’t let too much ambition lead you to feel overwhelmed by a mountain of half-finished goals. When you are making your financial goals, work on achieving small action steps today that help you build your bigger vision for tomorrow. For example, your vision may be to become debt-free. However, your first step may need to be on balancing your budget. 

Try this:

Write your bigger vision at the top of a sheet of paper. Then, list out all the steps needed to make your financial dream happen. These smaller steps are your action plan. Focus on the first step until you complete it, then move onto the next action.

Make it realistic 

Your goal has to be realistic to your abilities, resources, time, and knowledge. Beat wishy-washy goals by making sure that you think through the steps needed to achieve your goals. As you write down your steps, consider how realistic it is for you to achieve the goals based on the resources available to you. 

You want to hit the goal sweet spot--the goals should be a challenge, but they should not be completely unachievable. Hoping to go from a -$300 deficit a month to a $300 surplus in two months is unrealistic for most people. In this scenario, it’s not that the goal of turning a deficit into a surplus is the problem. The timeframe needs adjusting. Maybe the goal takes you six months to achieve rather than two. 

Try this:

These questions can help you understand whether your goal is realistic: 

1. Do I have access to the resources needed to reach my goal?

2. Is my timeline possible?

3. Do I need access to expertise or special tools to be successful?

4. Can I put in the effort to achieve my plan?

Track your plan 

Studies have shown that having a plan makes you more successful. Take your goal a step further and write out the steps needed for you to achieve your goal. Set a timeline for each step. When tracking your goal, set goal posts along the way before you reach each major deadline. 

Try this:

Make sure your tracking method matches your personality. If you live on your phone, then maybe using a notebook to track won’t be motivating for you. Use reminders and the calendar on your phone to help you achieve your plan. 

Know your tools 

Think through the actual steps and actions you need to take. But, take it a step further by working to anticipate roadblocks and how you will navigate them. And, understand the tools that you will need to help you reach your goal. 

Try this:

Make a list of the tools that you will need to be successful. Focus on these three categories: financial expertise, financial products, and mental/emotional support.