As we’re about to face 2016, I want to start the year by sharing another valuable article that can help fellow beginners in their financial freedom journey. This is to share a step by step guide on how to set SMART financial goals in 2016. Let’s do this!
As I have mentioned, this is dedicated to fellow beginners who are likely just starting out their journey to financial freedom. If you’re an expert or you think you’re doing good with your financial goals or life goals in general, this might not suit for you or maybe, just maybe, you can share tips and lessons you learned along the way that can help us.
Again, if you’re a beginner, this will surely help you.
Reality check first
Before setting your financial goals in 2016, I would like you to take a reality check first. See and examine yourself where are you right now compared to what you want to become or want to accomplish.
This will help you determine the other important things and steps we’re going to have in the next following paragraph. Have a baseline. See what you got. And start creating SMART financial goals in 2016 by following the steps below.
What is a SMART financial goal?
Before we dive to the steps, let’s take a look what a SMART goal mean.
If you’re like me who like personal development, you’ve probably heard what SMART goal mean. For those who are not, here what SMART means.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time-bound
To explain a little bit more, SMART means(for me) like this.
Be specific in what you really want to accomplish. If you want to start a business, what kind of business? Or say you want to save money, you want to save money for what?
Measurable means specifying numbers in your goals. How much money do you want to save for your emergency fund? Or for your wedding? List that numbers!
Once you know your what and how much/how many, you also need to check if those goals are attainable and realistic. In your current situation right now, do you think you can achieve those goals? What are the things you can do to make it happen? What are the things you can’t do that will not make it happen?
In setting SMART financial goals, you have to be honest to yourself. You and only you can justify your answer.
SMART financial goals also need to be time-bound. In fact, all goals in life need to have timeframe. It means that you need to specify a target time/date when you’re going to have them. When you’re going to accomplish them.
For example, you want to build a solid emergency fund amounting to P200,000 by the end of December 31, 2016. That’s more smart than by just saying you want to save for your emergency fund.
An example of a SMART financial goals for 2016 is: I will build a retirement fund by saving P3,000 from my salary and invest it in the stock market every 25th of the month for the next 30 years. You can be more specific by pointing which stocks you’re going to buy.
You see? That’s what SMART goal mean. I hope you get my point.
Get a pen and a paper and list all your financial goals in 2016. You need to write them down. Writing down your life goals has a good effect in your brain. It stimuli millions of neurons and help find ways to achieve what you want! So write them!
Of course, I know, different people have different goals in life. Different character. Different situation. Different mindset. But by showing you these examples, I hope you get what I’m really pointing out.
You can create your own version. You can change and add/edit if you want. It’s all up to you. Evaluate yourself and see what’s work best for you.
How to achieve your financial goals in 2016
Okay. So assuming you now listed your SMART financial goals, the next thing to do is to take note steps on how you’re going to get them.
For each of your financial goals in 2016, create a bullet points or steps on how you can get what you want. As mentioned earlier, by setting attainable goals and by being realistic you can come up with a solid plan on how you’re going to crush it.
Let say for example, one of my financial goals in 2016 is to earn additional income of P5,000 monthly aside from my salary starting January 2016 by blogging and freelancing online. You see that this is a very SMART financial goal.
- Additional income
- P5,000 every month
- Attainable and Realistic(for me)
- Starting January 2016
- From blogging or freelancing online
You see that the goal I set is very clear, precise and SMART. But it still not enough to get me there. How can I generate additional P5,000 from blogging or freelancing online? Those steps are missing.
So, in order to have a clear path where you’re heading, you also need to create and list those steps you need on how you’re going to achieve your financial goals in 2016.
In my goal above, I can do the following things to make it happen.
- Create a profile and start applying part-time jobs in online job portals available
- Look for a supplier of any product and sell online for a profit
- Create a blog and start making money on the side
It will start from there. You can come up with different ways and different strategies on how you can accomplish your financial goals in 2016.
Another example is the one we have above, building a retirement fund by saving P3,000 from salary and investing it in stock market every 25 of the month. That’s a very SMART goal too.
These are just examples. I’m just sharing you the idea. This can be applied in any situations or in any life goals you have. I don’t care what is your financial goals in 2016, start listing them and create plans on how you’ll get there. You need to have a action plan on how you’re going to get your goals and then do it!
I know it is easier said than done. Especially if you’re just starting out. As I’ve stated, different folks have different strokes. But I firmly believe that better planning and setting goals are one of the foundation of success. Not just financially but in all other areas in life too.
The Next and Important Step
Once you write all your SMART financial goals in 2016 and the steps you think you need to get there, it’s time to start taking action. Hustling and taking action are the most important steps to get them.
Goals and plans are useless without action. Take action and start crushing it!
Along the road of your journey, be it in your financial goals in 2016 or your life goals in general, you’ll face doubt, temptation, insecurities, trials and many downtime that could potentially bring you down. That’s given. That’s how life works. And you’ll lose, only if you give up!
It’s not impossible. It’s hard to start but when you started, it will keep you going. You may fail, but if you persists you will definitely succeed. That’s how it works. Ask any successful person and they’ll give you the same advise.
You may also need to check and re-evaluate your goals along the way. Monitoring your goals and checking them continuously is part of the steps. There are changes in life that happens and will surely affect some of your goals.
Always remember, if you’re committed, and you persists, you continue to work hard, you remain focused and you do whatever it takes to get your dreams and goals come true, YOU’LL WIN. That’s for sure.
Let’s start creating SMART financial goals in 2016 and start crushing them one by one.
I hope this has been informative. Happy New Year!