Personally, I have become very goal-oriented. While I suspect I’ve always been more this way than many (not all) other people, it’s become a much more ingrained part of the way I do things.
There’s a reason for it. As we get older, it dawns upon us that life truly is short. When I personally look at how time has flown by, and how some people in the next generation get older quicker than one might expect, I truly realize that we each have a life cycle that isn’t endless. Our time to truly have the energy and wherewithal to do exactly what we want to do isn’t going to go on forever. Time is valuable, and it’s taken a sick family member for me to truly let all this sink in even more.
So along those lines, let’s enjoy every single day as a gift. For me, this also means setting goals and accomplishing what I want to, when I can do so.
I’ve written before about the role of money in life, and do believe that money is just one aspect of “success”. Health and relationships are where it’s at, and money is just part of the overall equation. Actually, my own experience tells me that all three – health, relationships, and money – can be interrelated. The better you improve your situation in one aspect of life, it’s likely to have a positive impact on other areas.
For example, the better your health is, the better position you’ll be in to fully enjoy relationships as well as make or save money. The better your relationships are, you’re putting yourself in better position to be in good health and even finances as well.
I’m getting philosophical here, but these are the thoughts that have pushed me to be more goal-oriented. Of course, being a personal finance enthusiast and blogger, I would share with you that I do set money-related goals.
I’m actually setting goals in this way:
- Long-term – as in, a long-range situation I’m aiming for
- 5 years
- 1 year
The idea for me is to start with a vision of how I would really like life to be down the line, based on what I’m thinking now. Of course, life has twists and turns and we gain different perspectives over the years, but we can still do our best to think ahead now. Based on that vision, which really incorporates overall lifestyle, I’ll set money-related goals that I think can make that happen. Then, it’s a matter of breaking it down into shorter time period for goal-setting.
Looking at things each month, it’s a good way to make sure that you set goals that are in alignment with your long-term goals. Of course, this also means honestly reviewing “performance” at the end of the month to see if I’m on track.
There are a variety of things to track when it comes to money, but I think that key areas are income, savings, investments, and risk management. I’ve written about them before in a post about the 4 key personal finance questions.
When it comes to income, just as an example, goals might be for different steps that might get me to a position of improving. For example, it could be: hitting it out of the park on a key project, networking with 5 new people, or similar goals. These types of goals, when met, can all build together to get a person to a higher level of income.
Similar approaches can be taken with the other areas of personal finance, such as spending/saving and the like.
Overall, the bottom line is that life is short – so I try to set goals to get the most out of it, while truly striving to enjoy every day and have fun.
How about you?
My Questions for You
Do you regularly set goals, and track progress?
If so, how often do you do this and in what way?
Do you start with the big picture and work your way to more specific/immediate goals, as I do?