Goals are those milestones you want to reach in the timeframe you set yourself. There are many types of goals you will set in your lifetime such as career goals, financial goals, family goals, travel goals, etc. Setting goals and plans is key to achieving financial independence but you have to be strategic about it and develop a plan. In my early years, I always had a dream about becoming rich, hitting the jackpot. Yes, that is a goal but there was no planning and not very specific. I didn’t have a plan how I would become rich and I know it wasn’t going to be from playing the lottery.
I had a goal that I wanted to make six figures by the time I reached age 30. It was a good goal. I was working in IT and at that time, I knew others who were making that much but I didn’t have the experience and certifications they had. I developed a plan and it consisted of me studying, obtaining certifications, and getting on-the-job experience. I had a specific goal and it was obtainable in my eyes with the plan I had in mind.
Most folks probably have dealt with performance goals at their work. These are the goals you need to achieve to get a successful rating at the end of the year. Goals that are written well contain the elements following the S.M.A.R.T. goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. If the goals you have contain these elements, then you have well written goals.
Think of goals that are specific and focused. Earlier I said I had a goal to be rich. Well, that isn’t very specific, but my next goal I had was I wanted to make six figures by the age of 30. Which goal is more specific? When you’re thinking about your goals, keep in mind to key on making it specific. If you’re on social media, you might have a goal to have so many subscribers or if you’re in the business of selling a product you might have a goal to have X number of sales each month or quarter.
Goals that are measurable allow you to know if you’re on the path towards it. Back to my six figure salary example, if I had a log of my salary and each year it kept growing, it gives me an indication that I’m on the right track. Your goals should contain items you can measure against.
Create goals that are achievable. I knew that a six figure salary was achievable because I knew others who had done it. It was just a matter of time until I could get there. I knew I needed certain certifications and experience to boost my resume and I knew if I studied hard enough, those could be achieved. Understand what is needed to achieve your goal and continually evaluate whether it’s still achievable.
Make sure your goals are relevant to your higher objective. My higher objective is to achieve early retirement and financial independence. My targeted goals need to be relevant that support this higher objective. If my goals do not support this and my decisions are not financially savvy, then I need to change them. I started very early, not really knowing I would end up here, with me maximizing my 401K. If you had a goal to get into a management position but are not focused on improving yourself with learning management skills, then your goals are not in line with your objective.
This is your timeline. When do you want to achieve your goal? In my example, I wanted to achieve six figures by the age of 30. I had a goal and I knew what my timeframe was. Make sure that your timeframe is achievable as well.
My goal of financial independence is something I’ve been longing for. One thing to keep in mind is that financial independence isn’t a short-term goal. It could take many years even decades to reach. Also, life happens and we all know that things can change that could affect our goals and plans. Take time to evaluate your goals and ensure they are still relevant. I have goals that I was able to achieve which were to eliminate debt and to start building passive income. I’m one step closer with my real estate investing, exploring other income sources, and investing in 529 and the market.
What are your goals? Follow the SMART goals format so that you can clearly define what they are and how you’re going to achieve them. If you are interested in following my journey, email subscribe to get alerts of latest posts or follow me on Facebook.