Often times, people think that all they need to have a better life is to make more money. Making more money, though, is generally the cumulative result of multiple actions. Making more money is rarely accomplished by working specifically on that goal. What kinds of goals, then, are effective? What kinds of goals are necessary to help you make more money?
Let’s get specific. Remember that making more money is generally desired in order that we can fix specific things in our lives. Effective goal setting works two ways. It increases your quality of life as well as moves us closer to increased income.
What are SMART goals?
First, let’s make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic or Relevant, Timed. Let’s look at an example of a goal that is not a SMART one.
The traditional New Years Resolution to “lose weight” isn’t a SMART goal. To decrease body fat by 3% in 3 months could be a SMART goal. It’s specific in that it gives the exact parameter for the weight loss: decreasing body fat. It’s measurable because it gives an exact number. It’s likely attainable unless you already have very low body fat. It’s realistic. It’s relevant if you want to have good health. It’s timed because it gives a 3-month deadline. All criteria covered. It’s officially a SMART goal and one that could possibly get accomplished.
When a goal isn’t SMART, it’s ineffective. Without a clear vision, there’s no way to ensure that you’ll actually attain the goal.
What Goals are the Best?
Secondly, let’s look at your goals. If the goal is to improve life overall, goals need to reflect that. The following strategy, when followed consistently, will up-level your life more than you could ever imagine.
It’s super simple. All you need to do is the following. Select 3-5 SMART goals corresponding to each of the following categories.
The goals don’t have to appear earth-shatteringly amazing. Little steps made consistently, will yield the biggest changes over time. It’s especially important that goals aren’t too big, because they do need to get accomplished. Failing to accomplish goals decreases self-worth and self-esteem, so it’s better to start with small goals. Small goals accomplished creates wins, which creates more goals set and accomplished, which creates more wins. Small goals continually accomplished will yield huge wins in life.
Here are examples of reachable SMART goals, each of which would improve life in the 3 month period and could be built upon. Remember that the plan is 3-5 goals per category, so it’s okay to make them small.
Example: Save $25 each week and put into a savings account.
Example: Lower cholesterol to healthy range.
Example: Call and catch up with two friends each week, on the phone.
Example: Organize my closet and donate all of the items I haven’t used in 6 months.
Example: Set up 3 in person meetings with industry leaders.
Write the goals down. Commit them to memory and/or post it somewhere you can see daily. Every 3 months, re-evaluate and update them. If you fail to reach one repeatedly, re-evaluate the goal. It likely needs modifying, either because it doesn’t truly interest you, or you have a mental block around it, or it’s just too big.
Lastly, save each quarter’s goal list so you can see over time how your goals evolve and watch your life improve.