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How To Create Financial Goals That You Will Actually Stick To

If you’ve ever set goals for your personal finances and not achieve them, you need to read this article.

This article was contributed to us by AIA Singapore.

The idea of creating goals for yourself isn’t a revolutionary one. It is very likely that many of you would already have been told of its importance, thought about it or even done it yourself. However, you may find that this still leads to inaction and unaccomplished goals.

To help you set financial goals that you will end up achieving, you can consider making use of these 5 golden habits for goal-setting.

#1 Define What You Ultimately Want To Achieve – And Why

When setting goals for yourself, you need to think about what you ultimately want to achieve. It should be something you see as valuable, and more importantly, be something that you resonate with on a personal level.

Goals like I want to own a car or I want to be able to retire comfortably can ring hollow, unless they are attached to deeper meaning.

Knowing why you want to buy a car gives your goal greater meaning, such as, driving your immobile parents around or to the hospital, saving time by sending your children to school or doing a better job at work.

What you want to achieve is your end goal. However, having a clear understanding about why you want to achieve it will give you the impetus to actually achieving your goal.

#2 Chart Out How You Will Actually Reach Your End Goal

You’ve heard of this one before – “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”

Large, grand goals can often feel unattainable. Rather than procrastinate or suffer from analysis paralysis trying to plan for the unachievable, try breaking down your end-goal into smaller mini-goals that are clearer and more realistic.

This exercise can also help you figure out exactly what steps need to be taken to ultimately achieve your end-goal. This can be much more effective and easier to understand than listing down a grand, but unclear or abstract, goal.

These smaller steps should now feel more actionable, giving you the confidence to embark on your journey to fulfil your eventual quest.

#3 Give Yourself A Tight, But Feasible Deadline

Now that you know what needs to be done for you to attain your end-goal, your focus should shift towards a timeline for achieving the actionable goals you’ve set for yourself.

Having a concrete yet realistic deadline to achieve these bite-sized goals is crucial because it equips you with a sense of urgency, without crippling you with something unfeasible.

Defining a when for each of your goals also helps you to realise how long it may take for you to achieve your end-goal, and allows you to evaluate if you are willing to commit the time and effort required to achieve it.

#4 Don’t Be Afraid Of Failing

This may feel contradictory, but your “smaller and clearer” goals also need to be important and challenging enough to allow you a sense of accomplishment when you achieve it. Put another way, if your goal doesn’t push you, it really should not be listed as a goal because it will feel like merely a task.

Striving to achieve a difficult enough goal will naturally mean you might encounter some setbacks. This shouldn’t discourage you, but should instead give you greater motivation and experience to see it through and ultimately, move closer to your end-goal.

In fact, if you don’t fail, you are probably not challenging yourself enough. The point of carving out bite-sized goals is so you can balance this out by celebrating success more often than suffering failure.

#5 Set New Goals For Yourself

The aim of setting smaller actionable goals is not only to ensure you are able to achieve it, but to also ensure you are constantly reviewing where you want to head in your life.

After achieving each small goal you set for yourself, you’ll naturally need to consider the best way to achieve the next part of the goal, while still retaining free reign to decide whether you want to adjust your end-goal. Life happens – and this fluidity allows you to keep your end-goal in mind, without hampering your freedom to review and change your options.

By doing this, you will not suddenly achieve a grand goal one day and realise you didn’t really want it or that the goal is no longer relevant to what you currently want in your life.

Achieving Only The Goals You Want

By making use of the tips presented in this article, you can be life confident – always challenging yourself to achieve a worthy end-goal, while still taking charge of each step of the way by reviewing and reworking what you want out of life.

While working towards specific goals in the short-term allows us to continue working on the things that matter most to us, every stage in life potentially brings about new priorities, and perhaps an adjusted end-goal we prefer aiming for.

Products like AIA Smart Wealth Builder provide you a safety net to cover important goals, including supporting your child through a good education, building towards a fruitful retirement or leaving a legacy for your beneficiaries.