Do you want to buy a car, new house or mobile and don’t know the best way to achieve your goal? Are you struggling to start saving money for the future? Well, you’re not alone. Most people have problems when they need to set up a plan, even if the plan is a good idea or for a good reason.
Reaching your desired goal is not difficult but requires some organization and discipline. Successful plans start with specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely objectives, which we can call S.M.A.R.T goals.
Let’s say that your objective is to buy a car. You have your general idea, but there is not sufficient information here, and this is the problem. You need to narrow your goal until it became S.M.A.R.T enough to be real. Otherwise, you can get lost in your ideas, buying something that will not meet your expectations.
What exactly do you want to achieve or buy? The more specific your description, the bigger the chance you’ll get exactly what you want. For example:
I will buy a reliable car from my city area at the end of this year, without leasing or financing the payments, in order to more easily commute daily to work.
This goal answers the 6 ‘W’ questions that make the goal specific:
What? Buy a car
When? At the end of this year
Where? From my city area
Which? Is reliable, and not financed or leased
Why? To commute to work
Whatever you want to achieve, make sure the progress of your plan is measurable. This way, you can clearly see the results. Define the exact steps you need to reach your goal and how you can do it. For example:
Let’s say that a reliable car will cost $10,000. You already have your old car that’s worth $6,000. To buy a new one, the difference you need to save is $4,000.
Imagine that you have eight months until the end of the year, so you need to raise or save $500 monthly to achieve your goal.
Is your goal achievable in the allotted time? Are the steps you need to go through possible to complete? We make goals to stay focused and motivated. When the goal is not attainable, it has the opposite effect.
In our previous example, the question should be: Am I able to save or raise $500 monthly for 8 months?
Start asking yourself why you want to reach this goal. What is going to change after you achieve the objective? Is it relevant or meaningful to your life?
I know that most of us would love to buy a Porsche or a Ferrari to commute to work every day. They are reliable cars, right? But is this idea a realistic choice for you now?
Time-sensitive goals are more likely to be achieved. Find an equilibrium between your desired timeline and what is actually possible. This will help you to give a sense of urgency that will keep you on track while preventing you from getting overwhelmed by rushing for results.
How long can you keep commuting to work with your old car? How long does it take to save the money you need to buy a new one, but won’t compromise the needs and plans you have in your life now?
S.M.A.R.T goals must also be positive and inspirational. You are investing lots of energy and effort to reach them, do it in the best and happiest way. And when you achieve your objective, celebrate and reward yourself! You deserve it!
Finjoy Capital is not a financial advisory firm.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice.