Setting Long Term Financial Goals

By on April 22, 2013

Ask yourself the question, where you do want to be in the next 2, 5 and 10 years? The answer that you are looking for is directly related to what you want out of life.

In your personal life, do you want to be fitter, start a family, have better friends or learn a new language? What about your professional life, do you want a better paying job, more flexible hours, have a savings plan or do you envisage owning your own company? Remember, the more accurately you answer these questions, the better your chance of achieving success.

Setting Goals for your future:

What is a goal? A goal is defined as something that we want enough that we need to make an effort to achieve. A goal is not the same as a need. A goal is something that is physical that you want, while a need is defined as emotional growth.

How do you set up a goal? In order to setup a goal, you need to ask is your goal: specific, measureable, attainable, realist and timely (SMART).

Specific: A specific goal needs to ask six questions: who, where, why, what, when and which.

  • Who – Who is involved in the process of achieving this goal?
  • Where – A location that you most likely can achieve this goal?
  • Why – The specific reason behind wanting to achieve this goal?
  • What – What do you want to accomplish?
  • When – In what time frame do you want to achieve this goal?
  • Which – This identifies the requirements and constraints of the goal

Measureable: Ensure that you create solid criteria for measuring your progress in reaching the goal. For instance: If your financial goal is to save R100 000 in five years, set up regular check-in’s to ensure that your savings are on track.

Attainable: While we all want to be the next billionaire, you need to ensure that your goals are reachable. Decide what goals are most important to you and how you are planning on reaching these goals.

Realistic: In order for a goal to be realistic, you need to set yourself a goal that both, willing and able to work for. The goal can push your boundaries, but you need to ensure that you will be able to achieve this goal. For instance: if you are earning R1 000 a month, you cannot realistically plan on saving R100 000 in five years.

Timely: Your goal needs to have a time frame. If you do not have a time frame, you will have no sense of urgency in attempting to achieve this goal. For instance: if you want to lose ten kilograms, set yourself a time limit of ten months to reach this goal.

Once you have setup your SMART goals, you need to start working towards achieving them. Remember to regularly re-evaluate these goals to ensure that you are still on track.

I am Greg Jones and I am a loans consultant. I find that the most common enquiry I get is about cash loans South Africa, because people are struggling to make provision for the future. Ensure that you start making plans sooner rather than later, and start setting up long term financial goals today.

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