When do you officially stop saying happy new year? This debate continues. There are no rules really, rather, personal preference – so do whatever you want. Happy New Year folks! The team at BWM are officially back from a very well deserved break, and we’re looking forward to a massive year ahead.
The new year is probably one of the most common periods when we set new goals for ourselves. I’m not talking about new year’s resolutions, I’m talking about real goals. Whether it’s to run a marathon later in the year, to travel the world, to double your income, or whether it’s to quit your job and set up that business you’ve always wanted, January is a great excuse to get you doing something about it.
A goal is a dream with a deadline
– Napoleon Hill
Like the management of money, goal setting is something we are not taught at school, yet there is some impressive evidence that supports goal setting. A Harvard Business Study found that 3% of Harvard MBAs who had written down their goals ended up making 10 times as much as the other 97% combined.
I’ve always set goals for myself that I was confident I would achieve – it came as no surprise when I was told this. Not only could I have stretched a little further, but I could have done a better job benchmarking my progress as well as setting new goals when I had achieved my goals in advance. So a few weeks ago I did something a little different. I set goals for myself that literally scared me. Goals that were totally out of my comfort zone. Goals that would put a big smile on my face when I imagined achieving them. There are some simple stuff in there, and a couple of goals that start to make me a little nervous – but that’s the point of stretching yourself and your ambitions, otherwise we wouldn’t achieve greater heights.
I used this Goal Mapping worksheet produced by team Tony Robbins. It’s probably the best tool I’ve used because it’s super simple, and straight to the point – 1) what is your goal 2) why is it important/what is the purpose 3) what actions will you take to achieve it.
When setting my goals, I stick to the S.M.A.R.T. acronym:
Specific: Saying you “want to earn more” is too vague. Pick a number for how much money you want to earn. Do you want to start making $150,000 per year, $500,000, $1 million? Set a clear number that will enable you to track your progress. As you work toward this goal, visualize your specific outcome.
Measurable: When it comes to goal setting, you need a way to track your progress. For example, by setting a clear goal (earning $150,000) you can check the numbers as the year goes on. How are you matching up to your goal? Are you on track to succeed?
Achievable: If you pick a goal that you know is outrageous – say you’re currently earning $30,000 and want to earn $5 million next year – you’re most likely not going to achieve it. Pick a goal that requires effort on your end, but is actually achievable as well. When you create a goal that’s too lofty, you might begin to feel that it’s impossible and eventually give up.
Realistic: You’ve always wanted to learn Japanese, but it’s not realistic to learn an entirely new language with foreign characters in three months. Be realistic about how much time you have to commit to your goal and the amount of resources it takes to do so.
(In a) Time frame: The final S.M.A.R.T. principle is setting a clear time frame in which you can achieve your goal. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to accomplish your goal. Do you think you can start earning your desired salary in six months, one year or two years? Having a clear time frame is essential for checking your progress along the way to reaching your goal.
Finally, in order to help manage the finances to support some of my goals, using inspiration from my good friends at SiDCOR, I built on their budget tool to create the BWM Clever Cashflow Guide.
You can download it here for free. Please use it to help manage your own household’s cashflows, and pass it on to your friends, kids, and family. If you have any questions or would like some help with either the Goal Mapping worksheet, or the BWM Clever Cashflow Guide, please give me a call as I would be delighted to help.
What now? Print off the Goal Mapping worksheet right now! Block 1 hour out of your day start writing. Remember to leave any bullshit excuse as to why you can’t do something at the door – don’t let them into the same room!
And if your goals are finance related, then set some time aside and start filling in the BWM Clever Cash Flow Guide so that you know where you are now and what you need to do to make your dreams a reality. And if you tell me you don’t have time to write down your goals, where are you going to find the time to accomplish them?