Setting Intentional Goals
“I’m getting out of debt this year” or “I’m going to set a budget and really stick to it this time.”
Do these statements sound familiar? Most of us have set financial goals such as these more than once. They may work for a little while with a lot of success, but eventually life gets in the way and your goals fall to the wayside.
You end up beating yourself up pushing you even farther from your original financial goal. It’s understandably frustrating. This process tends to repeat itself for many people. Wanting to set goals and work toward them is an innate human characteristic. We feel more fulfilled when we’re working to improve our situation. So why is it so hard to stick to the goals we’re working toward?
Sticking to Goals Is Hard
According to a study by StatisticBrain.com only 9.2% of people felt that they were successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, unhealthy choices are so much easier to make. It’s easier to stop by a drive through to grab a quick meal than to take the time out of your night to make dinner.
One reason it’s easier to pick the less-healthy option is that the original goals you set aren’t rooted in anything concrete. In other words, you can’t visualize the real-life, positive outcomes that making the “healthy” choice will have. We see this a lot with goals revolving around our physical and emotional health, but the same thing is true with financial goals.
What is an Intentional Goal?
Setting intentional goals is more about shifting your lifestyle to embrace habits you want to see rather than setting arbitrary, big-picture goals that would require a full 180-change in the way lived during the day-to-day. They’re about rooting your goals in the life you imagine for yourself, and making small changes until you get there.
As soon as you choose the way you intend to live your life, your goals should fall in line, not the other way around.
Setting Intentional Goals With Your Finances
We set financial goals because we’re driven to live a better life. We know our current financial habits aren’t getting us where we want to be, so we set out to change that.
Here are a few financial goals I see a lot that, while well-meaning, aren’t really set in intention:
I’d like to have $20,000 in cash savings. (or any even, big number)
I want to pay off all of my student loan debt this year.
I need to sign five clients with my business to turn the corner this year.
I’d like to have one million dollars saved by the time I retire in my investment accounts. (again, any even, big number)
These goals are wonderful but lofty. There’s no true motivating factors behind them other than, “I think this is a good idea.”
Instead, try setting goals that are rooted in intention. Imagine the life you want to live. Get detailed. What do you need to do to achieve those goals? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
I’d like to have $18,750 in cash savings because I want to take time off to launch my own business and this is six months of living expenses at $3,125.
I want to pay an extra $250 toward my student loans each month to pay them off faster and escape the negative emotions I have attached to them. I have $250 extra because I’ve eliminated some spending categories for my budget, and I know paying off my debt will leave me feeling more emotionally fulfilled than other spending.
I’d like to hire a virtual assistant for my business to free up some time I spend on admin work I don’t like and spend more time focusing on my family. To do this, I’ll need to make an extra $400 each month in sales, which equates to 3-4 new clients.
When I retire, I’d like to travel around the world. I want to do some more research on inexpensive ways to travel and the different locations I’d like to visit so I have a better idea of what the costs will be.
These goals, while similar to the previous goals listed, are rooted in intention. You know the why behind setting them and are more likely to do the work required to achieve them.
Need Help With Goal Setting?
When I work with clients, I enjoy helping them dream big, set goals, and create unique plans that can be incorporated into their lifestyle. If you are a current client, have your goals changed this year or has a significant change in your life occurred? If you want help setting intentional goals that will move you toward your best life, I’d love to talk with you. Feel free to contact me today for a free consultation and to learn more.