Personal Goal Setting

Many people believe that their life had no direction. They feel that they don’t achieve anything in life at all even if they do everything they can. They feel pressured or depressed about the things they can’t have and they feel dreadful already.

One of the most neglected important reason behind this, is because they forgot or do not have specific set of goals in their lives.

Goal setting is a key process to determine your focus, attention and direction. It will answer your deepest “why’s”, thus will help you take only the important steps to achieve it.

Why Setting a Goal is Important?

There are 4 reasons why a person needs to set goals. First, it gives you both the long-term and short-term motivation. It also helps you to organize your time and resources efficiently and effectively. It helps you to focus and ignore irrelevant distractions. And it raises your self-confidence by recognizing your capacity.

In order to determine your desired future, you must first imagine what it is specifically. To help you “picture” it, you can make a dream board of it.

Achieving personal goals requires 3 simple steps.

  • Create your “big picture” of what you want to do with your life within a period of time, and identify the large scale goals that you want to achieve.
  • Break it down to smaller targets with their own timeline.
  • Start working on it by taking action.
Step 1: Setting Lifetime Goals

The first step in setting lifetime goals is having a set of categories that will answer the question “which is going where?”. This is to organize your thoughts and to determine if you are missing something out.

Step 2: Setting Smaller Goals

In order to avoid yourself from panicking and asking everyday, “how will I ever achieve these?”, it is best to cut your lifetime goals into smaller goals. Determine your own timetable of activities from years to months and into a weekly and daily basis. By doing so, you will know exactly what to do, thus, avoid wasting time.

Staying on Course

It is important to review and amend your goals and plans in order to stay on the track. Many also believe, including myself, in the power of visual aids. It’s probably wired in our brains that reinforcing a thought with a picture makes the goal more enticing, that dream boards (also called vision boards) becomes very effective.

Dream boards should be located in an area you see everyday. Ideally in your bedroom, on the area of the wall that you see first when you wake up and see last when you sleep.

As you do this, make sure that are goals that you really want to achieve. Not your parents’ goals for you or the peer pressure.

SMART Goals

To provide a more powerful and effective goal, you can use the mnemonic SMART. This stands for:

  • S – specific
  • M – measurable
  • A – attainable and action-based
  • R – relevant and realistic
  • T – time-bound

Some reliable sources revised the widely known SMART into SMARTER with E for evaluative and R for revisable.

Here is a sample worksheet you can use for setting your goals.

Sample Personal Goal Setting Worksheet

Bear in mind that in stating each goal, you must put it as a positive statement and performance-based (not output-based) so that you can be more accountable for your actions.

Do not forget to add monetary value to your goals so you can plan about it better, and to keep operational expenses low.

It is also ideal to develop systems and habits that will help you automate some areas in your activities and to simplify your work.

Do not forget to treat yourself with something nice, without compromising anything in your goals. Rewarding yourself is a good way to keep you motivated.

To your rewarding future,

7 Financial New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep

Have you made your new year’s resolution last year? You probably did, like many. But did you make any resolution that concerns finances?

Many Filipinos make new year’s resolution, hoping their year will be much better than the previous one. But only a few sticks to it like a real relationship. So, why bother considering your finances, too?

There are proven ways to actually commit to your New Year’s Resolution like making a dream board of it, cut down from your lifetime goals. These long-term goals will determine the best new year’s resolution for you. (Read more: Personal Goal Setting)

New Year’s resolution in improving your financial health, however, could be the ones that you may actually keep even without a visual aid. It’s hard to picture these anyway. In other words, with very less effort.

Here are the financial changes you can do on a yearly basis:

  1. Know Your Net Worth
  2. Update Your Goals
  3. Debt Management Planning
  4. Review your Investment(s) and Insurance(s)
  5. Grow Your Income
  6. Expand Your Portfolio
  7. Assess Your Retirement Plan

Know Your Net Worth

Calculating your net worth is crucial to evaluate your financial health in order to reach your financial goals.

Monitoring your assets and liabilities will help you to assess if there are mistakes in your finances as early as possible.

There are many tools online to help you in calculating your net worth, including this blog’s version.

Update Your Goals

Every goal requires a certain amount of money, one way or another. But if you are a typical spender, it will be less likely to attain your goals easily or in a shorter span of time.

To avoid yourself from the temptation of spending too much, put your goals some monetary value and allocate a separate account for it. Make automatic deductions if your income goals directly to your bank account, whenever possible. This does not only saves you from the hassle, but will also avoid you from spending the amount you should be saving for your goals.

Debt Management Planning

A savings plan you have may not work if you do not plan on settling your debts or loans. Take it from me, I experienced that.

Assess your net worth how much you can spare for paying off the loans you have. Cut down your expenses so you can pay down your debts little by little but on a regular basis.

If you owe in your credit card, do not add up purchases using it. Pay it off first.

Review Your Investments and Insurances

Make it a habit to annually review your investments and all types of insurances to know if you have to change anything.

Checking your investment portfolio will make sure you keep up with the market fluctuations. Some sectors may over-perform and some may under-perform. It is best to rebalance your portfolio by updating your assets allocation. If you have a fund manager, you can ask for a report on this, if he’s not doing it yet.

Review your insurances if anything is expiring, especially your auto and/or health insurances. Term insurances needs to be renewed on an annual basis.

Life and disability insurances should be reviewed also even if it is not a yearly renewable plan. Check if you still have the coverage you need.

Grow Your Income

Your income shouldn’t be confined to your monthly salary especially if your net worth is negative. Get a side hustle!

A side hustle is like a part-time job you do aside from your regular work. Many Filipinos do this and it is worth considering to achieve goals faster.

Consider a side hustle that you love doing like baking, graphic designing, or teaching kids.

Expand Your Portfolio

Now that you know where your money is going, and having enough cash flow, it is time to invest more.

Expanding your portfolio means you have to diversify your investments to lessen the risks of loss and for insulating it against the volatility in the market.

If you are focussed in one asset class, you might lose a lot. I’ve seen a lot of (virtually) crying short-term investors on a certain Facebook group who invested all their money on infrastructure because of the Build Build Build Program of the current administration. If I did the same, I’ll be crying, too. But since it is a common investing mistake, I avoided it. And because you are reading this, you can avoid it, too.

Assess Your Retirement Plan

You probably have a retirement plan through the Social Security System (SSS) or Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and a company retirement plan sponsored by your employer.

Although those above are cheap, it is still advisable to get a separate retirement plan that will save you in case you leave your company for whatever reason or to add to your fixed monthly pension.

It is important to consider the increasing inflation rate. Because the money decreases its purchasing power as years go by. Consider it in your financial plan and start as early as possible.

To your best year ever,

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