Want To Achieve Your Financial Goal This Year?
It’s that time again—the time when people traditionally set goals for the New Year.
So, what about you? When you hear the "G-word" do you cringe and snort thinking to yourself “right, goals . . . whatever. Or, do your eyes light up as you tick off a long list of goals for the New Year that will be impossible to complete?
No matter if you have an optimistic or pessimistic outlook about your goals for 2011, both outlooks have something in common and it is this: Unless you know how to set goals properly, you will fail to complete them.
So let’s start by defining exactly what a goal is:
A goal is fierce!
· A goal is clearly defined
· A goal is very specific
· A goal has an action plan and time line for completion
To be an accomplished goal setter, you must become a fearsome goal manager by:
· Making sure your goal is achievable
· Aligning your action steps with your mind
· Eliminating distractions
Two Parts To Setting Financial Goals
1. Make sure your mind thinks your goal is achievable.
Businessman, philanthropist, author W. Clement Stone once said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Said another way, if your mind can't see how your financial goal can be achieved, it will not come to pass.
Therefore, the key to achieving your financial goals is to put down on a piece of paper goals that your mind can immediately identify with and see as achievable.
Six Steps to Goal Success
Step One: Identify your financial goal for this year, very clearly and specifically. Be concrete. Put your financial goal into words and be as precise about it as you can be.
Step Two: Listen closely to how your mind responds to the financial goal you've set for yourself. You'll know if you've hit upon a conceivable figure when you feel an inner "yes" or experience your mind excitedly fast-forwarding to the goal.
Step Three: Next, identify your plan of action and create strategic action steps that will lead to goal completion. If at any time you experience your mind balking or stalling, that's an indicator that the direction you're going in is unbelievable to your mind.
Step Four: Then, and this is all so energetically important: schedule and take your first action step either now, or within the next five days. Since what we focus on happens, it is important to schedule and take a first step to create momentum immediately.
Step Five: Evaluate your activity and measure success every step along the way.
Step Six: Reward and celebrate your success.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are the worst enemy of goal management, and are one of the main reasons why goals fail. When we allow distractions to take our time and attention away from our financial goal, the result is frustration, leading to feelings of being overwhelmed, to thoughts of not being able to do something, to failure. Be fierce about your financial goals this year and guard them with your time.
Top 10 Business Distracters
If you are business owner, you have a lot of e-mail coming into your inbox every day. However, very little e-mail that comes in each day actually has to be answered immediately. Find an effective way to deal with e-mail and you will add hours to your day.
Decide when and how you will deal with co-worker questions and issues.
· Surfing the net.
The Internet is addictive, making it so easy to get distracted, loose track of time, and zone out. Control your surfing.
· Unsupportive people.
As a business owner, it is important to surround yourself with people who are supportive, possibility thinkers who know the value and importance of time. Anyone else is a time vampire.
· Well-intended advice.
Listen, if you must. Though be aware that well-intended advice often reflects more about the other person’s agenda than your own concrete action plan.
· Not being able to say no.
If you are a business owner, the buck stops with you. If you don’t say no to distractions that will take you off task, then who will? Exercise you right. Just say no, or, if you want to soften it a bit, say later.
That’s it folks. These are the steps to take if you want to achieve your financial goal this year. All you need to do is make sure your goal is achievable by aligning your action steps with your mind, while eliminating distractions along the way. Keep in mind, though, that it is ridiculous to spend time focusing on achieving a financial goal that your mind can't see as achievable. Instead, if you identify a financial goal that your mind balks at, replace or revise it with one that does.
Happy goal setting!
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Dr. Susan L. Reid is a small business expert and business catalyst for entrepreneurial women starting up businesses. She is the award-winning author of “Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success.” Her website is Alkamae.com.