How to Set Financial Goals and Achieve Them

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Do you have BIG financial goals?  I’m sure you do!

You might be in major debt, and getting out fast is on your financial goal list this year.

Maybe, you’re out of debt and want to save for a house, or start putting money away for your kid’s college or retirement.

RelatedHow to Pay Off Debt Fast

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    We all have goals, but until we write them down, make a plan, and take action steps toward achievement, we are really just DREAMING.

    This time last year, we realized we needed to make a major change in order to start tackling our six figure student loan debt.

    We enrolled in Financial Peace University in January 2019, and have since paid off almost 50K of debt!

    This did NOT happen by accident. It took a lot of communication, planning, and goal setting between my husband and me.

    You can make huge changes to your finances in 2020! You just need to learn a little about how to set financial goals, and go get ’em.

    What are some financial goals?

    The financial goals that you go after in 2020 will depend on your family situation, but a few ideas for financial goals are:

    • Saving a small starter emergency fund
    • Paying off debt
    • Saving a down payment for a house
    • Starting a college savings plan for the kids
    • Refinancing high interest student loan debt
    • Learn how to budget
    • Get caught up on bills
    • Cut your expenses
    • Put 15% of your income toward retirement this year

    I recommend getting out of debt, before working on any of these other things.

    It doesn’t always make mathematical sense, but it will certainly prevent you from becoming completely overwhelmed.

    How to set financial goals in 2022

    Does your goal completely terrify you?

    Are you a little leery if it’s even possible to achieve at all?

    If your goal doesn’t scare you, maybe it’s not big enough.

    What would you set out to do, if you could do anything in the world?

    If nothing was holding you back?

    If you didn’t have mountains of student loan debt to pay, and you gave zero “you know whats” about what other people think?

    Give yourself 30 minutes and brainstorm as many possibilities as you can imagine.  Don’t filter yourself.  Just write.

    How to set financial goals
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    Do you dream of traveling the world, moving to New York to star on Broadway (totally used to be my dream), or do you want to find a way to make money online so you can be a stay at home mom?

    Make a list of financial goals, family goals, personal goals, and health goals.  The sky is the limit.

    Now that you have a big list of your goals, work backwards and decide what you could do THIS YEAR, to get you closer to that goal.

    Hint:  This should still seem pretty big, you have a year to get there girly!

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    Financial Goals Worksheet: SMART Goals

    The SMART acronym is an excellent guideline to help you set goals.  When you think of a goal, it needs to follow these guidelines, otherwise it’s really just a dream.

    You can grab a free SMART goals worksheet here.

    S– Specific:  Really dig in here.  What exactly do you want?  How will you get there?  We will discuss how to make a plan in just a second.

    M– Measurable:  How will you know if you have achieved this goal?  Is it a certain amount of money you’re looking for?  A rank or position in your company?  You need to be able to measure your success.

    A– Attainable:  I hope you really DO set your goals so high that they seem crazy and unattainable, but setting a goal to be a six figure blogger by next month…might be a little wild.  Make your goals realistic and attainable so you don’t get frustrated and give up before you’ve even started.

    R– Relevant:  Are your daily, weekly, and monthly goals going to get you to your big year end goal?  My biggest goal right now is to make a full time income with my blog.  I have also dabbled a bit in direct sales as a side gig, but I’m now realizing that time spent there is not really getting me to my goal as a blogger.

    Where are you spending your time?  Is it getting you to where you REALLY want to go?

    T– Trackable:  Can you check in with yourself at the end of each day and see if you have made progress?  Write it down.  Check it off.  Get it girl!

    Let’s talk now about setting up a plan to reach your SMART financial goals!

    Put Your Financial Goals First

    When you are making your plan for the day, do not mistake your most urgent or time sensitive tasks for your most important tasks!

    Your most important task of the day, should be the ONE thing that will inevitably get you closer to your goal.

    Although, it might be important for me to mush through my never ending doctor duties, I always make sure to make time for my blog.

    I know that if I don’t schedule time for my personal goals, they will always get pushed behind the urgency of the kids, the cleaning, and all of the other things that pop up during the day.

    If you need to get up early, stay up late, or work through lunch…set aside the time you need to achieve your goals, or they will always get pushed aside.

    Financial Goal Planning: Plan, Plan, Plan

    There are different methods of planning, and depending on your personality one way might work better than others.

    I used to be a to-do list/check list kind of girl, but I have found over time that this method just isn’t effective for me.

    I need actual scheduled blocks of time to do things.  If I have a checklist, I might spend 7 hours on the first item and never get to anything else.  It works way better for me to set appointments with myself, just like I would with my patients.

    How to set financial goals
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    For example, from 8:00-9:00 AM I can check and respond to emails, and then TRY not to get distracted as emails come in throughout the day.

    This is SO hard, I know.  Especially since I get a little excited when I get an email, thinking it might be a notification for an affiliate sale, or an exciting webinar (I know I’m such a nerd).  But, it’s just not efficient for me to jump into my email several times throughout the day.

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    Tips for Planning Your Perfect Day

    Start with your big goal.

    Decide what you are going to do THIS YEAR.

    Break your yearly goal into quarterly goals, then monthly goals, weekly, and finally, what you need to do each day to get there.

    Every evening, or maybe first thing in the morning if that works for you, PLAN YOUR DAY.  Block out your time on your schedule and commit to yourself.

    Schedule in time for unexpected things that might come up.  Lord knows we ALL gotta put out some fires now and again.

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    Reach Your Financial Goals- Know Your Why

    The secret to achieving your goals, is definitely knowing WHY you are doing it.  Mama’s not getting out of bed at 5 AM for funsies, y’all.

    What are you passionate about?  What makes you so excited that you can’t wait to brew that pot of coffee and get to work?  If you don’t know why you are heading toward a goal, you won’t be pushing forward for long.

    Take some time to reflect, pray, and meditate on what is really important to you.  How will your life change when you reach that goal?

    Think about your goal as if you have already achieved it.  How does it feel?  Hold on to that feeling, and think about it anytime you start to waver or feel defeated.  What do you need to do every day to make that feeling your reality?

    It’s fun to look back at everything we have achieved in 2019, especially since we were so lost this time last year!

    If you want to reach your financial goals in 2020, you can do this!

    Grab the free budget planner, and subscribe to my email list so I can encourage you this year along your journey.

    RelatedHow to Stay Motivated when Paying Off Large Debt

    Ready to Slay Your Goals in 2020?

    The Slay Your Goals planner is an amazing printable planner that turns goal setting into a simple step by step process. 

    The planner walks you through effective goal setting, starting with your one big goal in mind. 

    The plan then takes you through several steps to break down your big overwhelming goal into manageable, (yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly), and finally daily goals.

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    You can learn more about this 60+ page printable goal setting planner here.

    Do you know the SMART way to set goals?  Are you taking daily steps toward your big goals, or just squeezing it in whenever you have the time?

    If you need some accountability, share your 2020 goals with me in the comments below.  I would love to cheer you on!

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    hi! I'm shannon

    I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.