Setting financial goals should be a priority for everyone. Unfortunately, it goes overlooked far too often in the goal-setting universe. Many people have come to me and asked about how to set business, career or school goals. They ask about short-term, long-term and organizational goals. I for one can most certainly understand this, since I spent a lot of time setting these types of goals in my own life. I realized however that most of my goals were built to hit a target that was financially constructed. The majority of my goals were financial goals, masquerading as career or education or business goals.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I love, cherish and adore all of the goal types mentioned above. They are great. However, if your definition of success is financially based, then you will have to add a few new goals to your arsenal. Luckily, setting financial goals is not difficult. Actually, I find it to be a heck of a lot more fun than setting some other goals mentioned here. The reason of course being that you can extrapolate your financial goals out into the future, and paint a realistic picture of your wealth profile down the road. Not only is this type of goal setting motivational, it is self-fulfilling. As you specify your goals, you work towards them, and as you work towards them, you succeed in other facets of goal setting that are geared towards the same end. When you succeed, you believe in yourself, and when you believe, you succeed over and over again. So let’s get on with it.
As we have mentioned, setting financial goals is not difficult. The goals will probably align very closely with your business goals, short-term goals and others, since most of those are financially rooted. But here, you will specifically spell out your financial target. So let’s take a look at some financial goal setting examples. Disclaimer: I can't take credit for all of these ideas, I borrowed a few from Brian Tracy's book, Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want.
I am a small business owner. I work in the service industry and sell service-based offerings to medical practices. My goal for the first Quarter was to close four new sales, send out quarterly marketing pieces and make 200 cold calls per week. These goals seemed great to me. But then I realized, I didn’t put a dollar value to it. The goals were great, they would have produced value if I completed them, but how much value? I was shooting at a financial target that did not exist. Bad idea.
So I went forth and specified my goal. I told myself that I would aim to invoice for $2500 in new business on March 31st. I did some basic math based on my original goals and recognized this is an attainable, but challenging goal. I now had a measurable target to aim for. My sales calls were now laser focused. Of course, I knew I wanted 4 new sales and I wanted to make my cold call quota, but now I knew how much money in new products I needed to sell to hit my goal. There are about 13 weeks in a quarter, so with this knowledge I was then able to break my quarterly goal down into short-term goals. I now knew that I had to sell only $192 in new products per week to hit my goal, or $38 per day. See how easy this is?
So how do you put your financial goals into action? The first step is to write down the exact amount of money that you intend to acquire and the exact date by which you intend to acquire it. Then write down what you will do to achieve this specific goal. The action steps can be daily, weekly or monthly, but make the specific. Now that it’s all on paper, it is your job to read it twice a day out loud. Read the statement when you wake up in the morning as well as before bed. This goal setting exercise will train your subconscious mind to build bridges to your goals.
Tell us about your own goal setting success story below!