Ready, Set, GOALS!

Finish Line

Two years ago, my son said to me, “Mom, I want to win the Mayor’s 4th Grade Fun Run Race.”  As a parent, I didn’t put too much stock into that statement, into this GOAL, until I saw how committed he had become.  For two solid years, he ran, he conditioned, he understood how important it was to pace himself and he told everyone that would listen that he was going to win it.  This goal was ever present in our lives from the time he was in second grade until he successfully realized his goal.  Now–I was nervous as he was running, thinking to myself, “What if he fails?  What will I say to him?  How will he feel?”, but you know what, he didn’t fail.  He crossed that line, victorious, after two years of pushing himself, all that hard work and dedication having paid off.  Here is a young kid that set his goal, created a path to be successful, and achieved his goal at the tender age of 9.

I hear adults (including myself) announce their goals all the time, I’m going to lose weight, I want to go to Disney World with my kids, I need a vacation, I want a new car, I want a boat, etc.  The difference between the two statements, is the fact that the adults have no road map to get there, no plan in place to achieve these goals.  It seems ingrained in us, when we’re children, to constantly goal plan….what do you want to be when you grow up, where do you want to live when you grow up, where do you want to go to college or where do you see yourself in five years?  Children and young adults may not realize that they’re goal planning, but in reality, many do it without much thought.  This luxury seems to escape us as adults, perhaps it’s the pressure of having a job, raising a family, owning or renting a home, keeping the lights on, etc., but for too many adults, we simply live in the moment.  For many of us, the thought of writing down our goals and the map to get there seems too overwhelming and virtually impossible.

So–here is my challenge to you.  Create a short-term goal (1-3 years), a mid-term goal (3-5 years), and a long-term goal (5 years +).  WRITE THEM DOWN, it doesn’t necessarily have to be about your finances, it can be about anything!  Now, create a road map to achieving these goals by using the following method as a guide:

S–Specific….make the goal as specific as you can.  The who, what, where and when’s of the goal. For example, “My goal is to win the Mayor’s Fun Run in 2018.”
M–Measurable….The average winner runs the mile in a little over six minutes.  In one year, I need to be around the seven minute mark, but year two, I need to be at or below the six minute mark.
A–Attainable…make sure that you are able to achieve or attain this goal.  While two years is a lot of time, I know plenty of children that may not be able to achieve this goal, for one reason or another.
R–Realistic….This mirrors attainable. If he had started training six months prior to the race, this may not have been a realistic goal.
T–Timeframe…..create a realistic time frame.  Again–it took time to condition and to get to the times set each year.

Using this method to apply to any goal will give you a road map to success.  It will allow you to break your goals down into measurable steps, so that they are not so overwhelming.   Another thing that I find helpful when goal planning is having someone to hold you accountable, a buddy that will do periodic checks to see how you’re doing.  It can be much to easy to want to step away from the plan you’ve laid out, but having someone you trust checking in on you may help you stick to that plan and the ability to achieve your goal.

Remember, life happens, so if suddenly the given time frame is not realistic, that’s ok, revisit the goal and draw a new road map.  Goals are not written in stone, they are the desired end result, but sometimes the map to getting there can be a little bumpy or curvy.  “Success doesn’t happen overnight.  Keep your eye on the prize and don’t look back.” –Erin Andrews

Tonight, as you’re thinking about this, I challenge you to keep these words close by.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream…”   –C.S. Lewis

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”  –Zig Ziglar

If you need a little more help writing those goals use the link below, it’s a quick and easy read!

Your Guide to Setting SMART Goals For Your Finances and Life

Happy Goal Writing!