Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Like your life is just so full that you don’t have enough time to focus on things like investing and wealth creation? Perhaps you just want more free time and can’t bring yourself to fit more in? Well either way, there is a really easy way to find that time, get more done and stress less!
Whether you intentionally do so or not, you probably already set goals for yourself. For most people though, they tend to be short term and ultra specific:
I’ll work through lunch and leave early today
Or long term and vague:
someday I’ll be rich!
Short term, ultra specific goals are generally very easy to achieve as they don’t really involve any planning, long term goals on the other hand generally require you to actually plan out how you are going to achieve the goal, but most people don’t get that far. In fact goal setting generally gets left to activities undertaken in the workplace, where you need to be time efficient and have set outcomes to achieve (after all, you are being paid to do it right?).
Goals tend to take a back seat at home as most people are pretty content to drift along in their own time, because they work so hard and need some down time away from work. Unfortunately this kind of attitude means that nothing of importance in your personal life ever gets done, or it takes a very long time to achieve.
How do You Eat an Elephant?
The answer is simple – one bite at a time! When I feel overwhelmed I just think of this saying, it sounds silly, but it works for me. Finding time to set your own personal goals is one of the most important things you can do in order to successfully create wealth. Work is not the only place you get paid – at least I hope not! By planning out your wealth creation strategy, you will be designing other income streams, which hopefully don’t even require you to work! Now who wouldn’t want to spend a little time finding ways to do that?
Wealth Creation Goals
Creating goals should be fun! Start thinking about the things you want in your life, not just money, but things that will make you happy. Whether it is life experiences, furthering your professional career, things you want to achieve or just stuff you really want! Remember that wealth creation is about creating a lifestyle of your choosing.
With this in mind, some relevant themes for goal setting might include:
- Saving for something you want or to reduce the debt you have
- Keeping money to invest (if you don’t know the difference between saving and keeping, read Keeping What You Earn)
- Making time for family and friends
- Improving your skills in the area of wealth creation
- Improving your skills in a hobby you are interested in or pursuing a different career pathway
- Realising the lifestyle of your choosing and what this means to you
You might also have some other themes that are important to you, add these as well or instead. Now think of some goals based on these themes, try and break these down into:
- short-term goals – 6 months to 1 year
- medium-term goals – 2 to 3 years
- long-term goals – 3 to 5 years
Some people may think differently, but I think anything longer than 3-5 years is quite hard to plan for and goals need to be re-evaluated on a semi-regular basis anyway. There is probably a good chance that you have a really big goal that is going to take longer than 5 years, but try breaking it down into some smaller goals so you can track you progress and feel good about achieving your milestones.
If you are having trouble getting started, start with life experiences. In fact I think you should decide on a holiday destination right now – assign it as a short-term goal (but be realistic) and start looking forward to it! Now break it down into steps; when do you want to go? how much will it cost, how much do you need to save each week in order to achieve this? You now have a detailed plan to keep you on track to achieve your goal.
Now that you have something to look forward to as a reward, add some more goals focusing on your themes. Try for at least 3 goals for each and aim to have a short medium and long-term goal. Don’t get too carried away though, it will be difficult to focus on too many goals. Prioritise each goal and then break them down into the steps required to achieve them.
Attitude and Positive Thought!
You might be good at keeping lists in your head, but it is much easier to see your goals on paper in front of you. Whatever your goals are, make sure you write them down and add detail as you go. Keep them somewhere you can see and focus on them everyday, enhance your goals by adding pictures or other elements that will motivate you. Maybe you could even find someone that shares your goal or passion to work with? Utilise as many tools as possible to help you – try online planners and calendars, utilise loan calculators for saving and repayment calculations and find inspiration from others that make doing what you want look easy. Some of my favourites include:
The ease of success in achieving your goals really is up to you. Short-term goals are usually pretty attainable, but longer-term goals can be harder. No matter how big or unattainable your goal might seem, you can can reach it if you believe you can. Keep evaluating your progress, stay positive and it will happen.
Now that you have a detailed plan of your goals, relax. You know exactly what you need to do, and how to do it. Everything else is just a distraction, but the best bit is you can go ahead and enjoy those too, safe in the knowledge that you are moving towards your goals.