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Setting the right financial goals for your future

Your financial goals are just that - YOURS. Learn how to set the right goals for the future that means the most to YOU.

Your financial goals should be like any other goal you’ve set for yourself. Attainable, desirable, and it means something to YOU. Everyone has different priorities and lifestyles, so planning your goals should be about what you want to achieve.

Just like any goal you set for yourself, you have to first get into the right mindset. You have to understand that it’s going to take time, effort, sacrifices, and most importantly – money.

Visualize it

When you see yourself in 5 years, where are you? What are you doing for a living? Where do you live? What about in 10 years? What about in 30?

Visualizing your ideal outcome is a great way to start when setting bigger financial goals. It allows you to think specifically about the exact place you want to be so you can focus on how to get there. Using visualization can also help you psychologically by getting your brain to engage in selective attention – meaning your brain automatically picks out relevant information or observations around your selected goal because you have visualized an actionable, attainable project that your brain is helping you achieve.

Taking this time to visualize your goals means you know them inside and out. You’ve done your research, you know what you’re looking for, you’ve gone through every possible scenario or possibility, and you know what you’re after. 

A great way to visualize your goals is by making a vision board or goal list. 

Making your roadmap

After you’ve set your clear, attainable goals, it’s time to start thinking about how to get there. So what does your roadmap look like?

Creating your goal roadmap is important, as it’s easy to get discouraged or burnt out. Create logical checkpoints for you to hit on your roadmap to stay on track and goal-oriented. Goal setting is where you reach for the absolute stars, and your roadmap is where you get a little more realistic with it.

Here are a few tips to consider when creating your roadmap. Of course, everyone’s priorities, goals, and needs are different. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all for financial goal setting. So use what makes sense for you!

  • Break your roadmap up into increments. It helps to set calendar checkpoints to stay on track with how much you have saved, and it enables you to recognize how far you’ve come.
  • Set up incentives. Maybe once you’ve saved 50% of your emergency fund, you celebrate with a nice dinner. Nothing too crazy since we’re supposed to be saving here, but incentives help to stay motivated and can sometimes be enough to revitalize you to that second 50% in a shorter period of time!
  • Understand your priorities. You may have to make some sacrifices when saving, but if it means a lot to you, maybe skip the girls’ brunch on Sundays instead! Making your roadmap work for you will ensure its longevity.

A financial planning roadmap can look a million different ways. What’s important is to set attainable, realistic goals that mean something to YOU and create the roadmap you need to get you there.