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Flex Your Finances Workout #1: Setting Goals

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“New Year, New You” only works if you change your habits. Unfortunately, the idea of changing your habits can be so overwhelming that many people give up before they even get started! 

Our Flex Your Finances series will break everything down into achievable steps. By the end, you’ll be flexing those financial gainz with confidence ​​💪💪

Flex Your Finances Workout #1: Setting goals

A good workout has three stages: stretching, warming up, and kicking butt.

We’ll follow that tried-and-true recipe by stretching your mind, warming up your skills, and of course kicking (financial) booty.

Grab your water bottle and get ready to flex your finances!

🙆 The Pre-Workout Stretch: Why are financial goals important?

Setting goals can help you identify areas of your finances that you want to improve and give you a sense of direction and purpose. 

But first, we have to stretch our mind to imagine the possibilities and learn about goal-setting.

Having clear goals can help you stay focused and motivated, and can encourage you to prioritize your time and efforts. 

Goals can also allow you to measure your progress and provide a sense of accomplishment as you meet milestones on the path to achieving your objective.

However, setting goals involves more than just wishful thinking. Setting meaningful goals will give you a much better chance at success.

🏃🏾 The Warmup: What makes a good goal?

A solid financial goal has four key elements. When you’re setting your goals for the new year, make sure they meet the following criteria:

1. Attainable

Your goal should be ambitious but not unrealistic. Ask yourself, will I be reasonably able to achieve this goal if I work hard? An example of an unattainable goal might be something like “I want to own a beachside mansion by the end of 2023.” Your goal shouldn’t be improbable, but it should be something that challenges you to push yourself.

2. Measurable

It will be much easier to track your progress if your goal is measurable. Make sure your goal is easy to measure by making it quantifiable. 

For example, saying “I want to be more financially stable in 2023” isn’t quantifiable because there’s nothing you can measure or count to demonstrate your success. On the other hand, the goal “I want to save $10,000 in 2023” is quantifiable and measurable because you can use dollar amounts to track your progress.

3. Time-bound

Adding a deadline to your goal provides a sense of urgency and encourages you to take action in order to achieve it. A deadline can keep you motivated and focused, and reduce the temptation to procrastinate. 

Making sure your goal is time-bound is simple: a goal that is time bound will have a target date for completion. For example, “I want to find a higher-paying job” is not time-bound. “I want to find a higher-paying job in the next 6 months” is time-bound.

4. Specific

The more specific your goal is, the more likely you are to achieve it. This isn’t some kind of unexplainable phenomenon — it’s plain ol’ psychology. 

A specific goal helps you visualize the outcome, priming your brain for motivation and success. Being specific also helps you create a game-plan to reach your goal. 

For example, a non-specific goal would be something like, “I want to live close to my workplace.”A specific goal might be something like “I’d like to buy a 4-bedroom house within 30 minutes of my office.” 

🏋🏼 The Exercise: Creating your goals

It’s time to put everything together. Grab some paper and a pen (or open your notes app) and let’s get started:

  1. Write down 3 reasons you want to change your financial future. These will help you create meaningful goals.

Example: “I want to change my financial future so I can give my kids a better life.”

  1. Write down 2-3 goals you want to accomplish in 2023.

Example: “Buy a house” or “Start investing.”

  1. Adjust and add to your goals until they’re attainable, measurable, time-bound, and specific.

Example: “I want to buy a $350,000 house with 3 or more bedrooms in [city/town] by November 30th, 2023.”

  1. Break each goal into mini-objectives you’ll need to accomplish along the way.

Example: To buy a house, I’ll need to:

  • Improve my credit score by 50 points by September 2023 
  • Save up $5,000 for closing costs by October 2023

Phew, are you feelin’ the burn? We sure are! Great work today! 💪💪 

Start this Flex Your Finances workout today

StellarFinance, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide financial, tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own financial, tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.