The act of physically setting goals is crucial to achieving them. Pretty crazy, right?
According to a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Research, making specific plans — rather than staying flexible — is key.
“Rigidity streamlines goal pursuit by imposing a clear roadmap to reaching a goal,” the researchers said.
Let’s do this. Let’s discuss tips for setting — and reaching — your financial goals whether short or long term.
1. Picture Your Future #Selfie.
Where will you be? What will you be doing? When you take that all-important Insta pic, what will success look like? Goals that are very far off, like retirement, are particularly hard because we’re wired to prioritize the now over the later. But visualizing your future — whether it’s on a beach with grandkids, skiing in the Alps or pulling up to your home on the golf course — will help you get there.
Picture how you’ll feel when you arrive at your financial destination, and keep that image in your mind the next time you start to veer off track.
2. Put Your Savings on Autopilot.
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: Pay yourself first. But this time, have it done automatically from your paycheck so you won’t have a chance to change your mind.
We know it can be less painful to contribute to our 401(k)s, but why is that? It comes out of our checks before we have a chance to miss it. Ask your bank to do the same with your paychecks — have part put into savings or your 529 with every deposit, and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals.
3. Spread the Wealth.
If you have multiple financial goals (and who doesn’t?), set multiple goals. For short-term goals, which means less than five years, open specific savings accounts at a bank: Put your emergency fund in one, your holiday gifts fund in one and the ever-important vacation fund in another. When you’re saving long-term, utlitize your 401(k), plus check out other long-term investment options like 529s and IRAs.
You Got This!
Big goals can be daunting, but you can definitely reach them. The key is breaking them into steps and taking them on in manageable bites.
We’d love to follow you on your savings journey. Join our Facebook HerMoney group of goal-getters and keep us up to date!