Do You Know the Way to Your Goals? {Day 3 of 21 Days of Hope + Help for Your Money}

January 4, 2018

Do You Know the Way to Your Goals? {Day 3 of 21 Days of Hope + Help for Your Money}

This is Day 3 of 21 Days of Hope + Help for Your Money, a series providing you encouragement and tips to start the year off on a note of hope. Catch up on previous posts here. For future posts, come back daily or subscribe to have them emailed directly to you.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” — Pablo Picasso

I have a confession to make. Last year I made a financial goal that I was hoping to meet by the end of the year. It was a “stretch goal,” meaning it was a challenging one. But it was still doable, and I was pretty hopeful that I would hit it. Well…I didn’t. I didn’t even come close.

I write my goals down and keep them visible, as I encouraged you to do on Day 2. And I noticed in the last few months of the year when it became painfully obvious that I wouldn’t meet the goal, that I began to avoid looking at it.

When I recognized my avoidance, I forced myself to assess the goal and reflect on why I missed the mark. There is a lesson in every failure—if we choose to see it.

After some thinking, it was clear that I didn’t define the action steps required to hit the goal. Remember the SMART goals that we talked about yesterday? A stands for Actionable. While I did figure out what hitting my goal would mean on a monthly basis, I didn’t go deep enough; I didn’t map out a specific plan for hitting that monthly goal.

Without doing that, my stretch goal was an unrealistic, “pie in the sky” goal.

Perhaps you’ve missed hitting goals in the past for the same reason.

Mapping out a plan for our goals means dissecting them into mini milestones and then identifying the steps needed to reach those milestones. If a goal is a “destination,” then we need the directions to get there. If you hop in a car and just put your foot on the gas without steering, stopping, making turns, and following a predetermined path, what are the chances of you reaching where you want to go? Pretty slim.

Your goals—even your stretch goals—are attainable as long as you identify the way to reach them.

Action Step

Map Out One of Your Financial Goals

Take one of your financial goals that you made on Day 2 and break it down to small monthly or weekly milestones. Then identify the specific actions you’ll need to take monthly, weekly, or even daily to reach those milestones.

(When you can, make sure you do this for every goal you made.)

How did you do with breaking your goal down? Let me know in the comments!

It's much easier to make goals than it is to identify the path to meet them. If you have not laid out the steps to your goals, you are not likely to reach them.