Happy New Year! That time of year is once upon us again. As I look past at the previous year, I realize my family was very fortunate. Financially we achieved almost all of the goals we set out to achieve. I’m now in the process of finalizing my 2013 goals. The question I have for you is – have you created your financial goals?
You see it’s been shown time and time again that setting goals is critical to get to where you want to go. It’s almost something magical, or perhaps your subconscious takes over when you make your goals conscious. I don’t what know exactly causes it; all I know is it works.
You have a much better chance of achieving what you want. If you don’t write it down, it’s possible you’ll achieve it, but then again maybe not. At least for me, I’ve been setting goals since my early twenties, and I’ve seen how much it’s helped me.
If you are a regular reader of Investor Junkie, it’s obvious then you want to become a better investor. How else can you become better, if you don’t set goals and measure your progress? For me being from a scientific background, there’s no other way.
Over the years, did I achieve all the goals I set out to do? Of course not! But creating the goals allowed me to see if I was getting closer or further away from what I was trying to achieve.
Most individuals who create New Year’s Resolutions barely make it past January. I see this all the time at my gym. Every year I see a fresh round of new faces. Many don’t last two weeks before you never see them again. It’s so sad, it’s funny. I’m sure the gyms around America love this time of year because most of their new members will never use the annual membership they just signed up for.
Part of the problem is creating vague milestones. How do you create a goal that’s compelling? A goal that will keep you going when things get tough, as I’m sure they will.
The problem isn’t creating the goal. The problem is not being specific enough.
The classic example, which also seems to be with our government, is defining the word rich. Sure we all want to be “rich”, but what is rich? It depends upon who you talk to. So know this specific number if you want to consider yourself rich.
For me, when creating a goal it comes down to three simple steps:
- Specific – What is the result you want. State I want to save $30,000 this year. Don’t say you want to save more money. How much more?
- Compelling – The reason why. Create a strong reason you want to achieve your goal. Use positive and negative emotions. For example, say you want more income to save for your child’s college education so they do not have to go into massive debt. How will this make you feel?
- Steps – What steps are involved to achieve your goal. Realizing there are multiple ways to save $30,000, so be flexible in your approach. It can be asking for a raise at your existing job, looking for a new job, or starting a new business. All will achieve your goal, but the steps for each are different.
For the really sophisticated, not only create yearly goals, but five, ten and even fifteen year goals. From my experience, you’ll be surprised how many you’ll achieve.
What’s in Store for Investor Junkie in 2013?
While I won’t talk about my personal goals, I will mention the goals I have for Investor Junkie.
- Web Forum – I don’t claim to have all the answers, nor do I want this web site to be a one way street. I want to build an great interactive online community for beginning and experienced investors.
- More Videos – I plan on doing more screencasts and, in addition, videos presentations.
- Podcasts – I want to interview the top finance experts and newsmakers.
- Online Course – I won’t reveal the nature of the course just yet, but I plan to create an educational course to help with investing.
Readers: What are your financial goals for 2013? Is there anything you want to see on Investor Junkie?