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Financially starting afresh

January 20, 2023

The start of a new year is the best time to start afresh with the goals that proved challenging in the previous year.

This year should not be an exception and making a few adjustments to your goals may allow you to achieve them and stop carrying them forward. Starting afresh requires you to throw away what you had previously built and focus on building something new.  You view your ideas from a different perspective, applying new strategies, discovering new challenges and achieving your goal as a result.

Starting fresh with your goals allows you to reflect on what went right with your goals, because you need to keep doing these things right, and what went wrong, because this is where the intervention is required.

Applying changes can be challenging, especially if it is done expeditiously and not gradually. The gradual application of changes to your financial goal setting is the kick needed to tick goals off your list.

A strategy that is commonly referred to as SMART goal setting fits into the spectrum of gradual financial goals setting. SMART goal setting speaks to the determination of goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.

Begin by being specific with your goals, clearing articulating the goal such that it leaves no room for interpretation. Specific goals give you a clear picture of the steps it will take you to achieve your goal. An example of a specific goal is to pay-off your personal loan in full by June 2023.

A measurable goal is a no-brainer when it comes to finances. How will you determine exactly what your goal is and whether you are achieving it if you have not defined it? “I want to be rich this year”, sounds beautiful, however if you can’t define rich, how will you determine that you have reached your desired “rich” status if you can’t determine what rich means. The goals need to have the quality of measurability.

Ensure that the goal you have set is achievable. Aiming for the stars is good, however the pain of watching your arrow fall before it reaches its aim is not one that you need to endure for your financial goals. Avoid aiming too high with your goals, you should rather set small goals that fit into a bigger picture, that is after all how you eat an elephant.

Unlike shooting for the stars, it is imperative that you set realist goals. The moment you know that it will be difficult to make your goals a reality, you might as well have added them to a dreams list and not a financial goals list. Start by assessing what steps it will take to achieve your goals and if any of those steps seem impossible in your circumstances, then you probably need to re-look that goal’s achievability.

Finally, and most probably my favorite, your goal should be time-based. If you can’t put a date to your goal, however will you follow through and stop the procrastination that comes with achieving your goal.

A time-based goal gives you both a sense of responsibility when you are in the process of achieving it and a sense of achievement when you finally achieve it, don’t miss out on an opportunity to have your goal dates set in stone and watch yourself proceed towards them successfully. 

 *Justine Domingues is an aspiring CA (NAM) with a drive to make financial education widely available. She is the founder of Financial Zula, a YouTube channel that focuses on making financial education available. For more information, please check out Financial Zula on Youtube.


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Last modified on Monday, 23 January 2023 17:27