In January, many people assess the past year and set ambitious life improvement plans and goals for the year to come. Of course we set these goals with the greatest of intentions, however by February many of us fall back into our old habits.
How Are You Doing?
Like most Canadians, your goals probably include financial goals like spending less, saving more and investing wisely. How are you doing so far? Are you achieving your goals or have you fallen victim to ‘Faltering February’s’ curse?
If you’re falling behind, that’s understandable. Plans are often complicated by the interruptions of real life. Not to worry though, if your goal is to get MoneyFit, here are four tips that will help supercharge your efforts.
Goals that are only in your head are just wishes. Goals you commit to paper are like a contract with yourself. The act of writing your goals out makes them more real to you. Write them on a piece of paper and put them somewhere you’ll see them regularly like on your fridge, closet door or in your wallet.
2. Make your goals S-M-A-R-T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound)
It’s not enough to just think “I want to save more money.” Make your savings goal SMART by writing “I will put $100 into my RRSP each month this year.” SMART goals are clearer and easier to implement which makes them much more likely to get done!
Real-life is full of surprises, distractions and interruptions. Set up automated deposits to savings, bill payments and transfers between accounts. Setting your transfers and payments on autopilot ensures your money goes to priorities first and helps to eliminate late payment fees and charges. Don’t let distractions get between you and your goals, automate your plans today.
4. Check in every month
Follow-up is essential. Regularly comparing your actual performance with your goals will give you a chance to make corrections before it’s too late. If you’re on track – you can celebrate your success, which is great motivation for next month!
Getting Started is the Key
Incorporating these four simple tips can really help you reach your financial goals. If you haven’t set financial goals or you don’t even know where to begin, talk to a financial advisor. An advisor can help you get started (maybe with a free MoneyFit Assessment). Remember, getting started is the most important financial goal you can achieve.