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Now that you’ve identified your core values, it’s time set goals that help you live a life that is consistent with those values. When you set goals this way, you are better positioned to get the most from the money you have, and to keep to a budget that supports rather than restricts you.

Your goals should embrace your entire life. It is useful to think about them under the headings of Personal, Health, Financial and Career. Then look at three time horizons; 1, 5 and 10 years. This creates 12 categories (4 areas x 3 time horizons) so don’t get too carried away.  

Limit yourself to 1 or 2 goals in each category.  

You don’t need something in every category, and keep in mind that some shorter term goals may support longer term ones.

Financial goals are usually a consequence or a precursor of other goals.  For example you might set a career goal to be the owner of your own Yoga studio in 5 years. This may require you to pay for some training courses in the short term and pay for the fit out and launch of the studio in the 5 year period. It will likely create health goals as well, like fitness and flexibility.

Be guided by your values so as not to get too carried away.

10 ways to achieve your goals every time

Break it down

Break your great big goal down into a few smaller goals. For example, if your goal is to complete a marathon in one year, set a goal that you can achieve in a shorter amount of time that will help you get there, such as I will complete a 5 km run in 3 months.

Identify the first step

You don’t need a detailed action plan for each goal, but you do need to identify the next action, so you can get started and build up some momentum.

Write it down

An unwritten goal is just a dream. Writing it down creates clarity and helps build commitment. Write your goal in the present tense as if it has already been achieved. This helps your brain accept that the goal is not just a dream; it can be reality.

Always write a goal in the present tense - as if it has already been achieved.

Make it specific and measurable

The only way to be sure you have achieved a goal is with metrics. How will you measure success? How will you know your goal has been reached? I will lose weight is meaningless because it lacks a metric. I will lose 5kg by March sets a clear path to achievement.

Use positive language

A goal should look and feel positive. Articulate what you will do, not what you won’t. This helps focus your energy on the outcome rather than the actions or behaviours you want to stop. Replace I will eat less junk food with I eat fruit in the morning (as if it’s already happening).

Give your goal a deadline

A goal without a deadline is just a dream. A deadline creates a sense of urgency, forcing you to pay attention. Write down the month as well as the year. Don’t overthink it – just pick a date.

Stretch yourself

Stretch yourself, but don’t go crazy - be realistic. A goal just outside your comfort zone is more compelling that a ‘walk in the park’. If you have to stretch yourself, you’re more likely to achieve it and feel extra special when you do.

Keep your goals visible

The more often you can see them the better. Stick your goals on a notice board, on the fridge or even the bathroom mirror; wherever works best for you. Goals that are front of mind are more likely to be achieved. Don’t forget to review them regularly.

Tell someone

You are much more likely to achieve your goals if you commit to them by telling someone. It doesn’t matter who you tell; your partner, your BFF or a colleague. Pick someone who will call you out on it if you slack off.

Make your goal compelling

The most effective goals are those that are emotionally compelling. What personal reason do you have for doing this, or wanting this outcome? The reason becomes your incentive. For example, a bride-to-be is more likely to succeed at losing weight for her big day, than for a random Sunday in June.

Vince Scully

Life Sherpa®

With over 25 years in Financial Services from consulting to management, Vince Scully is the go-to guy for wealth management and financial advice. Before creating Life Sherpa®, Vince founded the Calliva Group; a fund manager, product issuer, adviser and lender. Vince is an adviser to the Wealth Management Industry, and prior to his role as CEO at Calliva, a senior member of Macquarie Bank’s infrastructure team.

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