5 Painless Wealth-Oriented Steps to Set & Achieve a Short-Term Financial Goal

Short Term Financial Goals

With the new year coming up and Christmas right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share with you 5 painless steps to set and achieve a short-term financial goal.

Let’s all choose a financial goal we want to achieve within 2 weeks, which will be right before New Years! I’m going to use the example to stay within your Christmas gifts budget, but you can pick anything you’d like that seems doable within 2 weeks (or less, if you want to use this goal!).

Here’s the 5 steps to take to set and achieve your short-term goal.

Step 1: Set a SMART goal.

The first step is to make sure your goal is a SMART goal.

It needs to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound.

If you’d like a further breakdown on what each of these means, you can reference my other post about goal setting, here.

Essentially, your goal needs to be specific enough, we need to be able to measure it, make sure it’s attainable with 2 weeks, relevant to your current life situation and it needs to have a timeframe (2 weeks).

For example, saying we want to increase our savings isn’t a SMART goal, but if we change it to, increase my savings by $200 within 2 weeks – then we know exactly what we are shooting for.

After you’ve got your SMART financial goal, move to step 2.

Step 2: Keep your goal visible.

Now that we have our goal, we don’t want to forget about it. Write down your goal and put in a place where you can see it everyday. You can even take a picture of it and keep it as your phone screensaver.

We want to keep our focus on our financial goal so we can remember what we are working toward and keep it on the top of our mind so we don’t forget about it or get tempted to stray from the goal.

Read the goal everyday (don’t worry, it’s only for 2 weeks). On to step 3 to achieving your short-term goal.

Step 3: Act as if you’ve already achieved the goal.

You’ll be achieving the goal within 2 weeks so start acting as if you’ve already achieved it.

If your goal was to stay within your Christmas budget then start telling people you are staying within your budget. You won’t need to get extra gifts because you already know they aren’t in your budget and you’ve stuck to your budget.

Creating the mindset of having already achieved the goal helps you to act accordingly. If you’re not really sure if you can achieve it and start doubting yourself, you can start thinking negative thoughts like, why even try or I’m not really going to achieve it so I can cheat a little here, etc.

By acting as if you’ve already achieved the goal, your mind helps you think of the next steps to actually do it and helps diminish doubts you may have. Also, as you read your goal, listen for any ways that may come into your mind on how to achieve the goal.

Listening to your own mind helps you do step 4 for achieving your financial goal.

Step 4: Create your strategy for achieving your financial goal.

Now that we know what our goal is, it’s on the top of our mind each day and we are acting as if we’ve already achieved the goal, come up with the action plan to achieve it. Relax into creating the plan, we don’t need to stress about the strategy.

Just decide on the projects or tasks to help you achieve your goal. Think backward. You know the end goal, so thinking backward, what do you need to do to achieve it in 2 weeks?

Sticking with our example of being able to keep within our Christmas gifts budget, we’ll work backward from there. Say for example, our Christmas gifts budget is $200 and we aren’t going over.

First thing I’d do is figure out how many people I need to buy for. I’d make a list then put the maximum dollar amount I’m willing to spend on each person (not exceeding $200 total). Then I’d figure out if there’s things I could do to keep the budget even lower.

Maybe I can send a card to some of the people to help reduce the cost. I’d think of other ways to save on the spending amount. Maybe I can make inexpensive treats for my neighbors. I’d come up with gift ideas in the appropriate price range. I can also watch for coupons or sales on those items. Once I’ve purchased or made the gift for each item, I’d subtract out the amount spent from my $200 total, so I know exactly how much I have left to spend to make sure I’m not going over budget.

Whatever your goal may be, come up with your strategy for achieving it. It could be 2 simple steps to take each week. Figure out when and where you’re doing what. Maybe you just need to make a list then go shopping. Plan out when you’ll make the list (maybe right after reading this) and then schedule a night to go shopping.

Set up your strategy, it doesn’t have to hard, just make a list of tasks to be completed, assign when you’ll do them then just make sure you do them.

Also, be adaptable. Perhaps the original strategy needs to change a bit. It’s not problem, just listen to yourself and make any necessary changes that come up. Just don’t negotiate on the goal, just the way we are getting there. And in order to help with making sure you are staying on track to reach your goal, let’s move to step 5.

Step 5: Find an accountability partner.

Your financial goal is in place, you’ve written it down, made it your top focus for the next two weeks and set up a strategy for achieving it. Now, I want you to find someone to be your accountability partner. Let them know what your goal is (or as much as you feel comfortable telling them) and when you want to achieve it. Tell them when you’ll be checking in with them to give them an update (and if you don’t check in with them, have them call you).

Being accountable to someone other than just yourself is very helpful. If you know you have to report to someone else, you’re less likely to forget about your goal or cheat yourself. 🙂

Let’s do a quick recap: Set our SMART goal. Keep your financial goal visible. Act as if you’ve already achieved the goal. Set our strategy to achieve it. Found an accountability partner.

Hopefully these short-term goal setting and achieving steps are helpful. I’d love to hear what your goals are in the comments below and a follow up on when you achieve them!

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