I have received quite a few emails about setting goals. Some of you want to know why this is necessary right now and others want some guidance on how to narrow down or prioritize goals- because there is a lot you want to accomplish. So let me share the Money Confidante approach to goal setting and why I have chose this approach. Let me know if it answers your questions.
Approach: It is two-fold. Think big picture and then baby steps. What type of money person do you want to be? Describe it. Here are some ideas: I want to be debt-free, wealthy, in control, less worried, live in a less complicated financial situation, etc.
Only you know what you really want, so spend some time thinking about it and then pick one idea you feel is the most important. Write it down and then put it aside. Tuck it in a drawer or a journal – don’t tape it to the fridge (I’ll tell you why later).
Next, the baby step. This part of the approach is where you will see the immediate change in your financial life. Pick a small money step that you have been wanting to make and do it. When I say small I mean small. If you eat out seven days a week, and want to change that- go to six. If you want to move out of your parents house, start a savings account for that purpose and put in $10. Baby steps. Each small success will make big improvements to your confidence. When one baby step is taken, set another and another until you are taking toddler, teenager, then grown-up steps.
Why I like baby steps: After working with families around the country, I decided on this approach rather than going for the big life-changing commitment. Why? Simple, because I know that you have other things going on in your life and that saving money or changing money habits often feels like punishment. I want it to feel like a reward. The baby steps give you regular, confidence-building rewards. This approach shows you that you really are in control of your life and your decision-making. It is also super easy to fix a mess up. Oops you forgot to put $10 into your account this week- put in an extra dollar or two next week. This approach makes it very hard for you to “fall off the wagon.” That is the magic.
Critics tell me that $10 a week won’t be enough to rent a cardboard box let alone an apartment. Of course not. If we were trying to match the total rent right off the bat- it would be overwhelming. You don’t sign up for a triathlon as your first step to getting fit- that would be ridiculous. But you also don’t sit on your butt and hope you will be in shape for the triathlon either. You start working out and slowly build up to the point where you are fit enough to try.
Are you with me? Baby steps give you the series of success that build confidence. That gives you the power to make bigger changes. And what about that big picture goal you write down at the start of this process? It the backdrop for the entire process. As you build on the baby-steps that big picture goal informs your next set of baby-steps- without you stressing over it or even consciously thinking about it. This works because it is quiet and not in your face.
So you want to build confidence. Try this two-step approach to goal-setting and see the small change in your life in a week and the big change in your life forever!
Keep emailing me on your progress!