Whether you’re looking to manage your money better, invest in the stock market, or trying to build your own business, goal setting is a standard for those who want to achieve success. But setting and achieving goals isn’t as clear cut as many may think. We all want to save more, paid down debt, invest more, and make our businesses more appealing. The million dollar question is how do you plan to achieve that?
You achieve that through SMART goals! AHA!
Let’s dive more into what SMART goals are and how you can map them out to achieve success efficiently and effectively.
The first element of your goal(s) is that is must be specific. I want to save more is simply no specific enough. I want to save $100 by the end of the month is a more specific goal. It has a set parameter to achieve as well as a deadline. To take it step further, you could said, “I want to save $100 by the end of the month so I can buy 10 shares of Company XYZ that are currently $10 per share,” is even more specific.
Check out this scene from Coming to America as the barbershop owner Clarence gets specific about when he met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now that’s specific!
Once you have a specific goal, you have to make sure it’s measurable. Can you calculate (think quantitative as well as qualitative) what it is you’re trying to achieve. Obtaining $100 by the end of the month is measurable. You can count up to 100 with no problem; therefore, the goal is easily measurable.
In this scene, King Jaffe Joffer visits Clarence and others at the barbershop and Clarence asks, “Who’s going to clean up all these flowers?” It was so many that he couldn’t even get a grasp on the situation and had him all confused as to who could do the job in cleaning them.
Can you measure your goal(s)?
Now that you have a specific and measurable goal, can you actually achieve it? Let’s think back to the $100 example. Since typically there are four weeks in a month that means you would need to save $25 per week on average to achieve your goal.
Let’s say every morning you spend at least $5 per day on coffee and scone from Starbucks (NYSE: SBUX). You decided to skip it and drink coffee at home with a piece of fruit, and then you pocket that $25 a pocket. After expenses for the coffee and fruit, maybe you’re at saving $20 a week. So where is the other $5. This may take discipline, but look at packing your lunch or just simply saving the $5.
Either way, your $25 per week goal is achievable and buying Company XYZ’s stock is looking more realistic every day (see next tip for SMART goals).
In this scene, Akeem realizes that he doesn’t want to marry this woman, but rather choose his own bride. He achieved it simply by speaking up and asserting is desires.
With a specific, measurable, and achievable goal, you may have noticed that you’re goal looks extremely realistic. When I say realistic, I mean just that. Don’t set a goal of saving $1,000 per week if $100 is the more probable option.
Check out this scene from the movie as Akeem and Semmi interview potential brides for Akeem, but due to their choice of location, the end goal simply wasn’t realistic for the type of women they were looking for.
Lastly, to complete your SMART goal(s) it needs to be timely. When do you plan to achieve the goal? Open-ended goals tend to not get fulfilled. Since the $100 example has an end date of one month that means the clock is ticking.
Always, be sure to set a deadline whether its one day, one year, or ten years so you know how long you’re working with to achieve success and the goal isn’t continuously put off.
In this scene, Samuel L. Jackson plays a robber at McDowell’s fast food restaurant, but Akeem and Semmi swoop in in a timely manner to save the day.
Investor Takeaway: Goals that aren’t SMART aren’t (well, you know) smart. Be sure that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. If you need help developing SMART goals for your investment strategy as well as a SIP plan, check out our What A Time To Be Investing Bootcamp!
Disclosure: This editorial is by no means a solicitation to buy or sell any of the above-mentioned securities. It is merely a means for educational purposes. All investors are subject to their own research and due diligence. http://www.thebmex.com/#!How-Akeem-Makes-SMART-Money/mhqg1/576980ec0cf2816ad16f3276