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June has to be one of the best months of the year. (Well besides July because that's my birthday.) It's officially beach season, summer time is in full swing, tax headaches should be wrapped up by now, and it's a great time to revisit those New Years resolutions. We are half way through 2010 and if you had year long goals now is a great time to reflect a bit on them. What?! Did you think I fogot about them, or better still did you think I would let you forget about them?
Here's the first question, do you even remember what you had resolved to do at the turn of the new year? For all those reading this that have been adamant about setting, tracking, and achieving your goals for the new year - Great Job! Feel free to leave any updates or tips on goal-getting in the comments below. For everyone else New Year's Day is probably a distant memory and the good will and best intentions might be a little hazy in your recollection. Fear not though, for I am here to help get you back on track!
It's only June, which for all the reasons I already stated is a beautiful thing. What makes it even better is you still have six months to make good on the promises you made yourself. So here are a few guidlines to help get you back on track.
Step 1: Write them down. (Again if you have too!) This time make more of an effort to put your true intentions on paper. Not just, "I want to save more" or "I want to lose weight for the beach". If it's a savings goal put in a dollar amount and break it out by month, then jot down some action oriented ways of getting you there, not just spend less. The same goes for that beach body you want. The point is not just to have a goal, that's just the start. It's time to take it seriously and start putting together a measurable plan of attack. Real things you can do every day and hold yourself accountable. I'm a huge proponent of automation too, so make things automatic whenever possible. Break out some of that paycheck and direct deposit it into a new savings account, for instance.
Step 2: Tell someone you trust to hold you accountable. Everyday we all make promises to ourselves and, at least in my own experience, we are great rationalizers and excuse makers. Writing your goals down and creating an action plan is great. Now it's time to have someone checking in on you to keep you honest. Heck they might even have the same goals and now we have a competition on our hands. Who likes to lose, because I know I don't. Competition is an awesome motivator.
Step 3: Master those reults. Or in other words, know your numbers. After a few weeks go by, if you are keeping track honestly then you'll have some great data. Figure out weekly your rate of completion on your goals. How many dollars per week are you averaging saved. Are you on pace to meet, beat, or fall short of your posted goals. How fast is your competition acheiving their goals. Are you reaching your break out benchmarks? What needs to be changed to so that you can get yourself on track if your a little behind? If you are on pace to beat a goal maybe it's time to increase it, see how far you can take it.
Step 4: Celebrate the little victories. Remember six months can be a long time and not enough time all at once. As your benchmarks, monthly for example, come up make sure you take some time to congragulate yourself. Even during the times that you might not be on track. What you are celebrating is that you are taking something serisoulsy and sticking with it. When it comes to goal setting a big part of making it to the finish line is celebrating the mile markers along the way. Take time to acknowledge your achievements as they come, and the same for the shortcommings. What your rewarding is the work you are putting in to get you to where you want to be.
Hopefully this helps to rekindle that go-getter spark. If you are still looking for more on goal setting and achievements feel free to flip through my older posts. There is tons of stuff in them. Whether you are a new reader or a seasoned vetran to the Financially Digital universe I still stand by one of my favorites and that's my Moleskine's. I love technology, don't get me wrong. Sometimes it just feels better to write stuff down and these books/journals are awesome (and kind of trendy) places to do it. Defintley one of my favorite recommendations.
If you're still dragging your feet in setting some goals, leave your goals in the comments below and I will personally do my best to help you get going on them. That's challenge for you. Nothing like an objective third party to send you an email from time to time to check up on you. Happy hunting!!