|(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Well, this is finally the end of this goal series. Today’s final lesson is on Time. After everything is said and done, and you have a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Relevant, now it has to have a time for completion. After all, a goal cannot go on forever. If it makes you feel better, another name for it is “Deadline.”
Time grounds the goal and it helps a person to keep focus on what is at hand. Another way of looking at it is an occupation that has a deadline, such as journalism. Journalists always have a deadline, or their article or interview will not be published or they will not have a job. For example, a parent who wants their child to go to college, would not start saving 4 weeks before move-in dorm day. It is not realistic (attainable). A better way of setting a goal like this, is to start the day the child is born, and save for 18 years. The deadline, June 30, 2030. So the goal should look something like this:
Hannah’s college bound fund (Specific)
In order for us to reach this goal, we will save $20-$100 in a savings account. If anyone receives a raise during that time, we will raise the amount. If we lose an income, we will lower the amount, but we will put something in, as long as it is $.50 or more. (Measurable)
This fund is for college or whatever Hannah decides to do in her life. If she decides not to go to college, it should be used to start her out in a nice home (down payment with job attached) or seed money for the start of her business. (Attainable)
This may require us (her parents) to try to talk to a personal finance person so they can show us how to best invest in Hannah’s money without losing it. Any information that is relevant to this goal would be helpful. We will also ask relatives, especially grandparents, if they want to put something towards the goal (like a birthday gift), please let us know to put it in Hannah’s savings account, and not towards Hannah spending it on anything she wants. (Relevant)
This funding will complete itself when Hannah turns 18 ½ (2030) when she starts college or anything she wants to do that is meaningful in her life at the time, but it has to be something that she wants, and not what we want. (Time-Bond)
Remember, you can apply this goal technique to anything you are trying to do that is goal oriented. Buy a house, a car, moving to a new city, getting a job in a specific company or industry, remodeling a home space, or organizing your family, your home, or even yourself. The goal does not have to be as complicated as the examples I gave you in this series, but it has to be a goal. You can also use it towards the goal settings I gave you in January if you have been following this blog. You can still have the Personal, Business, Home, and other categories, and then apply this method to each one of those goals. Goals can also be long-term or short-term, depending on YOUR situation. I only gave you a tool that is also a guide.
Oops, did I say I was going to give you a Bonus?
If you think that the SMART goal system wasn't enough, someone came up with a SMARTER system. It is SMART plus, and the “E” and the extra “R” are Evaluate and Re-do. To evaluate a goal is to look at it, and see if it is meeting your needs a person achieving that goal. To Re-do is to re-write that goal (if applicable) after that evaluation to meet a new need, but get to the same ending.
So using the above example, say the parents decide to take a look at their “Hannah’s College Bound Fund” goal, and discovered a miss calculation in how much Hannah would actually get by the time she is 18 ½, there is another financial crisis in the country, or there is a death with one of the parents (or Hannah) during that time, they have the right to look at it. If during that time, the evaluation shows that they need to adjust that goal, then they have the right to Re-do the goal or abandon it all together. It is perfectly normal to do that.
I hope you have enjoyed this series and apply it to your life. One final thought: Goals are not something that is set in stone, but used as a guide to planning something uniquely you and for you. There may be bumps in the road towards achieving that goal, but make it a goal that makes you feel good at the end of the day.
Be blessed my friend.