Setting goals in every area of our lives is essential because it serves as a guide or a blueprint to keep us focused and on track.
Your finances are definitely one area you want to set goals and keep them as SMART as possible. SMART money goals are simply goals that are specific enough with little or no ambiguity. Secondly, they are measurable and will undoubtedly let you know you have met the goals.
Attainable and relevant to you, this means it is not a one size fits all but fits well into your context. Last but certainly not least are timelines. Every SMART goal requires a time frame to achieve the goal to keep you disciplined enough to meet your goal.
How do you set your goals?
- Know yourself: Align your money goals with your short and long-term vision. Your plan should be unique to your needs and fit your context. Be wary of setting your goals based on what a friend, colleague, or family member is doing; it may not work for you. Knowing your risk tolerance determines how ambitious you are with your investment goals, for instance.
- Understand your short-term & long-term goals: It’s essential to understand the overall goals you want to accomplish in your life that require money. Not all goals are immediately needed to be achieved. Some require more time and planning, and others can be executed immediately; therefore, determine project timelines for clarity.
- Seek professional advice: Consider consulting with a financial advisor or mentor who can provide guidance and expertise in setting and achieving your money goals. You will find their insights invaluable. They will also help you identify pitfalls and provide financial planning strategies tailored to your needs.
Finally, remember that your goal is not an objective. “I want to be rich” is an objective rather than a goal, so transform this into a goal by making it SMART. I want to own a three-bedroom house by the age of 35 is a goal. Work on it in a SMART way, and you will achieve it.
By Miriam Maku Amissah
The writer is a certified investment professional and a certified coach. She heads the Client Experience team at Stanbic Investment Management Services (SIMS). Miriam holds an International Certificate in Wealth Management (CISI-UK), an MSc in Financial Economics from Cardiff University in Wales, and an Economics degree from the University of Ghana, Legon.
You can reach her via AmissahMM@Stanbic.com.gh.