Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Goal Setting

As I start planning our 2013 savings goals and I reflect on our progress to date on our 2012 savings goals this NYT Bucks Post by Carl Richards really resonated with me.

When setting an important goal, he focuses on financial goals, how do you respond to the question "how badly do you want it?"

Mr. Richards notes that there are generally two kinds of answers to this questions:
  • I want it badly, and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there.
  • I want it badly, but I don’t think it’s possible.
Looking at my own history of financial goal setting, in 2007 (shortly after my marriage to Mr. Sam and on a trip to Key West, Florida) I decided that we would pay off all of our unsecured debt, which exceeded $55,000.  I also decided that we would pay off all that debt in one year.

When I set our 2007 debt killing goals, I had the mindset that I (we) would do anything to reach our goals.  Frankly, Mr. Sam thought I was a bit loony and he wasn't on board until he saw the plan on paper.  During 2007 there were a number of times that we got derailed and our plan seemed like it was destined for failure. What did we do, we doubled our resolve and get going.  The result, we paid off $55,500+ in just over a year.

Thinking about our 2012 savings goals, I can honestly say that we did want to save $69,000 but we were unwilling to change our lifestyle to meet our goals.  Yes there were lots of other important expenses, our refi expenses, Mr. Sam's certification classes, that derailed us.  But, more importantly, we did not make the sacrifice necessary to meet our goals.

I'll be thinking about this article as we set our 2013 savings goals and its further applicable to some career goals and personal goals that I'm working on.

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