Applaud yourself for setting goals. It is truly amazing the number of individuals who never think about goals. Most of them simply take it one-day-at-a-time. If this is your first conscious effort to set goals, you will soon discover that you grow as a person intellectually, spiritually and emotionally through attaining them. Now, let’s back up a wee bit and talk about setting goals
Set a Goal. Goals can be anything from changing a habit, to obtaining a college degree, climbing the corporate ladder to a specific level, getting married, becoming a parent, making a purchase, etc., etc. The choices are endless and you certainly may have several goals – long-term and short-term going simultaneously.
Specific Goal. For this example, we’ll say that you want to purchase a brand new automobile, but you don’t want high monthly payments. First decide if the car is a necessity or a want, and whether or not it is a wise decision at this time. If yes, move on toward checking out various car dealers to locate the most for the least amount of bucks. Get a photo of the exact automobile that you’ve narrowed your choices down to. Tape it to a sheet of paper. Write the date you wish to make that purchase. Place that goal-reminder in a place that you will view it daily and serve as your motivation.
Steps to Take. You’ll need to prepare a budget that allows you to set aside as much money as sensible toward your goal. Examine all the ways you spend money unnecessarily. This could be that daily morning cup of coffee, when making it at home costs only a few cents a day; make and take your lunch instead of dining out; make a list of errands to run and do them in an organized manner to eliminate wasted gasoline, and purchase generic brands instead of name brands. Every day, put the money that you would have spent on those items into a “Car” jar or container of some kind. Just for the fun of it, tally up the savings at the end of the week, then two weeks, three weeks, a month, etc. What an eye-opener it will be. After it’s reached $50 or more, open a high-interest account in a bank or lending institution that will be strictly for the purpose of saving money for your new car purchase.
Tell Others Your Goal. Share this project that you are undertaking with others. This will make it real, plus it will give you incentive to be diligent with the steps you’ve outlined for yourself. Who knows, some may even contribute their extra pennies. Don’t laugh. Pennies add up to dollars and every one counts.
What Can You Sell: There may be things hanging around that you never use, but if you sold would bring in good money. Hold a garage sale or place the items on Craigslist or the like. Make sure to put the proceeds into your “Car” jar or container. How about all those clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in over a year? Sell some of them.
Reward Yourself. Say that you’ve been scrimping and saving for a month or more, but you’re beginning to feel punished instead of jubilant over your success. Take a little of that “Car” jar money and buy something for the soon-to-be-bought new car. This could be a trash container, a CD/DVD holder, steering wheel cover or even a GPS unit. Such a purchase will surely get your juices flowing again.
When the bank account reaches the down-payment you felt was adequate to maintain low monthly payments, go make that purchase. Stick to your guns and don’t get sucked into paying more. If possible, speak with the salesman who gave you the best quote in the first place. It will no doubt be a gratifying moment as you roll that car off the dealer’s lot and drive into your future.
A quick review of how to reach goals: Determine something you want to achieve and whether or not it is realistic; list steps to take to reach that goal; list motivations to keep you moving toward it; tell others your goals so they can be supporters and sources of encouragement; review additional steps you can take to make goal a reality sooner; give self a little reward, if necessary, and congratulate yourself upon attaining that goal. You deserve to be proud.