During a recent Goal Setting Meeting we where discussing achieving long-term goals, and occasionally someone will ask if all his or her goals are
supposed to be exciting and motivating?
Here is the reality - NOT all goals are exciting, nor do the actions provide big excitement, nor should they.
The area of your life where it is easiest and hardest to set and take action toward your goals is the area of finance.
Let’s face it, saving money is boring. Saving a dollar a day
and putting it in a piggy bank is boring, and unless it is a clear glass piggy
bank it is hard to see progress. At the end of the month you have saved thirty dollars.
these days that doesn’t even cover two people going out to the movies.
If you are following the strategies of Rich Dad Poor Dad, or the Millionaire Next Door, or the Wealthy Barber, you would be setting a goal to save 10% of your earnings. The one time you don’t do it, you get discouraged because in order to make up for it you have to put in 20% the next time. How the heck are you going to do that?
Once again this is a function of focus. Developing the habit
of saving by regularly saving is good. Trying to take consistent action on a
day-to-day basis is hard for many people.
So how do you achieve these goals you ask?
I have learned that the measurement period needs to be
longer. When possible I try to measure progress on five-year intervals for my
What do I mean?
I do follow the principles of forced savings as put forward in the books above. Thanks to the banks and technology this is no longer hard to do. I simply have the money automatically deducted from my bank account, and off my paycheck on a regular basis.
My mortgage gets paid this way, my RRSP (401K) gets contributed to this way, my investment properties become bigger assets as the tenant pays down the mortgage this way.
If I looked at what each month did for my financial position I would drive myself nuts. Instead I look at where I was five years ago and where I am now.
This is a big enough gap to measure progress, and see appreciation in the mutual funds, stocks, and real estate. This is when you can see the two-fold effect that is exciting.
You can see how much you have contributed over time, and you can see how the asset has appreciated over that same time frame.
You will never be able to see this on a day-to-day, or month-to-month basis.
Small changes for the positive over a long period of time can produce really BIG results.
These are just some of the things we end up discussing during a Goal Setting Meeting.
Disclaimer: This is not meant to be investment advice of any kind.
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