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Setting Goals That Stick: Part VI

Posted on March 3rd, 2014 by Stephen Hardy | Print

In these blogs we have been discussing SMART goals. These goals are:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Timely

In this blog we look at making them:

Timely

Dreams aren’t goals. Dreams are missing something to make them a goal.

To turn a dream into a goal it needs a date.

Dates have urgency. Dates are real. By setting a date to achieve a goal you make yourself accountable. Setting a date – and don’t ever forget to include the year when you set the date – means you can set a schedule for making it happen and put daily tasks or processes in place to make sure it does.

Here’s how it works: Say you’ve always dreamed of taking your family on a two-week holiday to Paris in the Spring. Let’s turn this dream into a goal by giving it a date.

If the holiday will cost $12,000 and you want to go in April 2016, to coincide with your daughter’s 16th birthday, then everything will need to be booked and paid for by January 2016, 24 months away. So what do you need to do every month and every week over the next 24 months so the trip will be booked and paid for by January 2016? It then becomes a simple maths problem. To have $12,000 in the bank by January 2016 you need to save $500 per month or $116 per week, each and every week, for the next 2 years. And if it means you have to go without something to save $116 per week, what is it you can either cut back on or do without over the next 24 months?

The self-made Texas oil tycoon Haroldson Lafayette Hunt Jnr, or H. L Hunt as he was more commonly known and reputedly the world’s richest man at the time of his death in November 1974, had a very succinct philosophy on achieving your goals.

“Decide what you want. Decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.”

Simply put:

  1. Set your goal.
  2. Identify what you need to do to achieve it.
  3. Get on with it!

So for your holiday in Paris we have done exactly that.

We have set the goal:

Two weeks with the family in Paris in Spring in April 2016.

We have identified exactly what you need to achieve it:

Save $116 per week for the next 2 years.

And if you follow H. L. Hunt’s third point and through dedication and will power stick to saving $116 each and every week for the next 2 years, then it is no longer a dream. It WILL happen. It is inevitable mathematical certainty because you planned it that way.

As we have discussed, the good thing about using SMART goals is you have a yardstick to measure how you are going. Every month your bank statement tells you exactly where you are in the process of getting to Paris. You can tell instantly whether you are behind or ahead of your target and what you need to do to get back on track.

Until next time, stay happy and healthy.

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