Importance of Goal Setting
Without a goal, what are we moving toward? Are we just letting life passively go by, falling back on the habits that we have developed to get us through each day? I certainly felt that way. A few years ago I started setting 10 different New Year’s Resolutions. Not surprising, but I didn’t complete many of the goals. It took half a decade to really learn how to make goals that I could achieve and were worth achieving. Part of the constant conversation with yourself that I mention in my introduction is creating long term and short term goals, developing a plan, and executing it. Some general principles:
• Make the goal realistic. Too lofty of a goal will discourage you immediately. There will be a failure to launch. Try breaking a lofty goal into mini goals that could lead to the lofty goal over a longer period of time.
• Quantitative beats Qualitative. This makes the goal definitive. It’s easier to breakdown and plan a quantitative goal too. You can have qualitative goals, but first, see if you can convert that into a quantitative goal first. Also make sure you define what your ultimate goal is instead of something indicative of another goal. A good example of this is when people create a weight loss goal when in fact they want to lose fat. You can actually get fatter and lose weight and in the end not achieve the purpose of your goal.
• Set a timeline to review your goal. We know how often and quickly people fall off their NYR wagon. Instead of forgetting about the goal by the end of January, revisit the progress you made in that month. This will have an effect of recharging your motivation each month.
• Write it down and talk about it. This makes the goal more clear and allows you not having to remember everything. What gets measured gets improved. By talking about it you may realize somebody else has the same goal or insight to achieve it that you may not have known about beforehand.
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2017 New Year’s Resolutions
1) Dunk. This does violate one of my rules as it is not something that realistic. It’s a legacy goal that I have had every year that I have done the list. Maybe this year will be different. I have been working more on my explosiveness thanks to Coach Shawn at CrossFit FiveStar.
2) Professional Certificate or License. To advance my professional education, I am looking to either start my Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter/ Life Underwriter or earn my mortgage originator’s license.
3) $5,000 In Savings Earmarked for Maternity. This past year Jessica moved from a full time physical therapist toward doing Per Diem work. While the rate is higher, she does lose out on time off. We do plan on having more children, so in order to get by we will need to start a nest egg toward that goal. $5,000 is about half way there.
4) Buy a House. We currently live in a two bedroom condominium with our daughter, two dogs, and a cat. Living space is tight and we have to plan on taking care of my mother-in-law as well who is currently living in a one bedroom apartment. While the idea of a larger mortgage and closing costs doesn’t excite me; consolidating the two residences into one will actually lower our monthly costs. Currently we are aiming for May to look in earnest.
5) Try a New Fitness Competition. This could be an obstacle race I haven’t done or maybe a CrossFit competition. I have my eyes on a StrongMan event in May or a 50 Miler the weekend after….or both….hmmmm…
6) Read 26 Books. Reading has been a boon to improving myself. This is about how many books I went through last year. I just want to maintain it and review it in my books section.
7) Beat Wayne in Our Golf Trilogy. Wayne is my friend who grew up two houses down and introduced me to the Total Money Makeover Last year we started a golf trilogy when I unexpectedly whooped him once. He ended up winning and I don’t want to lose to him again. I used to have specific stroke goals, but with trying to suppress spending, I haven’t been golfing enough to devote the rounds.
8) Improve my Position at my Day Job. This violates the quantitative vs qualitative principle a little, but it is also hard to define exactly with some of the organizational changes that are currently happening (changes for the better).
9) Take a Vacation. Simple enough. Buying a house in the Spring adds a wrinkle, but the vacation need not be fancy.
10) 6 Pack. Although I lost a lot of weight, I never got a 6-pack. Even when I was wrestling in high school it wasn’t that defined. This is something purely aesthetic, but who cares, it’s what I want.
Author: David Matthews
I started this site as a way of discussing what I’ve learned about the relationship between personal finances and physical fitness. What I have learned allowed me to lose 50lbs and improve my credit score 150 points in the same year and become a happier person.
Husband. Father. West Virginia University Grad. Licensed Insurance and Financial Professional. Sports fan (Philadelphia, WVU, and Manchester City). I’m also a huge nerd (like Magic: The Gathering huge)