It’s a new year, and a perfect time to set some savvy savings goals! Even if your budget is tight, I promise it is doable. I’ve come up with 4 Goal Setting Game Changers that make goal setting less anxiety inducing and so much more hopeful.
Start by making your goals SMART!
If you’ve never heard of SMART goals, SMART, stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. My goal setting game changers are icing on the cake to these foundational ideas.
This ensures you’re not randomly throwing darts hoping they’ll land on target. A good example of a SMART goal would be something like this:
I want to save an additional $20 from every paycheck over the next 12 months to pay for a new camera. I can do this by eliminating eating out once a week. I’ll measure my progress using a fun, homemade chart.
Game Change Your Social Media
The first of my goal setting game changers might be the most surprising, and a little controversial . . .
Goal Setting Game Changer, #1: Maybe you should consider adjusting your friends list for awhile.
If you’re like me, you probably sometimes find yourself comparing what you have with other people. I think we’re actually all in good company on that.
It’s hard not to, especially in a post Facebook world.
That’s okay! Comparing can be good if it motivates you to work harder. What’s not okay, is letting that derail your goal setting. It’s easy to spend money you don’t really have and should be putting away towards your goals when you see the fun things that other people might be spending their money on. Like, the never ending cruises your coworker seems to be going on.
Muting a friend or un-following someone for a bit doesn’t mean you are weak and jealous. It just means you need a break. It has everything to do with you and your state of mind.
Until you’re where you want to be, I’d say it’s a good idea to change what your social medial shows you.
That goes for Pinterest and Instagram, too! Make Pinterest show you ideas for improving your life for where you are now and for making the most out of your current situation. Surround yourself with encouraging people and encouraging information. (If you’re already logged in, follow me here for great ideas!) I’m right there with you!
That said, you should build into your goal setting plan, a few regular opportunities for a break. Cheat days! This is the next one of my Goal Setting Game Changers.
Cheat a Little!
Okay, so I know I just told you not to tempt yourself, but it’s not a temptation if you’ve given yourself permission to cheat a little.
While I live on a pretty set budget, I’ve built in a few places that allow me to do some things for me that are fun. It’s not a big chunk of the budget, and it doesn’t have to be. It can be a little weekly pick me up, or something monthly or even quarterly, depending on your finances.
I set aside $30 a week. (I know it’s an odd number, but I like nice round numbers on my monthly savings goal. $30 happened to be exactly what allowed me to keep that number round! Haha.)
I can use that $30 each week on something or let it compound to do something bigger later on. Just keep track of where you are and make some fun goals alongside your financial ones.
What’s even better . . .
If you can find a way to incorporate the things you love into an existing budget allotment, even better!
My husband and I used to order Chili’s to go every Saturday because he’s got a red meat problem. But, I wanted to save some extra money and just didn’t feel like I could justify that expense every single week. So, I learned how to cook really good steak. I don’t mind cooking and usually enjoy it, so it wasn’t a big deal to me to make that adjustment. And, I could make the cost of those steaks fit within my existing weekly grocery budget.
I’m ashamed to admit, we were wasting about $130 eating out every month on top of our existing “entertainment” budget. Now, that 130 bucks is going back to our bottom line! Boom! Plus, my steak is better anyway!
Cheating is actually a great way to keep your goal setting endurance up. But, if that’s not enough to keep you motivated, you should work on my final two goal Setting Game Changers.
Create a Goal Setting Partnership
If you haven’t muted everyone on your friend list by now, then social media could be a good place to setup an accountability system. When you put yourself out there on social media, it can invite really great encouragement from people you know and love and people who have been where you are who can provide you with great advice. Once you put something out on your page, you’re a lot more likely to follow through with it because you’ve set up expectations with other people.
It can be as easy as saying, “I’m setting a goal to save an extra $100 a month, who’s with me?!” Or, “This year, I’m trying to save more money, I’ll post back here each week to keep myself on track!”
If you want to be more private about it, you can certainly pick a good friend or your significant other (especially if you’re goal setting together) and ask them to help you stay accountable.
If you’re incredibly self-motivated like me, you may not need an external force to keep you on track, and if that’s the case, it’s really important to mark your progress, visually.
Visualize Your Goals
This is my favorite of these Goal Setting Game Changers. I am such a visual person! I had checklist upon checklist when I worked my sales and quality jobs. It was so satisfying to be able to cross something off my list.
I put these lists in very prominent view in my office so I could always see where I was in my progress and how far I had to go. My boss could see them, too, which was nice for him, I’m sure. It helped me a lot because it set up expectation. That little extra pressure from my goals being so visible, really helped me keep going each day so I could get my tasks done on time.
You can make charts, use an app, make a countdown calendar, whatever works for you. I personally, like the idea of putting marbles or rocks in a nice looking jar. Each marble could represent whatever allotment of money you’ve decided on.
I really like this visual because you can see that pile of marbles dwindle down that’s left to go and see the jar getting filled as you make good progress. It’s a good weight loss visual, too!
Apply these tips to your other goals, too!
That said, these Goal Setting Game Changers aren’t just awesome to boost your financial goal setting. They can apply to anything you’re working towards.
When you make your goals SMART and follow these 4 easy tips you will have the perfect mindset to make it across your goal setting finish line, whatever your goals may be!
What are some of your financial goals?
Do you have some great Goal Setting Game Changers to add to my list?
Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like and share if you enjoyed this information!