New year, new me, new goals.
Did you just roll your eyes? Even I did while typing that, don’t worry.
We hear that phrase year after year.
Oftentimes, that energy lasts a few weeks or maybe even a few months if we’re lucky. After that, we fall into old habits and the goals we set for ourselves become a distant memory.
Well, not this year! Nope, nope, nope.
I want us all to achieve our financial goals and here’s how you can do it in five steps.
Step 1: Release yourself from the guilt and shame you feel over not meeting previous goals.
Often times we stop ourselves from achieving new goals because we are still stuck up on the fact that we weren’t able to achieve past goals. I want you to give to yourself permission to let go of the past. Let go of the mistakes you’ve made and let go of the feeling of regret you felt when you slipped back into old habits.
Let it all go! It does not serve you and staying in that mindset is doing more harm than good.
Once you change your mind, you can change your life. Today I want you to recommit yourself to your goals.
Need help shifting your mindset about saving & investing? Watch this.
Now that we’ve started to shift our mindset, it’s important to focus on what’s next.
Are you trying to save for a wedding? Trying to save for a downpayment on a car? Trying to pay off student loan debt? Starting your investment journey? Visualize the goal you have for yourself.
Step 2: Set S.M.A.R.T goals
Next, set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timebound.
Saying “I want to save a lot of money next year” is not a goal. What is “a lot of money”??
When we don’t have clear goals, it’s easy to not follow them.
Let’s go through my SMART goal for the year.
I am going to invest $20,000 between January 2022 and December 2022. I will be transferring $10,000 into my RRSP and $10,000 into my TFSA over the course of the year.
S: I will invest $20,000 this year.
M: I need to transfer in $1667 per month over the next 12 months to reach this goal.
A: Since I am paid once monthly on the 21st, I will automate transfers from my chequing to my TFSA and RRSP account on the 21st. I will then purchase index funds and individual stocks.
R: I will use a zero-based budgeting method each month to ensure that this transfer is marked as an essential expense, not an afterthought. I will stay on top of expenses in other categories that I typically overspend on such as food and transportation in order to meet my goals.
T: This will take place throughout 2022 – from January to December.
When you write it out in these steps doesn’t it make it feel much more attainable? I know it does for me!
Write your goal down on a piece of paper or on your phone, and keep it somewhere you can be constantly reminded of it.
Step 3: Tell someone about your goals
The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65% more likely to reach their goals when they’ve shared them with someone else. Even better, people are 95% more likely to reach their goals when they share them with a group and meet regularly to review them.
There is power in telling others about what you want to achieve. They hold you accountable and can make sure you stay on track even when you don’t feel like it.
I started an accountability group called the #ReniReturnsChallenge where we congregate to set, work towards, and achieve our financial goals. Want to learn more or join? Read here.
If you can’t join at this point in time, no problem. I still urge you to find someone in your personal life who can act as your accountability partner.
Step 4: Work towards your goals
Now that we have our goals laid out clearly, it’s time to start working towards them!
I find that using tools can help you get there more easily. Here are a few of my favourites:
Budgeting: You can choose to purchase a budget template, use a free one on Google Sheets/Excel, or use an app like Mint or Every Dollar if you prefer automated budgets.
Bank Accounts: If you are choosing to save money, keep your funds in a high-interest savings account. Not only will you be able to save, but you’ll get more interest than a traditional savings account. One of my favourites is EQ Bank.
Saving Plan: I created savings plans that can help you reach your goals. You can use them for either saving or investing, and they act as a roadmap of the exact steps you need to take to reach your goals. They come in options ranging from $1,000 to $30,000. Last year, folks saved over $100,000 using them and in 2022 our accountability group is on track to save over $500,000!
Investing: If you’re based in Canada, I suggest starting with the tax-free and tax-deferred options that we have. I break down the TFSA in this YouTube video. I like Wealthsimple Trade for easy, commission-free trading. If you use this link you’ll get $50 free.
Step 5: Celebrate yourself
As you work towards your goals, remember to celebrate your wins! Don’t wait till the end to celebrate – each milestone is important.
This is why tracking your progress is so important. It motivates you to keep progressing.
Now you are well equipped to smash your goals. Let me know if you have questions or concerns, I am here to help.
For more details on how to reach your goals, watch the video below.