Pattie Lovett-Reid: Tips on improving your financial fitness
I've discovered my secret weapon consists of ‘3 Ms’. Metrics motivate me. I have also come to realize when I talk about goal-setting I need to get more specific. Change doesn't happen overnight.
During a virtual spin class, it dawned it on me that I wasn't achieving the results I was hoping for. Sure I was working out a lot but I was trying to work harder, not smarter. It now seems so obvious to me: I need to think about my fitness goals like I think about my financial goals.
The key to financial success for me is having a plan, sticking to the plan, measuring the plan and tweaking the plan as life dictates.
With some small businesses forced to revise their business models due to COVID-19, and households struggling to get back on their feet, it’s time for many re-evaluate financial goals.
I would argue even if you haven't had a direct hit to your bottom line, you should explore resetting your financial goals and getting into your financial power zone. Saving and spending for the long run.
Let me break it down.
Set a financial goal that excites you. The great thing about a goal is there is a beginning, a middle and an end. It has to be concrete. It isn't enough to simply say: "I want to get out of debt." Be more specific and bold by saying: “I want to pay off a specific amount of debt in a specific period of time.” Or, you may be looking to buy a home. If so, how much do you need save and by what date?
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We have all heard the old cliché “what gets measured gets done.” Ongoing measurement and reporting helps to keep you focused. Even small steps can go a long way to keeping you motivated. Achieving financial success isn't about doing one big thing right. It’s about doing a lot of little things right.
Decisions you make like when to spend money and on what affect your outcome. Like fitness training, I have learned to eat to train and I no longer train to eat. Spending is very similar: I spend to live I don't live to spend. Think about how your actions make you feel.
When it comes to goal-setting I would rather have small stretchy goals - enough to motivate you but not too hard they are insurmountable - and achieve those goals instead of setting big monstrous goals that leave me defeated and unsuccessful.
Set one goal for yourself today and watch the momentum build.