Setting financial goals requires you to first get the right financial literacy. Where do you want to go? In other words, do you have a personal development plan that guides you on what you would like to achieve from life? Do you think it is important to have goals? Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed by the day-to-day responsibilities that you forego thinking about goals.
A few years ago, my neighbor’s daughter Brenda completed her diploma in business studies. She started by working at her father’s pineapple farm an accountant but she realized she liked baking instead of bookkeeping.
Recently the district community development office has advertised for community liaison officers where she also placed her application. While having a chat with her, I noticed that at this stage she is unsure about what exactly to chooses yet she is frustrated with her father’s bookkeeping job. She is uncertain and unclear about her future. She’s simply confused and lost.
I remember telling her what I hear learnt from the ITC-ILO Financial Education Training. In life you can only get somewhere if only you walk long enough. You must first know where to go in order to get there. If you just wake up and walk without knowing where exactly you want to go you will end up somewhere but obviously not the right place.
Many times, to run is not to arrive. Working on many jobs does not make things any better. You simply have to start picturing what you want to do that will give you direction to eventually arrive.
The next time I met Brenda during the end of year holidays, she had finally reflected on her situation and decided that baking was the best fit for her. This same logic applies to your goals in life. It is until you settle down and define clearly what you want to achieve, you will remain roaming around with no clear direction to your goals.
Set clear goals and know when you expect to achieve them. These goals may include marriage, opening a business, buying a car, having children, going for further studies, building or buying a house and planning for old age (retirement). To begin with, you have to classify your goals according to whether they are short-term, long-term, personal or family goals.
Short-term goals are goals you want to achieve within a year. Medium term goals are those you intend to achieve within one and three years. Long-term goals on the other hand are goals you want to achieve in three or more years.
Your goals can be personal of family goals. Family goals are goals you want to achieve as a family such as to have children, buy or build a house, and pay children’s school fees.
Personal goals are goals you want to achieve yourself such as further studies, starting a business or buying a trendy smartphone. Depending on the nature of your business you want to open, you can decide whether this will be a family goal or personal goal.
Goals will vary depending on where you are in your life cycle. We all go through a life cycle made up of certain events that you may experience such as graduating from university or business school, finding your first job, getting married, having children, starting a business, building or buying a house, educating your children and retiring.
There is no uniform sequence of these events because we tend to make different in depended decisions. One may decide to start a business immediately after graduation and then other events will fall in line. It all comes back to having a well-defined plan of action about what you really need to achieve from life.
It is very important to ensure that your personal goals are compatible with family goals. Sometimes you may find that your goals differ quite sharply with those of your family members. More still, your business partners may have different goals for themselves. You all must respect one another as you share your goals.
You have to communicate with everyone concerned to make your goals compatible to reduce changes of conflict and misunderstandings.
It is now that you must sit and use your notebook, a template on your computer or any app on your phone to record your goals. Divide that in such a way that you can differentiate short-term gals from long term goals and personal goals from family goals.
A goal is something that you want to achieve in future. Setting goals is the first step in your journey to achieve your dream in life. You need to know that some goals may be achieved quickly if they are short-term goals while others may take several years (long-term goals).
Goals evolve during a life time and are different for each person. Always remember to communicate your goals so that they are compatible with your family members and business partners.
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