Setting Long-Term Goals

Posted By: Dr. Frugal in Saving on 06/05/2007 at 10:34:47

Long-term goals are really not much more than a series of short-term goals. Breaking your long-term goals into short-term goals (typically a year or less) makes it easier to stay focused on the future as well as giving you a sense of accomplishment as these goals are met.

Remember to make your goals very specific. Ask yourself how you'll know when you've reached each of your goals. When you come up with a definitive, measurable answer, you know you're on the right track.

After you've written down as many goals as you can think of, choose a few long-term goals to work on this year. As an example, choose developing a retirement fund as one of your goals to work on throughout this current year. Breaking it down into short-term goals: set a monthly goal to contribute a fixed dollar amount to your employer's 401(k) or some other retirement plan.

The key is making very specific goals. Having a general concept of "wanting to save for retirement" is fine but developing it into "I want to contribute $100 each month for my 401(k)" gives you a very real starting point. "I need to reduce my debt" is a much more difficult task than saying "I want to pay an extra $100 each month to reduce my credit card with the highest APR".

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