The following is adapted from Your Money Vehicle.
Who hasn’t got to the end of the month and realized that they aren’t going to be saving so much as a penny?
It’s easy to spend money on all sorts of things — things you may have forgotten that you bought a couple of weeks prior. And before you know it, you are out of money, or even owe debt, and are now scrambling to catch up with your purchases. Great, now what?
Rewind the month, and imagine that instead of hitting the first of the month without a plan, you strategize and prioritize your financial goals. If you’re strategic about handling your money, you can have the things you want without dipping into debt or accruing interest.
The secret to making it happen is setting R.I.C.H. goals.
Here’s what makes a R.I.C.H. goal, and how setting them can move you closer to affording the things you want in life, big and small.
What Is a R.I.C.H. Goal?
People have all sorts of predetermined outcomes they’d like to see around their personal finances. Here are some examples:
- Getting out from under credit card debt
- Planning a trip to Italy
- Reaching financial freedom within five years
While you may be raring to go and start working towards those endpoints, before any action is possible, you must begin with the end in mind, and set solid goals. These goals become your destination, and the answer as to why you keep going.
Let’s look at setting R.I.C.H. goals as your destination. “Money Vehicle” defines R.I.C.H. goals as such:
Reachable, Individual, Controllable, and Happy Goals.
Reachable: What can I achieve?
Everyone wants an ideal outcome, and this is where your conversation should start. What is the best-case scenario? You need to take a step or two back and think about what is achievable from where you are today.
For example, what is more achieveable?: “I want to save $1 million,” versus “I want to have $5,000 saved by the end of the year.”
Your goal must be something that you can actually attain with the resources available to you. Setting out on a journey, you will run into obstacles that will try to persuade you that the path is too difficult, and that you should give up. Often, that first obstacle is an unrealistic goal that you set for yourself.
The only way you will carry on is if you are convinced you can reach your goals. So, set them wisely!
Individual: What do I want?
This is the time to be selfish; to begin to really visualize why you are going to change your habits. This has to come from you — it cannot be your parents’, teachers’, friends’, or anyone else’s goal. This has to be something you want to change.
Your goal must be something that you truly desire, and that will become your response as to why you are prioritizing this choice. Whatever your goal — attending a concert, buying a car, or going on a trip to the Caribbean — it must be your purpose and your goal.
Controllable: What do I control?
If you are not in the driver’s seat, your Money Vehicle won’t go where you want it to go. Factors outside of your control will always affect your life, and the trick is to focus on what you can control. That’s the key!
This “mow-your-own-grass” mindset means that you focus on your own backyard and not waste time and effort focusing on what’s going on with your neighbor’s backyard. It is amazing how things take care of themselves when you take care of what you can control.
Happy: What makes me smile?
Most importantly, perhaps, is that your goal makes you smile at the end of a long day — the results make you happy. When you close your eyes and visualize your goal, you should feel a sense of contentment, but also a deep sense of purpose.
Whatever goal you define must bring joy into your life — if it doesn’t, then why are you chasing it, anyway? If the path leads to your own well-being, you will be able to enjoy every step of the journey.
Two ways to increase your odds of reaching your goals
Once you’ve decided on your R.I.C.H. goals, it’s time to commit to them. If you really want to increase your chances of achieving your goals, write them down!
Did you know that only 3% of people write their goals down? If you truly want to make your goal more achievable, send it to three people you trust; these accountability partners will become your support team. Making a goal public increases your odds of achieving it.
As author Mark Victor Hansen said, “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”
Set R.I.C.H. Goals, decide on your dream, whether it’s a possession or an experience, and write them down to stay on track.
Never see choosing your goal as a sacrifice. That is a limited mindset, choosing these goals is prioritizing your life and living with an abundance mindset!
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