Identifying Goals – Step 8 of the 12 Step Program

This time, we’re talking about identifying your goals. This blog isn’t about your money, it’s about your life. Get ready to become a dream chaser and fulfil your aspirations!

The theme of this blog is nicely summarised by a quote from Bill Gates.

 

More than 90% of people abandon their new year resolutions through the course of a year. Less than 10% are successful. We want to help you be part of the successful 10%. In fact, we curated the ithoughtwealth 12 step program to make this your winning decade.

 

When you don’t have goals, you don’t know what you’re working towards and you have no way of measuring success. So, you often end up being less successful than you hoped to be. When it comes to your goals, writing improves recall. So, grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started!

The first thing we’re going to do is design your life.

The way to think about your goals is simple. Fill in these statements on your sheet of paper:

Here’s a printable goal worksheet for you. Fill it out and send it to us! We’re here to help.

When you do this exercise, you realize that goals are the intersection of your values, aspirations, and resources. You need to balance optimism with realism. Setting lofty goals can be too challenging and may even take the fun out of pursuing them. Aiming at low hanging fruit deprives you of the opportunity to grow as a person and experience your full potential. So how do you strike the right balance?

Think of what you’d be willing to give up to get to your goal. Make sure you’re stretching for something that’s beyond your immediate reach. And remember, your goals change with time. At any point in time, you have limited foresight and you’re doing your best. Be focused on your priorities and open to opportunities.

Here’s what I’d put down as goals today:

          1. Writing a book is the best thing that could happen to me in the next five years. And I’d never regret it even if I failed.
          2. I want to save ₹ 1 Crore by the time I’m 30 years old.
          3. If I travelled to Bali with my friends, I’d be happier.

Success is in the details. Now that I know what my goals are, I need to get into the fine print. To write a book, I need to be able to answer these questions:

          1. What books are already available in the market?
          2. What knowledge or insight do I have that could add value?
          3. How do I refine my ideas?
          4. Who will be my mentor?

To save ₹ 1 Crore:

          1. I will live a more minimalistic lifestyle
          2. I’m willing to work with a wealth creation professional. I will sit down with them every quarter.
          3. I will dedicate at least two hours a week to learn more about behavioural finance
          4. I will invest across asset classes because for me risk management matters more than returns

For Bali:

          1. I need to save ₹ 1 Lakh within a year’s time.
          2. Flight tickets cost between ₹ 25,000 to ₹ 50,000 (INR). I will most likely spend around ₹ 35,000
          3. Activities, food, and accommodation cost another ₹ 35,000
          4. For travel insurance and unplanned expenses, I’ll keep aside another ₹ 30,000.

 

When I revisit these questions over time, I’ll easily be able to measure how much progress I’ve made and where I’m lagging. For larger goals like saving a Crore setting milestones will help motivate. Patience is a virtue and progress is a metric. The idea is to think big and start small. To be successful with these goals, you need to cultivate the right habits. In this case, the habits I’m trying to cultivate are: saving, prioritising expenses, and learning about investments and behaviour.

Most of us rely on support systems to achieve our goals. To write a book, I need to find a mentor or a writing group where I can get feedback on my writing. To save a Crore, I need professional guidance on financial markets and investment opportunities. For Bali, I talked to friends who travelled there recently for guidance. With these support systems in place, I’m more confident that I’ll be successful.

It’s equally important to know what you’ll do when life gets in the way. In any journey, there’ll be surprises, setbacks, and uncertainty. Paying attention to your emotions is crucial. It’s natural to feel intimated by challenging goals. You may even lose hope if you’re making little progress after a lot of effort. Setbacks affect your motivation levels. Having a support system or working out a plan B can help you through the tougher parts of your journey.

Your goals are more than intentions, they’re commitments.

We’ll leave you with a quote to think about,

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