Setting Goals the SMART Way0
Have your good intentions for the new year already been blown into oblivion like litter on a lonely highway? Has your once-exciting vision of a brave new you somehow faded to uninspired business-as-usual? Well, it could be that you just didn’t set yourself up for success. Before the year is too far gone, let’s look at how to approach goal setting in a way that could allow you to make course corrections and turn 2013 into your lucky year.
Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We can use the concept of “S-M-A-R-T” goal-setting. It’s something I’ve heard about over the years. But until I did some digging, I didn’t realize it dated all the way back to the mid-1950s and Peter Drucker’s book, “The Practice of Management”. Here, I’ll apply that approach to the No. 1 financial goal I’ve regularly encountered over the years, the veritable Cadillac of resolutions: “I want to get out of debt.”
Let’s examine how this seemingly perfect resolution often fails, and what you can do to get it right using the S-M-A-R-T method.
The usual problem: The “get-out-of-debt” intention is good, but it’s certainly not specific. Are you talking about your mortgage, car loans, student loans and credit cards, or just one or the other? What are you really trying to accomplish?
The fix: Be laser-focused. Identify a specific debt you want to tackle or a dollar amount to attack.