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Don’t GOal into Debt, Balance your Goal Checkbook.

Sunday, November 1, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments


(Photo: megan/quinn)

Goal setting; what a waste of time, right? WRONG! Every year without fail, I grieve over this process. And every year without fail I start looking at how I did and think, WOW, I did this and that, I could have done better here, and could use some improvement there. But you see it’s like taking time to balance the check book. You hate to do it, but it has got to be done so you can see where you are at financially. Consider goal setting and goal reviews as your personal checkbook to balance. You need to take time to balance your life and figure out if you are on the path you intended.

First, start by reviewing last years objectives:

  • Did you come out ahead or are you in the red?
    • If you came out ahead, what led to you to achieve your goal and are you able to utilize a similar process to attain other goals?
    • If you came out in the red, what could you have done differently to change the outcome?
    • Look for areas where you can make improvements and work to do better.
  • Did you blow your goal out of the water?
    • Set that goal even higher next year.
    • Or has it become so routine and natural, you don’t need to include it as a goal anymore?

Now give yourself a pat on the back for what you did well and a stern talking to for things you could have done better. Don’t be too rough on yourself; resolve to do better in the year ahead.


Second, set SMARTER goals for the future.

  • As you set goals, verbalize them in a positive tone and it will keep you optimistic. Never discourage yourself by stating your goals in a negative fashion.
  • Start with your major objective and break it down into small clearly defined achievements which will stair step you up to your major objective making it a reality.
    • Having these smaller goals makes your major objective seem more achievable.
    • Accomplishing these smaller goals will motivate you and improve your self confidence as you near your major objective.
    • Prioritize your goals keeping the most important one on the top of your list.
  • Develop a method to evaluate your goals for achievement.
    • You need to have a way to measure your goals in order to know if you have achieved them.
    • Whatever the case set a realistic number and then just for the fun of it tack on a little bit more than you can handle. This becomes your “go get” target. You know you will likely reach the realistic goal, but can you “go get” that little bit extra? You bet you can!

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”Robert Browning


  • What are the realistic levels of achievement for your goals?
    • Are there areas of improvement which you could add to your targets?
    • Set both qualitative and quantitative result oriented goals:
      • Qualitative: goals tied to quality improvements.
      • Quantitative: goals that can be measured and are usually tied to numbers.
  • Apply a specific timeline as to when you have each goal accomplished.

Finally, take a few minutes to review your goals frequently. Reviewing your goals keeps them in the forefront of your mind and will make them more achievable because you will be thinking about them often and looking for ways to make them happen. It’s like checking your balance. Are you going to end up in the red? What strides can you make to change that? Take those strides and be sure you always end the year with your checkbook balanced in the black. Before you know it your goals will be accomplished as if it happened by banking error in your favor.

Ready, Set, GOal!

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  1. Monday, November 2, 2009 at 12:23 AM

    Great tips! I believe that our goals will be easily achieved if we are equipped with the strategies on how to create effective goals.


  1. Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 2:10 AM

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