Wow! It’s been a minute since I’ve blogged here. Turns out, it can be really hard to juggle transitions of life, almost entirely taking on the care of someone else, and maintain an existence you’re proud of when there isn’t that much working in your favor.
The unraveling I went through in my personal life began in 2017. It took almost two years for me to feel like I’d completely hit rock bottom. Now though, I’m ready – once again – to get the financial aspect of my life under control. It takes a lot to remain optimistic in the face of global events, but I’d rather look forward in life with joy than worry about how things may or may not stress me financially. I’ll say it another way: I’m digging myself out of a hole, so there isn’t a real reason to count on things I don’t have.
Now here is the part I know you’re probably reading for – my financial goals for 2019. This year, I started by taking the SMART approach to goal setting, but when I sat down to really carve them out? I felt something was missing.
For those of you new to the acronym, SMART goals are goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive.
When you use this to flesh out a goal, you get a deadline-driven task that makes a point. SMART goals are good goals, but I wondered, “Are these the best kinds of goals out there?” A quick Google search turned up the SMARTER acronym. A SMARTER goal has everything a SMART goal has but starts to get at the “Why?” behind your reasoning for setting it in the first place.
A SMARTER goal is a goal that is: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-sensitive, Ethical/Energizing, and Reviewed regularly.
This really got the wheels in my head turning and flutters in my heart going. I was finally on track to set a goal I wouldn’t write down on a piece of paper only to forget about them a week into the new year. Still, my imagination was trying to narrow down how to set a goal that truly spoke to what it was I wanted to accomplish. Another Google search turned up exactly what I was looking for: the SMARTEST goal (anyone could possibly come up with).
The SMARTEST goals that we can set for ourselves get to why we are motivated to do something in the first place. It is a goal that is: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-sensitive, Educational, Significant, and moving Toward something.
Finally, I had something that got to the most important aspect of goal-setting. It also got to the reason I have been less than successful in reaching many of the goals I set for myself. With this framework in front of me, I was excited to put pen to paper and work through fleshing these goals. The process was an involved one, so I’ll be sure to share how I went about identifying these goals and figuring out what milestones I wanted to achieve in another post. For now? My goals are below!
My Three SMARTEST Financial Goals for 2019
* Saving at least $800 for emergency living expenses in my Chime account by March 31, 2019 will allow me to have a sound peace of mind should I have to travel unexpectedly.
* Save $3,000 of living expenses in my Bills & Utilities account by June 30, 2019. These savings will allow me the opportunity to practice mindful living and improved financial habits while improving my overall well-being (I’ll stress about the day-to-day less).
* Paying at least $450.00 a month toward my federal student loan debt by December 31, 2019 will allow me peace of mind and improved self-esteem.
As you can see, many of my goals this year are around an improved quality of life and improved self-image. I look forward to sharing my progress with you all throughout the year.
Have you set any financial goals for yourself? Don’t forget to share them in the comments below.