We are in the fourth quarter! In less than two short months we will be welcoming in 2016 and setting those ever popular New Year’s Resolutions. For many people, money is at the heart of these annual goals, since many goals involve either spending money, saving money, or paying down debt. Every 90 days I build a plan around accomplishing THE #1 thing that will have the greatest impact on my business, money, or personal life. By breaking down my year into four quarters, and accomplishing one big priority each quarter, I enjoy greater focus and clarity around what is most important.
While thinking about your financial goals, what needs to happen for you to be happy with your final couple of months of 2015? What money goals did you set ten months ago that have yet to be checked off?
More importantly, what must you do to create massive momentum to ensure 2016 goes down in the books as the best year of your life?
While you don’t quite have 90 days remaining, here is the simple 90-Day planning process you can still use now to improve your personal finances by year-end:
- Determine the TOP 5 money goals you would love to accomplish by the end of the year.
These might include, “Increase Savings”, “Pay Down Debt” or “Purchase a New Car”. They don’t have to be completely specific yet, since the rest of this process helps you do that.
- Once you have identified the TOP 5, which is your #1?
What this means is, what is the ONE GOAL on your list that if accomplished by 12/31/15, would have the greatest impact on your money or life? Typically when you look at the five goals you have listed, one trumps the rest. Often there is one goal that, if accomplished, makes the others on your list either easier or no longer necessary. For example, if you were to “Increase Savings”, you’d then have more money to purchase a new car, or start a college savings account for your child.
- With your #1 Money Goal set for Q4, what are the two (2) Ideal Results that you will use to measure whether you succeed or not?
What must happen by the end of the year for you feel successful around this goal? You should have a number attached to each Ideal Result. For example, if your #1 Money Goal is “Pay Down Debt”, then an Ideal Result might be, “Zero balance on the Visa”. Your second might be: “Only $5,000 left on auto loan.” Remember, these are the results you want to see by 12/31/2015. You get two, and with a number associated to each it is easier to measure your success and build a plan to achieve them.
- Next, determine the two (2) Key Activities, or Habits, that you will implement to achieve the above Ideal Results.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Sticking with the above #1 Goal, and the two Ideal Results, one Key Activity or habit might be, “Pay an extra $500 per month toward the Visa”. The second key activity might be “Limiting weekly grocery budget to $300”. This activity would free up more money to pay down the Visa or car loan.
- Finally, what will your REWARD be if you accomplish all of this?
Depending on your goals and financial situation, set a fun and realistic reward for yourself and your family. This might be anything from a weekend at the coast to a new iPad, or even a Spring Break trip to Hawaii with the money freed up from no debt!
We love hearing your success stories and questions as they relate to money and achieving a bigger, better financial future for you and your family. Please call or email if I can help in any way!