Goals are dreams with legs. They take you somewhere.
But do we really understand our dreams? Where does the process of our goal-setting begin?
If the sheen of New Year Resolutions is wearing off, the reason is a gap between explicit and implicit intent. We do not really believe in the goals we are setting. There is a hidden fear or belief lurking somewhere that this is not possible.
Do you minutely read the financial reports of companies? They always quote figures in comparison with the same quarter in the last financial year, and use terms like YoY increase.
Those of you from a corporate background know that budgets start from last year’s numbers called the Base figure.
These painstakingly prepared reports and budgets will fall apart if the base figure is pulled out. And this thought process becomes our nemesis in setting money goals.
The common perception is that dreams need to fit into preconceived notions, to become goals. Something needs to go (maybe a debt or liability) or something needs to be added (income or assets) to an existing base.
The approach is not entirely wrong except for the fact that we do not consider what we really wish to happen. We paint a future as a manipulation of existing reality, rather than a new vision.
The questions you need to ask yourself are
How will I plan if resources are not a constraint?
What do I want if all required support is available?
Your true dreams emerge at this point. What will happen to these dreams without the imagined resources and support? Can they materialize?
Yes. Maybe it happens in a different time frame. But the point is that we will start working towards acquiring those resources. The mental straitjacket starts disappearing.
Zero-based budgets or plans start today. They are not an extension of something that happened in the past.
START WITH THE END, NOT MEANS TO ATTAIN GOALS
“I need to save 30% of my income” is a measurable goal.
It becomes more effective when you know what do you want to do with the savings.
You want financial security in your golden years. You want your child to study in a foreign university.
Now, it becomes easier to allocate the money to different investment plans.
Can goals change over time? By all means, they need not be watertight compartments. Don’t forget that goals are only guesses, but very essential guesses.
We make periodical plans and budgets, because goals change periodically.
GOALS NEED SKILLS, NOT WILL
Will-power is the most overrated asset. You cannot drive to a certain destination without knowing how to drive.
Are goals and aspirations the same? Aspirations becomes goals with the right skills.
Learn, learn and never stop learning.
Learn how to use apps, make budgets, compare investment plans, choose the right insurance and choose a financial advisor or financial coach.
BROADBASE YOUR PLANS TO INCLUDE OTHERS
You want to buy a new car for yourself, but fail to gather resources. You’ve not shared the dream with anyone, and the failure remains in your private realm.
You want to do something that includes the family or community. They look up to you, and are willing to lend support. The chances of realizing this dream are higher.
Read or revisit our highlight articles from 2022.