Get Clear on Your 2009 Financial Goals

BlogHer Original Post

I started off the year writing about why our New Year's Resolutions often fail. That doesn't have to be the case - you CAN do it different this year. When it comes to money, one of the reasons we often fall short of our financial goals is that we are not clear. If you're not clear on what you want, why you want it, and what steps you are going to take to get there then you are simply hanging out in the wading pool of wishful thinking.

Can you answer the following questions about your finances:

  • What do you want to achieve and why?
  • What are your goals both short and long term?
  • Are these goals realistc?
  • Do you have a plan?
  • How committed are you to these goals and to any inner work you need to do to shift your mindset to make them a reality?

I will be the first person to say that if what you desire and the mindset you bring to it do not match, you will not achieve what you say you want. It is impossible to create what you want if your feelings and actions are still hanging out in the old ways of being and thinking (what you don't want). You are only setting yourself up for disappointment.

To me this year and every year the best way to get started with your financial goals is to answer the question "What Does Money Mean to Me?" Money is just money (what a revelation!!). There are plenty of poor people who are wildly happy and content. There are plenty of financially wealthy people who are dying on the vine in daily misery. The only way you can truly be successful with what you want to achieve is knowing what money means to you, what you want to achieve, and why you want what you want.

Once you are clear on this, you can get to the business of breaking your desires down into measurable goals and actions. Rome was not built in a day. What do you most want to have happen in 2009 as it relates to your money and finances? Do you want to knock off some debt that has been plaguing you? Do you want to increase your savings? Keep financially solvent enough to stay in your home?

Sense to Save shares her Financial Hopes for 2009 and she is keeping it fairly simple with filing her taxes ASAP and eliminating a car payment at the top of her list. Money Saving Mom urges us all to "Get Your Finances in Line in 2009: Our financial goals for this year" and invites all of us to join her year long campaign:

Would you like to live on less, pay off debt, and/or save more money this year? If so, I'd love to have you join me and many others here in the Get Your Finances in Line in 2009 Challenge--a year-long campaign to encourage families worldwide to live on less than they make and take personal responsibility for their finances.

There is something about being on a shared journey with others that can make a tremendous difference in whether you make or break your goals.

Determining whether your goals are realistic or not is important, but I caution you from limiting yourself based on what you can see as realistic from your current point of view. We can't solve problems or leap to a new reality at our current mindset and way of thinking. There are numerous possibilities out there that you and I cannot even tap into right now and we all need to stay open to them. Set goals, get some professional sanity check on what to expect (while I believe in endless possibilities I don't think my stock portfolio is going to suddenly return 800% this year for instance), and then get into action letting your values guide you.

The great thing about getting clear on your values is that you then have a reliable barometer from which to make all your spending decisions. It takes the struggle out of things. For instance, calgirlfinance asks "How Do You Decide When Something is a Need?". We all fall into these conundrums whether it is a piece of furniture, spur of the moment vacation, or savvy new outfit. If you are clear on what matters most to you and what you've allotted in your budget for pure pleasure items the decision becomes crystal clear and easy to make. String those daily decisions together in a way that serves your bigger picture and you can't help but be successful.

Paula Gregorowicz, owner of The Paula G. Company, offers life coaching for women to help you gain the clarity, confidence, and courage you need to have success on your own terms. Get the free eCourse "The 5 Crucial C's You Need to Succeed in Life" at her website

Get the latest word on personal finances from an LGBT perspective and Paula's practical coach approach to the topic at Queercents


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