Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Turn Your Dreams into Reality!

Do you dream of vacationing in the Caribbean? Or retiring in a warm location and spending your days golfing? What about dreams of sending your kids to college or driving the sweet ride you’ve seen advertised recently? By turning your dreams into SMART Goals you can turn your dreams into reality.

The SMART in “SMART Goals” is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. People who make their goals SMART are more likely to achieve them.

A specific goal is one that is clear and easy to describe. “I want a nice house” is not very specific; however, “I want a house with three bedrooms, 2 baths, and a 2 car garage” is specific.

A measurable goal can be quantified. Being able to quantify your goal ensures that you can track your progress and will know when you have achieved it. A common way of making your goal measurable is to specify a dollar amount, such as “saving $5,000 toward a car down payment.”

An attainable goal is one that you can achieve. It may not be an easy goal to reach but it should be doable. For most of us “riding the space shuttle” would not be very attainable, however, “spending a week in Mexico” is probably doable with a bit of work and planning.

A relevant goal is one that has meaning for you and your life. It reflects who you are and what you value. A goal to remodel the kitchen would not be very relevant for someone who neither cooks nor entertains but it would be relevant for someone who values these activities.

A time-based goal is one that has a specific end date. Without a specific end date, it can be too easy to delay making progress toward achieving your goal. By setting a definite end date you can determine if you are on track to achieve your goal. If not you can make the appropriate changes to your actions or even to the goal itself.

Having turned your dream into a SMART Goal, you can now determine what steps are needed to accomplish your goal. If your goal involves having a set amount of money you will need to divide the amount of money you will need by the number of months until you will need the money to determine how much you will need to save each month. For example, if you will need $2,400 in 2 years for your goal, you will need to save $100 a month.

To help you achieve your goals, be sure and sign up for Wyoming Saves. Wyoming Saves is an educational program that is open to anyone interested in building wealth and reducing debt. The program runs from March 1st to May 31st. Register here for Wyoming Saves.

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