Our attention is constantly being grabbed and the financial goals we set yesterday are replaced by the attractions of today. Our emotions begin to dictate our decisions and our best laid plans (I will save $500 this month or pay down that debt by $200) go out the window and what feels good in the moment wins. This one step forward, three steps backwards constant dance makes it increasingly difficult to set financial goals and stick to them. As we constantly set goals and then fail to achieve them, our subconscious beliefs begin to shift. Eventually we become numb. We stop setting goals all together and tell ourselves we will never get there anyway, so what’s the point?
The reason why we can not stick to our goals is because we are not emotionally or energetically connected to them. We throw out goals that sound nice but that don’t actually connect to our inner and sometimes secret desires. Most people just settle for goals that everyone else is setting. So, they set the goal to save for the house but another month goes by and nothing has been saved. If your current dream is to travel the world, saving for a home will feel restrictive. And although you may put up a good fight you will never be motivated to achieve a goal that does not align with your desires.
When you are fighting for something your heart is calling you to, the constant pulls on your attention disappear and your focus remains on what your heart desires. This is the secret to creating financial goals that you can actually stick to – they must align with your dreams and desires.
Setting Heart-Centred Financial Goals
Create Your Life’s Vision
Clarity is key. You must get clear on the future vision of your life. What does this life look like? Where do you live? How are you making an impact in this world? Most people never sit down and really lay out the vision of their life. Constantly setting goals that do not align with this vision, will forever have you chasing goals that will never be achieved and leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with life.
Connect to the future version of yourself and set goals out of this elevated place. This is where you create goals that align with your future dreams and become easily motivated to achieve them.
Set Clear and Specific Goals
If your financial goals are vague, creating a plan to achieve them will be very difficult, no matter how much they align with your future vision. Don’t be afraid to spend time getting all the information you need so that your goals truly get you to where you want to go. If the goal is to pay off your debts, pull all of your debt balances plus the interest rates for each form of debt. If you plan to save for retirement, find a retirement calculator to determine how much you will need based on when you wish to retire. For a home purchase, look at homes in the neighbourhoods you wish to live in and find out how much they are currently selling for. Don’t just pick numbers out of the sky when it comes to setting financial goals.
Once you know what your dollar target is, set a date target. When do you want to be debt-free? When do you wish to buy the house? Based on the target date determine how much you need to save each year and then each month to make this goal a reality.
When you don’t have a concrete number or deadline to work towards, it’s very easy for the goals of today to take over and derail your future plans.
Make A Plan & Work Your Plan
Create a plan to achieve the goals you set. Determine what changes need to be made with your current money habits and behaviours – will you have to reduce or eliminate monthly expenses to save more or pay off the debt? Will you need to set up an automatic savings plan so that you save right away instead of waiting until the end of the month to see what you have left over?
Determine all the potential obstacles that may get in your way (ie. friends, family, your own internal fears and beliefs) and create a plan to overcome them.
Set weekly Money Dates to check in on your progress. Just like you make time for your relationships, you must make time for your money if you want it to support your goals and dreams. Put these dates in your calendar and treat them just like any other commitment in your life.
Achieving your financial goals requires work. Your goals are not going to magically come into existence on their own. But here’s a trick – when you start to work towards your goals your subconscious mind begins to shift. You begin to see yourself as someone who can and will achieve their goals. This shift increases your internal drive and motivation. And when your mindset and actions are aligned, achieving your goals becomes inevitable.
Vanessa Bowen is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner (NLP) and the Founder of
Mint Worthy, a personal finance coaching platform that helps women shift their relationship with money and take control of their finances.