How to set goals during challenging times
Updated: Sep 30, 2021
By Mayra Inchiglema, Marketing Intern at Talent Academy
Millions of people have been affected financially during the pandemic, leaving everyone in a difficult financial position. However, we can learn from past experiences and take this advantage to reinvent ourselves. Setting SMART goals and sticking to them is crucial especially in times of COVID-19.
Challenging periods come up to bring us new goals and ideas.
We all agree that the reality we used to know has changed 180°. Business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals, students and interns of any industry are now facing a new reality – doing things differently!
This pandemic has also modified our spending habits, either because our salary/income has dropped or because we cannot consume some services such as travelling. - Yeah, our holidays will be different for the following years! (But the positive of this is that we can save some money).
Thus, you can use this opportunity to make lasting changes and take control of your finances in the New Financial Year and beyond.
This post is part of Talent Academy’s live Clubhouse chatroom series, Episode 4 “New Financial Year, New Goals”. Watch the episode below or click here to watch it on YouTube.
So how can you plan and set goals in uncertain times? In this episode of our Clubhouse Chatrooms, Talent Academy's Managing Director, Sanja Jovanovic, Talent Academy New Intern, Anastasiya Stavna, discussed how to set goals and stick to them.
Here we propose Five Financial Goals you can find helpful:
Make a Financial Year Calendar
Take a couple of hours to create a calendar for the fiscal year that includes all regular bills you pay, such as insurance, phone, rent and utilities. Also, add an estimation of unexpected expenses that might pop up.
Tip! Use Money Management Apps to assist you in planning your finances efficiently. Using a financial planning app will help you manage your spending and predict future expenses. Mint is a money management app that gives you a financial overview and also helps you plan your future budgets.
Stick to a Monthly Spending Plan
Writing out a spending plan each month is the first step to getting in control of your finances. It will give you the bigger picture of how much you are spending each month, where you're excelling, where you can improve - i.e., cut spending.
Tip! Set a weekly calendar notification a month before the bill due date and start setting aside funds.
No matter your financial situation, it's always wise to cut spending where you can. After all, extra money in your pocket is always beneficial to your long-term financial goals.
Have a look at your financial year calendar each month and look for ways to save money. You might find unnecessary expenses that you could save. If you can cut down your spending a bit more each month, you will have more money to invest in your other financial goals and savings.
Think Outside the Box
Start thinking differently! Take a pause and think about what you could have done differently last financial year to deliver better results.
What do you want to achieve this year in terms of financial management goals? And what will you need to make it happen?
Suppose your goal is, for example: being debt-free. It will be helpful to have a strategic plan to give an overview of how to achieve it, without getting overwhelmed in the process.
First, focus on paying off the most urgent debts – usually credit cards.
Second, calculate exactly how much you need to pay off each week to pay down the debt.
Third, put together a budget to pinpoint the source of your money each week.
Once this debt is paid off, move on to your next financial goal.
Set up a Financial Plan
A long-term financial plan will show a broad perspective of your finances.
A financial plan should outline a timetable of when you want to purchase a car, when you take a course or training and any career changes you plan to make. It should also include an investment strategy - you can start with small amounts of money. The most important thing is to integrate the habit of managing money strategically.
A financial plan will be highly helpful by making financial decisions over the next few years and can be one of the most beneficial things for your financial health.
Remember, looking at the bigger picture can be more effective than just setting random financial decisions.
Lastly and most importantly, be SMART with your goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-oriented.
Enjoy the journey of taking control of your finances!
Out of your comfort zone is where you learn new things
The coronavirus has put everyone in a difficult situation. But a challenge for you: Step out of your comfort zone, do something new, think outside of the box, live differently and we will all recover quickly and see the economy bounce back.
Comment below on methods you use to set your goals and stick to it.
A big thanks to our intern for being part of the conversation!