With one month of the new year almost in the books, I thought that now would be a good time to check on how your 2015 goals and resolutions are being kept. Is 2015 the year you actually keep those goals and resolutions you set up for yourself? All too often we hear about those well intentioned goals for the new year only to find that after several months our goals are increasingly unmet. Why is there such a high failure rate for our goals and resolutions? Often, the reason for failure is not that a goal is too far fetched to be achieved, rather the reason for failure is a lack of planning. Just as we invest in income producing stocks with a future passive income stream that is planned, so to we must plan to meet our goals and resolutions for the up coming year. Here are five tips to help you plan to meet your goals.
First, be specific about your goal. General goals and statements might be too esoteric to quantify and thus lead to failure. Instead of having a goal to ‘lose weight’ or ‘make more money’ be specific and write down your goal and state how much weight you want to lose and when instead of simply stating, “I want to lose weight.” How do you plan to make more money? Write down a specific passive income goal for example. In this manner you can quantify your progress towards your stated goal.
Second, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Break your specific goals into smaller achievable and quantifiable goals instead. Going back to the losing weight example, if you stated you wanted to lose twenty pounds during the year break your weight loss into manageable smaller pieces of losing five pounds every quarter; A feat almost anyone would agree is very manageable to attain. The same is true for any financial goal you may have as well, whether you are looking to reduce debt or increase your monthly investment amount. The key is to break up your goal into smaller manageable portions. By doing this you will never feel overwhelmed by your overall goal.
Third, be passive rather than active about achieving your goal. Automate it as best you can. You know the saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” Pay yourself first and set up an automatic withdrawal from your paychecks and use that money to pay down debt or invest automatically. Sharebuilder, Loyal3 and many other online brokerages offer the option to set up automatic investments as well thereby taking the active management of your portfolio out of your hands. You can set up automatic purchases for any high quality dividend name you choose. In theory you can have money automatically taken from your paycheck and placed in an automatic investment brokerage and go about your day to day activities all the while building up an investment portfolio that pays a passive income stream without even noticing it.
Fourth, hold yourself accountable by talking about your goals and progress. Spread the word via blog, texts or social media outlets. By setting up a blog and chronicling your stock purchases and sales, for better or worse, you are making yourself accountable for your investment actions. In this manner, everyone can see your investment successes and failures and can follow along with you on your personal journey to achieving the goals and resolutions you have set up for yourself in the beginning of the year.
Finally, have some fun. Create an incentive for yourself as you progress towards your end goal. If, for example, you have set a goal of earning $5,000 in passive dividend income for 2015 and you have achieved it before the year ends decide on what reward you will get. Conversely, if you fail to meet your goal decide ahead of time what you will give up as a penalty.
Keeping goals and resolutions is obviously a very personal matter and each of us tries to get to our end goal using slightly different methods. How are your goals and resolutions coming along now that one month of 2015 is nearly gone? Do you use any of the methods mentioned above? Please let me know below.