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Overcoming the big challenges by accomplishing the small goals

Humans are conditioned to measure time and achievement. We set goals throughout our lives, marking them off as we reach them, passing each day by celebrating what we have accomplished in those last seconds, minutes and hours that have ticked over. Whether it is buying your first property or just getting up that 5 minutes earlier so you don’t feel like you are in the morning rush, we all set goals to reach our idea of success. Though some of them can seem small and insignificant, these little goals are the things that can really change a result.

I find the biggest challenge for people in the area of setting and achieving goals is budgeting. What I find is people generally spend, spend, spend and then if they have funds leftover they will save it, and that’s a big IF. What should be happening is having a discussion with yourself or your partner if you have joint finances, to decide what that special number is going to be. Then aim to stick to the plan by reaching each of those small steps, one at a time. Set the small goal to reach the larger outcome. What this creates is a discussion around “Are we still on track?”, “What are we wanting to do with this money?” or “Are we going to put it on the home loan or on the kid’s school fees?”. Whilst this may sound simple, I would like to challenge you by asking yourself “Does this really happen in my household?” and if not then “How can I make a conscious effort to reach my goals?”

In my own experience saving for our first home was not easy. We set ourselves a timeframe of 2 and a half years to save a deposit and we would set a budget week to week, then have the discussion and stick to the plan. I use a simple diagram to explain what people do and what people should be doing, called “The Money Buckets”:

The motivation has to be there to reach the goal. This means making yourself accountable, being disciplined and having clear timeframes on what and when you want to achieve them. When we bought our first house, that moment when it finally happened, I had one of those ‘Yeah!’
moments – the feeling of achievement and I literally fist pumped the air!

There are times where we do need to treat ourselves, all the while keeping that larger goal in mind. Sometimes that may mean not getting that extra coffee and instead making one from the work coffee machine or taking leftovers rather than buying your lunch every day. Keep in mind the little steps – the seconds, minutes and hours to reach the goals of your days, months and years. These are the little things that can really make a difference and pay off.