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When planning our financial independence it helps to have a goal in mind. A clearer vision of where we want to go in the future will make it easier for us to get there.
Think of it like this: If you have a road that is well lit up, isn’t it easier to find your way than if you were to walk through the forest in the dark?
If the destination is financial independence, goals are the street lamps that light our way.
The self-fulfilling prophecy
If you expect the battle to be insurmountable,
you’ve met the enemy.
― Khang Kijarro Nguyen
When it comes to setting goals and deadlines there’s no way around talking about the self-fulfilling prophecy.
I’m pretty sure that you have already heard about this phenomenon before and we’ve probably all experienced it at some point.
The classic example is saying that we will not be able to do something and then not being able to do it.
If you’ve never heard about Robert Kyosaki and his financial education classic “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” (affiliate link), you should probably go out and grab a copy. This was the first book I read on financial education and I still believe it’s a must-read in this category.
Kyosaki talks about his “two fathers” in it. One, who was his own and a teacher and the other one who was his best friend’s dad and an investor. They both shaped his thinking towards money and he compares both mindsets throughout the book.
There’s one comparison between the two that always stuck with me in regards to the self-fulfilling prophecy:
His own father always said: “I can’t afford that”. His best friend’s father, on the other hand, always asked: “How can I afford that”?
It’s a great example because if you say that you will never be able to afford something, then you won’t. If on the other hand you ask yourself *how* you could get to the point where you *can* afford it then you have a goal to work on.
Goals done right
So how do we set goals properly?
In my article about “The Law of Attraction” I have already talked about the topic to quite some extent but let me sum it up here again:
- Think of something you want. This can be a physical item like a car or a camera or something like a trip around the world.
- Write it down. Use a notepad or notetaking app of your choice and write it down. This is extremely important as it creates a feedback loop that affirms your belief.
- Break it up into smaller chunks. If your goal, for example, is to make a living as a writer, make that your big goal but add to it smaller goals that you can check off the list like Learn about Google SEO or Learn about affiliate marketing.
- Put it where you can see it. A friend of mine wanted to earn 100k a year. He wrote that number on a piece of paper and put it in his wallet for him to see every day. Whenever he was about to spend money he saw that note reminding him of his plan.
- Add a deadline. Deadlines create urgency and urgency makes you act. If I say that I need to have 500$ saved by the end of the month because I need to save that amount each month to be able to pay for my 4000$ trip around the world in October then it creates a different urgency than if I say that I need 4000$ by the end of the year.
By the way: Do you see how breaking down the goal into smaller chunks works for us here: 4000$ by October does sound a lot worse than 500$ a month, doesn’t it?
So… Quick and dirty article about setting goals today.
Remember to write them down and have them where you can see them. I can’t stress how important I think this is. Break them up into smaller chunks to make them more easily reachable.
Be careful about what you say. The self-fulfilling prophecy works in both ways, good as well as bad.
And most of all: Make sure you know why you are doing something in the first place. If you don’t know where you want to end up, how would you know how to get there in the first place?
The Disclaimer: This is not financial advice but for entertainment purposes only. I am not a financial adviser and these words reflect my personal opinion only. If you need financial advice, ask a professional.