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Ascent Blog

The SMART Goal Method

Jan 04, 2021 | By: Ascent
Categories: Blog, For Cosigners, For College Students
How to Set Your Own Goals

Most New Year’s Resolutions can be categorized into three parts: health, fitness, and finance. Unfortunately, these goals seldom are met within the year they are set–especially our finance goals. Why? According to the S.M.A.R.T. goal method, it may be because we’re going about it the wrong way. 

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Method

There’s a better way to reach your goal of saving more. Here’s an achievable resolution: “I’m going to save $750 each quarter of 2023 by setting up automatic savings deposits of $50 from every paycheck while also getting rid of my $150 cable TV bill and just using my streaming services.

This is a S.M.A.R.T. goal. This resolution is:

  • Specific: It hits the five W’s of who, what, where, when, and why when it comes to your goal.
  • Measurable: To reach a goal, a measure of success must be defined. A type of measurement needs to be included in the goal so that you can achieve it.
  • Attainable: You many have an ambitious goal, but you are more likely to reach that goal by breaking it down into achievable steps. In this example, the goal for 2021 is to save $3,000, but the resolution breaks it down into quarters so that you can experience the feeling of success as you reach each attainable milestone.
  • Realistic: Being realistic relates to if you’re willing to make the changes necessary to reach the end goal. If there’s no way you’re really going to cancel that cable tv subscription or willingly set up auto payments, then this goal isn’t achievable. You need to be realistic about what you are and are not willing to change.
  • Time-bound: Put a time frame on your goal. Give yourself a specific amount of time to reach the goal to provide motivation. Anyone can say they want to save one million dollars by the time they retire, but there’s a lot of time between now and then. By setting shorter, time-bound goals for your savings, you will be more motivated to save because the task isn’t as daunting.

When setting your own goals for 2023, set yourself up for success using the S.M.A.R.T goal method with a resolution that’s achievable and tailored to your needs. If you’re looking for more finance and wellness tips, explore our blog here.

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