Using the Calendar to Help Target Your Goals

Using the Calendar to Help Target Your Goals
June 12, 2017 Prosperity Connection

Happy #LovingDay! (June 12th)

Have you noticed that there seems to be a holiday for everything? In addition to regular holidays, there’s also International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), National High Five Day (3rd Thursday in April), and Middle Child’s Day (2nd Saturday of August). In a recent week you could have celebrated National Hamburger Day (May 28) AND National Doughnut Day (June 2) to go along with your Memorial Day celebrations on May 29.

I want to draw three connections between holidays and personal finance.

  • Holidays help us to remember that life happens in stages. When MLB’s Opening Day arrives, we know it’s almost time to put away our coats and find our flip-flops. Memorial Day means pools are open across the metro area. Labor Day means the kids are already back in school. If we try to skip from Opening Day to Labor Day, we miss out on all that Summer brings.
    In the same way, getting from start to finish on your goals takes time. Working to achieve financial goals can be HARD and can feel like a huge burden at times, so celebrate milestones when they happen. Pay off a credit card or loan? High Five! Save enough for a down payment for a car or a house? Shiver me timbers, that’s fantastic! If you celebrate victories along the way, your goals won’t end up forgotten like middle children.
  • Your financial success is something you design and create. Two goofy guys came up with International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and someone else came up with Middle Child’s Day. Maybe your Memorial Day had pork steaks or maybe it had grilled corn and asparagus, but someone had to plan the menu and buy the groceries.
    Likewise, financial success looks different for every person. My dream home may have a built-in waffle maker in the kitchen. Yours may have huge closets. You may be trying to leave wealth for your children, but your neighbor might be focusing on lavish retirement plans. What matters is that you get clear about your goals and find a way to achieve them. (Our coaches are thrilled when we can help you do this, by the way!)
  • Success is best achieved when you’re part of a team. This past Thursday (June 8) was National Best Friend Day. See if you can find a way to link your financial goals with a friend’s so you can help each other achieve them. Maybe you can commit to saving a certain amount each week for a few months. You might decide to take your families on vacation together after you save. It doesn’t have to be big, though. Perhaps it’s as simple as sending weekly updates on your progress (which can bring a 33% higher success rate, according to a Dominican University study from 2015). You might go faster alone, but you’ll go farther if you have help.

When you commit to a long-term project like financial fitness, thinking in smaller chunks, clearly defining what victory looks like, and building a support team are crucial. If you need a little extra support along the way, our coaches are happy to help; just let us know!

Allyn Harris-Dault
Financial Coach for Prosperity Connection