I have heard Dr. Phil say this phrase many times on his popular daytime television show. I look forward to this point in the show because the viewer can finally hear what his “prescription” is for the guest that day. These statements generally contain actionable verbs that the guest can start accomplishing immediately.
Action Verbs, They Make A Difference
Generally, when we make goals for ourselves, the “verb” of the goal is one of the largest factors. How are you going to succeed with that goal that you have set for yourself? Be specific.
Put action verbs in your sentences.
If saving money is one of your goals, you are the one to set the pace. For me, documenting the progress each month and having a chart to showcase where I am in the grand scheme of meeting my goals, plays a huge factor in motivating me. In prior years, I have set sizeable goals because I know I need to make these types of short-term goals in order to meet my long-term goals. The process needs to start somewhere.
In the future, if you plan on setting a goal; try formatting it like this:
- My goal is to (insert goal here).
- I plan on attaining this goal by (activity needed to reach goal here). This sentence contains your “actionable” verb!
- This goal will commence on (start date) and conclude on (end date).
It could look a lot like this:
- My goal is to save $10,000.
- I plan on attaining this goal by putting over $800 a month in my savings account.
- This goal will commence on 9/15/2017 and conclude on 9/15/2018.
Suffice to say, because of mindful decisions throughout the year and an actionable plan, the financial goals that you set for yourself can be met and even exceeded.
An Analytical Approach
In my household, after applying action verbs and setting out a plan, I take an analytical approach. With my own finances I take the contributions that I plan on making towards investments, and I apply that to a baseline rate of return. I veer towards using conservative rates, around 3-4%. I apply these rates onto my current investments and contributions, and I am able to map out a growth chart.
This type of chart has helped me in the past because I can approach it knowing that in order to meet that end goal, I still need to make the necessary contributions to get there.
I provided a simplified example of this process below.
Let’s say you are age 30 now with $200k in invested assets, and you have a goal to retire at age 35 with $1 million invested. In theory, before considering even investing the money, it would take saving $160k/year. If you invested a portion, or a good chunk of it, factors will change.
Below, I have provided a hypothetical portfolio based on the figures I gave you above. This gives you a representation of what your investments may look like if you were to achieve a rate of return of 4%. Each year may be higher or lower, so you can adjust the actual figures at the close of each year.
As you can tell from the chart, at 35, the balance will be over $1 million, considering the variables given. With a chart, it simplifies the process of making adjustments and charting the figures far into the future.
There are multiple ways you can be motivated to start adhering to a plan for saving and investing, but it’s up to you to take the first step. These concepts may seem elementary, but sometimes writing and mapping it out makes it real! If you manage to reach your goal, do one thing first: celebrate!
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Have you had problems setting money goals because you are not putting action verbs in your sentences? If this post makes you want to start; please comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Original photo credit: Pixabay
Last edited: 10/13/2017