Episode 014: Owning 2015 – Make SMART Goals, Change Your Habits, and Build Systems

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Want to start 2015 with a bang and build up your marriage and money? Today’s show is made for you.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Why Most People Fail to Achieve Their Goals
  • How Habits Form and How We Can Change Them
  • Create Systems to Break Through and Have Success

While the focus is on money, I really hope you use this information for other aspects in your life and reach your goals for this year and beyond.

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The Problem with (Most) Goalscouple money change habits smart goals

“I’m going to lose 10 lbs.”
‘I’m going to pay off my debt.’
“I’m going to switch careers.”

We hear these goals and more every January, but just how many people actually achieve their goals?

Failure almost seems set-up at the beginning when people make their goals. The most common mistakes tend to be:

  • They’re too vague.
  • No deadline.
  • No incentive.
  • Not realistic

Does that mean we should stop making goals? No, it just means you have to make SMART goals

Make SMART Goals

SMART is an acronym to help you construct a constructive goal.

  • Specific: Be explicit on what you want to achieve.
  • Measurable: How do you know when you reached your goal? Pick a number and keep tabs on your progress.
  • Attainable: Looking at your budget, can you achieve this goal?
  • Realistic: Look at your past behaviors and see what would be reasonable.
  • Time Based: Make a deadline for your goal. It’ll make it easier to break things down into smaller steps that you can work towards.

So let’s take your investing more for retirement goal.
Using the SMART formula that could become -> “I want to invest $2,000 into my Roth IRA account by December 31st by contributing $167/month.”

As you can see how this is an improvement – you have measurable goal with a general plan to follow.

Making change though takes time and for most people, it means changing our habits. Easier said then done, right?

Fortunately we can change our habits thanks in part to recent discoveries in neuroscience and psychology. Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit shows us how we can do this.

Change Your Habits, Change Your Life

We underestimate the power of habits and one reason is how easily we slip into them. Duhigg cited a study done at Duke University in his book where researchers found that over 40% of the decisions we engage in on a daily basis is a habit.

But just what is a habit?

There are 3 basic components to habits – cues, routines, and rewards.

  • Cues – triggers for behavior
  • Routine – behavior you want to modify
  • Reward – why you’re doing this behavior

If you want to change the routine, you have to manipulate the cue and reward. Today’s episode goes through an example of this with the financial goal of investing more for retirement. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I did.

Thoughts on Reaching Your Goals and Changing Your Habits

I’d love to hear from you about your plans for 2015? What do you want to accomplish?

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