How often do we make goals like “Lose 10 lbs” or “Hit a net worth of XX?” All the time. I’m guilty of this as well. The problem with these types of goals is that they are based on a result that needs input from something that isn’t you.
You’re probably thinking. ‘Okay… Isn’t it the result I want to work towards?’ And you’re right, but stay with me.
Take losing 10lbs as a common example. You could do everything right.
- Eat healthy
- Start a running habit
- Circuit/weight lift training every other day
- Increase your water intake
- Lower or quit your alcohol consumption
Even if you do everything right, you might not hit your weight loss goal. Does that mean you failed? NO!! You’ve made massive improvements in your life that have increased your endurance, strength and probably your life expectancy. The fact that you didn’t lose the right number of pounds could be due to a lot of reasons. Just a couple of them being:
- Your body weight can hit a plateau
- You’re replacing your fat with muscle, which weighs 3x as much as fat
On top of it all, the increase in abilities, health and your life in general are far more important than what number is on the scale.
It’s All About What You Can Control
Since I am a financial coach, let’s also discuss the finance example. Hitting a certain value of net worth on paper can be great, but it’s not something that you necessarily have full control over. Market fluctuations, interest rates and inflation have a lot to say about that.
What you DO have control over though is what you spend and what you save. So, instead of saying “I want to hit a net worth of XX”, say “I want to save $10,000 this year.” That way you can easily measure whether or not you’ve reached your goal.
You can also see where you are on it with the last quarter upon on us. If you’ve saved $7,000 so far this year, you know that you have 3 months left to save another $3,000. That’s $1000/month. If that’s too much based on your normal budget, you can do the following:
- Take a look at ways to further reduce your spending (this might be a bit hard with the holidays coming up though).
- Look around the house for things you don’t use anymore that you might be able to sell.
- A small side hustle could bring in enough cash to close the gap so that you can reach your goal.
The markets have been rather up and down lately and because of this, I even further stress only focusing on things that you control and mostly ignoring your total investment balances. This will keep you saving/investing regularly without watching as stocks rise and fall, causing your heart to skip a beat.
As one of my favorite soccer players stated in response to not receiving the result that she wanted of getting called up to the US Women’s National Team (USWNT):
I can only control myself, my actions, my work ethic, and my attitude.Ali Krieger
With these thoughts in mind, she worked on what she could control and earned her spot back on the USWNT for this year’s world cup.
Where are you on your goals for the year? What can you control to make up the difference where you aren’t on track? Let me know in the comments below!