Goals and habits

Setting and Tracking Financial Goals

You’ve probably heard that writing down your goals makes it more likely you’ll achieve them. A recent study even concluded that writing down your goals on a regular basis ups the success rate by 42% — sounds overly precise, but we’ll take the sentiment. When it comes to financial goals, though, we can do more than just write them down.  Because they ultimately boil down to hard numbers, we can track our financial goals and measure our progress.  As Peter Drucker, dubbed the “founder of modern management,” observed: "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."  

Willpower versus Healthy Habits

This month saw the passing of psychologist Walter Mischel, best known for his famed “marshmallow experiment” on delayed gratification. The marshmallow experiment became a symbol of the power of delayed gratification for life success. What does this mean for your finances?  For starters, don’t rely on willpower for achieving your money goals. Instead spend that energy reshaping a single healthier habit next month.  

Learning to be gritty

April is National Financial Literacy Month, so I’ve been reading stories of everyday people working through money struggles. My favorite read this month has been Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) by Beth Kobliner. The ability to stick with it and persevere matters more than your IQ and educational background. Studies show that grit leads to a more satisfied life, as well as higher income and net worth. And here’s the best part: grit can be learned, both by kids and adults.