Getting what you want is not difficult.
Let me say that again, “Getting what you want is not difficult.”
The problem, for most people, is not the process of reaching their goal and getting what they want. The problem is in knowing what it is they want. What is IT?
Society has convinced far too many that what we should want is more: more material possessions, more money, more time. The problem with more is that you can never truly obtain more. It is the same concept as saying you want tomorrow. You can never obtain tomorrow because it is always today. No matter how many material possessions you own, there will always be more that you could own. The same is true of money. Time, on the other hand, is entirely different yet just as equally unattainable. You can never have more time. You can only have the same 24 hours a day, 365 days a year that everyone else has.
The start then, of getting what you want, is in defining. For something to be considered a real goal, it must have a specific value. Specific values are defined as much by what they are as by what they are not. You must be able to clearly and exactly state what your goal is and what it is not.
You are tired of never having any money to do the things you want to do. You want more money.
[This is not an attainable goal]
You could narrow it down to you want money to do the things you want to do.
[Still not an attainable goal since there will always be more you would like to do and therefore more money needed]
An attainable, reachable goal would be the following:
You want $100 each week to spend on going to a movie and going out to eat.
This goal is attainable because it is specific, can be accomplished in more than one way and could be accomplished within a set time frame. Your options for reaching your goal include:
1. Reduce your current spending by $100 per week to free up $100 each week for movies and dining.
2. Take on a second job to provide you with $100 each week in additional money for movies and dining.
Either of the above options can be further broken down into manageable steps leading to your ultimate goal:
- Write down all of your expenditures for a few months.
- Evaluate your average monthly expenditures to determine where you may be wasting money on frivolous items such as buying a soda at the gas station rather than buying a 12 pack of sodas from the store and bringing it with you each day. The difference is paying $1.50 for a single soda at a station versus paying $4.00 for 12 sodas in a 12 pack from the grocery store. Sodas are of course only one example of overspending – others may include snacks, candy, purchasing items at a higher price due to convenience rather than going out of your way to go to the cheaper store.
- Cut out the overspending. Keep track of how much money this provides.
- Eliminate any unnecessary spending by maybe eliminating your home phone and just having a cell phone. Stop cable service if you only watch Netflix or stop paying extra for movie channels. Reduce your monthly gas cost by consolidating your trips or by sharing rides to work or out with friends. Look for better rates with companies other than those you currently do business with for cable or internet or phone. Keep track of how much money this provides. If still not equal to $100 a week and you do not wish to work a second job then proceed to the following steps.
- Use coupons, shop during sales, stop buying name brand items, plan your grocery trips in advance so that you know exactly what you want when you get there and do not buy unnecessary items out of impulse.
- Get a roommate to share living costs.
*Steps 5 and 6 could be broken down into even smaller steps such as researching coupons, good deals or researching roommates, etc.
See how simple getting what you want is? It only requires the following:
- Identify what it is you want, exactly
- Set an end date by which you want to accomplish your goal (helpful for things like weight loss or writing)
- Make a plan that includes small, reachable mini goals
- Stick to your plan, follow through