As we begin a new year, it’s a great time to reflect on the past and set strategic goals for the future. What did you accomplish in the previous year? Did you have any written goals? If not, do you think having them might have helped you accomplish more?
Many people never write down their goals because they believe it takes too much time or they don’t know where to start. However, writing down goals doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming, and it can be beneficial in many ways. As we enter 2024, let’s consider it a fresh start, a chance to approach things in a new way. Let’s explore the concept of FAST goals (Focused Action for Specific, Time-bound objectives), which is a strategy designed to help you take immediate action and hopefully achieve success.
The key to achieving FAST goals is acting promptly without procrastinating. Delaying goal setting and action steps will only prevent you from accomplishing your goals more. On the other hand, the feeling of accomplishment from an early win can be a great motivator. While the popular saying is, “Ready, aim, fire!” when it comes to FAST goals, we prefer to say, “Ready, FIRE, aim!” So, let’s get started and take action toward achieving your goals today.
Initiating the FAST Approach:
- Create a notes page on your cell phone titled “2024 Goals”.
- List 2-3 areas of your life that are most important to you. Items on this list could include finances, health & fitness, relationships, etc.
- Under each area, list one action you can take right now that would move you closer toward that goal. At this stage, it is important to keep in mind that it is not crucial to have specifics of the goal or how you will get there. What is important is that you do something positive to move you toward your goal. For example, you may decide to increase your 401(k) contribution to $50 per month, or you could walk for 30 minutes. Do something today to get started.
- Over the next few days, weeks, or months, continue thinking about your goals and be more specific about what you want to achieve. Refine your goals as you go and set clear results that you want to see. Meanwhile, stick to the actions you have started and make them a regular habit. Continuously refine your actions as needed to ensure you reach your now clearer goals.
- Add a timeline for accomplishing each of your goals. Although a clear timeline is crucial for success in the FAST goals approach, it is also important to keep in mind that the timeline may need to be adjusted as you move closer to your goal or if circumstances change. Remember, whether you achieve your goal faster or slower than you anticipated, do not be discouraged. What matters most is the end result, so stay focused and do not give up.
Do not over-complicate the process of goal setting. In less than 10 minutes, you can outline your goals for 2024 and be in action towards achieving them. Remember that it’s normal to change or even drop some of your goals along the way. Regardless of what your goal is, how you plan to achieve it, or how long it takes, writing your goals down is vital to maximizing your potential. Don’t wait any longer. Start today and take the first step towards making 2024 your best year yet.
For more financial information or guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
For more helpful content delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page.
Stewart H. Welch, III, CFP®, AEP, is the founder of THE WELCH GROUP, LLC, which specializes in providing fee-only investment management and financial advice to families throughout the United States. He is the author or co-author of six books, including 50 Rules of Success; J.K. Lasser’s New Rules for Estate, Retirement and Tax Planning- 6th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.); THINK Like a Self-Made Millionaire; and 100 Tips for Creating a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget. For more information, visit The Welch Group. Consult your financial advisor before acting on comments in this article.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by The Welch Group, LLC [“Welch”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Welch. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Welch is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of Welch’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.welchgroup.com. Please Note: Welch does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Welch’s website or blog or incorporated herein and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.