Then, break it down into a workable plan
After you have come up with your wealth goal and refined it using the SMART checklist, the next step is to break it down into a workable plan.
This will be easier than it sounds, as most of the work would already have been done in the previous two steps.
Making a plan to achieve your wealth goal is simply listing down the steps and tasks you need to perform and by when.
This is also where you break down your final goal into smaller ones which are meant to be achieved on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
For example, if your wealth goal is to raise a S$40,000 home renovation fund over the next 20 months, you will need to set aside at least S$2,000 each month. Or S$500 every week. So, how are you going to make it happen?
However you go about achieving this – the steps and actions you need to take, whether it be splitting off that amount from your paycheck each month, or taking on two extra clients each week, etc – that’s what the plan is.
Related to this topic: Personal Finance Planning 2023: 7 Financial Things To Do This Year
Now, work the plan (and track your progress)
By now, what you have done is defined your wealth goal, ensured it is achievable and valid, and have worked out the exact tasks you need to do and the exact steps you need to take.
You’re now finally ready to take action.
Work the plan by doing the actions and taking the steps you have set out. This will take discipline, commitment and sacrifice, and you will likely discover things that you don’t like about yourself.
Hey, no one said it would be easy, but you know what? That’s how you achieve your wealth goals – by getting clear about what it would take, and by being willing to do what it takes.
If renovating your home in 2 years' time requires you to put aside S$2,000 every month starting tomorrow, then that’s what you need to do. How simple or difficult you make it is entirely up to you.
Now, that makes it sound like achieving your goals is gonna be arduous. Well that’s why it's important to track your progress.
When you see yourself getting closer and closer to achieving your wealth goal, you’ll start to have more and more motivation and drive to keep going.
Refine and repeat until you get to the finish line
But what if you’re falling short and can’t keep up? It simply means you need to make some tweaks.
If it is impossible to set aside $2,000 a month, then could you wait longer to renovate your home or opt for a lower budget?
Or, if putting S$500 each month into clearing your credit card debt is causing you to have to skip meals, lower your monthly repayments to S$400, and tell yourself to practise financial discipline until you pay off your debt.
Here’s the crux – all too often, we fail at achieving our wealth goals because we aren’t willing to do what it takes. But it’s also easy to fail by making things too difficult for ourselves.
The secret is to find a sweet spot, where you’re steadily working towards your wealth goal in small but important steps, but doing so breezily enough that you’re cruising by, almost on autopilot.
Until one day, you’re suddenly – and finally – there.
Read these next:
How To Plan And Achieve Your Financial Goals For 2024
Year-End Financial Review Checklist: How to Review Your Money Goals for a Successful 2024
How to Plan For Your Retirement & Get Financially Fit
How To Set Investment Goals If You’re A Newbie
Q2 Financial Check-In: Am I On Track For My Financial Goals?
How to Measure Wealth Accumulation (and Why It Impacts Your Happiness)
More Than Just Savings — Five Tips for Proper Wealth Planning
How To Get Rich: What Millionaires Do To Grow Their Money From $100k to 7-figures