Setting S.M.A.R.T goals for year 2017… and achieving them

Mon, Jan 16, 2017

Investment, Motivation

Time flies…. January 2017 is almost over and now February is approaching fast!!!.
Have you set your new year resolutions? 🙂

It has been over 10 years since I’ve worked as a financial consultant.
Helping thousands of Muslim families plan their finance,
the shariah compliant way in Singapore.

Fulfiling. Satisfying. And fun meeting people from all walks of life. 🙂


(Picture of me, when I was first interviewed in Berita Harian, many years back)
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Alhamdulillah… We’re blessed to be able to ‘start over’ again.
So celebrate our achievements and forget our disappointments of 2016.
And let’s focus on achieving our goals in 2017!

It’s never too late so here’s the S.M.A.R.T way to do them.


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1. S for Specific
In my financial advisory practice, I realize one thing.

Many people set vague goals.

I’ve asked my prospects why they meet me.

Some say ‘I want to save up money.’
“I want to make more money”

I told them that when they set any goals in their life, all their goals have to be specific.
Because our mind understands detailed instructions best.

Which is why in Islam, Allah doesn’t make vague commands like ‘pray daily’.

Through our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, we know we, Muslims have to pray 5 times a day, and each prayer has its own sets of raka’at.

So when anyone comes to me and tell me, vague goals, unclear financial objectives, like “I want to save money”.
I asked them,
“What do you want to save up for specifically?”

Retirement?
Child’s Education?
Improve Living Standards?
Cash Emergencies?
or wealth accumulation to become rich?

Choose 1. Be specific!

When you have a specific goal in mind, you will feel empowered.
Energised. Powerful.

Easier for me, as your financial consultant to help you craft up your laser focused,
powerful shariah compliant financial strategies
for you to achieve your financial goals.
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2. M for Measurable


Goals have to be measurable. Quantifiable.
Better, if you can count it with your fingers.

If you want to lose weight or save up money for your retirement, having an actual figure means you get to track and measure your progress.

Example, if you want to lose weight, you need to know, how much is your current weight now in kg.
How much is your target, your ideal weight in kg.
And how much you need to lose in kg.
And how many X months specifically, you have to lose that X kg.

My fitness coach says that losing weight and staying healthy,
80% of it is your diet and 20% is exercise.

Definitely, we need to control what we put in our mouths to lose weight.
7700 calories equate to 1kg.
To gain 1 kg, you need to have a calorie gain of 7700 calories.
To lose 1kg, you need to have a calorie deficit of 7700 calories.
And calculate specifically for your body weight, the ‘X’ litres of water you need to drink specifically to detox.

See, everything is measurable. Quantifiable. You need to put it in numbers.
Numbers that you can count, track and measure.  🙂
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Same goes to achieving any of your financial goals.
You have to ensure, its measurable.

Example, you want to save for your retirement.
What is your age now, and when do you want to retire?
When you retire, how much you want to spend every single month? $1000/mth, $2000/mth, $5000/mth or more?
Everything has to be measurable. Quantifiable.
Then, it would be easier for me, as your financial consultant to help you craft up your laser focused,
powerful shariah compliant financial strategies
for you to achieve your financial goals.
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3. A for Achievable
Don’t set impossible goals.
Your goals have to be achievable.
Because otherwise your mind creates a resistance and you’ll give up easily.

So if you want to save up for your retirement through investment, don’t put high hopes to invest in an instruments that gives 100% returns per year, risk free. (if the deal is too good, to be true, its indeed too good to be true).
Many fall prey to Get Rich Schemes because of greed.

Remember, if the deal is too good to be true, its indeed too good to be true!!!

Do your research, check your finances and budget accordingly.
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4. R for Realistic/Relevant/Rewards
Most of us understand our goals need to be realistic.
I advocate another acronym to it, Rewards.


I advocate this concept called, Pain/Pleasure principle.
You have devise a system to reward yourself, whenever you achieve any small goals leading to your big goal.
For those who watch their diet like me, we have “deviation days”. After 14 days of careful eating, we have a day where we can indulge in our favourite food.

Reward ourselves. Pizza maybe? :p

Similar to halal financial planning. Reward yourself along the way, when you achieve your financial mileage at every single juncture. Pain Pleasure principle works well!
Myself as a financial consultant, I always give my clients, words of congratulatory affirmation, encouragement, when I realise that they are consistent in working hard to achieve their financial goals when I did a financial review session with them.

I will tell them, “Well done!”,
“You are doing well!”
“Awesome. You are on track!”

 

4. T for Time-bound
Setting a time frame helps you stay focused and on track.

Different time frame requires different set of strategies.

Example: Retirement? How long more is your retirement?
10 years? 15 years? 20 years?
Singapore retirement age has now been extended to age 67.
Do you want to follow the mass, or you have your own retirement age? 🙂

Child’s Education?
What is the age of your child now? Boy or girl?
If boy, you need to account he would go for national service in the future.

Wealth accumulation, the shariah compliant way. What is your investment time horizon?
1 year? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
Shariah Compliant Financial strategies for investment time horizon of 1 year is very different than shariah compliant financial strategies for investment time horizon of 20 years.

Set your time frame! 🙂

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So, when you set goals follow the S.M.A.R.T goals formula! 🙂
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5. How To Achieve Goals
So now that you have your goals nicely done up, here are some quick tips to help you achieve them.

a. Mindset
The first step is to always have a proper mindset. Tell yourself this is the year you’re going to make a difference in your life.

b. Draw up action plan
Goals are nothing without action. So if you want to lose weight or save up, figure out exactly what needs to be done.

c. Print out goals and paste somewhere visible
The mind needs visual reminders, so print out your goals and action plan and paste them at your dressing table, cupboard door, fridge etc.

d. Do a vision board
Besides words, the mind also reacts positively to images. If you want to save money, imagine what that looks like once you’ve achieved the goal. Are you checking your bank account happily? Are you holding crisp cash in your hands? Get some relevant images and make posters. Or get a vision board app from iTunes or Google Play.

This is my own personal vision board that I placed in my office! 🙂

I wish you all the best for year 2017. May you achieve all your dreams, goals and aspirations. Amin… Insya’Allah… 🙂

p.s. By the way, if you wish to discover a simple & halal way to create a positive monthly cashflow and calculate your net worth for FREE, then please click here…

 

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This post was written by:

- who has written 418 posts on The Official Helmi Hakim Website.

A certified financial consultant, Helmi Hakim has won praise for his patience, perseverance and practicality when solving his clients' financial concerns. For more information on how you can manage your finances better, contact Helmi Hakim at 96520134.

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