How to set goals and stick to them: A manual

Africa’s Pocket
Jan 24 · 3 min read

Recently, we had a conversation with our audience on Instagram on what they struggle with when it comes to financial planning and almost the majority of the responses struggle with sticking to their goals. We responded to those struggles here.

Why is it so hard to stick to your goals? The simple answer is that it is because change is hard work and most times it’s scary.

How do you break bad habits and make sure you stick to the good ones? It’s all an overwhelming experience. Over the past month, we have gone through the process of understanding why it’s important to set goals for your life. Setting goals is the first step to making a change. You have identified the area you need to fix. Now let’s look at what you will need to do so that you stay on course in your journey and achieve those goals.

Be honest with yourself: As with everything, start with the why? Why do you need to change certain habits? Why do you need to start saving?
Having your intention clear will enable you to stay disciplined to your goals. Setting a goal with the end in mind will make sure you stick to your goal until you achieve it. This will also help you understand why you need to let go of bad habits.

Set SMART goals: Ensure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
For example: Vague — Save more money this year

versus

SMART — Save KES100,000 by December by saving 8,400 every month. To achieve this I will carry lunch from home every day.

With the SMART goal, you can see it’s:

1) Specific — it clearly states what the goal is i.e. KES 100,000;

2) Measurable — you’re saving in targeted amounts that you can measure and track i.e. KES 8,400 every month;

3) Attainable — you’re saving in smaller more affordable amounts over an extended period

4) Relevant — the goal is important for your long-term financial security and;

5) Time-bound — it clearly states the time frame in which you want to achieve this i.e by December.

Review your goals: Set aside frequent review check-ins for your goals. Make this part of your self-care routine. These could be weekly or monthly — ideally the more frequent, the better, so you can make swift adjustments if needed. Be intentional with setting time e.g. put on your calendar, use an alarm on your phone, set reminders, have someone be your accountability buddy, etc. That way you’re less likely to slip up. For example; you’d like to achieve your savings goal of KES 100,000 by December, so what would this mean for me? Saving more and making cutbacks on another spending? Or increasing your income by negotiating for a better salary, increasing income from your side hustle, etc.

Change is not easy and does not happen overnight, it is the small daily choices you make that will bring you lasting results. As they say, little by little will fill the measure.

P.S: Follow us on social media @africaspocket where we share tips best money management practices.

Written by

A personal finance company creating online courses and tools to empower you to save, invest and grow your money so that you can create the life you want!

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