Learning How to Plan and Achieve Your Goals

Many people would never take a road trip without a GPS or map, but often operate their lives without a plan or a goal. Just like in road trips, you need to take the time to plan, prioritize, and determine where you are going if you want to hit your destination. Without the plan or goal it is very easy to get off track with the distractions that show up in life. Having a plan helps to keep you focused on your goals and allows you to have an early warning when you are deviating from the path.

For example, if your destination is to become debt free, it is important to take time to develop a financial plan to help to get there. Part of a solid financial plan is a budget. This budget will help to keep you focused when you have your eye on that new dress, an unplanned concert ticket purchase, or even avoiding cooking dinner in favor of take out.

Although it sounds easy, sometimes it can be a little challenging to know exactly where and how to start. Therefore, I provided 5 tips that will help you learn how to effectively plan and prioritize so you can create and adhere to the goals that you create for your life and finances.

Just start. If you are waiting for the perfect time, you will wait forever. There will never be a perfect time so just start.

SMART Goals. When you’re creating your goals, focus on making them Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Start small and build. Don’t try to tackle world hunger when you make these goals. Trying to do too much too soon, can lead to frustration and stagnation. Also, make sure that you can effectively track and take action towards your goals.

Check-in plan. Once you set a goal, the next step is to continue to check in to monitor your progress. This is why it is so important to create goals that you can track. If you decided to create a budget, you may want to analyze how the budget is working for you. Establish the frequency to check-in so you will understand your progress.

Tweak as necessary. Where you start isn’t necessarily where you end up finishing. Once you develop the plan and continue to follow-up, use your learning to modify and adjust as necessary.

Reward yourself. It is important to stick to your goals, but it is also important for you to establish a reward system for staying on track. This gives you something to strive towards. This also creates a positive association between your brain and the activity. Just make sure that the reward doesn’t blow the budget.

Implementing a Good Debt Management Program

One of the most important aspects of managing personal finances is having a good debt management program in place. The fact of the matter is that if you are successfully managing your debt you should have little to no debt to worry about. The unfortunate thing is millions of Americans do not know how to do this and are experiencing cash flow problems that are approaching crisis proportions.

The problem many people have when it comes to accumulating debt is distinguishing between their wants and needs. Needs always come first because you need those to survive. Things such as shelter, food, clothing, and reliable transportation are things that just about everyone needs. The problem many people have is coming to terms with the fact that even needs can be turned into wants, and this is where they get in trouble.

As an example think about buying a car. Nearly everyone needs a form of good reliable transportation, but no one needs a $400 a month car payment. Wanting to buy a $35,000 car because you think you need one when you make $40,000 a year makes no sense. This is particularly true when you consider that a new car loses 60% of it value within four years of driving it off the dealer’s lot. Filling your transportation need with a good used car that costs five to ten thousand dollars makes much more sense from a financial perspective.

The point is any good debt management program takes care of the needs of you and your family first. Money that is left over after all the needs are met can be put into a savings account or be used to satisfy those wants that we all have. But those wants need to be paid for with cash. Creating new debt simply because you want something is one of the easiest ways to overextend your financial situation.

Managing debt is more than trying to decide between wants and needs; you will also need to create a game plan to tackle whatever existing debt you may have. The easiest way to manage this type of debt is to make a list of all your creditors, the balance currently owed, interest rates, and interest paid each month. Knowing how much you owe and to who is an invaluable debt management tool which allows you to build a monthly budget that is accurate and sustainable.

The next step in managing your debt is coming up with a workable plan that allows you to pay off your outstanding balances. For many people handling money is an emotional issue and it needs to be handled in this fashion. Start with your smallest debt and pay extra on it while paying the minimums to all your other creditors. The psychological benefit of doing it this way is you will make quick work of that smallest debt which will give you the motivation to continue your quest to being debt free. Once that debt is paid take that payment and roll it into your next smallest balance and so on up your list.

Starting The Perfect Home Based Business

As the economy continues to tank, unemployment rises, essential commodity prices increase as salaries remain stale, it’s no surprise people are looking to make more money anywhere possible. While we should generate a supplemental income while our lives are financially sound, most people make the mistake of waiting until their finances are in disrepair and the bills are way behind before considering options.

At the point of desperation people choose counter-productive measures as a solution to their financial woes. These include taking out high interest personal loans, working a second or third job, selling their valuables, or being forced downsize their lifestyle. Can you see a benefit in any of these options? Do they bring you closer or distance you from your family?

If working second jobs, taking out high interest personal loans, or giving up the things cherished the most in life, aren’t options, what options exist? While most conventionally thinking people resort to the above solutions, many others choose to become successful entrepreneurs by starting some type of part-time business from home. Unfortunately, many people lack the necessary motivation and could care less about success for themselves or their families and that’s o.k. This clears the playing field for others who keep our options open to income opportunities.

While starting a part-time home business has many benefits, you probably wouldn’t even know where or how to begin. The possibilities are endless and this, in itself, can be overwhelming. Take a few deep breaths and relax because I’m going to share with you a simple business model that was specifically designed for people like you and me to be able to simply and efficiently generate a positive cash flow. This business model is called network-marketing (person-to-person) and has been adopted by many reputable companies and is the primary method to promote their products or services, instead of investing in expensive media advertisements. While companies save money on advertising, they are able to pay their representatives high commissions, bonuses, and incredible streams of residual incomes.

Network Marketing Vs.Traditional Home Business

The Network Marketing (Multi-Level Marketing) industry is over 50 years old and has created more millionaires out of average people than any other industry. An increasing number of people are choosing network marketing instead of traditional home businesses for many reasons; monthly residual income, multi-level payment structures, company bonuses/incentives, no stocking products, no invoicing, no shipping, no taking payments, no handling returns, no building websites, or even providing customer service. The network marketing company handles all of the main responsibilities. Your responsibility is simply recommending the product/service to others and showing others how to do the same thing.

Scams, Schemes, and Pyramids

Sadly there are many scams and schemes that empty the pockets of innocent people just looking for a way to make money fast. You can truly judge the validity of a business or opportunity by being aware of RED FLAGS. One obvious and very prevalent red flag is when the opportunity boasts that you can get rich overnight. An example of this is when they advertise that you can make a ludicrous amount of money in a day or a week.

The other type of scam that many desperate people fell into many years ago was the pyramid scheme. In a pyramid scheme, the only people who made money were the people at the top of the pyramid. People were literally passing their cash up the pyramid and the unfortunate people on the bottom lost their all their money. Pyramid Schemes are illegal and a common RED FLAG to look out for is if an opportunity has no product and requires a person to pay a lot of money to get involved.

Some people associate network marketing companies with pyramid schemes. While most network marketing companies are recognized by the BBB, they also offer every person the same opportunity for advancement. A representative can far surpass the success of the person who registered them. For example, I could sign someone up and they could have a much more successful business and make more money than me, which completely disproves pyramid scheme theories.

Monthly Residual Income

Why is residual income so incredibly important for you and your family? If I owned a traditional business, I would have to generate new sales and new profits every month to survive. In Network Marketing, I still have to make a sale, however I would continue to be paid every month for that ONE sale. Can you imagine making a sale once, getting paid, and then getting paid again and again from that one sale? Your monthly residual income will continue to climb every month as more business is generated.