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Meetup Recap: Visualizing Your Financial Success via SMART GOALS

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Our meetup was a success!  Special thanks to three new members who showed up with art supplies in hand ready to share with the rest of the group.  Everyone brought in their magazines, posterboards, markers and glue and got to work on their vision boards.

This was the agenda for the afternoon:

Introductions

· Tell us about yourself

o Name, age, financial challenges and goals

SMART Goals Overview

Specific

Start off by being specific in your goal. Clearly define what you are going to do. Include the what, why and how.

Measurable

· You must be able to measure your goal in order to manage it. I will lose 5 pounds by January 31st is much better than I will lose weight.

Attainable

· You must know that your goal is attainable, although it should stretch you to reach the goal. You can’t possibly lose 20 pounds in one week but you can lose 1 pound each week for 20 weeks.

Realistic

· A realistic goal is one that will stretch you but is not impossible. Completely cutting out all carbs in order to lose weight probably isn’t realistic. Planning to substitute a piece of fruit for a bowl of ice cream is realistic.

Timely

· A timely goal will give you a clear target to work towards. You may choose a week, a month, a year, just make sure that the time is realistic.

Importance of Writing Down Goals

· The act of writing the words on the paper triggers your brain that these are the goals you will work towards.

· Goals should only be written in the positive. Never write a goal in the negative, such as “I will not smoke.” Your subconscious cannot distinguish between positive and negative. Setting a goal in the negative will get you more of the same.

· Review your goals on a regular basis. Read your goals each morning as soon as you awake and at night before you sleep. Envision reaching those goals.

o This gets your conscious and subconscious minds ready to work on attaining the goals throughout the day. Your mind needs to be primed with these goals.

o Read your goals again at night, envisioning the attainment of those goals. This puts your subconscious to work. During the day, as you make decisions, ask yourself if the decision will bring you closer to your goals. Be mindful of how your daily actions affect the attainment of your goals.

· Take actions every day toward your goals. Just having a goal will not guarantee its successful achievement. Systematic and well-planned action is the key to attainment.

Goals Discussion

· Volunteers

o What are your 2009 goals?

o Why are they important to you?

o What gets in the way?

o How will you go about accomplishing them differently in 2009?

Create Your Goal/Vision Boards!

The top concerns were:

  • Controlling spending habits
  • Paying down debt
  • Re-establishing credit after a bankruptcy
  • Stepping out on your own and starting a new business
  • Saving for retirement

We had many candid conversations about our struggles and also made a plan on how we plan to move through them this year.  How?  By doing something you haven’t done before.  Some members had self imposed shopping restrictions through June, some are working to engage other family members to start saving for the long term, while others are learning grace under fire when faced with losing a job vs. taking a demotion and a salary cut.

One thing I took away from this Meetup is that we have women who are incredibly resilient and continue to move towards their goals in cases where some would have quit and handed in the towel.  Failing financially isn’t an option when everyone depends on you or when you can only depend on yourself.  I admire their strnegth and resolve to keep pushing through.  These stories continue to inspire me to keep writing this blog and hold our meetups.  I thank them for sharing their lives with me in this manner, for that I am truuly grateful.

Here are some pictures from the event, click to enlarge:

Our topic of the day — Girls Just Wanna Have Funds
Visualizing Your Financial Success via SMART GOALS
Chloe's final product!
Visualizing Your Financial Success via SMART GOALS
Visualizing Your Financial Success via SMART GOALS
Visualizing Your Financial Success via SMART GOALS
Chloe's final product!
Visualizing Your Financial Success via SMART GOALS
Visualizing Your Financial Success via SMART GOALS

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