Lending Club Blog

How to Set Goals: The First Step to Financial Success is Knowing What You Want

If you don’t know where you’re going, who knows where you’ll end up? Whether you are trying to get out of debt, start investing, start saving for your child’s retirement, or anything else, it’s important to have a purpose. Without having any specific goals, it can be very hard to beat your financial worries. However, with goals, you can create a plan: a step-by-step program to meet your goals.

Why is it so hard to set goals?

You’ve probably heard this advice before somewhere. I remember being told to write down my goals in elementary school, but I never listened to the advice. Planning and writing down my goals always seemed so strange. Something that real people didn’t do – something for weird people. A recent article on LifeHacker, Why Goal Setting Makes You Cringe, explains how I felt about goal setting perfectly.

“Life goals are like religious views, salary, age, and weight — highly personal, rarely discussed, and for the ambitious and pie-in-the-sky among us, even embarrassing.”

It felt almost embarrassing to write goals!

So why should we set goals anyway?

For starters, several studies have shown a correlation between conscious goals and success on a task. With a list of goals, we know what we want – and we can plan how to get there. Setting goals is the first step in any major undertaking: financial changes, new businesses, scientific studies (you think of a hypothesis before you plan an experiment, right?).

How can I set good goals for myself?

So we need to figure out how to determine good goals. What are the characteristics of well-written, achievable goals? One of the basic frameworks for goal setting is called SMART.

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-bound

All goals should follow these five requirements. For example, the goal “I want to be rich” meets none of the criteria: How do you measure “rich?” When do you want to be rich by?

Instead, you could say, “I want to pay off my $5,000 credit card debt by December, 2009.” Now, you have a specific (pay off the debt), measurable (all $5,000), attainable (with a plan), relevant (your finances are relevant to your life and future plans), and time-bound (by December, 2009) goal. You should make a list of all the goals you seriously want to achieve.

Building a list of SMART goals for yourself is the first step in fixing your financial situation. Once you have a list, you can begin designing a program to achieve those goals!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 at 9:30 am

Comments (2)

  1. […] with a close friend, after an interesting conversation about
    goals and life. I rember reading a post by Maneesh Sethi that I
    found to be true. You’ve probably heard this advice before
    somewhere. […]

    September 30th, 2008 at 4:56 pm

  2. This is very helpful and can help many people! Keep up the great
    work! Devin

    September 30th, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Recommended

Welcome Home

Lending Club named #5 on Forbes’ Most Promising Companies List

Get ready for tax season with Lending Club’s Tax Form Guide

New Adjusted Return Metric

See more
Lending Club Awards
  • Archives z

Recent Posts

Welcome Arkansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma Investors!

We recently welcomed residents of Arkansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma… Read More »
July 14, 2015

Renaud Talks Marketplace Lending on Jo Ann Barefoot’s Podcast

This week, CEO Renaud Laplanche… Read More »
June 24, 2015

Lending Club Teams Up with Sam’s Club to Deliver Small Business Financing

Read More »
June 8, 2015

New Lending Club TV Commercial Makes its Debut!

Last week we began testing a new TV commercial showcasing… Read More »
May 26, 2015

Lending Club Honored with Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award from Harvard Business School Association of Northern California

Read More »
May 15, 2015

Renaud Talks to Jim Cramer

A few months ago, Jim Cramer remarked that he… Read More »
April 15, 2015

Lending Club 2 – Back in the Race

We’re excited to see Renaud back at the helm!… Read More »
March 26, 2015

Lending Club Store’s Grand Opening

We were thrilled at the support we received from… Read More »
March 20, 2015

LendIt is just one month away!

Congratulations to the LendIt team, who rang the opening… Read More »
March 13, 2015

Nearing Retirement – How an IRA Can Help

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can help you prep… Read More »
February 25, 2015

2014

We went public today!

Ringing the bell this morning at the New York… Read More »
December 11, 2014

New and Improved Statistics Page

We recently redesigned our Loan Statistics page to make… Read More »
November 13, 2014

Lending Club Honored with Economist Innovation Award

This month I was honored… Read More »
October 15, 2014

Welcome Vermont Investors!

Today, we’re thrilled to welcome residents of the state… Read More »
September 4, 2014

We filed to go public today

We filed a registration statement with the SEC today… Read More »
August 27, 2014

Our Billion Dollar Quarter

We’re excited to announce  that we’ve facilitated over $5… Read More »
July 8, 2014

Is Lending Club Available in My State?

Is Lending Club available in my state? That is… Read More »
July 7, 2014

Lending Club Joins Senator Cory Booker to Discuss Improving Access to Capital for Small Businesses

Read More »
June 20, 2014

Lending Club Named a CNBC Top 50 Disruptor for a Second Year

For the second year in… Read More »
June 17, 2014

PRIME is now Automated Investing

Lending Club is excited to announce that PRIME has… Read More »
May 14, 2014
View All w