Setting long term goals when it comes to money is scary in itself, especially if you haven’t done anything like it before. The key to goal setting is to chunk it in to realistic and obtainable mini goals if you are initially struggling to “think big”. This will help the goal to be instantly feel more achievable and will help you to meet this goal  in the short term.

Remember: just because a goal has been set, it doesn’t mean that it is set in stone. Goals need to be flexible so that as your life changes and you priorities change over time, you can also adapt your goals.


For example, when I was in my late 20s, I presumed that by my mid 30s that I would be feeling grown up and that moving out of London would be important to me. Now that I am in my late 30s, I realise that staying in London is actually very important to me and so I have had to change my goals about the type of home I wanted to buy accordingly.

The first thing when it comes to setting goals is NOT to listen to those niggling doubts in the back of your mind “That’s never going to happen” “I don’t know anyone my age that’s done that before” or “why bother you, I won’t stick to it”.


Setting goals

Goals are there to stretch you, to motivate you and most importantly, to change your life. Therefore you need to be brave and even step out of your comfort zone in order to consider what you actually want out of life.

Below you will find a table that I fill out with all of my clients when we first start working together. It will help you to focus on what they want at each stage of your life.

We then review this annually and track their progress along the way – ticking off those milestones you have achieved. Believe me, it will be so rewarding to look back in ten years’ time and reflect on how you have smashed your goals!


To help with writing out your goals, write down the following:

Five things down that make you happy

1

2

3

4

5

How many of these are you doing already?

1

2

3

4

5

Now fill in the goals table whilst holding these answers in mind.

 CareerPropertyFamily & Personal
20s   
30s   
40s   
50s   
60s   
70s   
Beyond   

Before you file this goal setting task  as “mentally done”,  take time to reflect. Perhaps sleep on it to ensure that it is really what you want to achieve? It is so important to get this right as this exercise will help you to shape the direction of your financial plan.

Are any of the goals in there because they are what your “should do” or would impress certain people?

Do these goals help you to work towards your definition of happy?


Want to learn more?

I will be running a money workshop with Found & Flourish on the 1st August where I will be coaching you through all of the above and more!

You will learn:

  • How to be financially savvy
  • Pension planning and pension schemes
  • Tax relief, what it is and how to benefit from it
  • Why financial health matters
  • How to set financial goals

By the end of this workshop, you will have a better understanding of how to get the most out of your business including tax advantages and tax relief, pension planning, financial goal setting and more.

Looking forward to seeing some of you there!


About the author

Lisa Conway-Hughes is a qualified Financial Advisor with fifteen years of experience and a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society. She also blogs and speaks publicly on financial issues. After 8 years as a financial adviser, Lisa realised that most households, no matter what their income, face very similar dilemmas when it comes to money.

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