Do you know that less than three percent of the population has a list of written goals?

You can put yourself in the top successful three percent by learning how to write out your goals, either by yourself or with your partner, so that you too can reap the magnificent benefits of living your life on purpose and achieving your dreams.

Do You Know Where You’re Going With Your Financial Goals?

There is a conversation in the story of Alice in Wonderland where she meets the Cheshire Cat in a tree at the fork in the road.

Alice inquires to the cat, “Excuse me, which way should I go?”  “Where are you going?” He questions.  “I don’t know.” Alice replies. “Well then, if you don’t know where you’re going it doesn’t matter where you go,” replies the cat.

How many of us are like Alice in this story?  Do you find yourself experiencing financial conflict with your partner?  Studies have shown that couples who lack specific goals and priorities experience increased financial tension in their relationships.

You can make wise money choices if you know what your goals are.  Like Alice, there are no right or wrong choices unless you have a goal to measure your decisions and behavior with.

Step 1: Make a Date

Don’t wait until you feel like doing this exercise. Schedule a date right now with your partner to create and discuss your goals. Go someplace that is relaxing or inspiring.  You can stay home or even get out of your regular environment, go to a coffee shop, a casual restaurant or a local park. Once you discuss and write your goals you will discover how powerful this exercise can be.

Step 2: Discover Your Values

Values consist of the things that matter most to you in life --the things you feel passionate about.  Values are not “material acquisitions.”  Think of them as the internal forces that drive and inspire you.

Values determine how much effort you are willing to exert to achieve your financial goals.  Examples might include: health, security, family, balance, marriage, adventure, peace of mind and creativity.

  • Take a piece of paper and write down your top five values.  Remember these are your individual values --your partner may or may not share the same ones as you.
  • If you get stuck, have your partner ask some questions to help you understand your values.
  • After both of you have written your values down, share them with each other.
  • Now, determine which ones you share as a couple.  You might pick values from the ones you and your partner listed individually, or you might choose new values.  It’s entirely up to you.


Step 3: Brainstorm About Your Financial Goals

For each value listed, create specific goals (based on that value) that you would like to achieve over a period of one year, two years, five years, ten years … and then also “retirement goals” (whatever age that is for you).
Give yourself permission to have fun with this exercise. This is meant to be a fun process of uncovering the things that really resonate for you.

Approach this exercise in a way that works best for the two of you.  You may each want to write down your individual goals before sharing them with each other.

Or you may prefer to take turns discussing them with each other first – recording your goals following your discussion.  There is no right or wrong way to complete this process.  Once you have determined your individual goals, take the list of values you created as a couple and go through the same process.

Don’t get caught up in strategizing at this point.  This is a time to focus on brainstorming about your goals.  For example, you may have a goal to pay off your credit card debt.  Don’t get distracted or caught up in trying to figure out HOW you will pay off the credit card debt quite yet.

Focus only on identifying the goals you wish to accomplish.  You might find that you have a tendency to agree on goals while disagreeing on strategies and priorities.  This can be sorted out later after the goals are established.

Step 4: Share, Compromise & Prioritize

After you have written your goals take turns discussing them with your partner.  Where do you need to compromise on individual goals?  Do you need to shift your time frames to achieve any of them?
Identify what’s important and determine which individual and partner goals you want to prioritize and work towards.  These can be short or long term goals.   Do this by giving your goals a priority ranking of one, two, three, etc.  No goal should have the same priority ranking.

Step 5: Post Your Goals

Once you have discussed and ranked your immediate one-year goals, organize them by years one, two, five, ten and retirement goals. Post them in a place where you will see them daily.

Step 6: Measure Behavior and Money Choices as You Move Towards Your Financial Goals

Unlike Alice in Wonderland, you now have a point of reference for making smart money choices and decisions.

Whenever you need to consider a big money purchase, consult your goals first.  Ask yourself, “Is this money choice or behavior bringing me closer towards my/our goals or further away?”

Have Fun! This is your chance to dream, think big, and live a more purposeful life!

Author's Bio: 

Leslie Cunningham specializes in working with women entrepreneurs who experience fear and self-doubt in their ability to consistently make more money in their business. The end result that women achieve through following Leslie's advice and expertise is that they are able to permanently get off the emotional financial roller coaster ride and break into six-figures and beyond.