According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 11.5% of student loans are delinquent by 90 days or more, or are in default. Although this seems like a small percentage, for the borrowers faced with mounting defaulted or delinquent student loan debt…
The 95% Secret: 4 Steps to Reaching Your Financial Goals
Think about your most audacious goal. You know the one. The one that makes your heart race a little bit whenever you to think about.
What if there was a simple tool that would give you a 95% chance of reaching that goal? You probably wouldn’t waste a minute trying to get your hands on it. This isn’t just a pointless mental exercise. According to research, there really IS a tool that can increase your chances of success to as much as 95%.
It may surprise you to know that the tool we’re talking about is accountability. Yes, just asking another person to hold you accountable stacks the odds in your favor big time. No harassment is required, either. You don’t have to find a retired Army drill sergeant to follow you around and force you to do the work. The simple act of committing to another person can change everything about how you perform.
Our brains are hard-wired for consistency, both in how we see ourselves and how we want other people to see us. We want to do what we’ve said we’ll do — especially if we know other people are watching. When obstacles get in the way, we might be tempted to cut ourselves some slack because we tend to believe our own excuses. But knowing that someone is going to hold you to your word creates additional motivation to do the right thing.
The results can be incredible.
Research performed by the American Society of Training and Development found that after committing to a third-party, a goal-setter’s probability of success climbs to 65%.
Setting up regular meetings with an accountability partner boosted their success rate all the way up to 95%.
How to REALLY Be Accountable
To stay on track with your budgeting, saving, and investing objectives, very few things are likely to help you more than making accountability a part of your process.
Here are 4 steps to add this powerful tool to your financial arsenal:
1. Set clear goals. They need to be clear so you can accurately measure your progress. Break long-term goals into a series of shorter-term goals to make your progress more tangible and to build momentum.
2. Find an accountability partner. It works best if he or she can remain completely objective. It can be a peer, a mentor, or a financial advisor. A close friend or relative might be more impacted emotionally by the excuses you may give them. You want someone who will really keep you honest. Tell that person what your specific goals are for saving and investing. Commit to a specific plan and timeframe.
3. Schedule regular, on-going meetings to discuss your progress. The research suggests that if you get this far, you have a 95% likelihood of reaching your goal. Your commitment level is high and you’re willing to accept help from others to get what you want.
Regular, frequent meetings help ensure you’re constantly aware of where you’re at. They can help you determine if you need to make changes to reach your objective faster. You can also set new goals as you crush the ones you set in the beginning.
4. Celebrate your wins. When you make progress, or when you successfully avoid an obstacle that may have stopped you in the past, you should feel good about yourself. It’s okay to celebrate, or even reward yourself.
Incentives are another effective tool to help you keep up the momentum. Set clear milestones, such as accomplishing a short-term goal. Then, reward yourself with something meaningful… but something that won’t mess up your progress. So don’t buy a brand new Mercedes too early! You may also consider adding penalties if you don’t hit your deadlines.
Bonus: Consider making Freeman your accountability partner. The Freeman Capital Our support team is always available to help. You can also set up meetings with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who can take accountability to the next level with specific tools, resources and expertise.
The sooner you get started with an accountability partner, the sooner you may be on the fast track heading toward your financial success.
Freeman Capital Advisors is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.