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Setting Micro (Financial) Goals At The Start of the Year

Happy 2023!

The first quarter of the year is an excellent time to slow down and reconnect or reevaluate your financial goals. The whirlwind of the holidays has slowed, and the initial rush of resolutions and new year busyness has reached a more manageable pace by the end of January.

Many people are exclusively setting BIG financial goals. They’re looking ahead 10+ years into the future and planning to achieve big things on these long timelines – retirement, purchasing a second home, or paying off their mortgage. These are milestone moments that they’re organizing their entire financial lives around.

However, it can also be disheartening to only focus on goals that are happening on some distant horizon.

Setting Achievable Goals for The Short Term

A new year is a great time to take these big-picture goals and learn how to apply those values that inspire them to their daily lives.

These micro goals, we’ll call them, can help you to stay on track as you move toward the big-picture financial moments in your life, while still finding fulfillment and contentment in your day-to-day. Let’s look at how you can unpack a big picture goal and create several micro goals for yourself this year.

A common example I see is that a couple will plan to retire to a glamorous location – the beach or the mountains – in 5-10 years. They’ve set up their savings or investing goals based on this and are slowly working towards the day when they can wake up to the view they love every morning.

Until they achieve this goal, they might look at what values and lifestyle they’re working towards with the retirement of their dreams. For example, if retiring to the mountains is your goal, set micro goals to help you embody those values now.

Those micro goals might be to invest in a family vacation to your favorite mountain town, to learn to ski, or even to put your charitable donations toward a national park near where you want to retire.

The Benefits of Micro Goals

These micro goals can help you feel like you’re living out your values right now instead of waiting 5-10 years to live the life you love. This can make you feel calmer and more content with your finances and keep you focused on your big goals because you’re regularly reminded of why you want to work toward them.

Investors can look at their finances and goals more clearly during this unique season without subscribing to the “new year” pressure to make drastic changes and entirely revamp their financial life. Micro goals might be the answer if you’re looking for some in-the-moment clarity and want to start aligning your finances with your goals and values in your daily life.

Additional Resources

We have several fantastic blog posts on financial goal setting if you’re looking for additional resources! I’m linking several in the description of this video for you to explore. Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re happy to help!

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