I was going through the history of my Samsung health step count the other day, and I realized that I had the highest steps counts before big life-changing decisions, and I found that interesting. Looking back, I found that I went on more walks when I was consumed by something or trying to be introspective, and walking gave me clarity. Once clarity was attained, I would feel a sense of urgency to fix the situation, make it better, strategize to course-correct, or just get myself out of my current state.
Course correcting is not always easy, and it is not a one and done attempt; it requires planning, shedding, and forecasting. In my previous posts, I talked about taking stock, and budgeting but I will not have done justice to the roadmap to financial freedom without touching on forecasting.
Forecasting is predicting a future event or state. If truly we want to attain financial freedom, where we are today, and what we do currently will not get us freedom regardless of how tight our budget is. So, at some point, we will have to think about other ways to generate revenue, to pay off debts, to get a promotion, to change jobs, or to find a new side hustle.
One can say that I want to be the CEO of my company or debt-free in five years. These are attainable goals that give life meaning, but forecasting goes beyond having goals. It does not stop at predicting the future and expecting it to come true (except you are a mythical being or a magician) that is guessing. But guessing and praying will not actualize your future without planning and executing milestones that will drive you to that forecasted endpoint.
How then do we forecast?
- Be intentional: What this means is that your goals must S.M.A.R.T. They must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. S.M.A.R.T goals may seem oversold, but If your goals are not S.M.A.R.T. to begin with, your forecast is dead on arrival.
- Write it down: Our brain is a powerful thing, but it plays tricks to protect us sometimes, so if you planned to be debt-free in three years, and at the 2.5-year mark you have not gone past 50% of your debt, you begin to adjust the timeline to 5 years and you don’t hold yourself accountable to the timelines of that goal. Writing it down substantiates your goals.
- Have an execution plan: Once your goal is written down, begin to flesh it out. What would it take to get from point A to point B? Will you need financing, education, time, or help from friends and family? Think through all the items that will help you attain this goal and plan to get them all in place.
- Create check-in milestones: Set milestones, check how you rank against your target milestone. Are you meeting expectations? If you are not, evaluate why, create a mitigation plan, and earmark your point of recovery. At these check-ins, adjust your timelines where necessary, but stay committed to your goals. I find quarterly check-ins to be effective, especially when a change in timeline is required, but a monthly pulse will highlight quick course-correcting opportunities, so do both. Always remember to celebrate your growth.
- Find a buddy/mentor: Find someone that can hold you accountable, be it a buddy that is on the same journey as you are, a mentor that has already lived the goals you want to achieve, or both. Whichever one you choose, make sure it is someone you respect and can hold you accountable.
And lastly, believe that you can achieve it. This seems intangible but it is essential because changing levels is hard and your state of mind affects your results.
That’s it from me this week OGs, what do you think about forecasting your dreams and ambitions. #comment, #like, #subscribe.