2023 financial goals

Effective Goal Setting For 2023

As a brand new year rolls in, setting a goal to be a better new you isn’t an uncommon sentiment for most people. We can say it’s an overrated idea to pull off every new year because more often than not, we fall short in achieving such a goal before many of us even get started.

A research conducted in 2019 by Strava- an American internet service designed for tracking physical exercise through social network features, showed that out of over 800 million logged activities, most users quit their new year’s resolution as early as the 19th of January. 

Perhaps the reason why most of us mortals end up getting stuck in a rut rather than relentlessly pursuing our new-year-new-me goal is that we don’t really know how to effectively set our goals.

If this rings true to you, perhaps this 2023, it’s high time to properly set those goals and carve a clearer path on how you can achieve it realistically.

SMART-er way to set your goals

What is a SMART goal? It’s a result-focused way of crafting your goals using these five principles that compose the acronym: Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.

In the late 19th century, an American Philosopher named Elbert Hubbard came to a realization that most people fail in their endeavors. He analyzed this collective setback further and found that the lack of ability to organize efforts around goals as the cause.  It wasn’t until November in 1981 that a consultant and former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company published a book called “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives” which applied Hubbard’s observations into actionable solutions, using the acronym that many professionals nowadays glean from when crafting a goal – the  SMART goals.

Execution is the key, and this goal-setting style will make that easier to do! If you’re dead serious about your goals, write them down and keep your goals SMART! Here’s how!

Be specific and measurable with your goals

Your goal should be specific, down to the last centavos(if it’s about money) or kilo (if it’s your weight). By doing so, you’ll have a clear cut definition of what your finish line will look like and probably partition your goals into different milestones to easily keep you motivated.

A specific goal is something that you can easily measure or quantify. So if you’re planning to save money – state by how much! If it’s weight – what’s the exact weight that you want to hit?

Stating actual specifics of your goal is easy, but it can set things in motion and get the wheels rolling before you even know it! 

Instead of saying..Say this instead
Save a big amount of money Save ₱100,000
Lose weightLose 5 kilos
Grow my businessIncrease revenue by ₱100,000

Save ₱100,000 this year!

If you want to achieve something that’s humanly possible for you to do so, coming up with a goal that you can easily gauge will instantly boost your chances of doing so. With that being said, use specific quantifiers that you can count or measure, this will make progress easier to track to see how much you’ve progressed and how much isleft need to work on.

When crafting a goal that’s measurable, ask yourself these questions:

  • By how much?
  • By how long?
  • Up to what extent?
Instead of saying..Say this instead
More money₱100,000
Lose more weightLose 5 lbs
This year12 months
  • Length of time – days, weeks, months, or year
  • Amount  – pesos, dollars, kilos, pounds

By using a specific unit of measurement and quantifying the goal, it makes it more of an achievable goal and less of a daunting task.

Set attainable or achievable and realistic goals

These two elements go hand-in-hand. The biggest factor why most people fail even before they begin is because they set goals that are not humanly possible to achieve. They set themselves up to fail by deliberately aiming for something that they know deep down they couldn’t do. 

Whatever kind of work you are involved in, it will feel a little repetitive from time to time. That’s a terrible way to look at it and draws an almost totally negative picture. To be fair, any kind of work has the tendency to become tedious, especially when you take into account the need to set aside money from each paycheck.

Earn ₱1,000,000 in one year? How can you do that if you can barely set aside half of that with your annual salary? Perhaps your goal should be creating more streams of income rather than money. The key here is to start off with a conservative estimate of what you’re trying to achieve.

Instead of ₱1,000,000 or even ₱100,000 a year, try ₱10,000 in 3 months, or even ₱3,000 a month. No matter how small they are, what’s more important is that you can realistically achieve them. It’s a win – a win is a win, no matter how small. It will eventually accrue into a bigger amount with patience and persistence.

Set a time frame

Of course, you must set a timeframe for your goals so that you’ll know when to stop and when to hustle harder. But also, take into account the other 4 principles when setting yourself up for a deadline. 

Your timeframe or deadline should be, first and foremost, realistic! If your goal is to have X amount this year, ask yourself how long do you think you need to accrue this amount realistically? Honesty is the best policy as they say, for this case, it will set you up for a more objective self-reassessment.

Goal planning is the best time to underestimate your mortal capacity because you are only setting yourself up for failure if you overestimate your capacity. With a good amount of pragmatism and honesty to yourself, you can setup a deadline that will work with your pace.

Pro tip!

Divide your deadline or timeframe into shorter milestones. Not only will this give you a clearer trail of how far you’ve come, but this can also boost your motivation!


Main goal: Have ₱30,000 savings in 12 months

Short term goals: Save at least ₱7,500 every quarter

A brand new year doesn’t have to be about building a new set of habits. Perhaps you’re already putting them into action but just not as efficiently as you hoped.  Maybe you just need to reevaluate them and perhaps come up with a more solid plan of action to achieve them this year.

If this resonates well with you, here’s a SMART-er example of a common New Year money goal!

Savings goal
Main goal₱30,000 by the end of the year
Plan of actionCut down the budget for Grab by ₱1,000 per month

Reduce the eating out budget by ₱500 per month.

Set aside ₱1,000 from the monthly salary

  • 1st

₱7,500 by the end of March

  • 2nd

₱15,000 by the end of June

  • 3rd

₱22,500 by the end of August

  • Final

₱30,000 by the  end of December!

The same format can be applied to any of your goals, keeping it SMART is the key to keeping your goals easier to attain. Applying this goal-setting strategy can simplify how you set your grand plan in motion. While this may lay the groundwork for you to have a clearer path towards your goal, your consistency and dedication will still be the ultimate determining factor of how much you will achieve.

Doing so will not only help you achieve your financial goals systematically, but will also allow you to allocate some time for some R&R to avoid burnout.

Another word of advice, start being more intentional in the spirit of becoming a better you relative to the goals that you have lined up for 2023. Be more critical about how your time is spent before, during, and after the workday. The activities you choose to participate in, both big and small, will greatly affect your drive to show up again the next day.

After reading this, have you thought of a realistic goal that you can achieve this 2022?  Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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