Prioritizing Yourself

September 19, 2022 By Rick Gibson, CFP®
Girl on a mountain. West Financial Services.

“Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn't make a killing
Didn't have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes.”


Panic! At the Disco sings about having high hopes, shooting for the stars, and having a vision. It often can be easy to lose sight of your goals in the midst of a busy schedule. Shoot, it is even easier not to set goals for yourself in the first place. Between work obligations, family commitments, and the occasional global pandemic, you may not even think about giving yourself the time to set goals. However, I encourage you to consider your short- and long-term goals periodically to increase the odds of success.

Think of short-term goals as anything between now and five years. Changing jobs, vacations, and buying a new car often fall into the short-term goal category.  Long term goals can be anything you want to achieve past the five-year mark. Usually, these goals are more like education funding and planning for retirement. When coming up with your goals, make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. By putting some parameters around your goals, it will make them more attainable and help set you up for success. It is easy to set a loose goal, such as, “I want to save a million dollars.” But how will you accomplish this? What is your timeframe?  What tools do you need? Incremental goals give you some wins along the way that can help with motivation. Below is an example of how to apply the SMART method.

  • Specific: I want to save one million dollars by age 65.
  • Measurable: What do you need to have saved by age 30? 40? 50? 60?
  • Attainable: How much do you currently have saved? Is $1 million attainable?
  • Realistic::At what age are you starting? Is your time horizon realistic?
  • Timely: If having that amount saved by 65 is not timely, maybe you adjust your time horizon?

Setting goals is not a black and white decision. Everyone is not built the same - your goals may be drastically different than those of your friends and family. In addition, your goals may change over time, which is normal. Be honest with yourself and adjust accordingly. Oh, and don’t think your goals are limited to finance. They could range from wanting to become more physically fit, to wanting to volunteer more of your time at a local charity.

If you need help formulating a plan to achieve your goals then give us a call. We are always here to help.

Source: Panic! At the Disco. Lyrics to “High Hopes.” Genius. 2018,


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