In case you haven’t noticed, football is back on and it is in full swing. I sat down last night to write a post about how personal finance relates to football. It turned out that football an personal finance have a lot in common so it is going to be a week long series. Today we will look at taking it ten yards at a time, tomorrow we will discuss the importance of a good defense.
Setting your Goals (the endzone)
In football you can keep on trucking as long as you get ten yards within four plays, more commonly referred to as a first down. By aiming for, and ensuring you get, a first down you can continue to play without turning the ball back to the other team. Eventually you reach the end zone by taking it one play at a time.
With anything you hope to accomplish it is essential that you set goals for yourself. You need to paint the picture of where you want to be if you ever want to get there. In the case of financial goals you need to set your long term goals as well as the short term goals.
It is these smaller short term goals which allow you to achieve the greater goal of reaching the endzone. You can take the same approach to your finances by making smaller, easily achievable goals that will eventually lead to your “endzone.” For every person the endzone is going to be something different, it could be financial “freedom”, buying a new car, or getting out of debt.
Create the Plan
When you set the goal you want to achieve you need to create a plan to get there, part of that plan should include milestones you need to achieve in order to accomplish your goal. Each of these milestones are your first downs.
How you reach each milestone isn’t important. You can run for a yard at a time, or you can throw ten or twenty yard passes. Either way you are going to end up grabbing your six points, provided you don’t falter and you stay focused.
Focus on the First Down, but Keep the End Zone in Sight
You need to focus on the next milestone while keeping your overarching goal in mind. By doing this you can ensure you success by staying focused on the short term without losing sight of your goal. By keeping sight of the overarching goal you can still throw that 30 yard pass if the opportunity presents it self, but aiming for the easier to obtain goals will ensure you make it to the finish.
Don’t hope to get the easy pass down the sideline, it will probably get picked off but if you see him wide open by all means take the shot. Stay focused and work at it steadily and you will reach your goals. Offense though isn’t the only part of the game, tomorrow we will look at how your defense will keep you going.
This post is part of a series of posts where I relate personal finance to the game of American Football. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series:
Take it Ten Yards at a Time
You are Nothing without a Good Defense
Special Teams can Make or Break You
It’s All About Teamwork