A carpenter uses a set of house plans to build a house. If he didn’t the bathroom might get overlooked altogether. A chef uses a menu, mise en place lists and recipes to plan dishes. An F&B Department has a yearly budget to guide them through the fiscal year.
Rocket Scientists would never begin construction on a new booster rocket without a detailed set of design specifications. Yet most of us go blindly out into the world without an inkling of an idea about finances and without any plan at all.
Not very smart of us, is it?
As we already now a money plan is called a budget and it is crucial to get us to our preferred financial goals. Without a plan we will glide without direction and end up stranded on a far-flung financial reef.
If you have a spouse or a significant other, you should formulate this budget together. Sit down and outline out what your joint financial goals are long term and short term. Then chart your route to obtain those goals. Every journey begins with one step and the first step to accomplish your goals is to make a practical budget that both of you can live with.
A budget should never be a financial starvation diet. That won’t work for the long haul. Make rational allocations for food, clothing, shelter, utilities and insurance and set aside a levelheaded amount for entertainment and the occasional luxury item. Savings should always come first before any spending.
Even a small amount saved will help you reach your long term and short term financial goals. You can find many budget forms on the internet. Just use any search engine you prefer and type in “free budget forms”.
You’ll get lots of hits. Print one out and work on it with your spouse or significant other. Both of you will need to be happy with the final result and feel like it’s something you can abide by.
Why Should I Make a Budget?
You say you know where your money goes and you don’t need it all written down to keep up with it? I issue you this challenge. Keep track of every penny you spend for one month and I do mean every penny.
You will be shocked at what the itty-bitty expenses add up to. Take the total you spent on just one unnecessary item for the month, multiply it by 12 for months in a year and multiply the result by 5 to symbolize 5 years.
That is how much you could have saved AND drawn interest on in just five years. That, my friend, is the very grounds all of us need a budget.
If we can get control of the small expenses that really don’t matter to the overall scheme of our lives, we can enjoy financial success.
The little things in truth do count. Cutting what you spend on lunch from five dollars a day to three dollars a day on every work day in a five day work week saves $10 a week… $40 a month… $480 a year… $2400 in five years….plus interest.
See what I mean; it really IS the little things and you still eat lunch everyday AND that was only one place to save money in your daily living without doing without one thing you really need. There are a lot of areas to slash expenses if you look for them.
Set some specific long term and short term goals. There are no wrong answers here. If it’s important to you, then it’s important period.
If you want to be able to make a down payment on a house, start a college fund for your kids, buy a sports car, take a vacation to Maldives… anything… then that is your goal and your reason to get a handle on your financial situation now.
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Learning how to achieve your career goals is crucial to your success. People are juggling different things daily. They have to deal with work and family. Every day, they face numerous demands from different directions. It is easy to lose sight of one’s goals. It is easy to let go of one’s ambition.
Career resolutions are soon given up. People handle their goals differently. Some people allow setbacks to drain their energy. Some people allow fear to limit their potential. Setting career objectives will definitely help you avoid these pitfalls and achieve your goals.
Achieving Your Career Goals
The key to your success lies on knowing what you want. It is also important that you learn to recognize potential pitfalls and drawback, so you will be able to avoid getting stuck. You also need to understand the different cycles involved in setting career objectives and achieving these objectives. But what are these stages? How do you deal with these stages?
Setting Career Objectives Stage
This stage consists of two phases. These are career goal awareness and embracing your own goals.
- Career Goal Awareness. This is the first step to accomplishing your goals. You need to be aware of the changes that you have to create in your life and in your career. This is particularly true if there are areas in your life especially in your career that you are dissatisfied with –or that you feel need fixing.
- Embrace your goals and own up to them. Goals that you own up to are easier to accomplish because you embrace them. Your goals should not be based on what you think or feel your parents, friends or colleagues want for you. Unless your goals are your own, you will find it hard to accomplish them. You will not have the drive that you will need in order to achieve these goals.
Goal Mobilization Stage
This is the second stage to setting career objectives. This is actually the stage where you feel most optimistic and energized. It is during this stage that you consider all options and contemplate on some ideas. You need to be realistic with your plans.
If you start out with a really ambitious one, your enthusiasm may eventually fizzle out as you meet up with difficulties and obstacles along the way. However, do not be afraid to mobilize energy. Do not allow yourself to be immobilized by your own fears and insecurities.
However, be careful about setting unrealistic goals. Be careful about making unreasonable demands on yourself as well. You will find it easier to achieve your goals if you will learn to take it a step at a time. Break down your goals into small achievable steps. You will feel more confident if you do it this way.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your capabilities. Face it –
it is not easy to go after your dream. You need someone to cheer you on and encourage you. There are self-help groups that you can join. You can also consult with a career mentor. Having someone cheering you on will make a huge difference in your success. He or she will help you maintain and sustain your momentum.
Goal Action Stage
This is the stage where you actually put your plans in motion. There are people who get discourage at this point once they are confronted with the reality of their goals or the tasks involved in achieving these goals. It is hard and it gets harder as days go on. Achieving your objectives may take longer than you expected. So, how do you make it easier for you?
- Be flexible. Do not be stubborn and do not insist too much on perfection. You need to be flexible. Do not be afraid to experiment. As chefs, you should know that there are different ways to skin a fish, so do not be afraid to consider different ways to make things happen for you. There are many options available to you – always remember that. There are approaches that may work better than what you have initially considered, so do not close your mind off these approaches.
- Face your fears. Do not give up too easily. Do not let your fear get the best of you. Do not lose sight of your goal and do not let fear cloud your judgment and undermine your resolution.
- Give yourself a break every now and then. Do not push yourself too hard. Do not be too hard on yourself. When faced with huge hurdles, remember that there are numerous approaches to any problem. It can be scary and you may tend to undermine your capabilities, but do not lose focus on what you hope to achieve. If something is not working out for you, then consider other options or other possibilities.
Goal Setting Satisfaction
Setting career objectives end with celebrating what you have accomplished. Do not overlook whatever you have accomplished – no matter how little you may think they are. You need to learn how to appreciate the completion of your goals. It may not be exactly what you had in mind when you begin your pursuit of these goals, but you have to celebrate the fact that you actually had the courage to pursue them. Now, you can set your mind to achieving new and higher goals if you want.
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A lot of us, when we were young, dream of many things to achieve once we get old. We wanted to be a nurse, a doctor, a teacher, an engineer, an architect or even an astronaut. We want to be all of them when we grow up. But as we go along in life, and gain a greater understanding of it, some of the lucky ones among us gradually tunnel-visioned ourselves into that specific dream.
The decision to pursue this dream may have come out from an experience that seems to draw us to it, or the realization of what we really want out of life or how we go about living it. But somehow, somewhere, and at a certain time we will choose to be what we want to be. We will foresee our career path. And eventually this career will be our passion.
To be passionate about something means to be motivated to get better and better in this that we do. This is in preparation for us to be the best. That is one the motivations in fact. If we think that we do want to be the best then we will be motivated to do all our best to be such.
Firstly, though we must set our career goals, we should make them as specific as possible so that we can have particular plans of actions that will specifically lead us to that dream result. These goals though we should make realistic.
They should be something you can actually get to be. Actually, you can be anything you want to be but to get there. But you have to accept the reality that anything so far high in a life’s goal is not as easy as counting from 1 to 3. So take it one step at a time. Make a plan to reach that goal that is gradual and efficient. Slowly but surely as we they say.
Plan a short-term goal first. The first plan should be to get to the right job and to be at the right place. Choose a place that would open for you a lot of opportunities, especially opportunities to grow, career-wise and personally. Then you can get from there. Follow the steps to success; go from one level to the next. If you get lucky, may be you can skip some levels. This is possible as we have seen in life from time to time.
All these times though, hold on to your motivations. It may be that burning dream that you have had since you were a kid. There is nothing that could compare to the feeling of having your childhood dreams realized. So that desire is a very intense motivation.
For whom you are striving so hard for is another motivation. Usually these are family members that serve as our purpose to be the best we can be. Not only do they inspire us to provide for them financially but sometimes more importantly we want to give pride for them, for our family. Our loved ones and friends and other people and things that we care about can even be a greater motivation than what we hope for ourselves.
In the end the best motivation could be what makes us happy. What we choose to be now can lead to us being happy all our lives, or to being miserable. So we must continuously remind ourselves of these things, because they will define our career goals. And they will sustain our motivation to reach these dreams!
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Not all answers come easily. Sometimes you need to search heaven and earth, or, worse, even hell to find that right decision. Nut we need to see that these problems, the decisions we have to make, pare just trying us, measuring us up to what we can do, how much we can bear. Should we bow down and retreat? Or must we stand up and prove our worth, and that of our life?
There is a saying that there are always two sides to a coin. This manifests what we have when we are deciding on something. It could mean that there are always choices. It could also mean that in any situation, there are sides to be considered.
The two sides could refer the good side and the bad side. The good side would mean that once you make the right decision, your problem would be solved and that you and everyone else would gain from it. The bad side pertains to what could happen worse if we are to decide the wrong way. The bad side means someone would probably be distressed, either you or someone else involved. It could be you and that someone else.
Both these sides you would need to consider. In comparatively harder decisions to make, which is the good or the bad side would be relative. A decision could be good for one party but bad for another. You must always consider which side is right. In some cases, you must not take sides.
This means you need to be objective. Do not look into whom or which would benefit from the decision, but what good would this decision result in. look into the problem and not into the solution. The problem must define the solution and not the other way around. As s result, it is not that you are favoring one side, but you are favoring what is right, or at least what is better.
That is the problem with making decisions sometimes, that not one solution can be exclusively good or wholly bad. So you must consider what is right for both. Maybe a compromise would suffice from this decision, something that could be equally good and bad to both. Then you get both sides of the coin.
Or maybe any decision would not favor any side. Unfortunately there times that a decision would be detrimental to both. You need to consider this. While it may be a bad decision, it could be the right decision. If possible, you could just probably choose a decision that has no effect to both side but at the same time answers the problem anyway.
Consider also the consequences of the decision. Yes, it might be an answer to the issue at hand, but if you get this solution rolling what if it goes in the way of other things? It means that the solution might be short-living. It will only answer the question, but could also produce much more questions, therefore more requiring more answers, more decisions to make. It would probably be wiser then to choose a decision that has least consequences. A decision should have least effects on other people on other situations. This will shorten the difficulty of decision-making.
After all these considerations, we must bear in mind too to stay true with our decisions. Consider if you can stand up for this decision at all times. Consider your convictions. And stick with them!
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