If reducing your credit card debt is one of your goals, turn it into a SMART goal to make it easier and simpler to achieve. By doing that, you will pluck debt resolution out of the domain of dreams and plant it firmly into reality.What Is a SMART goal?
SMART is a scientifically devised structure meant to break down the attributes of your goals into concrete and reality-anchored characteristics. George T. Doran created the SMART structuring technique in the 1980s as a way for companies to set achievable and realistic performance objectives. The practice has since spilled over into personal finance and various other situations that call for goal-setting.
The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has even included it in its financial empowerment toolkit.
A SMART goal is a goal that is well-defined and specific. It is measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
How does all this apply to your goal of eliminating your credit card debt?
|What It Means||Questions to Ask Yourself|
|Specific||Set a well-defined goal. Aim to pay off $3,000 by the end of the year, for instance. Make sure that you set money aside in your monthly budget to achieve your goal.||What am I looking to accomplish? What is the benefit that I expect to gain through the accomplishment of my goal?|
|Measurable||You can only manage what you can measure. Be sure to track the progress you make toward your goal.||How much do I have left to pay? When will I accomplish my goal?|
|Achievable||Make sure that your monthly budget can accommodate the payments you need to make. Be aware of the responsibility you assume by establishing your goal.||Do I possess the financial means to accomplish my goal? Can I focus on what I need to do?|
|Realistic||Stop using your credit cards and get the debt relief process going. Focus on taking small steps toward your bigger goal.||Is this something I truly want? Is my goal worth pursuing?|
|Time-bound||Set a specific deadline for your goal. Do not push it back, lest you should defeat its purpose/meaning.||Is my deadline realistic? When will I achieve my goal?|
A SMART goal breaks down the process of goal-setting into bite-size chunks, making it easier to comprehend, plan, and execute.
Sharpen Your Budgeting Skills
Make sure that your budget reflects the reality of your monthly expenses. Be thorough with it and include every detail, regardless of how insignificant it may seem.
What you think you spend in a month is often quite different from what you spend in reality. Do not be lazy about doing the math. The success of your SMART debt relief planning depends on it.
If you are overwhelmed, explore other debt relief solutions, such as debt consolidation, debt settlement, or credit counseling. Talk to a ClearOne Certified Debt Specialist to find out which of these options is viable in your situation.
Focus on Your SMART Goal and Stay Motivated
Once you have your SMART goal set up, be relentless in its pursuit. Do not cut corners, and stay motivated.
Focus on the benefits your debt reduction will deliver. Give your goal a name.
“$2,500 to go until I shed the financial stress” or “$1,500 until I regain my freedom” sound motivating. Reduce the numbers as you progress.
Even if you try the SMART approach and fall short, know that you have other options to address your debt problem. For example, debt settlement is a solution that may save you a considerable amount of money.
To learn how much you can save, talk to a ClearOne Advantage Certified Debt Specialist at 866-481-1597 and get a free savings estimate.