Where are you going?

Middle-aged couple outdoors and smiling. The woman is holding a pair of binoculars ready to see what the man is pointing to in the distance. Your goals and objectives are the building blocks of a financial plan. They emerge from your values and priorities, and they help you know where you are going in life.

Once you identify your goals and objectives, it’s possible to create a strategy to help you achieve them.

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals

You’re more likely to be successful when you set S.M.A.R.T. financial goals. That means making your goals:

Specific. Instead of planning to save up for a car, for example, plan to save $10,000 for a down payment on a new car.

Measurable. Set up a schedule to check your progress. For example, log on to EasyWeb Internet banking at the beginning of each month to monitor your balance.

Attainable. Be realistic about what you can achieve based on your financial starting position.

Rewarding. Set a goal that is important and exciting to you. Instead of planning simply to trim your budget, for example, plan to find ways to find the money for a down payment.

Timely. Establish a time frame. You may be more successful if you break longer-term goals into a series of shorter-term milestones.

Create a plan around your goals

Once you know where you want to go, you can figure out how to get there.

For each goal, consider the amount of savings you need and the amount of time you have to reach this objective. This information will help you to determine a savings and investment strategy. It will influence decisions such as:

Use the worksheet Roadmap to your future to help you record your goals and the steps you need to take to get you there. Your Savings Tool will help you figure out the savings strategy that will help you achieve your goal.

Once you have a strategy in place, stay focused on your goal. Some months it might be tougher to save than others, but if you keep your eye on the finish line, you will get there!