On January 1st many of us made a commitment to ourselves (personal or professional) that in 2012 you will [insert your goal here]. We are half way into the year and hopefully you are at a half way point with your goal.
GFN blog reader, what steps have you taken to achieve this goal? My goal in life, among many others, is to be successful – this may be your goal, too! However just having the goal of success is not enough. I challenge you to define your description of success. If you do not take measurable actions with tangible results, this goal may never be achieved.
What does success look like for you?
Before you answer, if money is your tangible measurement of success then you have been misled. Now don’t get me wrong, money will make most of our lives less stressful, but if your sole motivation is money then you will never be satisfied. Trust me; it will never be enough money. You will want more and more and… you get the picture. Success, in my opinion, should be measured by attainable goals you set and can achieve. Money will inevitably come if you are pursuing a career or passion that you love.
Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals
I cannot remember who shared this mnemonic with me so long ago – but thank you! Now I will share it with you.
S – Specific
Your goal must be clear and precise.
To give you a tangible example with this mnemonic, I will share one of my 2012 goals with you – I want to be debt free (excluding my lovely mortgage and student loans). I want to pay off Moe, Larry and Curly.
M – Measurable
Track your progress and know when you have reached your goal. Make sure you define specific criteria for measuring your goal. In other words, set small goals throughout the year to ensure the achievement of your goal(s).
In January I sat down and added up what I owed to Moe, Larry and Curly. I projected out where I should be in six months as far as my debt balance. To do this, I calculated my current payments factored in the interest and concluded that if I wanted to be debt free I need to pay an extra $X amount every month.
A – Attainable
It is great that you are setting goals or have set goals for yourself; however, are your goals attainable in the amount of time you have given yourself? It is so important to think about the time frame because you do not want to set yourself up for failure. You will feel defeated and quit.
For my goal - I contemplated if I could actually pay an extra $X amount every month. I looked over my monthly budget (of course I have a budget) and decided that I could make the extra payment. .
R – Realistic / Relevant
Choose a goal that will push you forward in life. If your time and energy has or is going to be spent trying to achieve this goal, just make sure it is worth it.
Paying off Moe, Larry and Curly by the end of the year is realistic because I will and have made extra payments. In order to make the extra payments, I have to sacrifice in other areas of my budget such as dinning out/shopping/etc. In order to achieve your goal, you may have to sacrifice in areas of your life, too.
T - Time
It has been stated throughout this post that setting a time frame for your goals is of utmost importance. If you set a goal with no time frame, you’ll be trying to achieve this goal for the rest of your life.
I gave myself until the end of the year and will do whatever I need to do to achieve my goal.
It is so important to have goals in life. I shared one of my goals with you, what are some of your goals and what have you done to make sure you achieve it?
Monday, July 2, 2012
For many, there isn`t much not to love when it comes to weddings and all the fun details that come along with them! From seasons to color schemes, dresses to jewelry, flowers to décor, and food to cakes, the options are truly endless. But what about one of the most important details of all? Yes, it even rivals the coveted wedding gown. I`m talking about the WEDDING BUDGET! While not as fun as a cake tasting, as artsy as playing with invitations at your local craft store, or as shiny as shopping for wedding bands, it definitely should NOT be overlooked or taken lightly. Your budget establishes the framework for every point between your engagement and “I Do”, and should be regarded seriously as a point of reference prior to all financial decisions. Of course it`s tempting to want to throw it to the wayside or constantly increase the budget threshold as you plan, but what are some ways you can maintain your budget by cutting costs without cutting class or coining yourself a “cheapskate”?
Consider my Top 10:
- Tip #1: When selecting florals, choose flowers that are IN SEASON.
They will be more readily available to your florist and minimize overhead costs related to shipping/flying the flowers in from other locations.
- Tip #2: Reuse and repurpose!
Consider using some or all of your bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces for your reception! Flower balls are a great alternative to the traditional bouquet, and look beautiful as toppers on tall glass vases!
- Tip #3: Choose your wedding date and corresponding venues wisely!
Beware of choosing dates around federal Holidays and other popular times of year (i.e. Valentine`s Day, or Disney World in the winter months). Situations like these give venues more power to raise their prices, because they know they will get many competitive bids for their business! Aside from the cost-factor, being mindful of Holidays is also more courteous for your guests and wedding party.
- Tip #4: Consider marrying on a day other than Saturday!
Many venues host their big events on weekends (with Saturday being the heaviest day for event traffic), so marrying on a different day could give you more haggling power with your venue! They need your business on their lighter days.
- Tip #5: Make your venue work for you!
Does your ceremony or reception venue have candelabra, greenery, linens, or any on-site rental equipment? USE IT! Even if they charge you a nominal fee, it`s still probably cheaper than going through an event rental company or an external caterer. If you like the colors of your event spaces, consider choosing wedding colors that match or compliment.
- Tip #6: Be crafty with your cake.
A plain sheet cake from a local bakery is much cheaper than a tiered, elaborately-decorated cake from a cake decorator. Therefore, purchase a smaller pretty cake for your cake cutting (which is the main reason for having a cake in the first place), but have a sheet cake in the back ready to be cut and distributed to your guests! This way you have a pretty cake and another that tastes good to satiate your guests, and you have a few extra dollars in your pocket!
- Tip #7: Cut the favors.
If you`re purchasing favors just to say you had favors, forget it. If you`re purchasing favors that are symbolic to your wedding or to your lives as a couple, there are still a few alternatives. Consider using seed paper for table cards with your guests` names on them. After your wedding, they can plant their table card and watch it grow, thinking of you with every bloom! Another alternative is to ask guests to make donations, and write a check to a cause or charity on your wedding`s behalf.
- Tip #8: Save the money on your save the dates!
Consider electronic save the dates/Evite announcements and leave the snail mail pretty postage for your wedding invitations! Websites work well too for all of your wedding details and updates.
$0.44 x 150 guests = $66.00 savings
- Tip #9: Invitations – mail what you need.
Wedding invitations can get pricey quickly. Have you ever seen those box sets of invitations at your local craft store? Many of them come with ample inserts and extra decorations. All that stuff = added weight, which also = added postage! Just because the kit comes with 8978235 inserts, don`t feel obligated to try to find a use for every single one.
- Tip #10: Rethink your alcohol.
You don`t have to get rid of it entirely, but consider limiting your wine/liquor selections. An easy workaround for this is to work with your caterer to create a signature drink for your wedding day for your guests! Another option is to have a wedding and reception earlier in the day when heavy alcohol consumption isn`t as much of an expectation. The later in the day you host your reception, the heavier your food choices need to be, and the greater the expectation becomes that alcohol will be present.
Weddings can still be beautiful without putting you in debt. Instead of trying to outdo every couple who has married before you, consider focusing more on what your marriage is REALLY about – two soul mates proclaiming their love for one another and making the commitment to start a new life together as one.
Event Coordinator | Blogger | Owner, Sequin Soirees
Event Coordinator | Blogger | Owner, Sequin Soirees