One of the best ways to begin clearing your clutter, whether it be sorting out your physical clutter room-by-room or de-cluttering your financial life, is to set yourself goals.
That’s part of the reason we set up our 14 Day Decluttering Challenge, without setting ourselves goals it’s easy to keep putting off tasks to ‘another day’ – and it can take some time to realise ‘another day’ isn’t a day of the week.
That’s why Zurich has started their #ShareYourGoal campaign. They understand that goals give us direction and help us visualise the types of lives we want to lead so that we can take steps to reach them. What’s more, they’re giving away £5,000 to four lucky winners for sharing their goals, but more on that later…
Why are goals so important?
If you’ve got a lot of clutter in your house, chances are you don’t know where to begin – and so you won’t. However, by setting yourself a smaller, more achievable goal, for example cleaning out one cupboard, you greatly increase your chances of actually completing what you set out to do.
The same is true if you’ve got a lot of financial clutter – you may know you could be making savings, getting your credit rating the best it can be and maybe even earning a bit of extra money, but without a clear goal it’s just another thing to add to your ever-growing ‘to do’ list. However, setting yourself the goal of, say, getting a much needed loan by improving your credit rating means you can focus down on the things you need to do and measure your success.
Do goals really work?
Well yes, they do. We’ve heard countless stories from people who have set themselves de-cluttering goals and achieved them as a result.
More importantly, setting goals helps change the way you think and makes your actions more purposeful. For example, research by Zurich found that those who set goals for when they are aged 65 or over, such as travelling more, taking up new hobbies or being in a position to financially support children and grandchildren, save 7.25% of their salary into their pension, while those who don’t know what their aspirations are for the same period save just 5.36%.
Equally, if an employee with 5-9 years’ experience typically earns £30,708, a ‘‘goalless’’ saver earning at this level would put away just £1,646 per year into their pension, compared with £2,226 per year for those with set goals.
This is clear evidence that setting goals really does help us achieve more by focusing our minds on what we want to accomplish.
Realistic goals to set yourself
Physical de-cluttering goals
- To make a certain amount of money (let’s say £500?) from your big clear-out – set yourself a realistic figure for how much you’d like to make selling your clutter and keep at it until you reach your target.
- To make enough space to get a bed in the spare room in order to rent it out – Yes, you can make significant amounts of money by renting out a room and, even better, you can make up to £7,500 tax free. So, get clearing.
- To finally get rid of the stuff you inherited from a late relative – Don’t keep stuff you won’t use unless it holds real sentimental value – get rid!
- To empty the garage so that you can get the car in at last – Garages, like attics, tend to be the place we put our junk when we can’t think of anywhere else to put it but don’t have the guts to throw it out. Don’t become a hoarder, clean that garage out.
Financial De-Cluttering Goals
- To get a better deal on your regular bills – Don’t pay more than you have to for insurance, energy or broadband. Equally, don’t settle for rubbish current accounts when you could get better interest rates (and maybe even a cash incentive) moving elsewhere. Set yourself the task of finding the best deal each time.
- To cut back where you can – You’d be surprised how little daily costs add up. For example, do you buy a coffee every day? Most work places have a hot drinks machine, and whilst it might not seem like such a luxury, you’ll certainly notice the savings over time. Equally, make sure you’re not paying for subscriptions you don’t use, whether it be the gym or for services like Netflix. If you’re not using them, stop paying for them.
- To get your credit report in shape – Make sure your Experian Credit Report is accurate and up-to-date and ensure sure you’re informed on all the ways you can boost your credit score, or at least minimise activities that damage it.
- To think about the future – Do you know how much you need to save each month to achieve your ideal retirement? If not, don’t fear, you’re not alone and there are tools available to help. With interactive tools and personalised methods of planning, you can match your savings plans with your aspirations. Some even help you to visualise what your future could look like.
Win £5,000 for sharing your goal
Zurich wants to emphasise not just the importance of setting goals, but also of sharing them. After all, no man or woman is an island and, particularly when it comes to long-term goals, having a supportive network in place (friends, family or whoever) can make the difference between failure and success.
That’s why Zurich has launched a social media competition called #shareyourgoal that rewards four winners with £5,000 towards a personalised experience connected to their life goal and a financial assessment.
In order to be considered, entrants must share a description, photo, or video of their life goal and use the hashtag #shareyourgoal as part of their post, tweet, or comment on the Zurich Facebook page. Enter now. Good luck!