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Voices of MainStreet: April Lee

The Big Goals in Little Bites

Dec. 27, 2010

I have a love/hate relationship with goal setting. If I don’t meet my goal, I’m upset but the reason I have not often met my own goals is because I haven’t made it specific. For example, “Save up money” is far too vague to be effective. The problem is that questions are not asked about this goal and they need to be. “How much money can I realistically set aside each week? How much will that amount to at the end of the year? Is saving important enough to me to save more than initially thought and cut out other expenses?”

I like to begin with the “bigger picture” of my desired future and then look at what I can do right now to work toward that. The important element is honesty. This is what helps to keep my goals more realistic and attainable which is a helpful motivator in continuing to set goals. If you cannot find a way to your goal with the means you currently have, don’t worry. This doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It only means you will have to reach out a bit. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. No one is an expert in everything. There are people who are trained with knowledge who can help you reach your goal no matter what it is.

New Year’s resolutions have been a bit of a rebellion of mine. Why would anyone wait for a specific time of year to set goals? If you want to do it, do it; don’t wait. But the winter, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, is a great time for reflection. It’s likely we are indoors more and activities are quieter apart from the holidays (I like to set goals after the holidays have passed). This year I am setting financial goals toward education, savings and travel; and downsizing my cup of coffee to a small instead of a medium. Well, I can’t take it out completely! I live in Seattle! The land of great coffee!

Speaking of Seattle and financial topics, the bus fare will raise another 25 cents. The ferries tried to raise their fare but can’t because the job belongs to the legislature and not the Transportation Commission because voters enacted Initiative 1053. Apparently this is costing the ferries an estimated amount of $6,000 a day even after there were $17 million cuts in ferry services. I wonder why keeping the fare rate the same is costing them so much money? Perhaps, individuals should think more like business. “Because I am not doing this, it costs me this.” Maybe questions should be asked about why they are losing so much money every day. Food for thought.

—April is a well-traveled young woman planting her roots in sunny Seattle, or well, just Seattle. Her writing covers whatever piques her interest and curiousity. Check out her blog here.

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