April 19, 2021, 4:55 p.m. EDT

Week 3 of our money challenge: Use money as a tool to tackle your goals

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By Andrew Keshner

Happy Monday, MarketWatchers.

Congratulations on making it halfway through our money challenge! We’re focusing on goal-setting this week.

It’s time to have a heart-to-heart with yourself this week.

Put aside a few minutes to think about your short- and long-term goals. 

We know that the pandemic has thrown many people off course and made it harder to think about the future. So don’t worry too much about planning every aspect of your financial life or setting hard deadlines. Instead, think about money as a tool that can help you achieve your goals, whether that’s owning a home, getting out of debt, supporting a family member or starting to save for retirement.

What are your goals? Do you want to change careers, go back to school or make more money? Do you want to save for your children’s education? Do you want to save to buy a home or even a second home? Or maybe you just want to feel financially secure and stop worrying about money every day.

When we asked MarketWatch readers about their money goals , we heard a wide range of answers: Some wanted to save enough to retire, others wanted to pay off debt and several wanted to invest more. Take some time to think about what your goal is.

Once you’ve visualized your goal, it’s time to tell someone about it.

Talk about it with an accountability buddy.  

Speak it into existence, manifest it, meditate on it, whatever you need to do to realize your goal is worth pursuing and you can get there! Research from The Ohio State University shows that you’re even more likely to achieve a goal when you share it with someone you hold in high regard. But that’s not the only way to succeed: Even writing it down can be a great first step, and bonus points if you display your written goal somewhere you can frequently see it, like on the fridge.

Read about setting goals and sticking to them.  

This story has some realistic money goals that are still relevant. When setting your financial goals, it’s important to give yourself a pat on the back — and give yourself a break if you’re feeling stressed that you haven’t accomplished something yet. Even idealizing where you want to be is an important step.

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