When I first learned about goal-setting, I thought it was mostly a tool for determining financial aspirations. I promptly wrote down my personal goals, huge numbers beyond anything I’d ever achieved before.

Not much happened to move me ahead financially and eventually I gave up in despair.

Was I destined to be a loser in the Money Game?

Happily, I wasn’t, but it took some inner work before I began to see out changes. Here’s how I moved the numbers on paper into my bank account.

° Understand the four uses of money. It may seem obvious, but many people remain oblivious to the fact that when it comes managing money, there are four very different activities involved.

We can earn it, spend it, save it, invest it.

Most of us excel in one or two of these areas, but neglect the entire spectrum. Money ease comes when we’re wise about all four arenas and give thoughtful attention to each.

Incidentally, this is easier to do when we are self-employed and not hampered by a salary.

° Define enough. I was first introduced to this idea by Charles Handy in his wonderful book, The Hungry Spirit. It was a revelation to me.

Here’s a bit of what he says about that. “In most of life we can recognize ‘enough.’ we know when we have had enough to eat, when the heating or air conditioning is enough, when we have had enough sleep or done enough preparation.

“More than enough is then unnecessary, and can even be seen as counterproductive.”

He goes on to suggest that if we haven’t defined what enough means when it comes to finances, we’ll never be satisfied, never knowing the feeling of abundance.

This is, of course, something each of us needs to define for ourselves.

° Know your own numbers. How many people aspire to millionaire status assuming that this magical milestone will solve all their problems, meet all their needs?

Then there’s the current popularity of programs offering to teach you how to achieve a six-figure income.


Thinking that there’s some magical number—determined by someone else—that will fit us is ridiculous (and, perhaps, harmful).

° Read this first. A brilliant piece from the New York Times puts Money Happiness into perspective. I urge you to check it out for yourself.

One secret to happiness may be “underindulgence.”

° Now set some goals for yourself. Break your big picture goals into monthly, weekly, daily targets. Challenge yourself to create abundance.

Share. Enjoy. Stretch.

As Alan Cohen reminds us, “Money should be the servant of your visions, not their master.”