The Key To Happiness May Be Letting Go Of Long-Term Goals

Carl Richards

Photo: Vimeo / Carl Richards

Writing for the Times’ Bucks blog on Thursday, Carl Richards explained why it’s so disappointing when we fail to achieve our money goals: “It can feel incredibly painful to discover that you spent years expecting to do certain things but ended up being limited by a lack of money,” he said. “I often refer to this feeling of disappointment as the gap between our expectations and our reality.” 

This pain is very real, but there are ways to stymie it. In fact, sometimes the smartest thing you can do is let go of the goal altogether. Here’s what’ll happen if you do: 

You’ll let go of expectations for what the outcome should be, or focus more on the process, which Richards has said is a smarter way to make financial decisions because they’re rooted in facts, and not in emotion. The latter is a recipe for dumb decisions

Letting go of a long-term goal can also free investors from the mindless measuring that comes with “tracking every penny in and out” and comparing how your finances stack up against your peers’. 

“The goal isn’t to track every penny,” says Richards, “but to know where your money goes.” 

So what if you spend more on gas than your neighbour? 

SEE ALSO: 18 napkin sketches that’ll tell you everything you need to know about saving money >

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