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Setting and managing your goals

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Working abroad is a big decision  you will need to really think about why this is the best option for you.  When making such a big change in your life, it can be really helpful to set out some clear goals that will allow you to monitor your progress and stay on track.  Making your goals clear can also be helpful to family members as it may help with the separation - particularly between mothers and their children - by allowing children to understand why this is happening.

To start setting your goals, you can think about what it is that is motivating you to go abroad. 

  • Is it because you want more money?  

  • Or maybe you want to provide a better life for your family?  

  • Is your priority to provide a good education for your children?  

You can think about any of these as goals.  You might have other, more general goals. Maybe it’s your dream to move to a specific country or travel to a particular place - it is really important to identify what you want from your life, having dreams can be a really nice way to guide your life!

Once you identify your general goals, it can be useful to turn them into ‘S.M.A.R.T’ goals.  These are goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.  Thinking about goals in this way can help you take your goals from being dreams, to making them a reality.  Remember to be realistic when setting goals!

Here is an example of a general goal, and how it can be turned into a ‘S.M.A.R.T.’ goal:

General goal: I want my children to get a good education.

‘S.M.A.R.T’ goal: It will cost me [amount] for both my children to attend school.  I want to be able to pay for this and save [amount] so that I can return home and be with my family by [timeframe].

A broad idea is that the goal is to save enough money to be able to return home.  It can be difficult to manage this as the move may cause you to accumulate debt and you may end up abroad for longer than expected but setting goals in a ‘S.M.A.R.T’ way will help you realise what it will take to accomplish what you want.  If you set a goal that is specific, you can calculate how long it will take you to achieve your goals and factor in extra expenses that may occur. This way, you can prepare for how you want to manage your money in order to fulfill your goals as quickly as possible.  Another difficulty may also come from having to manage the way money you send back home is being used. Being overseas means that it can be difficult for you to manage this. Remembering to keep regular communication with our family can help with this.

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