How to Rethink Your Personal Finance Goals for 2020

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

Tiana Clewis: Am I the only one that's had to throw their entire 2020 goals out of the window?

Between coronavirus, protests against police brutality, murder hornets, and my kids being home with me all day every day - 2020 has not turned out to look anything like what I planned.

Despite all of that foolishness though, we've still got some things to do. There's still money to make, debts to demolish, money to save and visions to build.

However, if you're like most people, this pandemic has you reevaluating your whole life, - whole life - which means the goals that you set for 2020 definitely need to be shaken up a bit.

So today we're completely rethinking our 2020, and even 2021, goals because I will be **** if I let a pandemic stop me from being successful.

Hey Dreamers and welcome back to my channel, where we break down all things money, so it can stop being an obstacle and start acting like what it was designed to be: a tool to help you create a life that you truly find worth living.

Before we start revisiting our 2020 goals, let me introduce myself to the new people. I'm Tiana B. Clewis, an author, speaker, and coach who's dedicated her life to helping women entrepreneurs transform their relationship with money so they can grow their income dump that and step into financial freedom... while still having some fun along the way.

Believe me, when I say that you actually can pay off your car and get your hair done at the same time - which I probably need to do. Trust me, I've done it and so have my clients.

If you want to join me on this journey, like this video and follow my channel by clicking the big red button below. Then hit the bell to make sure you notified when I drop new money tips or strategies each week, that help you hit your financial goals while still enjoying life.

Before we get started, I want to give you a heads up about the month of August.

You see, this is my birthday month, Leo's unite. And there's something about my birthday that always has me reevaluating my entire life. Maybe you do the same thing.

But with coronavirus shaken up our world and country, it's gotten worse. Like 10 times worse. So I kind of did something I never do and I created a sort of theme for the month: goal-setting.

Today, we're establishing what those goals are. Then we're going to put you in the absolute best position to conquer them. But to do that, the episodes will kind of have to compound on each other. That means you need to come back every single week this month for that goodness.

So happy birthday to me, this is a gift to you.

Oh, and as of this recording, Congress has not yet settled on a new coronavirus stimulus bill, so I may have to interrupt this entire game plan to gives y'all that episode when they finally decide what to do. Okay?

Yeah, that's it. All right, let's get to these goals.

The first thing I want you to do is take a moment to imagine the life that you want... let's say 10 years from now.

I know that's not what you're expecting. Since we're reevaluating our old 2020 goals, it would seem like we would start with those goals.

But no.

Like I said before, we're all pretty much rethinking our entire lives and when we created those goals, our world looked very different. Things we thought we could depend on turned out to be really unstable. And things that we saw as a pipe dream now look like a real and maybe even necessary possibility.

With that in mind, the last thing we need to do is pigeonhole our vision for our future based on old goals created in a totally different landscape. That's why we're going to just start fresh.

So I want you to put on some soothing music - I like to pull something up on my favorite meditation app, Insight Timer - sit back and allow yourself to just dream.

Dream about what you want your life to look like 10 years from now. What are you doing on an average day? Allow yourself to mentally walk through and ideal weekday.

So imagine yourself waking up. Where are you? Is it a house, a condo, an apartment, or where you are now? What time is it? Are you getting up early or maybe sleeping in a little bit later.

When you're getting ready, what does it look like? Are you throwing on some comfy clothes because all you have to do is walk to a desk that's in your bedroom, like I am, or are you putting on a fashionable pantsuit because you work in a corporate environment. Or maybe you're just putting on some jeans and a nice top because where you work is definitely business casual.

What kind of place is it? What kind of work are you doing there? Is it your company? Is it someone else's small local business or is it a big incorporation where you are a big name, hot shot.

Matter of fact? What kind of car are you even driving to get there, if you have to drive at all?

Do you see what I'm doing there? You're imagining a typical day in your dream future.

And the more vivid that you get with that dream, the better, because this vision gives you the destination that you need to work towards. That's why I'm encouraging to get really super detailed. So detailed that if there's sand involved, you can feel it wiggling in between your toes.

Once you have that vision, I want you to make sure to write it down.

Let me say it again: write it down.

What can I say?As a former auditor, I believe if it's not documented, it's not real. Plus research shows that when you actually write down your visions and desires your likelihood of success skyrockets. So don't skip this part.

Write it down.

The next thing we need to do is draft some big milestones that we need to hit to make that dream come true. For example, if you imagined yourself in a high end condo, you need to actually buy the condo at some point. If you imagined yourself driving a luxury vehicle to your small business, then yeah, you kind of have to launch the business and buy the car... without taking on a new car note, by the way.

As a matter of fact, if you have debt in your life, just add "become debt free" to your list of milestones. After all, this is a dream life and nothing can ruin a dream faster than contending with hundreds or thousands of dollars in payments every single month. So we're going to call "become debt free" a default milestone for pretty much everyone.

But ultimately, you're breaking down the pieces of that dream life and seeing what big things you need to accomplish within the next 10 years to make that a reality.

Now if you're OCD like me, your natural instinct is to try to write everything down in order. Don't! If you try to do it in order, you're actually risking missing milestones because you're telling your brain to come up with them in a certain order.

But our brains just don't always work that way. The ideas for milestones come in whatever they come and it's better to just capture the milestone right when you think of it, than to reject it and hope you can recall it later.

So just do a brain dump. Whatever order the stuff comes out in, write it down.

Once you feel as if you've captured all those milestones that you need to hit, then you can start to put them in some sort of chronological order.

By the way if "become debt free" isn't the first milestone on your list, it needs to at least be in the top three. Normally I would say top two, after having an emergency fund of at least a thousand dollars, but this pandemic has really messed up some things. So I'm leaving a little wiggle room in case there was some sort of emergency situation that popped up.

Now that you have a list of your milestones and what order you want to achieve them in, it's time to start setting financial goals to help you actually make those milestones happen.

For this step, I recommend that you only focus on milestones you think you can accomplish in the next 18 months. The idea here is to get crystal clear on your goals for the short term while still allowing for some flexibility for the long term. After all, if we know one thing by now, it's that life can change drastically in a short amount of time. So we want to keep the other milestones as a general roadmap instead of pinpointing every little goal along the way.

With this 18 month limit in mind, some of you can only tackle one milestone, while others can tackle three or four. It's not a competition. So just plan for what you can do in that 18 month window.

Once again, you're just going to brain dump your goals first. Then you're going to flesh them out a bit and give them an order. Like so many other coaches out there, I am a huge fan of the SMART goal concept: specific measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

So let's say that you actually do want to buy a high end condo. A good financial goal to set here is to save for the down payment.

To make your goals specific, you may say you want to save a down payment for a $150,000 condo, or you want to say "save a down payment for a $150,000 condo in North Dallas." The point is to be clear on what you want to accomplish with that goal.

To make the goal measurable, you need to have some sort of number attached that you can track your progress again. So maybe you decide to go for 20% down, which is $30,000. So you want to "save $30,000 for a down payment on a $150,000 condo in North Dallas."

When we start talking attainable, we want to see if you can actually save that money and how long it'll take. This ensures the time-bound aspect of your goal is realistic. To do this you need to check out your budget and see how much extra money you can set aside.

So let's say you realize that if you cut your eating out by 75% and work overtime a couple of times a week, you can save an extra $2,000 a month. So it'll take you at least 15 months to hit that $30,000 mark. So yes, the goal to "save $30,000 for a down payment on a $150,000 condo in North Dallas' actually is attainable.

For relevant, it's just being sure that the whole thing makes sense. In this case, yes, it's relevant because a 20% down payment will help you buy the condo with the lower interest rate and smaller loan. These are two things we definitely want to go for.

So relevant... check.

Finally, it needs to be time-bound. We know you can save the $30,000 in 15 months, but we decide to leave a margin for something to go wrong. So we settle on the full 18 month window. So once we've done all that, you now have a SMART goal of "saving $30,000 in 18 months for a down payment on a $150,000 condo in North Dallas."

Boom! Mission accomplished!

If you want to get really detailed, you have the option of breaking down the goal into quarterly, monthly, or even weekly mini-goals. It's not absolutely necessary, but it can be helpful for you to see if you're on track or not as you progress towards making this goal happen.

Why don't you go through the effort of mapping out your milestones and your financial goals for the next 18 months, now you can go back and look at your original batch of 2020 goals.

For each goal you want to ask yourself, "does this goal align with my new vision?"

I like to do this because sometimes your old goals can still be relevant to what you're trying to accomplish. Ideally, if it's still relevant, you thought of it during the previous steps, but it is possible that you missed something. So this can be a really helpful check.

Naturally, if you decide that the goal is still relevant, you're going to add it to your game plan, updating it and making some tweaks if you need to.

If you decide the goal is no longer relevant, I want you to do one more thing before you just throw it away. Ask yourself why you set that goal in the first place.

For example, you may see a really ambitious goal on your list that you decided to pursue as a "shoot for the stars and even if you miss, you'll still hit the moon" kind of thing. You just wanted to jolt yourself out of your rut and push yourself harder than you ever had in the past. That might still be relevant for you.

Maybe you set that goal based on some reading you did that you had nearly forgotten about, but it's still actually is valuable. Or perhaps it was based on a promise you made to your spouse. Or maybe it was to help you reach a certain salary level in your job, and now that you think about it, if you hit that goal, you can save for that condo even faster.

The idea here is to understand why you set the goal in the first place, because while on the surface, the goal doesn't appear to be relevant to your new vision, the reason behind the goal might actually be. So we don't want to just throw the goal away. We want to take a moment to look at it from a new angle and see if we still need it.

Now, if you still decide the goal is irrelevant, drop it. There's no need to hold onto it at this point, because it's not going to bring you any closer to the vision that you have for your future. So at this point, take Elsa's advice: just let it go.

The last thing I want to encourage you to do, once you have your vision, your milestones, and your goals for the next 18 months, is to challenge your fears.

Last week, I talked about five harmful money beliefs that leave you struggling with money. If you understand anything about money mindset, you know that your thoughts, conscious and subconscious, will determine whether or not you hit your goals because your actions are always going to align with your thoughts.

So if you're a worrier or a high anxiety person, like me, I want to encourage you to challenge those fears, those mindset blocks, before you even get to work on those goals.

What I want you to do is really simple. First, write up everything that you think could just go wrong. Any emergency happens and you can't save one month. Your company requires a another coronavirus pay cut. You mess up your budget by spending too much on makeup one month. Just toss some bad stuff out there.

Then ask yourself two key questions. One, is the setback going to kill me? Two, how can I prevent or work around the scenario?

Look, these may seem silly, but they work wonders. The first question, asking if this set back is going to kill you, is all about perspective. The reality is that if you're alive, you can get back on track. Yeah, it might suck and you may be a little disappointed, but you'll live to pursue this goal another day. So it will be okay in the long run.

The second question is all about giving yourself a bit of a head start. Sometimes just knowing you have a plan if something goes wrong, can create a lot of mental comfort.

I say this from experience because I typically have a plan for the worst case scenario for pretty much every area of my life. It just brings me some sort of peace of mind.

Also it provides that extra bit of reassurance that you actually can still hit the goal, even if something bad happens. The timeline might change, but would you rather hit the goal later or not at all? At least this way, you know, you can eventually make it happen.

And your plan, it doesn't even have to be super detailed. It could be a civil one-liner like, "I'll move my goal back by six months" or "I'll spend less money on clothes that month." You don't have to go crazy with the details unless you really want to. Just do enough to make yourself feel less anxious.

Hopefully what you realize from this exercise is there's no need to freak out about what may or may not happen in the future. You can handle it and you can definitely hit your goal, even if your timeline gets a little skewed along the way.

One way or another, you got this!

Now that you know how to rethink your 2020 and 2021 financial goals, how are you feeling? Are you ready to mentally reset and start tackling your goals again?

If you are, drop a "Let's do this" in the comments and give a heart to any fellow goal-setters that you see. I bet it would make them smile to know they're not alone.

By the way, did you know that there's an entire community of goal-setters who are dumping debt, saving money and pursuing their goals with a vengeance? It's called the Dreamers Financial Sanctuary and we would love to see you in the group. Pursuing your financial goals right along with us.

It's also the fastest place to get me to answer your questions, especially if you use the hashtag #AskTiana.

So become part of the community by heading to, clicking that "Request to Join" button and answering the questions.

As a free gift, I'll give you access to my "Where to Start" guide, which will help you pinpoint exactly what your first milestone really should be on this ambitious, living my best life journey. You'll find the link right in the welcome post.

But hold on a second. Before you head over to the group, let me know that you found this video useful by hitting the thumbs up and subscribing to my channel. Don't forget to hit the bell so that you're notified each week when I drop new money tips and strategies to help you use your hard-earned cash to dump that debt, save that money and start stepping into financial freedom without sacrificing all things fun.

Finally, if you're looking for more information, that'll help you tackle the goals that you just mapped out, these two videos are exactly what you need.

With that, you get to watching the videos and I'll see you next week. Bye bye.


Are your personal finance goals for 2020 completely broken? For those who believe in setting financial goals as a key personal finance strategy for building wealth, the answer is nearly always “Yes!” That means it’s time to rethink those money goals for 2020 and revamp them into new, great financial goals that match all the changes of the year. So stay tuned as we show you how to draft new smart goals for your money as your reach for financial independence.

Accelerate your goal crushing journey by joining Tiana in the Dreamers Financial Sanctuary, , a Facebook community of fellow women using their hard-earned cash to dump debt, save money and create the life of their dreams.

#personafinancegoals #goalsetting #tianabclewis


COMMUNITY: Looking for a safe place to have real conversations about money and how to leverage it better? Dreamers’ Financial Sanctuary is that safe haven you’ve been looking for: where you can talk money and finance in an encouraging and inspiring space that is designed to help you reach the next level. JOIN US AT

BOOK: Ready to stop suffering under the weight of debt or living trapped in the paycheck to paycheck cycle with no hope of making your dreams come true? In “That Tool Called Money”, Tiana equips families with a step-by-step plan to discover and create the lifestyle that they have only dreamed about. Grab your copy at

COACHING: You may know what you need to work on or you might have your financial goals, but you still need help getting there. Let's hop on a video chat and talk through what's getting in your way and how to knock it out of your way! Best part is… the first session is on me! Grab your Rapid Strategy Consult today at




Let’s connect on social media:




Want more but on the go? Check out the Dreamers Financial Playbook podcast:


Google Play:


iHeart Radio:



Subscribe Button by MrNumber112

Music is “Daydream Lo-Fi Hip-Hop” by lucafrancini