Uprooting your life in the country where you were born and raised and moving to a new place, a new country is challenging and takes immense courage. Newcomers choose to come to Canada for a myriad of reasons: Some make the journey to escape violent environments, others come to expand their career opportunities, while others strive for a brighter future for their young families. Ultimately, newcomers want to find success in the areas of life, career, and finance.
There are ways you can actively work on achieving your larger goals, track your progress, and bring your dreams to life. During your initial days in Canada as a newcomer, your goals could range from the basics such as finding a job in your field, finding a more permanent place to stay, to enrolling your kids in school. Once you have a foundation, you can focus on more complex goals like investing money or buying a home.
Goal setting can help you succeed as a newcomer
No matter how daunting your goals may be, success begins with proper planning and breaking down each goal into smaller, more achievable pieces. Classifying your goals into sections such as life, career, and finance will provide clarity and help you actively outline concrete steps for converting your dreams to reality.
Further, you can choose to divide your goals into three categories based on the timeline that you expect to achieve them:
- Short-term goals (less than one year),
- Medium-term or mid-term goals (between one to three years) and
- Long-term goals (between three to 10 years).
|Arrive’s easy-to-use goal-setting template is designed to help you organize your thoughts and plan for your success in Canada using a structured framework. The template allows you to break each goal into smaller, more attainable activities, provides scope to outline the resources required for each goal and at the same time, define measures for success.|
Set SMART goals to accelerate your success in Canada
Generally speaking, goals are considered effective when they follow the basic principles of being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound — or SMART.
To better understand how to set SMART goals, let’s consider a newcomer, Ehsan, and look at his process of goal-setting.
Ehsan is a 29-year old finance professional who moved to Toronto from Abu Dhabi. He’s been in Canada for a couple of weeks and is currently looking for jobs in his field. His overall goal is to successfully settle in Canada.
How to set SMART goals: Understanding the framework
Goals should be clear and precise; avoid generalizing. You can outline ‘specific’ goals by answering the five ‘W’ questions:
- Who – Include all the key individuals who will help you achieve your goal.
- What – Define the core objective of your goal.
- Which – Think about any criteria or constraints that need to be considered for you to successfully accomplish your goal.
- Where – If location is a factor in achieving your goal, be sure to include it.
- Why – What is the key reason or motivation for your goal?
Here are Ehsan’s ‘specific’ goals in the areas of life, career, and finance:
- Life: “To give back to the community, I want to mentor other newcomers and help them adapt to Canadian life.”
- Career: “Every week, I want to meet people from the banking and finance industry in Toronto so that I can grow my network.”
- Finance: “I want to own a condo in downtown Toronto to start building some positive equity.”
Clear goals are always quantifiable and hence, measurable. Another way of looking at it is to define the benchmarks and assign numbers to key performance indicators so as to measure success.
Adding this attribute to the goals outlined above:
- Life: “To give back to the community, I want to mentor at least four newcomers and help them adapt to Canadian life.”
- Career: “I want to meet at least one person from the banking and finance industry in Toronto so that I can grow my network.”
- Finance: “I want to own a condo within $600K to $800K range in downtown Toronto to start building some positive equity.”
Goals should be attainable, realistic and should be set considering the attitudes, abilities, skills, knowledge and financial capacity needed to achieve them. One of the ways to evaluate if a goal is achievable is to ‘how’ would I achieve this goal.
Further refining the three goals:
- Life: “To give back to the community, I want to mentor at least four newcomers through Arrive’s Ambassador program and help them adapt to Canadian life.”
- Career: “I want to meet at least one person through referrals or by finding professionals on LinkedIn from the banking and finance industry in Toronto so that I can grow my network.”
- Finance: “I want to own a condo within $600K to $800K range in downtown Toronto to start building some positive equity. To achieve this, I will need to save approximately 20-30% for downpayment.”
Set relevant goals — ones that apply to your own scenario or context. A goal that supports your other goal(s) or one that’s in alignment with your larger goal would be considered realistic.
If you consider each goal mentioned above, they’re achievable, realistic, and align well with Ehsan’s ‘big picture’ goal of successfully settling in Canada and making Canada home.
Well-structured goals always include the element of time. Including target dates, deadlines or due dates for all tasks associated with accomplishing your goal brings a sense of urgency in achieving your goal and encourages time management.
Lastly, Ehsan adds timelines for each goal and for better prioritization and efficiency, also categorizes them into short, medium and long term:
|Life||“Once I find a job in my field, to give back to the community, each month, I want to mentor at least four newcomers through Arrive’s Ambassador program and help them adapt to Canadian life.”||Mid-term goal|
(One to three years)
|Career||“Every week, I want to meet at least one person through referrals or by finding professionals on LinkedIn from the banking and finance industry in Toronto so that I can grow my network.”||Short-term goal|
(Less than one year)
|Finance||“In the next five years, I want to own a condo within $600K to $800K range in downtown Toronto to start building some positive equity. To achieve this, I will need to save approximately 20-30% for downpayment.”||Long-term goal|
(Between three to 10 years)
|Arrive’s short, mid and long term goal setting template will help you visualize your goals in a clear and efficient way. The template also allows you to enter the actions you will take to accomplish each goal, making them more attainable and tangible.|
Realizing your Canadian dreams starts with small confident steps
Goal setting is not a one-time activity but a constant work-in-progress. It’s important to revisit and revise your goals periodically to ensure they align with your ambitions and dreams. Breaking down your larger goals into smaller, more attainable pieces will help you stay positive and focused.
A clear vision, taking the necessary steps, and putting in the required effort can all contribute to a successful outcome in Canada. The process of SMART goal setting helps you gain clarity, outline the resources and map outcomes, thus ensuring you are poised to successfully achieve your dreams.
At Arrive, we simplify the process by providing ready templates that you can download and use to set yourself up for success in Canada. Get started by downloading our free templates now.
Arrive is powered by RBC Ventures Inc, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. In collaboration with RBC, Arrive is dedicated to helping newcomers achieve their life, career, and financial goals in Canada. An important part of establishing your financial life in Canada is finding the right partner to invest in your financial success. RBC is the largest bank in Canada* and here to be your partner in all of your financial needs. RBC supports Arrive, and with a 150-year commitment to newcomer success in Canada, RBC goes the extra mile in support and funding to ensure that the Arrive newcomer platform is FREE to all. Working with RBC, Arrive can help you get your financial life in Canada started – right now. Learn about your banking options in Canada and be prepared. Click here to book an appointment with an advisor.
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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.