How to Make - and KEEP - Financial Goals

The Best Way to Make – and then KEEP – New Financial Goals

This time of year often inspires people to make positive changes in both their personal and professional lives. Part of it is the tradition of resolutions. Dating back to the age of the Babylonians, people have started each new year with resolutions to curb undesirable behaviors, learn new things, and improve themselves.

But the drive to declare a list of New Year’s Resolutions goes deeper than just tradition. It represents a hope that we all share – a hope that we can still work to grow and improve ourselves and our lives.

I applaud everyone who sets resolutions that are rooted in self improvement and living a more fulfilling life. It takes a uniquely wonderful view of ourselves and the world to always be in search of ways to develop.

PREPARING FOR SUCCESS

The idea that we all get to walk into the new year with a clean slate is refreshing. It feels like a license to start over and find personal fulfilment in our own growth – and that’s a beautiful thing.

Having said that, setting goals and resolutions is much easier than keeping them, and our inability to make them last can often lead to disappointment and self-reproachment further down the line as we fall off the resolution bandwagon.

So what might be a kinder way to approach this?

CHOOSE YOUR GOALS WISELY

Goals are often not met NOT because they’re too difficult – but because we didn’t select the right ones for our own unique situation. When we set out to change our habits, or reach a goal, we often create resolutions that are arbitrary. Are they good ideas? Absolutely! But unless they’re rooted in a “why” – we’re more likely to get in our own way and fail to keep them.

We face the same set of pitfalls when we set financial resolutions. When we make blanket statements such as: “I want to pay off my debt this year.”

Or: “I want to build my savings.”

We aren’t getting specific enough. Without a clear action plan, we’re just chasing a seemingly unreachable goal. Eventually, this leads to burnout, poor financial decisions, and a vicious cycle of guilt when we realize we may not be on track to fulfill our resolutions.

CHANGE HOW YOU CHANGE

It’s easy to set arbitrary financial goals, but it takes more discipline to evaluate your current financial situation and create goals that can be integrated into your current lifestyle and help you move toward the life you want.

The most important thing is not to go crazy and load yourself up with too much. Choose your goal with self-awareness and self-love. Rather than focusing on money-related goals, we need to think deeper. What outcome do we want these financial wellness steps to help us reach?

MONEY IS A TOOL

As soon as we acknowledge that money isn’t a goal – it’s a tool that helps us reach our goals – we can completely change our process. By focusing on the outcome we want, we can adjust our financial goals accordingly and find a much deeper sense of fulfillment than if we had stuck with our original, broad, money-focused resolutions.

As you look at your finances this new year, remember that your financial decisions are all part of your journey toward the life you want to live. This often helps eliminate the guilt we feel surrounding money – and the constant feeling that there isn’t enough of it.

ADVISORS CAN HELP

If you set a goal to get healthier, you’d consider working with a personal trainer or a nutritionist to help you redefine your lifestyle and meet that goal. If you want to find financial balance, a financial advisor is an invaluable coach to have in your corner.

Advisors play many roles in the lives of their clients because they understand that a financial plan must be holistic to work. It has to integrate into your day-to-day, help you live a better life in the short term, while still working to reach your long-term goals.

A financial advisor isn’t a stock-picker who focuses on timing the markets, or a salesperson trying to sell you an insurance policy you don’t need. They’re more of an expert coach who is trained to look at your deepest-held beliefs and dreams and help you build a financial plan that makes those dreams a reality.

A BETTER VIEW FOR A BETTER YOU

As you set your goals and resolutions this month, remember to focus on the life you want – and set goals that reflect that. If improving your financial plan is part of your focus, I’d love to help.

As a financial advisor with 25 years of experience and wisdom to share, I’m perfectly equipped to listen to your goals and dreams, and help build a unique financial plan that matches your goals, fits into your life, and empowers you to make smart and strong financial decisions.

I’m here to serve as your advocate and guide, coaching you through challenging situations, and acting as a sounding board throughout the many changes your life will inevitably hold.

Whether you need a listening ear as you get started on a new financial path, or you’re ready to make some positive changes – I’m here. Contact me today to set up a consultation.

NOTES FROM RACHEL
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