The start of a New Year is a time for setting goals. Sometimes it’s a modest goal like losing a few pounds or finally cleaning out the basement. Sometimes it’s a more ambitious goal like launching a new business or climbing Mount Everest. Whether your goal for 2020 falls more on the modest or ambitious side, the question is: What steps will you take to bring your goal to life?
Too often we set goals with the best of intentions only to get sidetracked by the sacrifice involved. Sure, you want that basement clean, but that also might mean sacrificing valuable family time. Getting your business off the ground may require a tightening of purse strings that sounds better on paper than it does in reality. It’s easy to see why so many New Year’s resolutions fizzle like champagne bubbles not far into the calendar year.
So what does it take to move the needle on achieving your goals? The simplest answer: Having a plan. Here are some practical tips to help you accomplish any goal you might have for the year ahead—from basement cleaning to business starting to Everest climbing.
4 STEPS TO HELP MAKE YOUR GOAL MORE ATTAINABLE
Use these proven tactics to achieve your objective this year:
1. ARTICULATE YOUR DREAM
In talking with people of all ages and backgrounds about their financial goals over the years, one thing many people find helpful is talking about their dreams for the future out loud. All too often we just never articulate our dreams. Most people either tell themselves “that’s just not realistic” or “not possible”, or they’re concerned they’ll be ridiculed or judged in some way.
If you have a goal you want to achieve in the New Year, make it a point to share it with someone else. Maybe a couple of other people. Verbalizing your goal helps it to become “real”, increases the likelihood you will commit to it, and creates a level of accountability. Along with telling somebody else, also consider putting your dream in writing to give it the added weight and power it deserves.
2. BREAK IT DOWN
You might have a specific goal in mind, but the road ahead seems incredibly steep. You can’t see your way from the starting point to the finish line. The best approach with that type of lofty goal is to break it down into “mile markers”—achievable segments, pieces or parts. Essentially, you want to create mini-goals you know you can accomplish along the way that will move you incrementally closer to achieving your larger goal.
That way, instead of having one big, intimidating goal staring you in the face throughout the year, you’ll have a dozen smaller goals you can keep crossing off your list. You’ll feel like you’re getting somewhere—which will keep you motivated—and you’ll always have an end point in sight.
3. MAKE IT MONETARY
If applicable, set yourself a specific financial goal that attaches to your overall goal for the coming year. Ask yourself, how much are you willing to invest in achieving your goal? Evaluate your finances well enough to know the amount of capital or income you can allocate to your goal on a yearly or monthly basis.
If you can responsibly afford to do it, set it in motion by making it automated. Don’t make it dependent on you writing a check or making a deposit at the end of every month. Automate a dollar-cost-averaging approach for funding the account on a disciplined basis.
4. CELEBRATE SUCCESS
It’s important to look at your goal or dream as a work in progress, not something that’s pass or fail. If you didn’t get where you wanted to by the end of the year, don’t beat yourself up or throw in the towel—just adjust the plan and rethink your commitment.
At the end of each month, and certainly at the end of the year, look at your progress and be really celebratory. Then set the next leg of your journey in motion by establishing new goals. Make them achievable, reasonable, and practical. Don’t put too many hurdles in the way of your own success. Give yourself something to celebrate!
When it comes to achieving your New Year’s goal, it all starts by being willing to say your dream, committing to it, and having people who will hold you accountable; then, break it down into more reasonable goals, attach a dollar amount to it, and automate it; finally, celebrate your successes along the way. By following that basic blueprint, you will put yourself on the path to goal fulfillment.
3 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR HAPPINESS IN 2020
While many annual goals are achievement-oriented (related to work, finances, physical fitness, or completing specific tasks), it’s also important not to forget about happiness goals. A lot of the time when we make New Year’s goals, we just end up adding more stressors to our already overstressed lives. Don’t overlook the value of finding ways to add happiness to your life and the lives of those around you.
Here are a few quick tips to help you increase your happiness this year:
1. PRIORITIZE PEOPLE
At the end of the day, when we talk about happiness, the things that typically bring us the most joy are the people in our lives. The regrets people most often take to the grave are not spending enough time with loved ones or telling people how they felt. Ask yourself: Who do I want to spend more time with this coming year if possible? Why? And what needs to happen for me to make the time a priority to actually do it? Also, who do I want to bless in some special way in the year ahead?
2. BE MORE REFLECTIVE
Create some protected time in your schedule to slow down, unplug, and do what matters most to you. Make it more intentional throughout the year and in your day-to-day to be reflective—creating those moments where you sit down and ask yourself some questions about your day and what you learned. You might be surprised by some of the things you discover about yourself and how your perspective on everyday life changes.
3. ASK YOURSELF…
- As you move deeper into the New Year and fine-tune your goals, think about your answers to one or more of these questions:
- What brought me joy last year that I would like to do more of this year?
- What did I do last year that I don’t want to do again this year?
- What can I change that will add to my quality of life this year?
- What can I do that will help me to live more freely and allow me to become more generous with my time and money
The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and should not be construed as specific investment advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources, however, no representation is made to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance information is historical and not indicative of future results. The S&P 500 Index is a broad based unmanaged index of 500 stocks, which is widely recognized as representative of the equity market in general. Indices are unmanaged and do not incur fees. One cannot directly invest in an index.
Neither Trove Private Wealth™, Valmark Securities nor its affiliates and/or its employees/agents/registered representatives offer legal or tax advice. Please seek independent advice, specific to your situation, from a qualified legal/tax professional.
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