Where do you want to be?
What do you want to do?
How do you want to live your life?
Your goals are your wants and desires. They can be anything you want them to be, but you must believe in them. If you think they aren’t achievable, they are not goals; they are fantasies.
Your goals must be real to you
It might sound a bit clichéd, but those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Being clear on your goals provides the basis for your strategy to move forward. A strategy without clear goals is like trying to buy a plane ticket without knowing your destination, let alone knowing what type of ticket you need.
How do I set my goals and objectives?
Working out your goals and objectives is easy. It’s a simple 3 step process.
- Where am I now?
Where you are now is a factual exercise. It is not judgemental; it’s just a matter of fact. This is where I am now. Take a moment to jot down where you currently see yourself. If you have a significant other, do this exercise individually, and then together. Write down some key financial and lifestyle facts. Consider the questions on the next page.
You should also write down other financial or lifestyle facts that are relevant to you.
Step 1 Complete! You now have a clear picture of where you are now.
- What’s your destination?
- Are there any goals that are similar or even the same?
- Are there some goals of your partner’s that you didn’t know about?
- What’s your destination?
What’s the most common excuse for not doing what we want to be doing?
Money? What is money?
My definition of money is a commodity used to help us to achieve our personal goals. Where we go wrong, is when money becomes the be all and end all of our existence.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that money isn’t important, it is, and I’m not about to head down a righteous path and unload on you a sermon about the evils of money, but when it gets in the way of your health or family, something is seriously out of whack.
We often try to separate our financial goals from our personal goals.
Financial goals are the things you want to achieve that have a financial impact, including your business strategies, your investment strategies, your risk management strategies, and your estate planning strategies.
Your personal goals are those things that you want to do that may not have anything to do with a financial outcome, such as health and fitness, taking a decent holiday every year, spending more time with your family, being more involved with the community, undertaking more education for personal pursuits.
We forget that how we feel about our financial security impacts on how we feel about our life, and vice versa. They are inextricably interwoven.
When we develop our strategies, the financial goals always seem to come first.
This is usually because we are dependant on these to fund our lifestyle. We fail to recognise that our personal goals are actually those desires that, what may seem like a lifetime ago, our financial journey was based upon. Remember when you started working? Your pay was spent week in and week out to pay for the weekend, to save up for that holiday, buy that car you always wanted, or the ticket to the concert you couldn’t miss. But what got in the way of our lifestyle interests were responsibility, career, and the pressure of having a family. We work harder to provide and advance, but forget about ourselves and our interests.
We actually make it hard for ourselves. We put roadblocks up to make it hard to achieve our objectives.
The answer is to align your financial and personal goals. Accept that they are not two separate lists, but one, and make sure that you are consistently focusing on both without prejudice to the other.
Work out what your personal goals are, determine if you need more money to achieve them, then work out the shortest route to get it. That doesn’t mean rob a bank. It means develop a strategy and then focus on achieving it, while making sure you are achieving your personal goals along the way.
You might be saying to yourself, “It’s not as simple as that” You might be right, but it is a lot easier to achieve if you know where you are heading. You just need to work out the quickest route to get there.
If you clearly understand what your goals and objectives and priorities are, you can then develop a clear action plan to achieve it and quickly become Financially Well Organised.
Think about 10 years from now
Picture yourself at this age.
Now think about what you want to have achieved by then.
This can be hard, so I’ve provided you with a list of areas that you can consider. Please resist doing the financial goals first and start with the personal goals. You don’t have to have goals in all areas. Don’t think too hard about it, just write down the goals that first come to mind – those that quickly come to mind are likely to be the ones you have previously given thought to or are passionate about. And if you are passionate about something, it is more likely that you will achieve it because you place a high value on it and you are interested in it. Don’t even think about how you will achieve these goals, just get them down on paper!
If you have a partner, compare each other’s goals.
Consider each other’s desires and determine what you can work towards together.
Then think about three years time
In three years, which of these goals must have you achieved? These goals can be joint or individual goals, but they share the same timeline, and you must have these achieved in the next three years. It might mean you can achieve them next week, or it might take all of three years to do so, it doesn’t matter, it’s just about working out what you want to make sure you have done it in the next three years. Three years is far enough away to achieve significant outcomes and soon enough to make short term tangible differences. You are committing to yourself or to each other, whichever is relevant to your situation, that you will achieve these in three years.
- Work out the action plan to get there
After you have determined your goals and objectives, there are nine key ‘how you get there’ areas that lead you to being Financially Well Organised. These nine key ensure that your strategy aligns with your personal and financial goals, and provides you with a step by step process to achieve your goals.
Being Financially Well Organised is as simple or complex as you want to make it. The key is to understand that what being Financially Well Organised means to you will be different from your partner, your family, your friends and your work colleagues. It is what is relevant for you in your situation. There is no one way – every situation is unique.
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