It’s no secret that most people’s New Year resolutions wind up dead in the water long before Valentine’s Day rolls around – but what if the high failure rate is less about human nature and more about ineffective goal-setting technique?
In this post, we’ll walk you through a scientifically backed goal-setting process that will change the way you approach financial goals forever – putting you in control of your financial destiny and giving you financial peace of mind along the way.
Break goals down into bite-sized chunks
The reason most financial resolutions fail is failure to account for inertia and the power of instant gratification. The reason we make bad financial decisions is rarely because we’re foolish, it’s because bad decisions feel GREAT in the moment.
Whether it’s booking a luxurious vacation you can’t afford, engaging in retail therapy, skimping on 401(k) distributions, or making short-sighted decisions for your business, these actions provide real value RIGHT NOW, even if the long-term effect is detrimental to your goals.
And breaking these habits isn’t easy. That’s where inertia comes in. You’ve been doing these things for a long time and you can’t just stop a speeding locomotive on a dime like Superman.
It’s good to understand what your end goal is, but getting there requires breaking your long-term financial vision down into achievable short-term goals.
Embrace goal flexibility
Goal flexibility is the ability to make adjustments to your goal pursuit as you go along. This means setting a series of attainable short-term financial goals you will accomplish in succession but making changes to this list as necessary as you complete each financial goal.
Promote positive activities
The language we use to describe our financial goals can have a profound impact on how likely we are to achieve them. Focus on setting action goals and not avoidance goals.
Here’s a very simple example:
- Don’t say, “Stop wasting money eating lunch at restaurants.”
- Do say, “Pack a fun, delicious, healthy lunch every morning.”
This small shift changes everything and the concept can be applied to even the most complex business initiatives.
Engage the SMART system and define your plan
Ambiguous goals lend themselves to ambiguous results. It’s a good start to aim for strong business growth in 2024, but what does that mean?
Identifying your financial resolution is just the first step. You need to develop a well-defined plan.
SMART is a tried-and-true system that keeps your plan on track.
- Specific – Set clear, precise goals
- Measurable – Only set goals that can be tracked and managed
- Attainable – Realistic goals are more likely to be achieved
- Relevant – Set goals that matter to you or your business and your long-term financial vision
- Timed – Set a firm deadline for goal completion to keep yourself accountable
Get support and guidance
Research shows that strong support and professional guidance improve your chances of success. Working with an advisor helps keep you on track and provides you with shortcuts, tips and strategies to get you there faster.
Don’t let this year’s New Year financial resolution go by the wayside, contract advisory services for business owners or individuals and make this the year you follow through on that January 1st dream.
To schedule a free consultation, give us a call or contact us online.