We can all be a bit lazy at times! If you haven’t achieved your financial goals, it’s usually not that you’re lazy, it’s just that motivation, setting planning and achieving goals is a difficult, complicated mine field.
Ever wanted to improve your health and fitness, relationships, career, education and finances – and ‘failed’? No point beating yourself up about not achieving a goal, it’s what you do now that counts. Each day, week, month you no doubt do achieve many goals.
Many guides and checklists from financial planners, advisers and others can help you get clear on what you need and want to achieve from investing (see some in our Day 2 Post). Now that you’ve seen what’s available (often FREE) and started to think about your bucket list of what you want- planning, setting and achieving some goals will now hopefully become easier for you.
Some common themes, approaches and questions to work out your financial goals are:
- Your current financial situation (see Day 2 Post)
- Your financial goals – Daily, weekly, monthly and an investing timeframe:
- Short term (1-3 years)
- Medium term (3-5yrs)
- Long term (5 yrs or more)
- Your investing timeframe and whether it’s realistic given your circumstances
- What’s risk and what’s your tolerance to it?
- Your investment strategy
- How many resources ($, time, energy, motivation) do you have and will you need?
- An investment budget
Whether or not you choose to use a financial adviser (we look at how to choose one on Day 5 of the BiG Challenge), to help you plan Book #1 BiG Book of Wealth Creation Strategies and Gurus has a link to MoneySmart’s handy Meeting with a financial adviser; which suggests you list:
- What you own – your home, savings, super, car, shares and other investments
- What you owe – debts including mortgages, loans and outstanding credit card balances
- Income and expenses
- What insurance you have and for how much
- Whether you have an up-to-date will
And prioritise – do you want to:
- Pay off your mortgage sooner?
- Build wealth and save for retirement?
- Save for your children’s education?
- Make the most of an inheritance?
But once you’ve set a goal, how can you achieve it?
This is where most of us fall into a bit of a slump (as Dr Seuss warns in Oh the places you’ll go!).
Dr Stephanie Burns suggests a different perspective on goal achievement – because people avoid things that elicit negative emotions and/or unpleasant feelings (See Some interesting ideas about goal achievement). And, as she says, although time management, chunking big goals to manageable size, ‘to do lists’ and planning strategies have their place we’re sabotaged if:
“1) the action is not urgent;
2) the action has no immediate consequence; and,
3) the action is by nature unpleasant.
In the face of taking actions that have these features most of us do two things simultaneously:
1) we do something else instead while
2) we construct a good enough reason to justify our avoidance of the goal action we should have taken.
In doing so we do not do the action related to the goal, and we neutralise the possible negative emotion associated with this decision. Namely, guilt.”
It’s all too hard! Is what so many people say to me about investing and financial planning. You’re no orphan if you get overwhelmed by the whole planning, goals part of investing. You should get professional advice as soon as you start investing, but whether you choose to Do It Yourself, with an adviser, or with other investors, you’re chances of success are higher if you’re clear on your needs and wants and you’ve at least thought things through (even if just a little!).
Our goal, as you work through the BiG Challenge, is to help you start kicking goals (no matter how small, the smaller the better!). Despite a job being unpleasant, create some urgency and immediate consequences and you’re on your way. One step at a time. Good luck!
Day 3 Your Task/s:
Again, do as much reading and planning that you can cope with!
We’ll continually update BiG with the best information, tools and gurus around.
I look forward to seeing you at:
Day 4 (tomorrow) “Spoilt for Choice! The Many Types of Investments and Strategies Available to You – the Investor!”
Day 5 “Who Can I Turn to for Investing Help? People and ‘Players’ in the Investment Industry”.
I’d be delighted if you find my work helpful and share it with friends and family.
All the very best with your investing.
the Bucket List Investing Chick