Day 3 of BiG’s 30 Day Bucket List Investing Challenge

Goal Setting The Lazy Way

What lifestyle, money or investing goals have beaten you?


You want to improve your health and fitness, relationships, career, education and finances – but never seem to get there?

Don’t be beating yourself up about the past, it’s what you do now that counts.
I’ll bet you are achieving goals and having wins daily, weekly, monthly.

You’re not lazy. It’s just that motivation, setting planning and achieving goals are difficult, complicated mine fields.

Author, actor, musician and all round great Aussie Tim MInchin’s thoughts on goals [watch his brilliance in the 9 Life Lessons graduation speech].

I advocate passionate, dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you. You never know where you might end up. Just be aware the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery, which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye.

9 Life Lessons Tim Minchin, University of WA 2013 graduation ceremony

Guides and checklists from financial planners, advisers and others can help get you clearer on your investing dreams (see some in our Day 2 Post. You’ve seen now, just how much you can find online and elsewhere, often free.
I hope too that you’ve started thinking about a bucket list.
Maybe now you can confidently take some steps – planning, setting and achieving some goals.

Some common themes, approaches and questions to work out your financial goals are:

  • Your current financial situation (see Day 2 Post)
  • What’s your investment budget?
  • 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 time-frame and whether it’s realistic given your circumstances
  • What is risk and what’s your tolerance to it?
  • Your investment strategy
  • How many resources ($, time, energy, motivation) do you have and will you need?

You could use a financial adviser (find out how to choose one on Day 5 of the Challenge and in ASIC’s MoneySmart, to help you plan. see their Investor Toolkit. 
BiG’s Wealth Creation Strategies has also got some useful links, including Working with a financial adviser, which suggests you list your:

  • personal situation, such as your age, where you work and whether you’re in a relationship
  • assets, such as your home, savings, super, car, shares and other investments
  • debts, including mortgages, loans and credit card debt
  • income from all sources, including pay, investments and government benefits
  • expenses (every week or month) — our budget planner can help you make a list
  • insurance policies and how much you’re insured for
  • estate plans, such as a will or power of attorney
  • lawyer and accountant

And prioritise – if you want to:

  • Pay off a debt, such as credit card or mortgage, sooner?
  • Build wealth and save for retirement?
  • Save for an upcoming expense, wedding, holiday, having a family, your children’s education?
  • Make the most of an inheritance?
  • Other

But once you’ve set a goal, how can you achieve it?

No need to fall into a slump.
This Dr Seuss video gives you some inspiration to avoid that – Oh the places you’ll go!

Dr Stephanie Burns suggests we look at goal achievement differently because:

 people avoid things that elicit negative emotions and/or unpleasant feelings

And  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 isn’t 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.

 Dr Stephanie Burns, Some interesting ideas about goal achievement

You’re no orphan if you get overwhelmed by the whole planning, goals part of investing. Investing and financial planning? Many say to me – It’s all too hard.  

You should get professional, tailored advice before, or as soon as you start, investing.
But whether you do or not, you’ve got more chance of success if you’re clear on your needs and wants (even if just a little).

As you work through the BiG Challenge, my goal is to help you start taking strategic steps and getting to your success more quickly.

If finances, planning and goal setting scare or overwhelm you, take Dr Burn’s sage advice create some urgency and immediate consequences you’ve got this!

I’d be delighted if you find my work helpful and share it and BiG with friends and family.
And of course send me any feedback or comments.

Wishing you the best of luck with life and investing.

Day 3 Your Task/s:

    Again, do as much reading and planning that you can cope with.
    I continually update BiG with the best information, tools and gurus around – just for you.

    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”.

    BiG educates visitors about individuals and organisations in the finance and investing industries who can provide personal financial advice. Our information and comments are general in nature and opinion only, and do not take into account your personal financial circumstances. Any claims or comments made by third parties referenced on BiG are theirs alone and not endorsed, adopted or otherwise approved by Andrea or BiG.

    Get your own independent financial advice tailored to your specific needs before taking any financial or investing action.

    Conduct your own independent research on ‘gurus’ or other experts. Any hyperlinks to or quotes from any third parties are provided for reference only, their comments or opinions aren’t endorsed, adopted, or otherwise approved by BiG.

    If you disagree with or dispute any of the content or materials referenced by BiG, contact us to share your concerns. We welcome feedback.

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