BiG's 30 Day Money and Investing Challenge | General

Day3 of BiG’s 30 Day Investing Challenge |Goal Setting The Lazy Way

Updated August 2020

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 what’s available 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 (we look at how to choose one on Day 5 of the BiG Challenge and in ASIC’s MoneySmart, to help you plan. see their Investor Toolkit. 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 your mortgage sooner?
  • Build wealth and save for retirement?
  • Save for 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 could give 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? It’s all too hard! people often tell me.  

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 and succeeding – strategic step by step.

If finances, planning and goal setting scare or overwhelm you, take Dr Burn’s sage advice create some urgency and immediate consequences and 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 bestest 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”.


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