It is the New Year once again, where we all make commitments to obtain new success where we have failed in the past and vow to reach each and every one of the goals that we have set in our minds. Why are the goals so hard to keep? We are left at the end of January only to find ourselves defeated, licking our wounds, and wondering what went wrong. Our motivations seemed so strong yet here we stand, waiting for January of next year to try again. You do not have to feel defeated, do not put off tomorrow what you could do today and do not mistake a dream of accomplishment for an actual set of goals. All day long I see clients that had the best of intentions to complete their trust, save for college, or retire early but just fell short. Most say that they just became too busy with daily life and I tell them that their dream needed to be a calculated goal.
Studies have shown that people who set goals are more successful financially than those that do not set goals. We are not talking about dreams, we are talking about a planned target with a map to success in achieving that target. To begin you must make sure that the ambition is something that you are determined to achieve. What is at stake? What are the positives and the negatives? Most objectives that lack a significant amount of motivation at their onset fail when repeatedly tested under normal circumstances. Focus is key to visualizing true success in goal setting. It may sound trite, but photos of meeting the goal or witnessing another that has reached the goal help to motivate you to success. First, set aside time to ask yourself the questions of who, what, where, why, and when. Put a detailed action plan in place and in writing. Make your plan public by telling others that can stand behind and motivate you to continue through the tough times. If that does not work to motivate, try and find a group of people that are committed to the same goal. Seek advice from others that have accomplished the goal that you wish to achieve. Automating your plan tends to accelerate your success because automation circumvents forgetfulness. For example, if your goal is to save more, have the money taken out of your bank account automatically. Set reminders to keep you motivated as often as you need or make sure to check-in with your plan frequently. Have an end date to your plan. You can always extend the end date, but every good plan has its’ rewarding completion. Even though I would hope as a financial advisor that some of your plans involve attaining financial freedoms, paying off debts or reaching a saving milestone, I know that may be wishful thinking. I also know that those goals are not glitzy or glamorous. At the end of the day, we at Wamhoff hope to share the path that you take to accomplishing financial freedom and building your way to the most elusive goal of all, the day when you can take reward in your true happiness and look back on all that you have gained. Good luck and know that half of the battle is identifying what you want to accomplish, so get out there and stay motivated!