Most folks don’t have a financial goal at all. Many feel their true financial goals are unrealistic, or they don’t see a path to achieve them. But putting goals into words can be the first step toward a sound financial future.
For years, I’ve been told that simply writing goals down on paper can be a powerful force in achieving success. I discuss goals with my clients all the time, and I recently came across a research study supporting the theory that written goals are more effective. Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University of California found that:
- Those who wrote their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals.
- Three coaching tools: accountability, commitment and writing down one’s goals all make a measurable difference in goal achievement.
Details on the study are available here.
Keys to goal setting
I was struck by the focus on accountability, commitment, and a written plan because all three are components of a good comprehensive financial planning process.
One of the most common reasons people don’t have a financial “plan” is that they don’t really have a defined goal. Most folks decide they want to take a vacation and then begin to gather information about how much it will cost and how much they will need to save to make it to Hawaii. Without a stated financial goal, many families just want to “get through.”
Setting financial goals
To help achieve what may presently seem impossible, I challenge you to set a Big Harry Audacious Financial Goal (BHAFG). Would you like to live at the lake year-round? Visit all the grandkids every year? Spend a month on the beach every February? Endow a program that helps needy kids get to college and start a career debt-free?
Call it out, write it down and share it with a financial planner who is always your advocate (a fiduciary advisor) and who only gets paid by you, not any products or financial companies (a fee-only advisor).
Don’t worry about the details at the beginning. If it’s important, you can make it happen. Don’t worry too much about the numbers either, because numbers are arbitrary and will likely shift with time and circumstance. Instead, focus on the journey, the end goal, and above all, enjoy the ride.
It’s a simple step, but it will get you a lot further toward a fabulous future.
Fiduciary financial planning
“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
I think about that quote often when meeting with clients. It’s my sincere goal to help people achieve their goals and live out their life’s aspirations.
Dunncreek Advisors helps families who want to stop working for money and stop worrying about money:
- I can help you imagine your life where you don’t work for money.
- Let’s picture that life in detail and on a grand scale. Let’s define the destination.
- Then we can build a plan together that gets you to the dream and we can guide you along the way.
If you are excited to set your very own BHAFG, contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always happy to meet with people who want a plan to make their dreams come true.
Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.