There really are only six things you must get right when creating a financial plan:
- Set your goals
- Protect against bad things
- Prepare for the future
- Enjoy the journey
- Give back to society
- Execute your plan!
Each step is important and I encourage you to do them in order. In this article, I will focus on step 1, set your goals.
Goal setting is the most important piece to ensure success, financially and in life. Unfortunately, for how important it is to set goals, it is hard to do. It is often overwhelming to even get started.
1. We have goals in many parts of our life
We need goals in each area that is important to us:
- Our community and how we want to give back to society
2. Our dreams and our fears are in conflict with each other
We want a (car, dream home, boat) today, but are fearful we will be unemployed tomorrow. Worse, we can't easily see how the decisions we make today impact the chances we will be eating cat food in our 90s. It is hard to manage our goals against our dreams and our fears.
3. Virtually all of our goals are connected to time or money (or both)
There is only so much time and money to go around. How do we allocate these scarce resources and still achieve what we want in life?
4. Like everything, goals require a proper foundation
Before you can set goals, you have to spend time defining your purpose and values. What do you stand for? Why?
- Why do you want to "be healthy"
- Why do you want to "spend time with your family"
- Why do you want to "save money"
Without a defined purpose, a why, your goals are empty.
Proper goal setting is about connecting your money and your time to your purpose and values. Without that connection, it is impossible to be successful financially, or in life - at any level of wealth. Money becomes an object, rather than a means to a bigger objective.
When you build a financial plan you automatically set goals. You then take steps to protect yourself from bad things and steps to prepare for the future. As a result, bad things are less likely to happen. Your dreams are more likely to come true.
Continue on to learn how to protect against bad things.
How may I help you?