It’s almost in our nature, right? A new year signifies a new start for many. Many of us resolve to get healthier, get on top of finances or further our careers. But how many times have you made a new year’s resolution and thought, “it’ll be the new me”, only to have given up by February and beaten yourself up for failing?
Try this instead.
1. Reflect and celebrate
Firstly, reflect on the positive characteristics about yourself right now. This might be uncomfortable (many of us aren’t familiar with complimenting ourselves), but extremely worthwhile. It could be as simple as being punctual or being good at creating a meal out of nothing.
Secondly, reflect on everything you have achieved over the last year. Include all the seemingly small achievements too, like maybe you baked your first cake, or you saved a little more money than the year before. When you look back you will probably surprise yourself as to how much you actually did achieve.
If you do have things you want to achieve in the new year, starting this way will help reinforce what you are capable of and won’t make you feel like you have to embark on the biggest transformation in history. You are already amazing, and you are continuing to get better and better.
2. Get clear and specific about the outcome you desire
You need to get absolutely clear about exactly what you want. Be sure to include objective measurable markers. Here are some examples:
Buy 1st of July 2022, have decreased my home loan by $25,000.
In 90 days, have eliminated all refined sugar from my diet.
On or before 15th August 2022, have increased my sales by $30,000.
Unless you have a clear, visible, measurable target to aim for, you can aimlessly meander all over the place and not make real traction. Use SMART goals to help you have greater success in achieving these outcomes.
Specific - A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six "W" questions: who, what, where, when, which and why.
Example: a general goal would be, "Get in shape." But a specific goal would say, "Join a health club and workout 3 days a week."
Measurable - Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as......How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
Attainable - When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals, you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.
Realistic - To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labour of love.
Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
Timely - A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there's no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? "Someday" won't work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, "by May 1st", then you've set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
T can also stand for Tangible - A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing. When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and thus attainable.
3. Define your why and make the choice to commit
Are you making this resolution because that’s just what we’re supposed to do for the new year, or do you truly want to make a change? Most people only change due to two reasons: too much pain, or not enough pleasure. If this is truly something that you want to change in your life, get very specific about the pain or pleasure this is going to cause you. For example, if your desired outcome is to have decreased your home loan by $25,000 by 1 July 2022, your why could be:
To be debt and financially free by the time I am 35,
To retire with $1.5 million in superannuation,
To provide stability for my family,
To prove to myself that I can save.
4. Turn your goals into actions
You’ve probably heard it before, “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. A proper plan is key to the achievement of any great goal.
If your goal is to reduce your mortgage by $25,000 by 1 July, brainstorm all the actions you could possibly do to achieve that. You don’t need to put these in any particular order, just anything that comes to mind. Circle the top three actions that will make the most impact in terms of achieving your goal.
5. Schedule your actions
Schedule those three top actions into your calendar on the exact days and times that you are going to do them. Depending on your goal or the actions you’ve chosen, these might be one off intensives, or a regular activity that becomes a habit. For example, you might need to schedule half a day to sort out your budget and a regular check in on your budget with your partner every Sunday at 11am.
Whatever your actions are, schedule it in. What gets scheduled, gets done.
We aren’t all experts in all things, and getting the right support on your journey to achieving your goal could be the thing that really gets you over the line.
When people want to take their fitness training to the next level, they hire a personal trainer. To improve your tennis game and get to the next level, they hire a tennis coach. To get to the next level with their finances, they hire a financial coach.
A coach in any field provides an objective perspective, accountability and focus. All successful athletes have coaches, learners have coaches too – for the same reasons, just on a different level. We all need a coach to take us to higher levels.
7. Celebrate your wins
It’s easy to get caught up in life and your end goal and forget to acknowledge your progress so far. When you set your goal, determine what the milestones are, and celebrate when you reach them. Celebrating the smaller milestones makes achievement of the bigger goal more likely. Celebrating smaller successes helps keep your mind motivated, and helps prevent burnout. When you don’t acknowledge an achievement, you are training your brain to note that what you are doing is not very important which reduces motivation and ultimately results over time.
If you would like to explore how Asset101 can help you achieve your financial goals faster, give us a call on 08 7081 0811.
* The information contained in this report is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs.
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