Personal Financial Goal Setting
6 tips to start the new year with a financial plan you’ll follow.
With another year about to roll around, now is the perfect time to think about where you are financially and to start the new year with a clear plan as to what you want to achieve over the next 12 months. That means setting and keeping financial goals.
Perhaps you’ve tried this in past years but fallen off the wagon. Why? Were there roadblocks and, if so, were they out of your control or within your control? Whatever the case, wipe the slate clean and start anew by setting goals and creating a financial plan that (barring any major unforeseen circumstances) you will be able to follow.
Remember, your financial future is in your hands to envision, mold and nurture, beginning today and every day thereafter. It begins with personal financial goal setting, and the earlier in your life you begin, the greater the impact on your future.
Tip #1 Determine what matters to you long term.
As with any goal, you need to know where you’re going to get there. That means you must decide what matters most to you in life –– family, education, travel, new home, retirement savings, giving back, etc. –– and then determine what you’ll need from a financial perspective to attain your priorities long term.
Tip #2 Put your financial goals in writing.
Think about your financial goals long and hard enough to actually put them in writing. Whether you have two, three or more, make a list of the goals you want to achieve over your lifetime. Next, write down what you specifically want to accomplish in the coming year. For instance, let’s say you want to move into a bigger home in about five years. What will you need to accomplish financially over the next year to help attain your goal? Same for year two, three and four. Some people will further divide their goals by month or by quarter, making them feel more doable. Again, it helps to be as specific as possible. Clarity is critical.
Tip #3 List detailed steps needed to reach your goals.
Itemize the actual steps that you’ll need to take day by day and month by month to reach your goals. These might include making changes in your lifestyle or spending habits, exploring new opportunities in terms of careers or education, and building relationships that can open new doors for you down the road. Thinking things through to this level of detail can provide powerful motivation to help you stay true to your plan.
Tip #4 No more “someday”. Start now!
Saying you’ll start someday to make and follow a financial plan, such as when you make more money or “get on your feet”, is a self-defeating prophecy. No matter what your current income, you must discipline yourself to get started now –– today –– to map out your own financial future. And if you already have a financial plan, there’s no better time than the start of a new year to reassess your plan to ensure it’s in line with your personal financial goals. Remember, too, a good financial plan is always changing to some degree in response to changes in the economy, shifts in your family size and makeup, different career, etc.
Tip #5 Monitor your own performance in a timely manner.
Create a calendar with your financial goals marked by week, month or quarter for the next year. Refer to it often for motivation and, of course, match your performance to your goals on a regular basis. Put the calendar where you can easily see it as a constant reminder of how smart you are to be preparing for tomorrow.
Tip #6 Be realistic and stay flexible.
This is not a ticket to get sloppy with your financial plan, BUT let’s be honest, when the unimaginable occurs, you have to be flexible to go with the flow. What’s essential is that when life throws your financial plan a curveball or two, get back on track as quickly as possible.
Bottom line, wherever you are in life –– whatever your age, income, single, married, kids or no kids, nearing retirement or already retired –– you need a financial plan. Not only for your financial success but also for your peace of mind. At Lenox, we are here to help. We help you create a personal financial plan that works for you and then help you navigate your way through a lifetime of decisions that can affect it. It’s one more way we help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.
At Lenox, we work with families to help guide them in every aspect of their financial life –– from education funding, to generational planning and finances, to setting financial priorities, to eliminating debt, establishing budgets, career planning and coaching, retirement planning, and working through financial hurdles –– the entire realm of wealth creation, wealth building, and wealth management. In every instance, we start with you, not your portfolio to help you FUND A LIFE YOU LOVE™.
If you’re ready to discuss financial, business, career and life planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more. Let’s talk. It’s your tomorrow. Call us for a complimentary 1-hour review. Call 513.618.7080 or visit www.lenoxwealth.com to Fund a Life You Love.
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This blog is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to its investment advisory/management services. This is not intended to be personalized investment advice. Please contact a Lenox adviser if you would like additional information.