Starting with a blank slate
By Jay L. Gershman
2015 officially began when I erased my white board of 2014 goals. Each year, I set goals for all aspects of my life. I have to admit 2014 had mixed results. The majority of business goals were met but despite working out more regularly, my weight loss aspirations must wait another year. Since it is January, I thought it would be a great time to share some goal setting ideas for your personal and financial life.
Start with a quiet place-In order to set goals you have to be able to imagine how life would be if you accomplished the goals. Take time to dream without interrupting your thoughts with reasons why the dream or goal is out of reach. Be sure to find a quiet place to focus that is free of life’s normal distractions.
Write it down- Once you have decided what your goals are write them down in a clear organized manner. I usually add the steps that would be involved in accomplishing the each goal. After each goal, write a brief thought as to why the goal is important to you. For instance, I want to be more fit or lose weight so that I can see my children and grandchildren grow up is a real motivator compared to a goal of losing 20 pounds.
No goal is too big or small- Some coaches will recommend starting with very big goals that may seem out of reach for some while others will help break larger goals into more manageable pieces. Decide what is right for you but realize that you will have to leave your comfort zone in order to accomplish any goal worth accomplishing.
Find someone to be accountable to- You may find it necessary to hire someone to help you set goals and to make you accountable for the goals you set. Without a partner, trainer or coach you may fall back into your natural patterns that led to your current situation. Review and track your progress daily or weekly and compare progress to goals on a regular basis. Be especially mindful that studies have shown that new habits require 21 straight days of changed behavior. If you want to accomplish your goal, the first three weeks are the most critical but don’t stop there!
When things don’t go as planned- Don’t despair, reset your goals and re-start your plan. As the old adage goes “it is better to have tried and failed, then never to have tried at all”.
Financial goals to consider in 2015- Organizing all papers, projecting retirement, saving more, analyzing all investments, filing taxes on time, reducing debt, paying bills on time, refinancing a mortgage and saving for college.
Personal and life goals to consider in 2015- Improving health through exercise, weight loss and diet; travel to new places, changing jobs, buying or selling a home, buying a second home, adding on, renovating or de-cluttering a current residence.
Make your 2015 Resolution to meet with our team to review your personal financial situation and learn where you should focus your attention this year. We work with individuals and couples regardless of net worth or investment size. Call us today at (860) 899-1280.
Jay Gershman is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary and Registered Life Planner. This information is the opinion of the author and not intended as specific recommendation. Please consult a professional before making changes. Securities offered through Securities Service Network, Inc. Member: FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through SSN Advisory, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor.