Financial planning starts with goal setting. Here are 3 “power boosts” that I have found useful personally and in my financial planning practice.
1. SET THE RIGHT GOALS
“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” – Earl Nightingale
The primary reason that we fail to achieve our goals is that we choose the wrong goals, according to author and coach Martha Beck. We imagine situations (wealth, fame) rather than experiences and direct ourselves toward unintended consequences. We may set a goal to make more money, thinking that wealth will offer security, but end up so focused on work that we destroy the security of our closest relationships and find that it’s not money that makes us feel secure.
The solution is (1) to focus on the quality of the experience we would like to have, (2) define it with specific adjectives (security, freedom, abundance) and (3) notice all of the different ways the quality is available to us. In this way, we identify our true intention “buried deep in our subconscious,” engage the power of our own subconscious and set ourselves up for success.
2. ALIGN YOUR ACTIONS
Once you have defined your true goal or intention, your specific vision for that goal is your plan. Now it is time to put your plan into action! Author, David Aaron, points out that “it is very important to make sure that your actions are aligned with your overall principles” as well as with your plan. Your guiding principles might be justice, kindness, balance, strength, harmony or peace. This “integration” of your principles and your actions, Aaron says, is the key to happiness – and isn’t that the ultimate goal?
3. RECOGNIZE AND REDUCE RESISTANCE
In one of the regular workshops that I offer, “7 Steps to Financial Mastery for Busy Moms” this is the topic that generates the most “ah-ha” moments. ”Anytime you set a goal or make a decision to do something different, you create a gap between where you are now and where you want to go. This gap is the Discomfort Zone and it is filled with tension,” says Barbara Stanny, author of the “7 Steps” workshop and many books.
Our natural reaction is to avoid that discomfort and so we find ourselves bumping (or crashing!) into resistance. That could look like: you’re too busy, you procrastinate, you’re scared into inaction, you lose interest, you’re forgetful, disorganized or impatient. How to reduce resistance and not let it stop you? Here are some tools we offer in the workshop:
- Recognize the you are in resistance – and know that it is normal
- Remember your commitment to your goal – reengage the original intensity of feeling for your goal
- Engage support
- Tolerate discomfort
- Take small steps
Happy New Year!