The word "goals" seems to generate a certain sort of emotional weight, for many, it's a roll-your-eyes-sort-of-dread ... “Not this again.” But we've found the following ideas to be helpful as we enter the annual season of goal setting.
Goals are guesses. Relax as you think about goals. No one knows exactly what they are going to be doing 14.5 years from now. No sense in laboring over a false sense of precision. Guess.
Goals are flexible. It’s possible to be completely committed to a goal and at the same time open to changing it. Don't change your goal just because it turns out to be harder than you thought to reach it. But you can change it if it no longer represents what you think you want to do. Remember, it was a guess.
Goals should be shared. Sharing goals can help you to reach them.
Think big goals & micro-actions. Having a big, scary goal might seem daunting and that can be demotivating. The key to reaching big goals is to chunk them up into bite sized, shorter term actions. That’s what gets you out of bed every morning with fire in your belly. Repeatedly taking the next smallest step keeps you moving.
Prioritize Goals. Divide your goals into Needs, Wants and Wishes so that you can properly evaluate the odds of success of your financial plans, and to adjust if needed. We like to see a high probability of reaching your Needs and basic Wants -- the stuff at the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which relate to our basic sense of security and happiness.
It’s okay if the overall plan shows a lower probability of success when you add in your Wishes. These are the stars you’re shooting for. These goals are discretionary, so making adjustments won’t affect your financial independence or basic happiness. As the saying goes, shoot for the stars, even if you miss, you’ll land on the moon.
Goals Based Investing. Think low risk for Needs, medium risk for Wants, and high risk for Wishes.
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