With the New Year comes the setting of resolutions and promises of new beginnings. While everyone has great intentions of keeping these, how many of you have already started to slide on these? There is a general phrase that it takes 21 days to form a good habit (or break a bad one). Now that we are in February, you should be able to assess how well you are achieving these goals.
Have you kept up your healthy eating plans and exercise? Have you dedicated more time for yourself? Have you started to get your finances in order?
Everyone has different goals in regards to finance and what is important to them. Regardless of what your goals are, the crucial fact is that in order to achieve your individual wealth goals, you need to set strategies that allow you to achieve these. The first step is to write these down. Success psychologists say that 95% – 97% of the people in the world do NOT have written goals and fail, while 3-5% have written goals and succeed.
Once you have written these goals down, you will need to assess that you have set SMART goals: that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Like a weight loss goal of losing weight, setting a goal of saving money is too vague. To be successful you need to state specific figures, for example whether you are going to save $500 of your pay each fortnight towards saving, whether it be for investing in shares, to top up your emergency funds or purchasing your own home or an investment property.
Measurable: Establish strong criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you have set. Setting a specific dollar figure to your goal will determine whether it is measurable and immediately show whether you are on track to achieving that goal or whether you are not. For example saving $500 per fortnight will equate to you saving $13,000 over the course of a year. By looking at your savings account, you will immediately be able to see whether you have reached this figure.
Attainable: When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. Having the right mindset will allow you to see that nothing is impossible. If you put your mind to it, you will be amazed at what you can achieve.
Realistic: To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. For example, saving half your pay may not be realistic or achievable. You would be better to start your savings at ¼ or 1/3 of your pay and then top up your savings with any additional surplus funds. The use of budget spreadsheets on FIDO http://www.asic.gov.au/fido/fido.nsf/byHeadline/Budget%20planner or the guidance of a financial planner will help you to recognize what financial goals are realistic to your situation by taking into account your current income, expenditure and calculating any surplus you have that can be directed towards savings.
Timely: A goal should be set within a specified time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. Having a date as to which you wish to achieve your goal will help keep you focused and remain motivated to achieving your goal. Not all goals can be achieved within the next 12 months and it’s easy to lose motivation and focus. The purchase of a big long-term investment like a property may take 2-3 years of savings. This requires planning and dedication to achieve your goal. The use of a financial planner will help you stay focused and assist you with any unexpected road blocks which you may face along the way and keep you on the straight and narrow.
Once you have visualised and set these goals, you must be accountable for these. Like an exercise buddy who motivates you on those cold mornings, a financial planner can encourage you to stay on track with your savings and develop a plan for your long term wealth. Whether that is saving for a holiday, paying off those pesky credit cards (which probably increased with the Christmas sales) or saving for an investment property or shares, a Financial Planner can help develop a strategy that is right for you.
Omniwealth is hosting a seminar on 22nd March 2011 with a range of professional speakers to educate, inspire and motivate women to take action and build wealth. Come along and find out:
• How to secure your future with a tailored financial plan
• Must Knows for successful wealth creation
• The three keys to a winning result
• How winning needs a well executed plan
One of our speakers is Kerri Pottharst, Olympic Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist of the Sydney Olympics. Kerri will teach you the secrets to goal-setting success, how to develop invaluable communication strategies and learn new skills that will allow you to achieve your full potential. Be inspired by her stories of setback, injury and defeat. Learn how she overcame them all to compete in 3 Olympic Games and win 2 Olympic Medals by setting goals. Discover how she turned her Bronze into Gold!
Our seminar is designed for women who want financial information that’s presented simply. The seminar will demonstrate how you can set goals, learn about investment options and provide you with information to make your own decisions about investing your money today to maximise your lifestyle tomorrow.
Make sure 2011 is the year that you achieve your goals and stick to your New Years Resolutions!
Further information can be found on our website:
Sunshine is passionate about helping people create freedom through real wealth creation. She is a practicing Financial Planner with over 10 years of experience and is currently a Partner and the Managing Director of Omniwealth, one of Australia’s leading independent financial services companies. Sunshine, a pro-active investor herself, started out with her first investment property at the age of 23 and subsequently accumulated 10 properties by age 30. Her first book will be released in the second half of 2011 entitled ‘Buy Property Not Shoes – A Girls Guide to Financial Independence’. Sunshine is a keen supporter of women creating financial independence and with her energy and enthusiasm, brings a fresh new perspective to creating a professional and effective Financial Planning Industry in Australia.