This past year we (Walter and I) wrote a book, “The Millionaire Within”. We are proud to announce that it has been published and that it is available for sale on Amazon! We chose to write it in order to share our experiences working with clients to help them change their perceptions about money. People often seek financial consultation to gain insight into “new” investing strategies or promising stock trends for the coming year. What we know is that trying to predict an unpredictable market is as futile as spending your last dollar in the hopes that more will come out of thin air.
The reality is that people tend to achieve success or failure with finances because of their existing relationship with money. Their perceptions, biases, and family history contribute to their financial behaviors and no silver bullet stock tip can change that fact. In our interactions with clients, we see them have “Aha!” moments when they begin to realize that, with a little shift in thinking and a clearer picture of their long-term goals and needs, they can feel more confident in their financial future.
Financial Goal Planning for Success
Understand It’s a Means to an End
The great philosopher Aristotle said, “First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends: wisdom, money, materials and methods. Third, adjust your means to that end.”
When it comes to feeling a sense of personal achievement, success always begins with a goal. Think back to the beginning of the year, with New Year’s resolutions fresh in mind. What was yours? Was it to start your own business? Carve out a savings plan? Embark upon retirement? Get back to the gym? Request a raise or promotion? Setting goals can give us purpose, keep us on track, and help keep us focused. Once you have that goal, it’s helpful to identify a few smaller, actionable steps to support it.
Use Your Imagination
Let’s do an exercise! Take one moment, put down your smartphone, look away from your computer and close your eyes. Imagine: What would you do if your money were working for you instead of the other way around?
Now take a pen and paper and answer this question:
If you had more time, what would you do with it?
- Volunteer for your favorite charity?
- Spend more time with family?
- Learn photography?
- Write a book?
Take a few minutes to write down your thoughts on the answer(s) to this question. Think about and write down what you’d do in detail. Who would be there? What would you need? How would it make you feel?
The first step in creating a plan for your future is to set goals that are based on what makes you feel fulfilled. If the focus is solely on the amount of money you want to make, then the outcome will likely be that, no matter how much you make, you will have little insight into how best to spend, save and invest it in order to satisfy long-term goals.
Know Your Money Story (And Your Goals)
As I mentioned earlier, we all have relationships with money whose roots run deep. Your perception of wealth, money, spending, saving and investing can have an impact on how you see your goals in relation to your finances. If you grew up in a family with little means, you might find it frivolous to consider using money for anything but necessities. If you grew up in a house where money was spent impulsively, but there never seemed to be enough, then you might either have the same impulses and be struggling with how to delay gratification or you might have the opposite reaction so as not to repeat the mistakes of your parents.
If you consider your goals in the absence of money and really think about what matters most to you, then you can start from a place that could help you rewrite your money story and envision a future with clarity and purpose. Every path has a beginning. Starts yours by envisioning the goals that will make you feel confident in the life you are living.
Reach Your Financial Goals with Arcadia
We help our clients create a vision for themselves and their families based on what makes them feel fulfilled and confident. The path to achieving your goals is paved with uncertainty, unexpected twists and turns, and beautiful spontaneity. We are committed to helping our clients navigate life’s journey and to provide them with financial advice that can empower them to feel confident in their future as well as their present. Schedule a discovery call today to start the conversation!