New Years Resolutions & The Importance Of Setting Goals

As we approach the end of January (where has it gone?) I wanted to make a few comments on the importance of goal setting and a few views on the tradition of setting New Years Resolutions. You might have your own opinions – drop us an email and we can add your comment to the blog.

Goal setting is vital to success, particularly if you are aiming for something that is “a bit of a stretch” to achieve. Several philosophers have been quoted as saying “A Goal Without A Plan is Just a Dream” and I believe this could not be truer. A goal should be a target that you know you will achieve, because failure is not an option and success will happen if you leave nothing to chance. This isn’t to say that circumstances can’t change – you need to have flexibility to adapt and this may mean revising your goals on a regular basis, but setting goals in the first place gives you a firm direction in which you can head.

It is common at this time of year for people to set New Years Resolutions. For many people it may be to “go to the gym” or “lose weight” or “get a promotion”. I see New Years Resolutions as part of fun of the festive period but I question how many of these resolutions are successfully achieved. My New Years Resolution for this year is simply to play my guitar more. I’m pretty sure I can achieve that.

Don’t confuse a resolution for goal setting however.

Most people do end up “going to the gym”, maybe they do “lose weight” and some even “get a promotion” but a lot of these same people subsequently stop exercising, put the weight back on, and probably end up quitting that job anyway. In 12 months time, they’ve also probably forgotten what last years Resolution was as well.

The reason this occurs is that people set New Years Resolutions for the sake of it, not because of a driving need to achieve, and without the inspiration to keep going when things get hard – and without knowing WHY they MUST achieve their goal. Losing weight is a good challenge to set, but you are more likely to be successful if you HAVE to lose weight “because your life depended on it” or “to fit into your wedding dress”, for example, rather than just for the sake of it.

Some people’s New Years Resolutions might not be realistic, and most people don’t write down their Resolution either. Both of these factors contribute to a higher risk of failure. I’m sure in most cases people also don’t measure their progress to track how they are going. And lastly, New Years Resolutions tend to lack specificity – “losing weight” could mean losing 1 kg or 20kg, what’s to say? All of these things make achieving the resolution harder than it needs to be. With better planning the likelihood of success could be much greater.

Does this sound familiar with regard to your New Years Resolution or your Wealth Creation Goals? Are you leaving your financial success to chance, and if so, what are you going to do about it?

I see New Years Resolutions as similar to the Melbourne Cup – I’m happy to play along with this festive event, but if I’d rather put my financial future into something more solid.

How clear are your goals? Successful goals setting is way beyond the scope of this blog, but if you aren’t quite there with your goal-setting, then contact us for more information, or come along to a Wealth School Class and see what other likeminded investors do when it comes to goal setting for them.

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