Goals. You’ve probably heard of them. There those things everyone says you need to have for a successful life. However, most of us just never get around to properly defining them, which can lead to us going aimlessly round in circles and not making the progress we would like. So as part of our six-week challenge to help you make a positive change to your life, we are going to look at how to get started.
Why set goals?
Goals give our lives a direction to head in and allow us to build a map to get there. So instead of running in circles, we are moving in a zigzagging direction that is generally forwards.
It’s not a direct line because, well, life is unpredictable, so no journey towards something worthwhile will be in a straight line, with zero setbacks. But overall you will be going in the right direction and making progress, unlike before.
If you know what your aim is, you can easily decide what outside noise to listen to and what to discard. Just by simply asking yourself if a decision will bring you closer to your goals or further away.
Don’t overthink it
Keep it simple to start with. Don’t worry about the next steps or that it will be too difficult to achieve your goal. Just start by getting all your ideas out, you can curate it down at a later stage.
Shoot for the stars
If you have low expectations and think that your goals are unachievable, then you will never get that success you desire. Raise your standards, what do you really want, not what you think you deserve.
If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not growing. Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.
What do you want from life?
One way to start is by making a list of what you would like in life. Too tricky? Start with what you definitely don’t want. For example:
- ‘I don’t want to work in an office 9-5.’
- ‘I don’t want to miss my kid's dance recitals.’
- ‘I don’t want to have the same health issues as my Dad.’
Then turn these around into positive ambitions for the lifestyle you want to achieve:
- ‘I want to have a job that is primarily located outside where I can set my own hours.’
- ‘I want to have flexibility in my life to attend important events.’
- ‘I want to maintain my health by exercising frequently.’
Look at all areas of your life
Don’t just concentrate on work or finances, consider goals for all areas of your life. For example:
Mental - goals that will expand your mind or knowledge, for example, studying a foreign language.
Physical - goals that are about your physical wellbeing, whether that be to drink more water or exercise daily.
Family - goals that increase the value of your family life.
Social - goals that involve your social life, your friends, how you spend your free time.
Career - what career goals do you have for the future? Financial - what financial support do you need to provide to achieve your dream?
Mind maps are an excellent tool for this and allow your brain to think more creatively. Don’t be afraid to use colour also, make this a fun task and it will be easier.
Create SMART goals
When setting your goals, whether they are long or short term, make sure they are SMART.
Specific – be clear about what your goal is.
Measurable – if you can’t measure your goal, how will you know if you’ve achieved it or are on your way to achieving it?
Achievable – is your goal realistic and can you actually achieve what you desire.
Relevant – making your goals relevant to you and in line with your values will help you stay motivated. The more passionate you feel about your ambitions, the more likely you are to achieve them.
Time-bound – if you make the mistake of not putting any time constraints on your goals, then you run the risk of procrastinating and never making progress. Deadlines are what make dreams a reality, ensure that all your goals have a precise timescale.
Feel good about your goals
Your goals should excite you, make you happy, encourage you to dream. They should be things you can’t wait to achieve, ambitions that will improve your lifestyle. If your goals don’t lift you up and the steps you need to take feel like wading through treacle, then reconsider what you’re aiming for.
It might just need an adjustment in perspective. For example, one of your goals may be to pay off your debts which could feel like something you have to do rather than want to do.
If your goal is focusing on the negative such as the amount of debt you have. Turn it around to be a goal about being closer to financial independence and how much positivity that will bring into your life.
The steps you need to take might be the same, but the intention is much more motivating.
Create a plan
Once you have your goals, the next step is to create a plan to bring them into reality.
Start by breaking down your goals into smaller actionable steps. What do you need to do each month, week or day to move closer to your desired ambition?
Opportunity not failure
It is inevitable that once you have your goals, not everything will be smooth sailing. Along the way, things will happen to test you, and everything may not work out how you had anticipated.
Don’t consider yourself a failure when this happens, it’s an opportunity to learn, re-group, adjust and continue on.
When you first learn to walk, it doesn’t go well immediately. You’re a bit wobbly at first, and you fall down a lot, but that inner drive to achieve means that you don’t give up, you keep trying new tactics until it starts to work out.
Learn from your mistakes and head off on a different route. Often when we perceive that we’ve failed, a new opportunity appears, and we can experience success in a way that we may not have imagined before. Failure is merely an opportunity to try a different approach but this time with improved odds as you now have the experience to draw on.
How life centred planning can help
Life Centred Financial Planning is exactly what it says it is – it’s all about you and your life. Instead of focusing on financial products, Life Centred Financial Planners start with what you want, what your values and goals are, how you have got to where you are now and how best to arrange your current resources to create a brighter future.
They can help you look at what your goals and ambitions might be and work together to discover the kind of life you would love to have. By working with you, they can create a bespoke financial plan that is flexible and sustainable enough to support you over the coming years. Giving you peace of mind and an expert in your back pocket.
Life Centred Financial Planning services come in different forms depending on how much assistance you need. For some people, a one-off consultation will be ample, but others might need ongoing support. You’ll find our Life Centred Financial Planners, experienced, and extremely qualified but at the same time, very approachable and practical. Our Life Centred Financial Planning service is exceptional value too.
You can find out more about Life Centred Financial Planning and how it could help you in our blog post - For a brighter financial future.
If you would like to find out more or just fancy a chat, then we offer a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our experienced Life Centred Financial Planners. There’s no obligation to sign up to anything, and you can contact us on 01424 777 156, or via email - email@example.com - to make an appointment.
If you found this information useful, you may also want to check out the following:
- Make a change week 1: What's your why?
- How to stay focused on your goals and be more productive
- Maximise your goals
Mike Robertson Associates Limited is an appointed representative of Lighthouse Advisory Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. See here for full details.
Specialising in Life Centred Financial Planning, MRA is unlike other traditional independent financial advisors – we are so much more. We help individuals, businesses and families achieve the best quality of life they can with the resources they have. Life Centred Planning is about the person, not the product and our Life Centred Financial Planners look at how your money can be arranged so that it’s serving your aims and dreams in this lifetime.
Based in East Sussex, we service clients across the South East, Sussex and Kent, including smaller towns such as Ashford, Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Brighton & Hove, Cranbrook, Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Heathfield, Herstmonceux, Lewes, Mayfield, Newhaven, Rye, Seaford, Sevenoaks, Tenterden, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.