Happy New Year, Let’s Start Planning
The New Year brings with it a clean slate. We have the opportunity to wipe the white board, reassess our plans and take stock of how things are going. I want us to leave behind the past year and look at the future with promise and excitement. Many of us make resolutions (losing those 10 pounds) and set goals for ourselves that cover a multitude of aspects of our lives, finances included. There are some key steps to setting goals for every aspect of your life.
It all starts with the right mindset
We all woke up on January 1st and looked at everything that was in front of us for the new year. I for one took the required 2 Advil’s for my headache (too much prosecco) and started thinking of what I wanted for 2020. I started by setting my motto for myself and hopefully, it’s one all of you will embrace. I AM WORTHY. This year I want all of us to remember that you are worthy of a great life. A life where you are empowered in everything that you do and were you are being true to yourself. You need to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say to yourself, in a strong voice, I am Worthy.
Now let’s be S.M.A.R.T about our goals:
1. Goals should be Specific
Goals should be specific. Decide what is the total amount you want to save this year. Imagine yourself on January 1st, 2021, what are you using those funds for? That determines how much you should be saving. It’s good to have a specific amount. How do you know if you have hit your target if you never set one? When I was a financial advisor doing long term planning with my clients, I would ask them this question: What is your number? I wanted to know what was that magical number in their head that meant they had financial success and security. We need to quantify things to make them real.
2. Make sure you can Measure progress.
Now that you have your goal(s), how will you know that you are on the right path to reaching it? This is where your financial statements can help. In 2020, resolve to become familiar with them, learn how to read your statements and make a habit of looking at them. Many a financial counselor or CPA will tell you the story of the client that brought a box of receipts and statements to them unopened and unorganized. The thing we don’t often understands is that those statements are meant to give you a snapshot of where you are or a progress report of your financial picture. Looking at them will help you measure your progress.
3. Don’t set yourself up for failure, make it Attainable.
I firmly believe in dreaming big. I think that we should ask with intention and open ourselves to come from a place of “Yes” to what the year will bring. I also believe that, at times, we sabotage ourselves. The first way we set ourselves up to fail is by setting goals that are impossible to attain. Ladies, Rome was not built in a day. Goals need to be broken down into short, mid and long-range goals. Our short-term goals should be realistic and feasible. If you are barely breaking even month to month, the goal of saving $1000 a month may not be reasonable. Perhaps the goal should be to breakeven consistently for 6 months and then another 6 months. Most resolutions and goals fail because we become disillusioned. We start to believe that we can’t ever make it to the finish line.
4. Make your savings goal Relevant to your life.
As I said, dream big but dream realistically. I once met a gentleman who told me that he had attained everything he set out to do in his life except being a power forward in the NBA. Why, because he was 5’4”. He was a millionaire with a full head of hair, flat stomach and no glasses. A strong work ethic had given him money, that had led to a hair transplant, Lasik vision corrections and lipo suction. He had fixed what was attainable but his height issue was set in his DNA and not something he could resolve and that followed him always. If, like me, you’re the mom of teenagers and have an aversion to exercise, maybe that size 2 dress is elusive and that’s ok. Pick goals that make sense and that complement your authentic self.
5. What is the finish line, Time is ticking.
We are setting goals that are Short, Mid and Long Range but we need to give those terms deadlines. I suggest that short term goals should be things you can realistically attain within 1 year. Mid-range goals should be set for 2-5 year and long-term goals should be 5years +. Think of long-term goals as your retirement goals. Mid-range goals can range from a home purchase to paying your student loans. Lastly, short-range goals may be things like the down payment for a new car or purchasing that long desired designer bag.
Honestly, January may be one of my favorite months. I love sitting down and taking stock of where I am heading. It’s a time that fills me with hope for what is to come and what I want to tackle to make that year even better than before. I hope that all of you take the journey with me in 2020 and embrace empowering every aspect of your life because, YOU ARE WORTHY!!!
Happy New Year,
Founder and President
Ps: Am I the only one that hears Barbra Walters voice every time I type or say 2020?!