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It’s easy to set New Year’s resolutions – it’s a lot harder to keep them. Research shows that about 60% of people make New Year’s resolutions each year, and more than half of them don't keep the resolutions for longer than a few months. In this blog, we will recommend some resolutions and help you find new ways to keep them strong throughout the year.
Below are the top three things we recommend focusing on for your New Year's resolutions:
- Lay out your goals for the year (personal, professional, and financial).
- Get yourself organized. A place for everything, and everything in its place.
- Develop a plan to keep yourself on track.
One of the most common things we see, when it comes to keeping New Year’s resolutions, is that many people start off way too big. It’s important to know where you want to be in the end, but to get there, start small and be realistic. For example, if you want to save $10,000, start by saving $500. Set benchmarks to help you keep on track, but don’t expect to conquer everything within the first month of the New Year.
Additionally, find people who will help keep you accountable. Whether it is an advisor, friends, family, or someone else, by sharing your goals with someone and asking for their help to keep you on track, you are more likely to accomplish your goals than if you don’t share them with anyone. They can also act as a cheerleader and sounding board if you run into struggles along the way.
For those of us who struggle with keeping our resolutions, below are some tips and tricks to make the process easier.
- Fill out a goals worksheet - click here to download.
With each goal, be sure to include the criteria to make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound). Vague resolutions set vague goals and always lead to vague, and usually, unsatisfactory results. If you want to see your resolutions through, you need to turn your vague goals into SMART ones. For help developing goals, Gabriele Oettingen, a professor of psychology at New York University and author of “Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation” developed the W.O.O.P technique. W.O.O.P. — Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.
- Wish: What do you want?
- Outcome: What would the ideal outcome be?
What will your life look like when you hit your goal?
- Obstacle: You know yourself. What will try to stop you? What has sidelined you before?
- Plan: How will you get around it?
- See June blog for Developing Attainable Financial Goals
When working on developing attainable financial goals - many people struggle with where to start. Much like taking a trip, it's important to put together a clear idea of where you want to go. Whether you are just starting your career or looking to the future in your retirement, there are some key questions to ask yourself to make sure you are on the right path - click here to continue reading.
- Start Small
As we mentioned above, one of the most common issues we see when it comes to keeping resolutions, is people starting too big. Regardless of whether your goal is personal, professional, or financial in nature, starting small helps by keeping you encouraged. If you want to quit smoking, start by cutting back. If you want to lose 50 lbs, start by losing 3. By aiming for smaller goals to start, you will reach your goals more consistently than if you expect to achieve it completely in a short amount of time.
- Finalize and put together everything on the Document Checklist
I am going to ask you to forgive the soap box, but this is something that I have to constantly remind people to do - and for the most part, it doesn't get done due to laziness. The attached document checklist is a list of paperwork for you to put together, in one secure location, so that you are prepared for everything. It needs to be updated regularly and make sure that someone you know and trust knows where to get this information. Documents such as your financial statements, your will and estate documents, business agreements, and others are all incredibly important and need to be easily accessible by your family/business partners, should something happen to you.
- Visit the store and utilize the tools available to help you achieve your unique goals.
In an effort to help educate and guide you, we have developed a wide variety of tools (many of which are free to anyone). At the Waypoint store, we have tools to help you reduce your debt, develop financial plans, update your legacy, better manage your time, and more. Click the button below to visit our store and check out all of the tools.
Establish a plan:
- Plan out days to review/update your goals/documents (quarterly).
Write it down. A written plan is your road map to your goals. It provides you, your advisor, and anyone else who may contribute to your plan, with clear direction. As such, it is essential in helping you measure your progress. It also helps you to hold yourself, and your advisor, accountable for doing what needs to be done. For example, 'On March 15, June 15, Sept 15, and Dec 15 I will take 6 hours out of my day to review my goals (and update if necessary), refresh the items in my document checklist, and finalize what needs to be done for me to achieve my goal(s) over the next 3 months. If those days don't work, I will complete these tasks within 1 week of those dates.'
Additionally, an effective review starts with an examination of the assumptions behind your plan. As things change in the world around you, and in your life, these assumptions may no longer be accurate. For example, if you set financial goals under the assumption that you won't have to deal with home repairs due to natural disasters - based on this previous year - you may need to reassess, depending on where you live.
Stay flexible. Don’t give up if you have to deviate from the plan. Life always throws us curve balls we don’t expect, so if you maintain some flexibility to your plan, you are less likely to give up than if you force yourself to stick to a rigid strategy.
Start 2019 off right, when it comes to achieving your New Year’s resolutions. By using these tools, you should find that it is not only easier to keep your resolutions, but potentially exceed them. As always, if you have any questions or need help with your resolutions, please contact one of our advisors, by clicking the button below.
For more information, click the button below and set up an appointment with one of our advisors.
We also recommend you visit http://www.waypointus.com/pharmacist-financial-webinars and check out our free webinar on Establishing A Game Plan for additional tips and tricks for finding and following your financial goals.
At WaypointRx & Pharmacist Financial, we take pride in helping pharmacy owners & staff pharmacists reach financial goals, make educated decisions, & develop financial plans that work best for their unique needs. Over the years we have helped hundreds of pharmacists enjoy inspired independence by achieving greater personal and financial success. As we begin each relationship, we invest a lot of time and effort in the discovery and clarification of each pharmacist’s unique situation and, most importantly, their financial goals.
Advisory services are offered through Waypoint Strategic Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of South Carolina.
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