Jim Rohn once said, "Don't start the year until it is finished on paper. It's not a bad idea, toward the end of the year, to sit down with your family for the family structure plans, sit down in your business for the business plans, sit down with your financial advisor for your investments and map out the year."
I’m constantly planning. I write To Do lists, set my goals, map out tasks and activities required to achieve them and then slowly, slowly work my way through. Sometimes, it feels like nothing changes and I don’t achieve anything. Sometimes, it’s not until we look back weeks, months, years and see the path we’ve travelled that we notice anything different.
Planning your financial slice of life is an integral part of ensuring you achieve your goals. Research shows that those people who plan successfully (defined as sticking to a savings plan) have an average net worth 3 times higher than those who don’t save regularly and have no plan [1].
The financial planning process is about creating an actionable, realistic plan. It's hard to get somewhere if you don't know where you're going. A good plan outlines a concrete set of steps and has a realistic metric for success. Your plan doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, simple is usually better.
I believe there are three key things you can do to ensure you meet your goals:

  1. Make them realistic and measurable. For example, you want $12,000 saved by December 2013. That’s $30 a day you’ll need to set aside - what will you forgo to save?
  2. Don’t give up and ignore the noise. The day to day waves that rock you can sometimes make it hard for you to see the bigger picture. Have faith that you will achieve your goals and check in every now and then to see that you’re still on track.
  3. Read more. Sir Francis Bacon said, “knowledge is power”. The more you learn not just about the world around you, but of yourself (in quiet reflection), the greater your power to achieve what you want in life. The more you can understand of your financial strategies and investments, the more you can be confident of your plans and how you’re progressing towards achieving your goals

As we come to the end of another year, take time to reflect on what you did or didn’t achieve this year and set your goals for next year. What will you do differently?

We welcome your call in the new year to help you set your priorities, define your goals and plan your financial slice of life.
Call us on 02 9417 6011 and make your appointment today.

[1]  Source: Annamaria Lusardi and Olivia S. Mitchell, "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," NBER Working Paper #17078, May 2011, page 29. Successful planners are defined as those who stuck to their savings plans.