Write Down Your Goals
Updated: Apr 16, 2019
Why Is Writing Down Your Goals Important?
It’s one of the oldest cliches I can say but if you want to achieve a goal it is essential to write it down. Of equal importance is having an honest conversation with yourself and your partner about what you would like to achieve in next 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 years?
If you don’t know where the finish line is it is pretty difficult to run your best race. For example you may have 5 things you want to achieve by the end of this year but if you want your best chance of achieving these things it is crucial to write these goals down.
The easiest way to explain how this works is that Neuroscientist's have found that we remember ideas that we generate ourselves better then memories when we read something. Think back to when you were in school and were taking notes. If you were just trying down things from the blackboard word for word you probably didn’t remember the material that well. However, when you summarised the information and wrote it in your own words you had a better recall of this knowledge.
Studies have repeatedly proven that one thing that separates the very successful and less so is their ability to set and achieve clearly set goals. Often these are written down so clearly that you can show them to someone else and they will immediately have a clear mental image of where you want to be.
Once you have clearly defined your goals you are able to establish a plan that will enable you achieve your goals. In most cases, people will have to prioritize between goals with things that are of a high important getting first attention. I’ve tried a range of different ways of doing this but I have found that the tool most beneficial to achieve my goals is to: write my goals in a very clear and precise manner, using images where possible.
For example, when I say that I want to go to Europe next year, the mental image is not very clear. If I was to tell you that I want to be drinking a latte in the European autumn in front the Spanish Steps. In my mind I can picture the coffee slightly steaming, the smell of the beans, the sound of the water fountains splashing in the background. This creates a much clearer and precise image.
One of the more common goals I encounter is clients wanting to have more paid off their mortgage in the next 12 months. A much better goal is to pay additional $500 per month onto our mortgage to reduce our mortgage by an additional $6,000 at years end.
Once we have established a list of clear goals, we can start to work out how much you will require to achieve each one and discuss strategies to encourage your success. If you have a goal of living financially free in retirement look at putting long term plans in place to help you achieve your goals.
If your dream retirement lifestyle is going to require a lump sum available of $1,000,000 to achieve your income needs, it is important to discuss what you need to do in order to achieve this goal. This applies not only strategies like additional superannuation contributions, establishing investment portfolios, paying down debt but also understanding how much risk you are required to take to achieve these goals and just as importantly, how much financial risk are you comfortable taking?
This is why your financial plan is your road map to achieving your long term goals.