This is a second article in “Putting Together Your Financial Jigsaw” series. For those who missed – the first one was all about insurance.
Financial planning is like a jigsaw puzzle. Each ‘piece’ has an overall part to play, and must work with all of the other pieces, in order to provide you with a complete and cohesive picture. Each piece of your financial affairs should meet (or work towards) your specific goals and desired outcomes, and will ideally ensure as few unwanted surprises along the way as possible.
A good financial plan pulls all of the individual pieces together. It assesses where you are now, explores where you are going (or want to go) and then provides you with a comprehensive roadmap to get there.
Dreams, goals and resolutions
We all have dreams, they are the ‘Things’ you lie awake and think about. Things you sit at your desk and ponder as you stare out the window. Things you let your mind wander off to from time to time when you’re driving, or staring into the face of your sleeping child.
We often keep these ‘Things’ to ourselves. Not sharing, not daring to believe or think that perhaps, just perhaps you could actually achieve what you dream of.
Some dreams are big and super scary; some are small but can be equally as daunting. Many things are in our past and we can’t change them, but some are yet to come – the dreams we can actually do something about if we want to. The things we need to take from being just our New Year’s resolutions, from being just in our dreams, and then turning them into goals. Yes, turning them into goals! Something that you can actually do something with and work towards.
“Every person has the amazing potential of turning any of their wildest dreams into everyday reality.”
Your goals may include career goals, education goals, community goals, health and fitness goals, personal goals, leisure goals, spiritual goals and of course financial goals.
So anything from saving for a mobile phone, losing weight, meeting new people, to buying a house; and everything in between and beyond. Not all goals have a financial implication but a lot do, so in order to achieve them you need to put a framework around each goal.
Make SMARTR goals
Have you heard about SMART goals? You may use these at work. But have you heard about SMARTR goals? Using this framework, you can take your dreams and turn them into reality. You just need to add a few steps to make sure they meet the criteria of a SMARTR goal.
Specific – answer questions like What, Why and How. Putting as much details into each goal is key.
Measurable – make sure you include some concrete criteria for measuring your progress. So you know how close or how well you are doing along the way.
Achievable – don’t set goals that are too far out of reach or you won’t commit to them. Make sure they still stretch you so you can celebrate your success.
Realistic – this doesn’t mean easy, so set goals that you can attain with some effort. Remember you can achieve more than you think.
Timely – set a timeframe as this gives you a clear target to work towards and provides some urgency to start taking action now. If your goals are large, break the goals down into smaller chunks. So you can tick the small steps off along the way.
R – is the secret 6th step and without it you won’t know how you’re doing. Review, Review, Review! It’s important to review your goals regularly so you know if you’re on track, or to identify if you need to make some tweaks and adjustments. Plus, it’s an opportunity to give yourself an extra nudge towards the finish line if need be and pat yourself on the back when you get there.
So take some time to think about your dreams and your resolutions. Book a date with yourself for a brainstorming session – or do it with a friend.
Then take action, write your goals down, formulate a plan. Think about how this works with your budget and what tweaks will you need to make. Find out what resources you may need. Share your goals with family and friends and see how they might be able to help you too through motivation and encouragement.
Make them visible so you can refer to them every day. Take one small step at a time to work towards turning your wonderful dreams into your reality.
Sharon Giblett is a Financial Coach with over 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Sharon’s mission is for every New Zealander to have the opportunity to become financially savvy today, whilst planning for their tomorrow.
Jigsaw Financial Solutions Limited (‘Jigsaw’) works with you. They help to put the pieces of your financial jigsaw puzzle together to create a personalised Your JigsawPlan™ which provides only the solutions you need.
Your JigsawPlan™ can help reduce your financial stress and any worry about your current or future situation. They provide you with a clear picture of where you are now, where you want to head, and how to get there. Putting in place a tailored Your JigsawPlan™ can set you on the right path to financial wellbeing and help you to achieve your goals and aspirations.
Regardless of where you are at, NOW is the best time to start. It’s never too early or too late. The important thing is to start.
Contact Sharon Giblett now to arrange your complimentary initial consultation on:
0800 JIGSAW (0800 544 729) or (021) 566 869