Happy New Year! 2017 is here, and most likely you’ve seen dozens of lists already about how to set goals or make the best resolutions (you can read our tips for setting resolutions that stick here and here). These lists crop up annually, but they never seem to have very groundbreaking advice when it comes to actually fulfilling financial planning resolutions for established professionals. Whether you’re a doctor or a busy business owner, your financial situation is unique, and the way you approach your goals should be equally unique.
Did you know that a very small percentage of people (8 percent, to be exact) actually achieve their resolutions? A major part of that is due to your mindset. If you change your mindset to focus on your big-picture goals rather than obsessing over small accomplishments you’re looking to make, it will be easier to overhaul several areas of your financial life throughout the year.
Look for a Pattern
Take a look at your resolutions and see if you notice a pattern. This goes beyond finances, by the way. Do you see several goals about self control, like sticking to a budget and exercise routine better? Or maybe you’re trying to expand your comfort zone by investing more or taking up a new hobby. If you can find similarities between your goals, it’ll be easier to figure out what processes you need to implement.
For example, instead of one big savings goal, focus on putting something aside every week to get into a habit. Or, instead of investing a certain amount of money, commit to researching some new investment opportunities every month. That will change up your approach to money and get to the root of what’s really holding you back.
Clear Your Money Hang Ups
You will have to dig a little deeper to work on this one, but it can take you far in terms of adjusting your mindset. What are your money fears and beliefs? Pay attention to your earliest memories about money and your family’s wealth beliefs. Did you or your family deal with any financial traumas, like a failed business, divorce or unemployment? Are you aware of how that has affected your current relationship with money? Maybe it has made you too risk averse, or you squander your finances because you don’t believe you can hang on to them. Working through some of your deepest money hang ups can make hitting your goals much more possible.
Check Your Emotional Money Connection
How closely are your spending habits aligned with your emotions? Do you spend excessively when you’re dealing with emotional turmoil, or are you so afraid of losing your money that you hoard it? Dealing with your finances is supposed to be rational, but for most people, they have a hard time separating money from emotions.
Looking closely at the motivations behind your money decisions can help you realize whether or not you’re making the right choices. Make sure you work with your spouse on this, as well.
Assess Past Mistakes
For a lot of people, certain resolutions show up on their list year after year but never get resolved. If you have a goal that you can’t seem to clear from your resolutions list, look closely at your past approaches. Have you implemented a similar plan every year without making any headway? Look for the ruts you get stuck in and do something new to shake up your approach. It sounds like an obvious step, but this can be one of the major weaknesses that undermine your resolutions.
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes you too should have access to financial resources and fee-only financial planning. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.