Don’t Let 2015 Goals Become Afterthoughts

New beginnings offer the chance to hit the reset button.  Whether it’s setting personal goals spurred on by the beginning of a New Year or adjusting your financial course to focus on retirement, hitting the reset button is an opportunity to think about your intentions and put a finer point on your action plan.

One challenge that comes into play when setting goals, either personal or financial, is the potential to get distracted along the way.  Day-to-day stuff gets in the way and goals can easily become afterthoughts. How can you avoid falling into the gap trap that exists between expressing a goal (Point A) and crossing the finish line (Point B)? 

Here are three tips to get you started.

  1. Commitment is essential.  Commitments have an emotional component attached to our personal values.  If something is truly meaningful, you will automatically do what is necessary to get there, whether you set a goal or not.  I am committed to saving appropriately today, so that when I reach retirement I won’t worry about running out of money.
  2. Put more focus on the journey rather than the destination.  Goals focused solely on the destination can be met without enjoyment or personal growth along the way.  To retire at age 65 the savings number I need to hit is 15% per year.  Commitments, on the other hand, allow you to chart a course and keep the ultimate arrival point in clear view.   I am committed to understanding how my rate of savings affects my lifestyle in retirement.
  3. Don’t get lost in the details of the planning. Getting caught up in the details is a good way to procrastinate.  Action is a must to move good intentions toward progress.

Throughout our lifetime, there are natural breaks in the journey that offer a chance to hit the reset button.  With your goals in hand and motivation clear, the future is shaped.  What will you commit to in 2015?

Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA is a Partner and Senior Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. In addition to working with women who are in the midst of a transition (career change, receiving an inheritance, losing a life partner, divorce or remarriage), Laurie works with clients who are planning for retirement. Laurie was named to the 2013 Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine, is a member of the Leadership Oakland Alumni Association and in addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she manages and is a frequent contributor to Center Connections at The Center.

Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.

The goals listed are for illustrative purposes only. Individual cases will vary. Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc. and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. C15-000603